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cleaning out espresso coffee machine



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 24th 10, 03:20 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 36
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

I have a solenoid type espresso machine which seems to be completely
blocked up

I can hear the pump pumping and water comes out of the wand so the
pump is clearly working but nothing comes out of the head. I have
checked the solenoid and the last chance for this expensive machine is
cleaning out coffee or limescale in the system. I took the head screen
above the basket out and it is completely blocked as are the various
holes in the piece above the screen. When I stuck some pins in the
channels I did manage to get some drips out of the head. But there is
no real relationship between the pumping and the drips.

What I was wondering was which cleaners will burn through all this
crud. To me the citrus ones all seem to be the same, none seem to
be of any greater strength than others and I am not sure whether they
are designed to dissolve the coffee or clean out limescale in the
boiler. Whenever i have tried them in the past I have always found
undissolved crud under the screen after use and what has come through
has never seemed particularly dirty to me??

Lastly is there a balance to be drawn between trying to push cleaner
through clogged pipes and pumping so much that there is a risk of
blowing the pipes/pump/electrics?
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  #2  
Old December 24th 10, 03:40 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 11
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

I have had good results using distilled vinegar.... basically acetic
acid.
  #3  
Old December 24th 10, 03:56 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 36
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

On Dec 24, 10:40*am, professorpaul wrote:
I have had good results using distilled vinegar.... basically acetic
acid.


but was the unit completely blocked as mine is? 'cos I am obviously
willing to try it, but it has never really cleaned out much for me in
the past when I have used it when I didnt have any of the citrus
stuff?
  #4  
Old December 24th 10, 05:24 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 3,060
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine


"myfathersson" wrote in message
...
On Dec 24, 10:40 am, professorpaul wrote:
I have had good results using distilled vinegar.... basically acetic
acid.


but was the unit completely blocked as mine is? 'cos I am obviously
willing to try it, but it has never really cleaned out much for me in
the past when I have used it when I didnt have any of the citrus
stuff?

The suggested white vinegar is a very weak acid. You can also use it to
soak kitchen parts that have alkaline buildup, or spray and let it set on
faucets and such. Maybe your problem was using the "citrus stuff" in the
first place, and you've eaten your lines out already. Do you know what was
said in the directions? That always comes in handy in these situations.

Steve


  #5  
Old December 24th 10, 07:19 PM posted to alt.home.repair
dpb
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Posts: 10,403
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

myfathersson wrote:
....

What I was wondering was which cleaners will burn through all this
crud. To me the citrus ones all seem to be the same, none seem to
be of any greater strength than others and I am not sure whether they
are designed to dissolve the coffee or clean out limescale in the
boiler. Whenever i have tried them in the past I have always found
undissolved crud under the screen after use and what has come through
has never seemed particularly dirty to me??

....

You can try CLR or a similar product.

The reason it doesn't look dirty if it does work is that it redissolves
the lime in solution so it is no longer a solid. It's those same
soluble salts are deposited as scale by the heating process that turned
them into the solids.

You can try several soaks; if it's heavily scaled as noted it will
undoubtedly take quite some time to see real results.

--
  #6  
Old December 24th 10, 08:47 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 912
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

On 12/24/2010 10:20 AM, myfathersson wrote:
I have a solenoid type espresso machine which seems to be completely
blocked up

I can hear the pump pumping and water comes out of the wand so the
pump is clearly working but nothing comes out of the head. I have
checked the solenoid and the last chance for this expensive machine is
cleaning out coffee or limescale in the system. I took the head screen
above the basket out and it is completely blocked as are the various
holes in the piece above the screen. When I stuck some pins in the
channels I did manage to get some drips out of the head. But there is
no real relationship between the pumping and the drips.

What I was wondering was which cleaners will burn through all this
crud. To me the citrus ones all seem to be the same, none seem to
be of any greater strength than others and I am not sure whether they
are designed to dissolve the coffee or clean out limescale in the
boiler. Whenever i have tried them in the past I have always found
undissolved crud under the screen after use and what has come through
has never seemed particularly dirty to me??

Lastly is there a balance to be drawn between trying to push cleaner
through clogged pipes and pumping so much that there is a risk of
blowing the pipes/pump/electrics?

I took my Espresso/Cappuccino machine out last night. On mine, the
steam pipe, the one with the rubber snout for steaming milk, didn't
work. I pushed a thin wire up the hole. It popped open. Be
careful if there is a full head of steam in the unit. I used it
last night and it was quite ok, but the unit had a musty smell. So,
this morning I ran vinegar through it, followed by 2 full water
rinses.
  #7  
Old December 25th 10, 01:36 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 10,563
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

Don't know if they have CLR near you. But that's got a
couple other acids. Phosophoric acid could help. Not sure if
it will work on total clogs.

Any way to get the hose off, and snake it out with small
wire?
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
www.lds.org
..


"Steve B" wrote in message
...

"myfathersson" wrote in message
...
On Dec 24, 10:40 am, professorpaul
wrote:
I have had good results using distilled vinegar....
basically acetic
acid.


but was the unit completely blocked as mine is? 'cos I am
obviously
willing to try it, but it has never really cleaned out much
for me in
the past when I have used it when I didnt have any of the
citrus
stuff?

The suggested white vinegar is a very weak acid. You can
also use it to
soak kitchen parts that have alkaline buildup, or spray and
let it set on
faucets and such. Maybe your problem was using the "citrus
stuff" in the
first place, and you've eaten your lines out already. Do
you know what was
said in the directions? That always comes in handy in these
situations.

Steve



  #8  
Old December 25th 10, 02:09 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 36
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

OK but what I am now wondering is how I can get the acid/citrus
through to the bit where it is blocked (which appears to be somewhere
above the head) if there is no flow
  #9  
Old December 25th 10, 01:19 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10,563
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

Might not be possible, sadly so. Any way to make a passage,
ream it out with small wire, bent paper clip or something?

--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
www.lds.org
..


"myfathersson" wrote in message
...
OK but what I am now wondering is how I can get the
acid/citrus
through to the bit where it is blocked (which appears to be
somewhere
above the head) if there is no flow


  #10  
Old December 25th 10, 01:34 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 476
Default cleaning out espresso coffee machine

On Dec 24, 8:09*pm, myfathersson wrote:
OK but what I am now wondering is how I can get the acid/citrus
through to the bit where it is blocked (which appears to be somewhere
above the head) if there is no flow


I would run a wire like a pipe cleaner through, a pipe you smoke any
place that sells cigars has them. if you cant get it can you take it
apart to soak it in vinegar and use compressed air. The stronger acids
eat metal faster so be carefull, even vinegar will mess up some
metals.
 




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