As I've mentioned in a couple previous threads, I've been slowly refurbishing a 1997 Brasilia Portofino 2GR/DIG.  I bought it a few months ago and completely disassembled it, descaled and cleaned every single piece, and put it back together.  Complete learning experience that I hope I will never have to do again (if it ain't broke...). 

So finally, last night I got it working the way it should and even got to pull a shot before I saw a drop of water on the cold water line to the flowmeter, tightened the compression fitting and split the nut, spraying boiler water all over myself, etc.  Being the self-starter that I am and not wanting to wait another week to get a part in the mail, I went to a local valves and fittings shop and bought new fittings, cut the pipe, threw it all back together and noticed that in the process, the "T" joint in the line had cracked and was spraying water.  No amount of solder on the joint will seal it and no one carries this particular configuration of copper line/joint/fittings.

Ok, one more piece of background before I actually ask a question...  I have no desire to run this machine as an automatic and would just as soon throw the flowmeters off a cliff.  I've already bypassed the flowmeters at the group by installing 3-way toggle switches to engage the solenoid and pump separately and took off the control panels.

Here's the question:

This is the current set-up:  inlet valve -(line)> flowmeter -(line)> heat exchanger.  The line from the inlet valve to the flow meter is cracked and, since I'm going to have to fabricate a new line anyway, can I just run it from the inlet valve to the heat exchanger and bypass the flowmeters completely?  My only concern is that this might affect the overall flow of water in the machine.  I can't imagine that it would do anything differently but I'd hate to be wrong and ruin it further.

Views: 600

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

There are often times flow restrictors mounted in the flow meters. Or in the long fitting on the outlet side of the the flow meter. You will have to check. You might be able to incorporate the flow restrictor into the frankenstein you are making for the inlet valve/hX connection. That particular restrictor helps regulate the flow of water into the hX, thus helping to regulate the thermal stability of the unit and how fast the water is introduced to the coffee puck in the portafilter.

I just rebuilt an Aurelia and put in the WBC flow restrictors. The one at the flow meter was 0.5mm!! And it makes a huge difference in the way it pulls coffee. You should be able to do a visual inspection of your meters to figure out if they have any restrictors and if they are the of the threaded insert variety. You should be able to get there from here. It just might take a little doing.
Thanks for the reply, Mike. I looked it over and there are no flow restrictors in the flow meters. I just picked up my copper tubing, t-joints, solder, compression fittings, and flaring tools.

Let the adventure begin!
Good luck. Have fun!!
So, I did it.

The thought of having to solder was pretty intimidating so I decided to try compression fittings first. After finding out that (of course) the machine uses 6mm copper pipe and not the American 1/4" that I had on hand, I had to drop $5 a foot at a specialty valves and fitting shop. After all was said and done, though, it worked like a charm! This is actually the first part of this refurb that has gone smoothly and as planned. I had to get some specialty fittings to get it all together but redirecting the flow from the inlet tap directly to the heat exchangers has worked out perfectly and I couldn't be more ecstatic to finally have this beast up and running. My family and I went through a pound of Black Cat in about a half hour to celebrate. I'll post pictures and tales of the whole project soon but, for now, here are some terrible pictures of the new line.

What's going on in these pictures: I screwed a 1/8" BSPT to 6mm copper pipe compression fitting into the inlet tap and ran it into a 1/4" copper pipe compression "T." (Since 1/4" and 6mm are so close to each other, it worked just fine but I don't think I'd try this again.) From the other two ends of the "T," I ran the lines to the heat exchangers, flared the ends and used the compression fittings that the machine came with.

Thanks for the help and encouragement!
That's really effing cool! Great job! Frankensteining espresso and drip machines is a lot of fun.

Since you are taking out most of the auto stuff you can get a generic (Gicar or somesuch) brain that will run the auto fill functions for the boiler. You can get those from Espresso Parts Source in California. They end up being cheaper than the specific brain you can get from the manufacturer and do the same thing. You can make cool wooden inserts for where the button pads go or some kind of shelf to put lucky plastic dinosaurs. Thanks for posting the pics. Keep it up!
Nice! I've always wanted to do this and now have a visual reference of how someone did it. Thanks much.
Actually, the auto-fill function is controlled by a level probe in the sight glass, so not using the flow meters has had no affect on auto-fill. I am definitely looking into some neat replacements for the dosing buttons. I really like the idea of some nicely finished wood panels. Dare I be so generic as to use coffee wood? :P

Reply to Discussion


Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2023   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service