We place all of our customers on a preventative maintenance schedule according to their machinery and coffee volume. Maintaining your coffee machine in good working order is important for a number of reasons. Coffee machines are comparable to cars in this regard. If you service your car regularly and on time, it will give better performance for longer.
A machine in poor service condition is more difficult for the barista to use will make coffee that tastes noticeably worse. Making consistent and high quality coffee will keep your customers coming back. During servicing the technician inspects all components of the machine. This gives us an opportunity to repair faults before an expensive and time consuming breakdown.
Here are the major things that happen during a service:
In every service the group-head seals are removed, inspected, and replaced with new. The group-head seal is the part that keeps all the water in the basket and allows the pressure to build in the basket when you are pouring shots. As the seal ages it becomes dried, cracked and worn. This can lead to dripping leaks while pouring shots and portafilters that move around further than they should. In extreme cases, bad seals can cause the portafilter to pop out while brewing. This is a dangerous and messy occurrence.Shower screens
Also replaced is the shower screen. Shower screens can also be called ‘net showers’. The shower screen sits in the grouphead surrounded by the seal. It’s role is to distribute the water from the group evenly over the coffee bed. The shower screen is made up of a stainless steel frame with a fine stainless steel mesh membrane covering the bottom. The assembly is held in place by either a small screw or simply by the seal.
With use the shower screen can become worn and blocked. This causes uneven extraction.
While the shower screen is removed, the technician also cleans and inspects the dispersion head.Probe clean
In the boiler of a heat exchanger (HX) espresso machine, there is a probe that senses the water level. When the water level drops the probe tells the pump to fill the boiler up. This autofill features ensures that your machine is always hot and ready-to-go, with the correct amount of hot water and steam available.
Particularly in Perth, where the water is very hard, this probe can develop a coating of scale. As the scale is conductive, it tricks the machine into thinking there is more water in the boiler than there is. In extreme cases this can lead to the boiler running dry and overheating. Often it simply results in poor performance.
During the service the technician will de-pressurise the boiler, remove this probe and clean it of scale. They also inspect and replace the sealing gasket.
While the top panel is removed, the technician also inspects the machine inside. They check for corrosion, leaks and poor connections that cause problems.Pressure stat contacts
The technician disassembles and cleans the contacts of the boiler pressure switch. The function of this switch is to maintain the steam pressure in the boiler. As the switch cycles on and off it gradually accumulates carbon on the contacts. If the carbon buildups become to great the switch will stop working and you will run out steam pressure.General checkover
The technician tests all the operating functions of the coffee machine, including:
– steam tap seals
– volumetric flowmeters
– hot water tap
– solenoid valves
– pressure gauges
– control pad
This gives us an opportunity to spot and repair faults before an expensive and time consuming breakdown.Water filter
Particularly in Perth, where the water is very hard and heavily chlorinated, it’s important to regularly change the water filter cartridge. As more and more water passes through the cartridge, the filter become less effective at removing calcium and chlorine. This can cause unpleasant flavours in the brewed coffee and will cause more scale to build in the boiler.