a guide for turning your espresso machine back on after lockdown level 4

April 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

Four or more weeks is quite a long time for an espresso machine to sit cold and still, and parts that are used to being hot and moving can sometimes play up. 

Well maintained machinery that was properly prepared for the shut-down should be absolutely fine, but even thenthere are a couple of things to look out for when you reopen. 

If you’re worried at all, or come across any problems, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on (09) 307 2060 or by emailing technical.nz@lamarzocco.com for free advice about your La Marzocco equipment or to arrange for a technician to visit. 

 

before switching on

  1. Don’t turn on power or water supplies just yet.  First check for any signs of pest damage, nesting, etc.  If you can, remove the top trays and peek inside. 
  2. Many water filter manufacturers recommend replacing filters that have sat idle for more than four weeksprimarily because they can be a place where bacteria grow.
  3. If you choose not to replace yours, flush though five litres of water before use. 
  4. Check for mould, especially if the machine was not thoroughly cleaned before shut-down.  Problem areas include: 
    • Under diffusion screens 
    • In the drain box 
    • Milk wands

checklist

  • signs of pest damage?
    yes     no
  • Any mould?
    yes      no 

Heating Up

  1. First turn on the water supply, then open one of the steam wands, then switch on the power at the wall and at the machine switch. 
  2. If your model has three switch positions, turn to 1 first, wait for five seconds (it might auto-fill), then switch to 2 
  3. Later models may require you to also press one of the keypad buttons to exit ‘Stand By’ mode. 
  4. You may hear the machine auto-fill at this point, if it needed to top up. Close the open steam wand once it’s done. 
  5. Stay nearby your machine during the 15 minute heating period.  Keep a lookout for any unusual leaks, hisses or burning smells.
    If you know what the vacuum-breaker valve ischeck that it seals properly When working normally, it will release steam into the drain box for about 30 seconds as the steam boiler passes boiling pointthen suddenly seal and stop hissing. 

Checklist        

  • machine powers on?
    yes      no
  • machine fills
    yes     no
  • Vacuum breaker valve seals?
    yes      no
  • steam pressure gauge settles 1.2 – 1.4 bar?
    yes      no
  • sound of steam leak?
    yes      no
  • water on bench under machine?
    yes      no
  • unusual smells?
    yes     no
  • water flows from each group when activated?
    yes      no 

Flushing & Seasoning

  1. Run all groups for at least two minutes, taking care not to overflow the drain box or waste bucket! 
  2. Open each steam wand for at least one minute – check that the steam smells clean, not tainted by old milk. 
  3. Empty at least two litres of watefrom the hot tap. (Many La Marzocco models have a menu option to drain the steam boiler automatically through the hot tap – call us to find out how to access this feature) 
  4. Season the machine by brewing and discarding at least one espresso though each group. 

Checklist         

  • Waste water drains away?
    yes     no
  •  Steam smells clean?
    yes      no 

Back to Normal?

A long idle period does make one or two issues more likely to crop up.  But don’t worry, we’re just a phone call away if you need advice. 

  • Jammed valves.  Sometimes a group head solenoid valve will stay shut even when you press go.  Switching the group on and off 10-20 times can sometimes be enough to put this right.
    Getting the blind-filter out and backflushing across all groups can also help. 
  • Blocked Restrictors.  If you notice imbalanced, low, or zero flow of water from the group heads, you may be suffering from a blocked restrictor, which will require a technician to investigate. 

Checklist

  • water flows evenly across all groups?
    yes      no 

Again, If you’re worried at all, have questions not covered here, or come across problems, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on (09) 307 2060 or by emailing technical.nz@lamarzocco.com for free advice about your La Marzocco equipment or to arrange for a technician to visit. 

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