Question about Saeco Vienna SuperAutomatica Coffee Maker/Espresso Machine

5 Answers

Temperature I have a Saeco SuperAutomatic Electronic from the 1980's. It was made for restaurant use. My problem is that the temperature for shots and americanos will not go beyond 160F and are usually about 145F. Can I adjust the temperature? thanks! Suzy Banks

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  • 6 more comments 
  • suzybanks Nov 12, 2008

    I accept that solution and am happy but now another problem has arisen! The water will barely pump through the espresso, even when I just running it through to pre heat w/o grounds. the water that is coming through is lukewarm. when i add grounds the puck is water and unformed. i don't use oily beans and use spring water. this machine has seen very little use, so i don't see how it can need descaling. the water in the frother flows fine.

  • suzybanks Nov 12, 2008

    Now the puck of grinds is not dropping down at all!

  • suzybanks Nov 12, 2008

    Is there anything to be cautious about when taking the brew group out or apart?
    also, can you tell me how to find the model number?
    thanks again,
    suzy


  • suzybanks Nov 12, 2008

    i live in rural alaska and I'm pretty sure that there won't be a descaler at the store! Can I use something else?

  • suzybanks Nov 13, 2008

    I have Saeco SuperAutomatica Electronic from the 80's. I bought it on ebay and the seller said it was used as a store demo about 10 times and then put away. the temperature has always been low: 145F for espresso and 160F for the steam wand.
    Now the water will barely run through the espresso, even when I am running water through without coffee and the temperature is luke warm.
    the discarded coffee puck is very wet and mushy.
    I use fresh spring water and my beans are not oily.
    the water that I ran through the espresso w/o grinds was at first very dirty but is now running clearer. but very little comes through. The frothing wand is leaking more than usual as if under pressure.
    thanks for looking into this,
    suzy

  • suzybanks Nov 13, 2008

    How do I thoroughly clean the brew group?
    And thank you for the last answers, I did not see that they were posted. you have been a big help!

  • suzybanks Nov 19, 2008

    Is it true that my machine is designed to only go to 160F?
    My machine is now taking a lot longer to heat up and is requiring up to 2 min to heat up between shots. I was going to order a thermostat but now I"m wondering if its something else?
    thanks,
    Suzy


  • suzybanks Nov 19, 2008

    What temperature should the water be from the frother wand for tea and Amereicanos? Mine is 160, and that is only after I have run the machine through the steam cycle.



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Hi
in some the temp cannot be changed but you can change the heating helement.so by replacing heating element your problem will be solved thank u..

Posted on Nov 30, 2008

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Hi,

Your machine could not be adjust beyond 160F. It is design for safety reason. It is normally goes up and down the temperature especially if it is use for long hour.

The brew group can be taken out for convenient rising. The brew group compartment is completely separated from the electrical compartment, fully accessible and can easily be kept hygienically clean

Thank you for using fixya...please dont rate me if not satisfied with my suggestions...

Posted on Nov 13, 2008

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Pump 
Home espresso machines use a vibrating piston pump to force water into the boiler and then through the coffee grounds under pressure. The actual pressure that the pump develops is completely irrelevant, since only 8 -10 bar is required to do the job. In truth, a too high pump pressure requires a finer grind of coffee to slow down the extraction process and there is a greater danger of overextraction. The output pressure of the pump in 'bars' has no bearing on its actual performance, but higher pump wattage can improve overall performance. A more important factor is to choose a reputable espresso machine manufacturer who uses higher quality materials (including the pump), which will all last longer.


Posted on Nov 12, 2008

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  • mmechanics Nov 12, 2008

    Water Reservoir
    First, lets look at the water reservoir. To us the size is not important. Since water goes "flat" in just a few days, it may actually be an advantage to have a smaller tank that is filled more often. Some people prefer to remove the reservoir often to dump the older water, and ease of removal for them is more important than size. Fresh, oxygenated water makes good espresso - stale water detracts from the flavour. If you use your machine only occasionally or on weekends, consider changing the water before you start and then run a half cup through the boiler to freshen it up.



  • mmechanics Nov 12, 2008

    oiler Design/Heating Element
    The material that the boiler is made of is less important to us than its 'mass' (weight and thickness) and design. A thorough discussion about the importance of Group Head Temperature Stabilityin the Commercial espresso machine section emphasizes the critical importance of proper temperature on good espresso extraction. This is one of the major failing in many cheaper and less well constructed machines on the market. A similar comparison can be made with a frying pan. No amount of style, technology and advertising promises can replace a good, thick bottom base on a frying pan for temperature stability and even cooking. It's the same for the boiler and group assembly on an espresso machine. A boiler made from thin stainless steel will fluctuate much more in temperature as the element cycles on and off, than the heavy marine grade brass boilers that the Rancilio home line use. Gaggia uses a system where two elements are embedded on each side of the thick exterior of the boiler. They do not touch the water and this dual element system improves the stability of the boiler water temperature. Both systems by these manufacturers have been in use for 20 years without design changes and are solid in their durability and performance. By contrast, Solis uses a microprocessor to control the boiler heat instead of the more common button thermostat . Solis claims only a 2 degree F variation with this technology, which is very respectable.
    Boiler/Thermoblock
    A boiler is nearly always used in home espresso machines to brew the espresso. Ninety percent of home espresso machines use this same boiler to produce the steam for frothing milk (called a single boiler system). This is accomplished by raising the temperature (and pressure) in the boiler when you press the steam button; it usually takes about 45 - 75 seconds to build up pressure. Some makers (especially on the automatic and superautomatic machines) build in a separate boiler/thermoblock for the steam function. Thermoblocks heat the water as it passes through a tube encased in an aluminium block with a built-in element. The pump, using a pulsing action, pushes drops of water into the thermoblock where it is quickly turned to steam. The water in the boiler stays at a constant temperature for espresso and steam is created quickly by the thermoblock. Thermoblocks are capable of steaming continuously making them ideal for big jobs. Superautomatic machines usually use boiler/ thermoblock technology.
    Portafilter Handles
    The portafilter handle, filter handle or group handle as it is variously called, is ideally made of forged brass to give it durability. Aluminium construction on less expensive machines often fail over time. A heavy grouphandle also retains more heat. This helps maintain the finished temperature of espresso, and the delicate flavour and crema as the espresso flows into the cup. The best grouphandles are those that are used in commercial machines. Companies that make commercial machines (such as Rancilio, ECM and Gaggia) use these very same portafilters in their home machines. The filter baskets (coffee baskets) used in these commercial handles are capable of holding at least 7 grams and 14 grams of coffee (single & double respectively). These commercial baskets will also actually hold a little more than their rated capacity and this is important for the decaf espresso drinker since it is often necessary to load the basket up to get a quality espresso. A heavy portafilter handle also just feels solid and contributes greatly to the feel of quality about a machine.

    Coffee Valve/ 3-Way Electrovalve
    There are two main methods for 'holding' the water in the boiler until the pump is turned on to brew espresso. The simplest method is a spring valve, often called a coffee valve. For light duty home service, these are acceptable. They do tend to drip over time and then need to be replaced. While a small cost, the problem is that on many machines they are an integral part of the boiler and can be difficult to repair if the boiler seal is pitted. Gaggia machines that use a coffee valve use a unique system where the entire valve unit is replaced as a unit, saving time and money. A superior method for heavier duty use is the 3-way backpressure relief solenoid valve (also called a drip free system). These are exactly the same valves that are used on commercial machines, and with simple maintenance such as backflushing, should last a lifetime in home use. The 'backpressure relief' refers to the fact that besides acting as a powerful on/off coffee valve, when brewing stops they allow the water in the 'coffee puck' to drain backwards out into the drip tray below through a drain line. Thus, when you dump the 'puck' it is dry and not at all messy.
    Steaming
    The Steam switch is used to raise the temperature of the boiler enough to produce steam. This usually takes about 30 to 45 seconds. On machines with larger boilers like the Rancilio Silvia, it will be the longer number since there is more water to heat; the advantage is more steaming power. Machines that use a thermoblock system can often take much longer to build up a 'head of steam' (except for Saeco Rapid-steam system on their superautomatics). Machines with frothing adapters (turbo frothers, pannerello frothers, cappucciatore systems) simplify the aeration process (no up and down motion required), however machines with regular steam wands are easy to master once you know the basic technique.
    Hot Water 
    Pump espresso machines can also deliver modest amounts of hot water for long espressos and Americanos. Some machines have a specific hot water switch which turns on the pump. By then turning on the steam valve, near boiling water is delivered out of the wand instead of steam. Machines that do not have this feature can also deliver hot water simply by leaving the portafilter handle with used coffee puck still in and turning the coffee switch on while opening the steam valve - hot water will now come out the steam valve.
    Thermostats
    Most single boiler home espresso machines have both a coffee and a steam temperature thermostat. For overheat protection many machines use a thermal fuse, which must be replaced by a service technician in the rare event that it is 'tripped'. Other machines, such as Rancilio use a resetable safety thermostat, which like a circuit breaker can be reset by the handy homeowner.
    Very high-end home machines (ECM Giotto, Rancilio S24) using the heat exchanger system use an adjustable pressurestat, which besides being extremely reliable allow for infinite pressure and temperature adjustment. The overpressure safety system on these machines is usually a spring type safety valve.



  • mmechanics Nov 12, 2008

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Regarding descaling

You can use any commercially available non-toxic, non-harmful descaling product for coffee Saeco descaling agent.
Remove the cartridge
filter carefully. Fill the
tank with the descaling solution

Posted on Nov 12, 2008

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The temperature does not get to 160 probably because of a faulty thermistor.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008

  • 8 more comments 
  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    The optimal range of a professional Saeco is of 195- 205 degrees Fahrenheit, if the machine does not go over 145, then either the thermistor, or the heating element are faulty.

    Call saeco and ask the cost of a warranty extension on this machine, this will cost less than a single repair, and cover repair expenses for one year.

    The machine is surely worth repair, there is much difference between a professional machine like yours and home espresso machines.

    Click here to contact Saeco by live chat.

    Have the model number ready.


  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    An additional hint, if the machine gets to temperature, but only takes much longer to get hot, then try descaling, scale on the heating element slower down the heating process.
    If the machine does not get hot at all, then it is the element. If the machine does not get hot enough, then it is the thermistor faulty.

    Previous comment:

    The optimal range of a professional Saeco is of 195- 205 degrees
    Fahrenheit, if the machine does not go over 145, then either the
    thermistor, or the heating element are faulty.

    Call saeco and
    ask the cost of a warranty extension on this machine, this will cost
    less than a single repair, and cover repair expenses for one year.

    The
    machine is surely worth repair, there is much difference between a
    professional machine like yours and home espresso machines.

    Click here to contact Saeco by live chat.

    Have the model number ready.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    That means that the brew group, that is the assembly from where you get the brew, is clogged. Thoroughly clean the brew group.
    You will need to remove the brew group to clean it .


  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    Professional coffee machine like this one must be cleaned at least once a week when they are in activity.

    Perform a full cleanup and descaling procedure. If that is not enough remove the brew group and clean it.


  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    Infact it does not need descaling , need cleaning. Even if you did not use oily mixture, the machine it is still quite old, sure it has accumulated dirt and coffee residual inside the lines.



  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    Additionally, if water does not pass through the brew group, and you get no coffee coming out, try adjusting the grinder adjustment dial to a coarser grind, or use a coarser ready mixture.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    You can buy descaler and cleaner solutions here Urnex Dezcal Coffee Espresso Descaler Cleaner

  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 12, 2008

    The model number is written on a metal plate called the service tag.
    I
    f this had been removed it will be a bit of a problem identifying the exact model.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 19, 2008

    The temperature must be over 200F

  • Ginko
    Ginko Nov 19, 2008

    Espresso temperature is around 200F and steam over 212F.

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