Question about FrancisFrancis! X5 Espresso Machine

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Boiler gets too hot

Hi--about 1 year after getting my Francis Francis x5 the boiler seems to have broken. For some reason, it can't regulate its temperature anymore, causing it to always heat to the point of steaming and no longer allowing me to brew anything. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

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    JEFFrey BAKER May 11, 2010




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Hi there, as far as im aware there is no power board on a Francis Francis X1 and it sounds like one of the thermostats that sits on top of the boiler has gone. Now if you still require assistance please get in touch with myself (David) at and i can try to order on in for you or if your not sure i am a domestic coffee machine engineer and have machines sent to me daily from all over the UK and i could fix it for you. Our mother website is and you can get all the details on there by clicking on the Domestic Repairs on the list on the left hand side. Any probs please get in touch at email address above.

All the best

The Domestic Coffee Service

Posted on Jul 08, 2009

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Hi Contact Francis/Francis because you need power board.

Posted on Jun 07, 2009

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If it turns on its noot the thermal fuse on top of the boiler. It can be a couple things. The board is bad or the heating element is bad. Do a ohms reading on the element across the terminals and you should get a reading of 12 to 16 ohms. If you get that its the board. If not its the element. Make sure that the machine is unpluggfed before testing.

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Pull the clock out of the front. There is an 8mm nut that needs to be removed. There is a 2mm Allen screw in the back center of the machine, that needs to come out. Then pry between the top cover and the machine to release the snap pins.
There are 4 nuts by the brew head that are either 8mm or 7mm that need to be removed before you can remove the boiler.

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My Francis Francis is blowing the GFI outlet as soon as it is switched ON. If I remove the wires to the boiler heater, this doesn't happen. As soon as I touch the hot wire to one side of the heater, it...

Mine was having the same problem. I believe that the boiler is leaking current to ground -- GFCIs are sensitive to this. I'm ordering a replacement boiler heater from Empire Fulfillment -- I'm working with Mark 1-877-855-4540 -- He's a good guy

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Almost certainly, your heating-element is corroded through, and with of this machine, power continues to flow unchecked through the "substitute neutral" of your machine's case and ground wire, so it keeps working, sorta, until things burn out so badly within the boiler that you can't make a connection. Low boiler water-level might break that connection, too - that's how sketchy this design is. There's a reason the national electric code (and common sense) call for switching the HOT side of a circuit: to minimize the potential exposure to power as long as the switch is off. While the power-switch on this unit may do this, the F-F's thermostat, however, switches the NEUTRAL side, leaving it unable to do anything to prevent stray power from heading merrily through the machine via the ground, once your heating element has corroded through - which is a guaranteed failure item, just a matter of time. Sucks, don't it?

You could replace your element with an after-market version if you're game, but it's not a simple or quick fix. See .

Jul 08, 2008 | FrancisFrancis! X5 Espresso Machine

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Some leaking from the group head of the machine is totally normal while the machine is heating. The reason for this is that the valve that sits above the shower screen is simply a spring and rubber ball. The spring expands, creating a seal with the rubber ball and the boiler, once the boiler reaches a specific temperature. Until the boiler temp is reached, leaking from the group head will occur.

Feb 26, 2008 | FrancisFrancis! X1 - Stainless Steel...

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@allan50: that was precisely the info I was looking for when Google took me here. My element failed by corrosion. Eerily, the machine keeps working when this happens, due to what I would term a serious design-flaw. Why? It's the neutral, and not the hot side of the power supply that gets interrupted by the thermostat in this design, leaving the hot side routed right on through the heating circuit until it can't get back to neutral- or ground, as the case may to speak. When the element corrodes through within the boiler, yet remains intact electrically (as it had done in my case, who knows for how long) it uses the third wire (the GROUND, which should NEVER carry any current normally) as an alternative to neutral. Hence, the thermostat is unable to regulate anything under these circumstances! I thought my t'stat had failed, but it is actually still OK. The only thing that stops the unit from getting all Vesuvius on you then is the cheapo snap-disc hi-temp cutout. This is the only thermal-cutout on the hot side of the line, period.

I'm not sure if my X5 is UL-listed, but it would seem to me this design should never have passed. It wouldn't have been so hard to put all switching on the hot side of the line for safety.

I'll finish by piling on WRT "Empire Fulfillment." (Now THERE is truth in advertising, eh?) If these guys repaired cars, you'd have to send your car into the dealer and leave it for a week for a wiper-blade replacement. I will not buy another espresso maker from Francis-Francis (or anyone else) without finding out whether I can buy whatever parts I want to do my own repairs. I don't need to fulfill anyone's empire, thankyou very much.

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