Question about Breville Kitchen Appliances - Others
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
SOURCE: Tefal Vitacuisine steamer manual
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Posted on Apr 29, 2008
SOURCE: Shark steamer doesn't work
Taking it apart isn't all that difficult if you are vaguely handy, have the time and the patience to dig into what it took China's best engineers years to design. And it beat either sending your $150 lump to a landfill or $$$ending it back for repair$$$. Here' what I did:
We had the same problem with ours...worked for about 6 months and quit. We were using tap water. DON'T. Use distilled only.
Tried the white vinegar trick. Nope. Tried the CLR trick. Nope. Decided to disassemble, even it was junk I might learn something.
Tools: two phillips (hex) head screwdrivers, one medium, one small (not tiny). They need to have fairly narrow shanks to fit into the deep holes on the body. Needle-nose pliers. Pair of scissors.
UNPLUG IT!!! And let it cool for at least an hour before you start and take the handle apart at the pump so it's less awkward. The boiler inside stays very hot for quite a long time, even when its unplugged.
1. Take out the multiple screws that hold the purple body together. Careful...these are cheap screws (surprised?) and the heads may strip or the plastic threads may strip. You may just ending up forcing some of the screws out. Do the screws slowly and do everything in your power to keep the screwdriver head square with the screws.
2. You can't take the two halves completely apart; the wiring is in the way. That's the biggest hassle of the whole project. That and the mop head that you can't take off. Inside you'll see a metal "boiler" about the size of a can of tomato paste. It has wiring (thin) and tubing (fat) running into it. If it's still hot, let it cool.
3. There are also four screws inside that hold the water reservoir in place. If you take those you can get easier access to the boiler, though the reservoir will still be attached to the body of the unit.
NOTE: The boiler is held in place by two brackets and four very small screws and little fiber insulation washers. DO NOT take the screws all the way out (like I did) as they are extreeeeeemly difficult to get back in place. Just loosen them about 3/4s of the way so you can move the brackets and lift out the boiler. The boiler will still be attached to its wiring. Don't disturb the wires; you just have to carefully work around them.
4. With a pair of needle-nose pliers, squeeze the little spring clamp that holds the tube that runs from the water reservoir into the boiler and slide it up the tube a bit and _carefully_ slide the tube off the nipple on the boiler. Mine cracked at the end when I did this so I needed to trim the end square again with scissors. A sharp box knife would work too, but use the scissors to trim the webbed insulation fabric if needed.
4. On the other end of the boiler is a tube that goes to the mop head. Undo the clip there, too, and slide it back and again slide off the tube.
5. Look at the nipple for the tube that goes to the mop head. It is probably clogged with calcium deposits that the vinegar or CLR didn't touch. It will look solid. It is. That's probably your problem.
6. I took a power drill and a very small drill bit (1/16") and drilled out the calcium - it's very soft - to free up the hole. Then took the next size bit (3/32" or so) and widened the hole further, sort of like getting a root canal (ouch!). Don't drill too deeply into the boiler as you may hit something important. When it's open, left over water, vinegar or CLR will come out. You should now be able to blow through the boiler from the newly cleaned nipple, with air coming out the other hole (to the reservoir). The reservoir line must be disconnected to do this because there's a little one way valve in the reservoir line that keeps the from steam going back into the tank and not out the mop head (your drip coffee maker works the same way, as I also discovered when ours clogged...same problem: Calcium build up).
7. Return the two tubes to the boiler (don't forget to push the spring clips back in place) and reattach the boiler to the body. Aren't you glad you didn't take off the boiler brackets?
8. Before you do the final assembly, put in some DISTILLED water (rainwater works, too if its clean. It's naturally "distilled.") and plug it in. It probably won't steam until you pump it a couple of times but I bet it's working again. Be careful with the steam, though. If it works, do the final reassembly. If it doesn't, well you tried. But I bet dollars to doughnuts that it is working again.
Hope this solves your problem! Happy mopping.
CBear in New Mexico
Posted on Feb 16, 2010
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