Question about FrancisFrancis! X1 - Stainless Steel Espresso Machine
@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 be...so 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.
Posted on Sep 01, 2008
After reading a number of posts on this forum regarding the difficulty of obtaining parts for the XI, I began to research to see if there are any compatible parts to repair my burned out heating element. The element heats the water in the brass boiler and would be one of the main reasons for no hot water. My machine broke with sparks flying due to the connection burning off and allowing the cable to touch an interior part of the machine.
I managed to repair the X1 by bringing the broken element to an espresso repair outlet who compared my element to an almost identical one used in a Saaco machine. I have attached a photo.
You need to be aware that although the parts look identical, the fittings at the top of each element are must a millimeter or so larger than the original part. This means that the fitting will not fit the top of the boiler without drilling the existing holes that both the fittings fit through slightly. This is not difficult if you have a drill and a 15/16ths drill bit. The boiler is brass and the metal is soft. You need to make sure if you choose to do this, that the holes are drilled cleanly. Take photos prior to make sure you re-install everything back correctly if you can not remember.
The part number for the Saaco is MCP 42 07. The element is 120 Volts and 900 Watts. The original X1 element is 1000 watts but I have not noticed any difference in performance or heat time.
Posted on Aug 24, 2008
Hi, So I'm back on the boards with another Illy Francis problem. Now the water pump doesn't suck in water. This is after the boiler broke and had to send it in to get it fixed. So I'm just here to say that I am fed up with this machine and all its problems within 1 year of purchase. Also, you can NOT get parts for this machine in the states. I already tried, and you HAVE to use only ONE service company for repairs - Empire Fulfillment. THEY ARE HORRIBLE. Because they are the only ones that can fix your machine the repair jobs are VERY costly and on top of shipping costs it adds up.... AND it takes forever for the turnaround. Don't believe any positive posts about the customer service of illy or Empire. Just do a google or Amazon search for some of the horror stories. So yea, I'm sure my water pump problem cant be fixed and there's no way in hell I'm sending this machine to get repaired AGAIN. if you are thinking about buying illy - DON'T. If you are thinking about getting it repaired by Empire, consider buying another non-illy machine
Posted on Aug 26, 2008
The above comment saying to order from Chris' coffe is WRONG. I just lost $46 because the thermostat is not an exact replacement. Now I find out YOU CAN ORDER THE PART FROM EMPIRE FULFILLMENT. I just got off the phone, the guy offered to email a wiring diagram to make sure it was the right part for my X3. I ordered the part, it cost EXACTLY the same amount as the WRONG PART from Chris' coffee. The issue with having with having to send in your machine is a RED HERRING. Boys and girls, you should know, electrical parts are NOT RETURNABLE. The guy at Empire Fulfillment says they ask for the unit to be returned or if the boy/girl does not understand that Electrical parts cannot be returned! So if you know exactly the part you need, it MAY BE ORDERED by calling 1-877-854-4141.
Posted on Oct 12, 2009
You can order Francis Francis parts from Cafe West Distribution. I discovered this by calling Illy USA. Their service is terrible but they do have parts.
Posted on Apr 07, 2009
For heating problems, it typically is the thermostat which in my X3 turned out to be a Prodigy Italiana TR/86. After much searching, I discovered that Chris' Coffee Service sells the same thermostat for use in the Isomac Zaffiro here: http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/home/isomacparts/zaffirothermostat
When you go to install it in the X3 you may need to omit the temperature control knob as was the case with the original installed in my X3. Also note that the P2 wire connector lug goes unused in the Francis Francis X3 (they actually cut it off in the OEM installation), but may get used in other models... not sure. Also note that these type of thermostats are mechanical in nature and can stick open or closed in some occassions. Try opening your machine and tapping on the thermostat to attempt to free it so it moves properly again. Good Luck!
Posted on May 02, 2008
On the contrary I have had a wonderful expirence with Illy
repair service (Empire Fulfillment). They fixed my machine within two
days! I had a hole in my boiler and they fixed it along with the temp gauge
which was broken. I talked to two different people from Empire
Fulfillment and they were very helpful and they even called me after my
repair as a follow up call to make the machine was up and running. They
were Great with their customer service.
Posted on Jun 12, 2008
I lost the pieces that go with my X5 machine, the holders you put the coffee in. Where can I order new ones?
Posted on Oct 23, 2008
Buttsecks does the trick. (My illy exploded from steam build up in the hose bit.
Posted on Jun 30, 2008
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