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Re: lilly expresso francis francis x5 repair
Each drip coffeemaker we have had, from an $8 'dollar store' unit I used in my shop, to a $90 one has done this sooner or later.
It's caused by the decay of the bimetallic thermal switch that controls the heating element.
These devices have been used for decades to protect certain types of electronics and perform very reliably - if not asked to do it as a matter of course as in the coffeemaker.
They are required to make and break hundreds, perhaps thousands of times and I believe they develop metal fatigue that causes their make and break temps to drift farther apart.
They don't break when they should; that causes the sputtering and failure to pump as they did when new, and then they fail to close again to start the cycle until they have cooled way down.
I've tried some 'tricks' to restore their fast, non-sputtering action and nothing has worked.
The only thing that will, is replacing the thermal switch itself, and they are normally spot-welded during assembly because of the exposure to high temperatures so conventional soldering, may make the machine dangerous as it melts from the heat produced by the element.
My cheap shop coffeemaker lasted over ten years, the more expensive ones we have bought for home rarely even three years, all of them eventually taking instead of 10-12 minutes for a pot, 30-60 minutes.
Sometimes it improves (but doesn't restore) them to use a nasty acid (I tried the vinegar route first) to etch out the inevitable buildup of mineral deposits inside the tube that carries the water.
This could be solved with a pretty simple electronic circuit but they won't spend the extra couple of dollars since the current design lasts longer than anyone's warranty.
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Hi there, yes i have the PDF exploded diagram of the Francis Francis X5 model of both outer and inner parts. If you send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and just say in the email that this is what you need and i can email you back with the PDF attached. Any problems please get in touch.
For the grouphead check the basket there might be a slight bump around the edge that is preventing it from making a good seal when it contacts the gasket in the head. If the Double works fine then the gasket is not the problem. For the steam wand try flushing wand for 3 seconds just before steaming, if that does not help with the watery milk, then the boiler is not getting hot enough to produce steam.
1) The coffee you are using may not be ground finely enough to provide a proper extraction time, resulting in water rushing through the ground coffee much too quickly. Think of it like water running through a handful of pebbles as opposed to a handful of sand. You want "sandier" coffee.
2) Your gasket (the rubber part that seals the portafilter to the group head) may be worn/damaged and is leaking water when you are brewing. Attempt to contact FF! or Saeco to secure a replacement gasket. When you are not using the machine, don't tighten the portafilter all the way in to the head, either leave it completely disengaged or only loosely attached. This saves wear on the gasket.
3) Your brew water may be too hot. Purge your boiler right before brewing by running water into a bowl without the portafilter locked in. After a few seconds the superheated water will be run out and you're ready to brew.
While this may not be the answer you're hoping for, I have a suggestion. I own a FrancisFrancis X5 that seems to be operating slowly. I just ran some of the de-scaler through and now I can't get the water to express through an empty filter basket fast enough to empty the resevoir or to put out clear water. The de-scaler is blue and combined with the residual coffee and who-knows-what that's in the boiler, the water was coming through a putrid green. After several minutes of trying to fill and empty a shot glass (so I could monitor the color of the water being expressed) the machine simply stopped. I'm guessing a safety feature of the boiler may be when it over heats it shuts down.
My suggestion: go to www.wholelattelove.com and buy an Expobar Office Pulser. It is the machine that I wish I had bought before all the hundreds and hundreds I spent on crappy machines. I do not work for Whole Latte Love or Expobar, but I have owned at least a dozen or more machines over the last 15 years or so and they all lacked some critical aspect of the expresso experience. My wife and I make lattes every morning (at least 4) and then more on the weekends and when we have guests. This Expobar has never failed me and we've owned it for more than two years. It's so good, I wish I could ship it to where we vacation and then back home, because NO ONE makes a latte better than I do with the Expobar.