Question about Astra Mega I Semi-Automatic

2 Answers

I bought a used Astra Mega 2 to replace one that I had. It turs out it wasn't as clean as they lead me to believe. Both heads seem to be lacking in water preasure and volume. The one head is so bad that when I went to program a shot it stoped trying after a minute. The steamers and americano work great. I am assuming I need to descale it but I am not sure how to go about doing that. I do not have a manual at this time.

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  • 9 more comments 
  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    This is a commercial espresso machine. There isn't a "tank" there is a boiler and it has water plumbed straiget to it.

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    I took the front plate off and noticed that what I think is the preasure reducer is all crusty.

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    According to the plack on it the Model is a Mega 2

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    I had been to that site already, but not to that specific page. I did check this page and the info there seems to be related to home machines not commercial. Also the link for descaling doesn't seem to work. Thanks for the info on the Astra's contact page I have already called them and asked for the manual. They are emailing it to me. It hasn't arrived yet.

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    This is a commercial espresso machine not a home machine. The nearest repair person is over an hour away and they charge me $100 just to drive here. I am very good at repairing things so I believe that I can do this. I just need a little guidance. Thanks

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    That is what I am asking, where would I pour it in? The whole thing is prety sealed up.

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    While I was waiting for a reply I actually tried doing that. Not the solution.
    On my old machine (same modle) we would back flush the machine every night with cleaner. When we would do that the machine would have a large discarge of water from (what I will call the "presure reducer"). This machine just has a trickle. It seems that there just isn't any presure in the water flow. Even with the basket and filter removed, the flow from the head is so little that it takes almost a minute to get an ounce of water. Since the steam wands have enough preasure, I am assuming it was the heads that didn't have preasure.

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    Thank you that would be great. let me know if you need an address

  • mousepadcoff May 23, 2011

    mousepadcoffee@gmail.com

  • mousepadcoff May 24, 2011

    Thanks for the manual. We ended up taking the head appart and scrubbing in. I need to order a new group solenoid valve with coil. The one that was in there had so much crud it was frozen. Based on what we saw we could have cleaned it a thousand times and it still wouldn't have worked. But now I know how the head goes together. If you could ask your friend or if you happen to know. I need to replace the head gasket and I don't see an easy way to get the old one off.
    Thanks for your help

  • mousepadcoff May 24, 2011

    gas_logs went out of their way to help. It turns out that we had to go a different route to get it fixed but they were helpful.

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  • Master
  • 4,736 Answers

Actually, it's not that difficult to do. Mix a 50/50 solution of White Distilled Vinegar and Bottled Distilled Water (Enough to fill the tank(s). Fill the tank(s) with the solution and allow it to set overnight. The next morning, turn the unit ON and operate it as you normally would, until the water and steam responds as it should. Then empty the tank(s) of the solution and refill with Bottled Distilled Water. Operate the machine, until almost all the water has been used up. That will flush the unit of the previous solution. After that, descale as necessary, depending on how hard your water is.

Hope this helped you to solve the problem. Please let me know. Thanks.

Posted on May 23, 2011

  • 8 more comments 
  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    In that case, turn the waterline to the unit OFF and use the solution instead. It has to have a reservoir to allow the water to heat around the heating element.

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    According to the specs on the Astra Mega I (either the automatic or semi automatic models) have a 7 liter boiler tank capacity. So, there should be place to pour in the solution, rather than use the hard piped waterline.

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    The Mega II has a 12 liter boiler tank capacity.

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    I understand your frustration. Look at where the waterline enters the tank. Above it, there should be a lid which you can open and pour the solution in. According to the specs on it, this is the access to the 12 liter tank. Of course, I'm assuming that you have a current model Astra, rather than one that's 8 years old. If that is the case, turn the waterline OFF and disconnect it from the unit. It probably was using a 3/8" line to fill the tank. If it's larger, so much the better. Then place a funnel in the hole and carefully fill the tank with the solution.

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    Ok. New plan. I just got of the phone with a friend of mine that has a Astra II. Here's what you need to do. Remove the filter basket from the portafilter and replace with a blind filter.make sure the blind filter is pressed firmly into the protafilter. Put about 1/4 cup of the solution I mentioned earlier into the portafiilter. Instert the protafilter into the group head. With the blank filter nothing will dispense from the portafilter and te cleaning solution will escape through the relief valve, thereby cleaning the brewing mechanism. After the portafilter is placed on the machine, press the brew stop button and wait 10 seconds and press the brew stop button again. Repeat the process 4 more times. Do Not add more solution each time. After the 5th time, remove the portafilter and rise it out thoroughly. replace the portafilter on the machine. Repeat the procedure without any cleaning solution. When the water becomes clear, remove the blank filter and replace with a regular filter. If you have a 2 or 3 group machine, repeat the process with each group. Back flushing is an important maintenance set and should be done 3 times per week. Now that you have the solution to solving the problem, go to it!

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    I think you may be correct. Never the less, it may really be clogged up, so keep trying. You've got nothing to lose. I sincerely hope , it's not a case, of you getting a unit that isn't what it was purported to be. My friend is going to scan the Owners Manual and send it to me. When I receive it, I'll forward it on to you. OK?

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    Here's a long link. Try it. You'll have to copy and paste it into your web browser.
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    After sending the link, I found it won't work. Send me your email address, please.

  • Rich Landrum May 23, 2011

    It's on it's way!

  • Rich Landrum May 24, 2011

    I'll see what I can do. Thanks for the 4-Thumbs up rating. I'm glad I could help you. In the meantime contact Astra Technical Service for that or any parts you need (877) 340-1800. They're good people.

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  • Master
  • 710 Answers

Hi mousepadcoff,

Can you give me the model of your Astro Mega II?

Thanks,

Handie Andie

Posted on May 23, 2011

  • 1 more comment 
  • Handie Andie
    Handie Andie May 23, 2011

    As an afterthought, I don't think I need your model number.
    If you go to this webpage: >>>>http://www.partsguru.com/MaintenanceofEs... <<<< you can get all the information you need to maintain your machine.

    Copy and paste this address into your browser, then scan down the page to the espresso section and you'll find lots of information on descaling and cleaning in general.
    If you look down the left side of that webpage, you will see options for repairs, cleaning products, etc.

    Hope this helps. If it does, I'd appreciate a 4 thumbs up. Thanks,

    Handie Andie

  • Handie Andie
    Handie Andie May 23, 2011

    Hi,
    saw your comments when I posted. If you look about 1/3 of the way down the page I gave you, you'll see information for commercial espresso machines with manuals available to download.

    If this is not helpful, please let me know.

    Andie

  • Handie Andie
    Handie Andie May 23, 2011

    The owner's manual for your machine is not readily available on the web. Here is Astra's contact page: >>>>http://www.astramfr.com/contact.html <<<<

    I'm sure they will make a manual available to you should you need one.

    Andie

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