broken francis francis x5

jrdowning

New member
Apr 12, 2009
1
0
Hi--about a year ago I purchased a Francis Francis X5, which worked wonderfully...until recently. The Boiler seems to have lost all ability to regulate its temperature, causing the water to always get heated to steam; preventing me from brewing anything. Any suggestions on what is wrong and how to fix it?
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,585
2
Central North Carolina
Sounds like a bad brewing thermostat. Most single boiler machines usually have 2 thermostats, 1 for brewing and a high temp. one for steaming. Look for the brew thermostat. Later!
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
0
MASS.
Maytermostats, looks like your products are for home heating systems only. Do you in fact offer thermostats for coffee brewing equipment?
 

AyeZer

New member
Dec 12, 2009
1
0
I didn't know that there is a single boiler machine that only had one thermostat. I really believe it has two. That is really bad maybe that is the reason why it is not working properly.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,585
2
Central North Carolina
AFAIK pretty much all single boiler machines have 2 thermostats. 1to regulate brew temp. and the other for steaming. The Francis machines might look OK to some people but don't have the best components. They seem to take the form over function approach. Later!
 

amzoun

New member
May 18, 2012
4
0
Hello, I have a problem with my Francis x5 too. when I turn the machine the steam comes out of the brew head with no stop . what wrong with it I paid $200 for it used but AI guess I made bad choice,.. also where can I get a new ruber gasket. the orange steal between the boiler and the head , I need also the 2 small orange o-ring for the heating element, I am going to remove them and clean the boiler .
thanks
 

sdelgran

New member
May 20, 2012
10
0
I have fixed X1 but no X5 yet... The X1 use a Lelit boiler/group for which parts are readily available. If you send me inside pictures of your X5 I may be able to help.
 

sdelgran

New member
May 20, 2012
10
0

sdelgran

New member
May 20, 2012
10
0
Amzoun: Cleaning the boiler and changing the o-rings and group gasket will most likely not fixed your initial problem of overheating though.

Do you see any thermostats on your boiler? I see on your pictures that the X5 seems to be using a dedicated thermostatic circuit most likely with a RTD probe on top of the boiler. Is this the same? I can't tell from your pictures. It would help if you could post pictures before you started stripping the machine down.

On the X1 the Triac on the thermostat board is dying after 1 year of use or so. This results into the element never shutting off and the machine over-heating. On the series I worked on, there isn't even a high-limit to prevent killing the element. I always add one and would recommend you do so. The Triac on the board is a cheap component. You just need to debug the electronic... Also, I relocate the Triac at the back of the machine (where the circuit board seems to be on the X5 anyway) with a dedicated heatsink.
 

sdelgran

New member
May 20, 2012
10
0
Amzoun, separating the brass dispersion plate from the group headwill not fix the problem you have with steam coming out of the group. Let me try to explain again.

Steam coming out of the group on the single boiler machine like yours means that the brew temperature is too high. The brew temperature is controlled by a thermostat of some kind which is obviously faulty.

The thermostat you are showing in the picture is most likely a "high-limit" (or safety thermostat if you prefer) to protect the heating element if the other thermostats fail to regulate. This thermostat is probably between 145C-165C. It could also be the steam thermostat but I doubt it. Not seeing the overall machine and how things were cabled together does not help getting a clear picute of the electrical diagram. Do you have inside pictures of the machine before you started taking it apart?

On the pictures you first posted we can see at the back of the machine some kind of small electronic board. I believe this is what controls the brew and steam temperature. Could you give us a close-up picture of it? Also, if my theory is correct you should have a probe coming from this circuit board into the boiler. See what I mean?
 

sdelgran

New member
May 20, 2012
10
0
A Google search confirmed my understanding: An electronic controller is doing the temperature regulation and the thermostat you show is only a safety thermostat. The electronic board you should worry about is nicely showed on the bottom right of this picture.

The temperature probe (RTD) I was refering to is nicely shown on this picture.

Now, from what I see on these pictures, the temperature controller circuit board appears to be very similar to the X1. I would therefore venture to say that the Triac on your board is dead. Solder it off and measure it. There are plenty of references on the Web on what to measure. I can give you references for a replacement Triac if you then need. Like I said though, for the problem to really go away, you need to put a better heatsink on this part.

Also, you will need to get some Teflon tape to put all of this back together. It seems you will also need some "liquid teflon" gasket to reinstall the RTD.
 
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