Likely service package?

Rushmore

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Apr 15, 2005
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Here is something I would like as much feedback on as possible. When buying a commercial espresso machine for a business, does it come with a manufacturer's warantee? Some kind of service agreement? or are you pretty much on your own. I know there are a million brands and different wholesalers to buy from but what is the general ruling on this? Thanx
 

KS

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Apr 13, 2005
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Illinois
Warranties

From what I have been able to tell, machines usually come with a one year parts and labor warranty. The problem must be in the manufacturing though, because they say the vast majority of espresso machine problems are from improper cleaning and general maintenance.
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
No the problem comes down to poor maintenance. Not the manufacture. The manufacture requires you to do routine maintenance. If you do not keep your water filtered, soft, and replace parts as needed then the machine will break. The warranty last for 1 year for most machines. If a part is faulty it will most likely fail within the 1st year of use.

Other wise simple things like screens and a few gaskets need to be replaced every 6 months. The flow restrictors need to be replaced yearly. About every 3 to 4 years you need to do a complete overhaul.

This includes descaling, replacing all the gaskets, screens, restrictors, overpressure valve and seals, expansion valve components and seals, inner boilers if replaceable. The whole 9 yards. Basically the only thing that doesn't get replaced is the boiler, piping, electronics, and the frame.
 
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Rushmore

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Good info

I hear ya CCafe. Its good info. Like any piece of specialized equipment be it a sports car or a sail boat, you can either learn to do the maintenace on it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. I ask the question because there is no real repair person in my area. If someone's machine breaks down they call this generic appliance guy who takes forever and charges an arm and a leg. And from what I've heard does a pretty so-so job at that. I am considering going into the espresso machine repair business. It seems like a much needed service but I'm asking all you guys in here because maybe I'm missing something. Why isn't someone already doing it in a city with at least a couple hundred machines in regular use?
 

CCafe

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Des Moines, Iowa
That’s the problem there are tons of espresso repair people out there. I know because that is what I do! The real problem lies with how well that person is familiar with the machine.

I sell and service La Cimbali. I have to go to training in FL around June to be updated on the latest machine (Cimbali M2). But there are a lot of people who have fixed a Bunn CDBC coffee brewer who think they can tackle a $20,000 espresso machine. So I understand when you say some people’s work is so so!
 
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Rushmore

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You say there are tons of folks who do it but I only know of one in my area. When my machine went down I had to drive it to a city 3 hours away and leave it for several weeks then go back and pick it up. It is an Elektra. And I paid a thousand bucks. The guy did a great overhaul but I'm tellin you. I could not even get anyone to look at it down here. It seems like with proper training an enterprising person could get all the biz in this area. I don't know, it just seems that way.
 

CCafe

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Des Moines, Iowa
I drive the entire state of Iowa. I know of 4 or 5 others who repair equipment in Iowa as well. But I also know that there is more then 4 or 5 people repairing equipment in Iowa. Today when I get to work, I will sit down drink my 32oz of Sumatra or Kenya AA. Check my email and then hop in the car and drive a 120 miles one way to work on a machine. Then drive back.

It is not uncommon for me to drive up to 200 miles. I have had a person drive that, just to bring me their machine. I had it for 4 days and yes I think I charged real close to $1000 to fix it. But they wanted it done on the fly. So I put down my other projects and did it.
 
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Rushmore

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yep

Okay. So Iowa is a giant territory with sparse population. Yet someone will drive to you to pay you $1000. That's exactly what I'm talking about. I live in the South. The area I live in is home to 800,000+ people. There must be 400 Espresso machines in use here within a 50 mile radius. I know of one guy who works on them. Coffee houses and drive-thrus are opening up at a furious clip. I'm learning as much as I can from my own machine and from talking to you guys who know what you're doing. It seems like someone with the right motivation could become the local go-to guy. Am I overly optimistic? The other guy charges $60/ hour. Not a bad haul for someone who is an appliance repair man who only dabbles in Espresso machines.
P.S. Kenya AA is sublime.
 
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