Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rebuilding the Elektra Microcasa a Leva: Bringing it back...

About six years ago I invested in a Elektra Microcasa a Leva espresso machine to save money and enjoy a nice late at home.

I used the crap out of the machine and didn't really clean it too much like in a maintenance sort of way and slowly but surely it started to poop out till finally, it sprung a leak around the water level glass rod. Before that, the thermostat gave out and I'd have to watch it so it wouldn't over heat. I kept it limping along for awhile.

Anyway, now I decided to rebuild the machine with replacement parts.

I dug right in and stripped the machine down to the constituent parts!

All cleaned up and ready for the new parts to install. Little buddy there helping.

I noticed my heating element was on its last legs. I'm glad I intervened when I did!
This heater element is shot!

The connectors are completely shot!

I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here though. This is what it looked like when dug it out of the water tank:

The heater element buried in calcium deposits of six years.

It was completely covered in calcium deposits. I was using filtered water but that didn't help much.

Here's what the tank looked like:
Not looking to appetizing

Here's some of the contents too:
Lots of crap cam out of the tank.

The electrical connectors didn't fair too well either:
Big chunk melted out of the connector.

You can see the melted connectors. I'm surprised it actually worked.

The piston got pretty gunked up too.

Luckily, everything cleaned up pretty nice

I look stock of all the parts that needed to be replaced. Mostly new gaskets, some tubes, the heater element and such. I found everything I needed from Stephano's Espresso Care. I ordered the parts today hopefully it will be back up and running end of the week.

I'm glad the Elekra is a hand built espresso machine and can be totally maintained and rebuilt with common tools and the parts are readily available on line too.

Hopefully, I'll get a lot more years of service out of it. This time I'll pay more attention to preventative maintenance.
My Bill, it ain't pretty.

LoxSeal and Silicone grease to keep it running.

Old on Left new on Right
 Got all my parts. What a difference! The new shiny heating element looks great. Got all my gaskets and knobs, grease, LoxSeal pipe sealant to make sure everything stays put, new wiring kit to replace the old rusty, melted connectors etc.
Rebuilt and back together!

I put it all together and have enjoyed my first Late! Super Yum!

I expect to get many more years of enjoyment out of the baby and now I'll pay more attention to keeping in tip top shape.

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