ECM Synchronika: Brew Boiler Heating Issues and Cold Water at the Group

Troubleshoot issues regarding water and the ECM Synchronika's brew boiler and group head.

My brew boiler is not heating/ Cold water Comes Through the Group

If you're trying to use your ECM Synchronika, but you find that it isn't brewing hot coffee, or that coffee and espresso shots are coming out cold, or cold water is coming from the group, review the following instructions to resolve the issue.

Have the PID settings been altered or tinkered with recently?

  • By default the Synchronika will heat the brew boiler first. Within the setting of the PID, you can choose to change which boiler heats first as a priority, or heat both boilers at the same time if the machine is on a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

Has 20 minutes or so lapsed with the red light off, giving the brew boiler time to heat?

  • Yes. Move on to the next question.
  • No. Make sure the machine has had 20-30 minutes to fully come to temperature.

Is the PID display on?

  • No. Check for loose wires to the PID. They will run from the temperature probe on the top of the front boiler to the PID display. They are very thin wires, like speaker wires. They can come loose, or break. Inspect for any damage, and make sure they are tight in the PID.
  • Yes. Move on to the next question.

Is the PID displaying numbers?

  • Yes. The numbers have not been rising. They seem to be stuck at a room temperature setting.
    • If the display is on, and the machine has been sitting for an adequate amount of time without rising, this indicates a heating issue with the brew boiler. Continue on to the next question. This could either be a result of the high limit being popped, power not being supplied to the element, or a bad element.
  • Yes. The numbers are rising and behaving normally. Move on to the next question.
  • No. If the display is blank, testing for voltage from the board to the PID is necessary to determine if the control board has failed, or the PID has failed.

Is the PID displaying any error codes?

  • Yes: Connection is broken, sensor has no contact. This means that the wires connecting from the PID to the brew boiler have been disconnected or damaged. This requires a visual inspection to confirm. First, turn off the machine and unplug it. Next, facing the front of the Synchronika, remove the left side-panel by unscrewing the 2.5mm screw located on the top panel of the machine, closer to the middle of the side-panel. The side-panel will slide out and you can lift it off. Rest the side-panel on a towel or chrome-side facing up. Now, look inside and locate the PID. It is the light-grey box between the front of the machine and the brew boiler. Wires run from the PID to the top of each boiler's temperature probes. Starting from the top of the brew boiler (the closest boiler in this case), black wires run to the PID where black connects link up to multi-colored wires. Check to see if the black wires are connected to the black connectors, or if they are damaged. If the wires are disconnected, connect them. If they are damaged, they will need to be replaced.
  • Yes: Is the machine brand new, or have you been using the machine for some amount of time before the errors displayed?
    • If new (or if the machine has never had an issue before, and no work has been done inside the machine), there is a fault in the machine, either in the control board, PID, static relay, one of the stats. A repair is recommended.
    • If used (or work has been done), try swapping the black connectors on the PID. Otherwise, a repair is recommended.

Is the little dot on the PID solid? Is the red light on the Static relay solid?

  • When the machine is on and the steam boiler is heating, the dot on the PID display and the red dot on the static relay will be solid, they will not blink. When the steam boiler heats and the brew boiler starts to heat up, these lights will still be solid. When the brew boiler fully heats all the way, this is when the light on the static relay will be blinking as well as the dot on the PID display. Blinking on one and not the other would indicate a lack of communication between the components. If the red light is not on at all on the static relay, this would indicate either power is not being supplied to the relay, or the relay itself is not directing power and is therefore faulty, however if this is the case, chances are the brew boiler isn't at temp anyway.
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