Base came back from powder coat and I reassembled. Quite easy once one has taken a dozen of these apart or more and re-assembled them.
Checking the element with a volt meter set for resistance one can see if its leaking to ground. Well only if its really toast, a Megger is what is needed to really test an element. The megger puts a real actual load on the element while testing. Too bad I don’t have one of these!
So what to do? Element seemed fine. I installed the element. Lets plug it in and test.
Boiler filled with water (critical as you do not want to fry your element!) or it will come out looking like this:
This is what happens to an element one leaves on with the boiler empty!
Plug in the La Pavoni, and I check with a volt meter the tank to ground. Crap 40 volts!!! Every damn one of my old 200/800 elements went to crap when plugged in. I saw from 3 volts up to 80 volts, amps, not sure but you are not supposed to see any voltage to the boiler!
Well 40+ years of scale, crap water, put away with water in the tank, etc has left pin holes in the elements. When voltage is applied at 110v and a tank of water, voltage to boiler :(.
Now all these old La Pavoni’s have 2 prong cords. Something of note, the 70-73 has a ground on the boiler ring and the ground wire is in the cord, just cut off at the plug. The 73/74 does not have that ground or the hole on the boiler ring.
An old element and a rebuilt side by side, you can see the old ones have had their better days.
So how does one go about a new element? The fine thread elements on the right are no longer made by La Pavoni. You can’t get them new. The option is a fine thread conversion ring and a new stainless element. Thing is, you can only find the fine thread conversion rings on ebay every once in a while and a place in Austria that rarely has them in stock. I am looking into getting some made in the future but that is another post. So that is out for the moment.
There is a factory in Hungary that still rebuilds them on the side. Yes you heard that right, you can get them rebuilt. Francesco who has the history of the La Pavoni and other machines on his site and lots of useful information has the contact info. After sending overseas which takes about 2 weeks it then gets sent over for rebuild which takes a month or so, then two weeks for shipping back to the US. Is it worth it? Look at this new rebuilt element up close:
Its a work of art!
Here is a rebuilt La Cara element before and after:
You can see the rough texture to the element. You can’t see in this photo but it was actually soldered for repair at one point. I bought this machine as a parts box so this was not unexpected.
So nice, a work of art in itself one almost does not want to install it into a machine!!
Here is a La Pavoni element reinstalled. Notice the ground screw on the right.
I drilled and tapped a hole in the brass boiler ring for a stainless cap screw to hold the ground. This meant adding a new cord with three prongs. Now if there is voltage to the boiler it will go to ground and to a ground fault outlet that will trip! If you have one of these machines you must run it for your own safety on a GFCI outlet!!!
No voltage to boiler, yay! New elements to last another 40 years, yay!
Please send me your old elements if you have them kicking around without a machine 🙂 If you have a machine that you toasted the element it, all is not lost, its repairable!
Hi Mike, we have a 1st Generation La Pavoni element that has completely gone bad. The coil has broken open. Could you tell me how much the repair itself cost, and how much it cost to ship? Thank you! Sam
Check on the link in the post, Gabor can provide you with the information you are looking for. Shipping, first class international, I think it was 20 bucks or so outbound , cheaper coming back every time but I do not recall exact costs.
Hi Mike, I am looking to buy a Gen1 or Gen2 Pav. Is this something you might find/restore and/or sell?
I have a few going up for sale, I need to thin the herd by a lot.
Thanks for responding, Mike. I would love to find a 70s LP soon, since I don’t have one anymore. Could you email me to perhaps discuss? My email is . Have a wonderful Sunday!
Thanks Mike! I would love to find a 70s LP
Would you at email to discuss any possibilities?
Hey Mike. I have a gen 2 unit (probably 1981) with a double element screw in brass unit. It’s a burned out 220v element but I need a 120v one. Wondering if there are other heating elements that can be soldered in place to replace the burned out ones? Or is this something you can rebuild? I’m in Toronto, ON, Canada but will be heading to London, UK in July as well if easier as not sure where you’re based.
You can get the element rebuit, search for Gabor on home-barista or Francesco’s site. Francesco may also have one. You can get a conversion ring fine thread to a three screw from Stefano’s espresso care, he also has new stainless 110 elements.
Hi Mike, could you perhaps tell where in Hungary this factory is located? Cheers,
Sorry for the late reply, I am not sure, you can find his info on hone barista or Francesco’s site.