I’m new to the forum, but not new to espresso. I spent my first 4 years pulling from a well-dialed Gaggia Classic Pro, and recently bit the bullet and bought an ECM Purstika with pre-installed flow-control from what I thought to be a reputable distributor. The first machine arrived with a bad OPV out of the box - after a difficult return/exchange process, the second machine arrived and for the first week seemed to work wonderfully.
I had it dialed-in really well, and was pulling pseudo-slayer shots with the flow control that were honestly better than my local cafe and then some. When the machine works properly, it is absolutely amazing! Herein is where the problem arises, and, unfortunately - the distributor is less than helpful (And I still have not received a response from ECM…)
Machine is turned on, allowed to preheat for 30-60min at minimum. Group head is to temp, boiler to temp. Lever left at down position, flow control left cracked. I used Poland Springs and an in-tank softner, and am religious about my cleaning and upkeep. I did replace the shower screen and group head gasket with a precision screen and silicone gasket, otherwise stock.
When I crack the lever and run it without a portafilter initially, it quickly rises in pressure and then levels out. If I subsequently try to pull a shot, or, run it with a backflush/blind basket - it does not build any pressure, pump just runs and runs. If I switch that off, open the flow control and leave the lever at center position for 15 seconds or so, and try again, it then ramps up and builds pressure.
This is frustrating, as if its the first morning shot pull I end up wasting a puck and having to grind again. I’m not sure if this is normal behavior or if there is an issue per-se. If I leave the machine powered on and at rest with the lever in the down position and flow control cracked, eventually I see the pressure drop to zero and this issue repeats itself. I was under the impression it should maintain a resting pressure of 1-3bars, and wonder if there is an issue with the OPV or another component.
Any help you folks can offer would be wonderful - I appreciate the knowledge and experience you cand lend!