17 July 2012

Et tu, Brewtus?

Walked downstairs to work this morning—I love home office—and discovered to my dismay that the espresso machine hadn’t switched on. Because it takes a while to warm up, I keep it on a timer switch. The timer had worked, but investigation revealed that the main power switch had failed due to about 7 years of thermal stress.

Broken power switch

Fortunately, I was prepared. When the switch started to feel “soft” a couple of weeks ago, I logged on to eBay and found a random company in China selling identical replacement neon-lit 240V/15A rated panel switches. I bought two, and by sheer luck they arrived this afternoon, total cost $3.

Disassembling the espresso machine (an Expobar Brewtus from WholeLatteLove) required a screwdriver and hex wrench. I was pleased to find that the switch was wired in properly with wire connects, rather than being soldered in. The insulation on the connects was pretty crunchy from age and heat, but I was able to remove two of them by hand. The other two ripped the connecting pads from the old switch, but some WD-40, a mole grip and a pair of needlenose pliers soon extracted the broken pads. I hammered out the busted switch, as I didn’t really care about its structural integrity at this point.

Repaired coffee machine

The replacement switch fitted just fine. I tightened the connectors a little and reconnected the wires, and all was well again.

© mathew 2017