Fixing a Krups XP-5240 Coffee Machine.
Last updated 22-Nov-2017
Final update 22 Nov 2017: The ABS water valve assembly in our 5240 broke and the part is no longer available from Krups. Attempts to repair the assembly were unsuccessful. To be fair, the part lasted four years, but it means the 5240 is now scrap.
Read on …
There’s way too many expensive consumer products we buy that have design or manufacturing faults, and the Krups XP5000 series coffee machines are perfect examples of good ideas poorly executed in critical areas. In this case, it’s the use of ABS plastic parts that fail sooner rather than much later due to the cycles of high temperature steam and movement during normal use.
Here’s our YouTube video that describes the issues.
Krups released an improved replacement steamer nozzle kit in 2013 (cost about C$25) , but it still has problems, such that the ABS nipple assembly strips its thread. Here’s how to remanufacture it with a metal insert that does not wear out, and requiring purchase of yet another kit.
All the images below were captured with a PiXCL Endoscope-3.
Note the cap does not have a hole all the way through: this has to be drilled out and tapped to M6-0.75.
Here’s the cap drilled and tapped. The top has not been countersunk as yet.
The cap has been countersunk to retain the small O-ring that seals the steamer wand. With a different bit this could also be done as a square wall inset as shown below. The main requirement is that the O-ring position is maintained so it seals the steam supply.
The unmodified nipple assembly: the inset is to retain the O-ring.
The other end of the nipple assembly. The frother nozzle fits on here.
The nipple assembly is drilled out with a series of larger bits, ending in a 9mm. The hole is slightly countersunk to retain the adhesive-sealer to be used.
The completed insert pressed into the assembly.
With the right tools and equipment, this job takes around 45 minutes.
The ABS handle on the self-tamping coffee holder also has problems, and too commonly after a while develops cracks around the single screw that attaches it to the coffee holder. Unless the problem is fixed, the handle soon after breaks off.
The reason it cracks is because of the cutout for the latch mechanism. When the handle is locked into position, the end of the plastic handle gets distorted, resulting in stress cracks in the cutout corners as shown below. If the cutout was not present, the handle tube would be much stronger. What is needed is a way to support the plastic so it does not flex when the handle is locked into position.
You can buy a complete new coffee holder for about $30 plus taxes, but the handle itself is not available as a separate product, and the original coffer holder part is perfectly serviceable. The problem of course is that the poor design and materials are still there, and the handle can be expected to break again.
Like many people, we are REALLY irritated by low-grade products that require ongoing purchase of spare parts, assuming they can even be located, and ending up with a draw full of partly broken assemblies.
There is a simple solution. Here’s a repaired handle with an attractive chromed brass sleeve that provides the strength that is lacking in the plastic….
and here’s how you can do it. You’ll need a hacksaw, flat and round files, a vice and a drill or drill-press, and about 30 minutes in your workshop.
Go to your local hardware store, look in the plumbing parts section, and find a 1.25″ diameter thin wall chrome sink tube fitting. We found one 8″ long for around $10.
Carefully cut off a section 1.5″ long: this will become the support sleeve for the handle. Remove the screw that holds the coffee holder and slide the handle off.
Next, extract the latch push-button down and remove the button assembly and spring.
The handle is a flattened oval shape, but the circumferance is very slightly less than the piece of tube. Place the tube section into the vice and squash it enough to make an oval section.
Place the tube on the bench, chromed end UPWARDS (for cosmetic reasons). That is, the cut end with bare brass is on the bench.
With your fingers, squash the tube more until you can get the handle started in the tube. Ensure the handle and tube are aligned. You should now be able to easily tap the handle down into the tube.
With the files or an angle grinder sanding disk, shape the tube end to the end curve of the plastic handle.
With the flat file, shape the tube cutout for the latch mechanism.
Locate the fixing screw hole, and drill the tube with a 1/8″ bit, followed by a countersink.
Re-insert the latch mechanism.
Fit the handle with the installed tube on to the coffer holder, and adjust the tube shape as needed.
Finally, while the tube is quite tight on the handle, there are still a few small gaps. The ideal glue is threadlocker, as this is liquid enough to run down inside the tube, and dries quickly to fill the gaps.
Unexpected handle failure analysis after 24 hours
We have fun with re-engineering stuff, and sometimes things go wrong! We used our coffee machine four times, and then the handle unexpectedly broke off completely.
Clearly there’s another problem, so what happened?
We knew there were some cracks in the plastic, but these had been treated with super glue, and we assumed (well, hoped anyway…) that the metal sleeve would be enough to support the handle in use. Apparently not, as this is what we removed from under the metal sleeve.
We suspect that the sleeve was too short, and some remaining cracks were enough to quickly stress the plastic to breaking point. Also, the sleeve ended at the same place as the coffee holder in the handle i.e. the point of maximum load.
So … the handle remanufacture with a sleeve requires:
a sleeve 2.5″ long to ensure that the loads are spread over a larger area.
a handle that does not have any cracks, or a new one…
Since the plastic handle was unrepairable, we decided to make a complete new handle from some 25mm ID aluminium tube with 3.2mm walls.
One end of the tube was flattened with a hydraulic press to form the oval shape needed, using a piece of 19mm square stock inserted into the tube to provide the sizing surface. Note here that aluminium tube should not be hammered as this causes work hardening of the metal, often followed by splitting.
The cut out for the ratchet and the push button are roughed out using drills and finished with files. The surface adjacent to the ratchet was shaped to clear the coffee holder using an angle grinder.
The single attaching screw hole is drilled and counter-sunk.
The button assembly from the original handle has pivot points that have to be secured so the button system works properly. A short section of 25mm OD tube was used, fitted into the new handle with some threadlocker, and an M4 machine screw to ensure it stays put.
Finally, the aluminium handle was polished with a sanding pad, and several coats of clear lacquer applied.
The result is a usable handle system that will last the life of the machine.
Could we make more of these?
Yes, subject to the following conditions.
The handle described above is a prototype made with hand tools.
For any confirmed order quantity under 10, these would be hand-made, and priced for the materials and time required to build them.
For confirmed order quantities 10 and over, we would manufacture them using machine tools which is quicker and provides a superior finish.
If this is of interest, contact us and we will discuss your requirements.
All information and techniques described here are for information purposes only, are used
entirely at your own risk and no warranty of any kind is offered or implied.
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