New Grinder Repair
Monday, Feb 3 2020
Last night while grinding a batch of decaf coffee my not-that-old grinder stopped grinding. It didn’t make a good sound when turned on with no beans. Add beans and the conical burr ddin’t rotate. Today I took it apart to see if it was something I could fix.
The drive pinion was in pretty bad shape and there were bits of plastic and finely ground coffee mixed with the lubricating grease. A bearing cage was split, but it may have been made that way. The split did not look like a break.
That’s about what I expected to find. I’d studied the parts list Sunday and figured out I’d need a new motor/gearbox/burr assembly as the parts I wanted were marked as only available as part of that assembly. What I didn’t see on the Baratza web site was the motor assembly listed as an available part. I sent Baratza support an email explaining my fears and asking about a replacement part Sunday evening.
They responded today. The response said I’d probably diagnosed the issue correctly and if I felt comfortable installing the assembly they’d ship me one. Fantastic. I sent them my shipping info.
Thursday, Feb 6 2020
The replacement assembly arrived in the morning mail.
It only took about 15 minutes to re-assemble the Grinder and put it back where it belongs. The first grind was pretty close to the way I like it. I’d expected the need to fine tune grind settings. A pleasant side effect is that the grinder now seems a little quieter.
As to why the grinder failed: Most of the time we grind one shot at a time. However, my wife doesn’t drink caffeine after about noon. After dinner we have a shot of decaf. I grind about 180 grams of decaf – the result of roasting half a pound of green coffee beans – every 6 or 7 days. That is what I was doing Sunday when the grinder failed. I suspect I was a) grinding too long; and b) not letting the grinder cool down enough before grinding some more. I’ll be more patient in the future.
Monday, Jul 19 2021
Update: it failed again. The same way, I think. It’s making the name noises. It’s also not grinding. A replacement grinder – the Eureka Mignon Specialita – is on order.
I see that Baratza now supplies a gearbox replacement kit on their parts page. I may be able to fix it, again, for $40, a bit over $50 with shipping and tax. I may do that then keep the fixed grinder around as a spare.