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  1. #1
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    Hmm Southbend GCX-10S Steamer shuts off gas and pilot

    So I have this Southbend GCX-10S Steamer. When it works its amazing! But i have a lot of problems.

    1. Gas shuts off automatically.
    2. Lots of water leaving through the rear pipe. (steady stream of it. is it normal?)
    3. Do both sections have to be operated at the same time to make this work??

    We have not used a steamer before and we bought it on a whim after seeing it in a hotel we catered too. Hopefully this can save us a bunch of time when cooking Indian food. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.


    If your in the Dallas area pm me maybe you can take a look at this.I have changed the solenoid valve so far.

  2. #2
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    Well, Southbend's literature on that unit...even an owner's manual, can't be gotten on their open website. Probably restricts access to authorized service providers.

    I have ample experience in repairing steamers - just not on that one. However, boiler-based steamers follow the same basics for producing the steam and getting it to the food.

    Regarding your 3rd question: Do both sections have to be operated at the same time to make this work?

    No.

    Regarding your 2nd question: Lots of water leaving through the rear pipe (steady stream of it. is it normal?).

    That depends on whether it's in a cook cycle or not. If it's cooking something, then steam needs to escape during the cooking process. Cold water feeds a system that directs an intermittent or a constant spray of water inside the drain pipe, which condenses the steam back to water. That serves two purposes:

    1. To prevent wafting clouds of steam from exiting the drain pipe and then condensing on all your other equipment and inside the hood.

    2. It keeps steam pressure from building inside the cooking compartment. After all, that oven is a convection steamer, so it's cooking compartments aren't designed as pressurized vessels. Some ARE made that way, but not yours.

    Anyway. So a fairly slow and possibly steady stream of water is normal only DURING A COOKING PROCESS.

    However, if you're noticing a relatively heavy stream of water constantly coming out of the drain pipe while nothing is being cooked, that's NOT normal. That issue may be related to it causing the gas valve to shut off prematurely or to not come on at all. The controls may not be sensing the boiler is full and just keeps adding water.

    A quick, simple low-down on how your oven works:
    Since that's a boiler-based unit, the boiler should build steam pressure to a preset point. Once it meets that pressure, the controls will shut off the gas burner. Conversely, it's only when the boiler pressure drops to a preset point that the burner fires up again. There should be a gauge on it so you can read those pressures. Normally, when a cabinet is turned on to cook something, it may take a little time for boiler pressure to drop low enough to cycle on.
    So the boiler operates somewhat independently of the cooking compartments, since its function is to merely maintain boiler pressure within set parameters. What its controls are doing has nothing to do with whether you just started or stopped a cook cycle in one of the compartments.


    Back to your problem. I have questions:
    • How long have you had that steamer?
    • Was it new or used when you bought it?
    • Has it ever been descaled?


    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

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  4. #3
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    How long have you had that steamer?
    Was it new or used when you bought it?
    Has it ever been descaled?

    Well we just bought it used at an auction. The first tech did descale it and we made sure that a water filtration system was added to our incoming water connection. We have fooled around with the pressure switches and tried to adjust the settings there but it always just shuts off. After messing with the pressure switch we got it to stay on for about 1 hr without it switching off as of now.

  5. #4
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    If its blowing water it needs descaled, you may even need to manually remove the water probes and remove the scale with a wire brush and some "ScaleKleen". I mentioned "ScaleKleen for a reason, you must MUST delime a steamer every 3-4 months and possibly more depending on usage. I can give advise but remember, those things are dangerous even for an experienced tech . Burn, scald, explosion, are all part of it... be careful my friend.

    There are water probes that are internal to the steam chamber, the only way to access them is with the steamer COLD as in COLD. Shut down the water, unplug the unit or shut the gas off. Find the location of the probes, if you feel confident you can remove them ok, should look like a champion spark plug with a longer stem on them. you need a spark plug wrench to remove and manually descale them.

    Also like EcTo said, your drainline needs to be unrestricted, even food caught in the drain at any point will trip the pressure switch, the pipe needs to be large enough to carry away the water and steam, I've always use 1 1/2 " pipe after the tee's from the back of the unit with no more than 1 elbow

    You should not have messed with that pressure switch, thats why they put epoxy on there to keep it from turning...

    Normally set somewhere around 3-5 psi

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReferTroop View Post
    If its blowing water it needs descaled, you may even need to manually remove the water probes and remove the scale with a wire brush and some "ScaleKleen". I mentioned "ScaleKleen for a reason, you must MUST delime a steamer every 3-4 months and possibly more depending on usage. I can give advise but remember, those things are dangerous even for an experienced tech . Burn, scald, explosion, are all part of it... be careful my friend.

    There are water probes that are internal to the steam chamber, the only way to access them is with the steamer COLD as in COLD. Shut down the water, unplug the unit or shut the gas off. Find the location of the probes, if you feel confident you can remove them ok, should look like a champion spark plug with a longer stem on them. you need a spark plug wrench to remove and manually descale them.

    Also like EcTo said, your drainline needs to be unrestricted, even food caught in the drain at any point will trip the pressure switch, the pipe needs to be large enough to carry away the water and steam, I've always use 1 1/2 " pipe after the tee's from the back of the unit with no more than 1 elbow

    You should not have messed with that pressure switch, thats why they put epoxy on there to keep it from turning...

    Normally set somewhere around 3-5 psi
    I agree, you should not be playing with the pressure switches. Depending on what you are adjusting you could be putting yourself in danger. That boiler runs at 9-11 psi. Doesn't sound like a lot but it's enough to cause a bunch of damage if the pressure control is set wrong and the relief valve fails.

    Also, a descale could be needed. I know you said it was just done but I've heard that a hundred times just to find the boiler chalk full of scale. ReferTroop is right in saying that some boilers need descaled every 3-4 months but if it's not done right it can actually shorten the life of the boiler. So get a pro to do it for you.

    I would call a reputable service company out to check over the steamer if I were you. You never know, you could be preventing a major and costly break down if it gets repaired properly.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanMan812 View Post
    I would call a reputable service company out to check over the steamer if I were you. You never know, you could be preventing a major and costly break down if it gets repaired properly.
    Sambar101,

    Here's who Southbend's website lists as their service provider in your area:

    Stove Parts Supply Co. Inc.
    2120 Solana
    Ft. Worth, TX 76117
    817-831-0381
    800-433-1804
    FAX 817-834-7754
    Website: www.stoveparts.com

    I realize you saved a boatload of money buying a used one, but I strongly urge you to have them give it a REALLY good once over.


    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

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  11. #7
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    Thanks Guys!. I'm going to call these Solana guys. I called Hagar Service here in dfw but that guy just charged me 200 to do a once over pretty much. My second freelance tech actually got the manual and it listed the pressure at 9-11 for operating and 13.5-15 for high pressure. The unit was not at that point when we looked at it;hence we went along and changed the settings. Thanks so much for your knowledge if you're ever in Dallas You got a bowl of Indian food on the house!

  12. #8
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    After calling so many techs and spending close to $1000 on trips to see the machine that does not live no one has any clue as to whats wrong with this machine. Can anyone give me any kind of guidance with this?

  13. #9
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    Okay, so sounds a little weird, your saying it lights and then shuts off or it never lights, does it cook for a while and then suddenly dies?

    If its constantly draining water, I can tell you as I have a Cleveland 2 deck boiler based steamer which is a motherF when it comes to repairing it. I keep it descaled and change the anodes and keep it in really good condition.

    So here's the deal If your boiler is constantly shutting off there are multiple things,

    Its a flame rectification system, flame lights, current travels through the flame and travels back to the module or in some cases, the gas valve and grounds, this tells you that the flame is alive.

    Could be a messed up pressure switch, its gonna have an operating and high limit, if its anything like Clevelands Kettle's its "temperature" is set by pressure, so the unit will turn off its heaters when it hits a certain pressure. That's the operating pressure.

    If you can tell me as detailed as possible what the deal is and what's going on I might be able to help you. There is no such thing as a doomed unit and i am sure there is a way to fix yours.

    Try a Cleveland Combi oven, now there's a tricky one

    Okay, just googled it, looks exactly like the one I have but a different name on it.

    I would recommend checking your ignition circuit, there has to be a certain amount of mili amps going to the gas valve, if its loosing that signal for some reason when cooking away, it will turn off your gas as in, lock the gas valve. Its a safety used in almost everything with gas these days.

    The water thing could be your drain solenoid valve leaking, when the unit is filling (if it has a low water cut off which it probably does) then the drain is supposed to be closed, there is normally an auxilary or bypass drain line in case it fails, maybe the valve is slightly open or the solenoid is leaking.

    Let me know.
    Last edited by Olivero; 02-13-2017 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Googled the unit.

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  15. #10
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    My dad has given up on this and wants to trash it but I believe there is a tech out there somewhere who has the skills. I just need to find them haha. I' done trying to call the "authorized" service providers because none of them can figure it out. I will try your suggestion Olivero! I also need to call some other local companies to come out and take a look. Anyone else have any suggestions>

  16. #11
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    The last tech I had said it could be caused by the boiler water tank. Could this cause this issue?

  17. #12
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    I don't know what that means, the water tank is just storing water, there are pipes in it where the heat travel and make that water in the tank steam.

    Can't believe no one can figure this out.....

    Here's the deal, your flame will die after being lit for only a few reasons,

    1, the temp or pressure has been reached and its all happy.
    2, the flame signal got lost and its cutting off so it doesen't blow you up.
    3, the water is low or draining out when it shouldn't be and its cutting it off to refill, normally you have to reset it after this.

    Its a 2 compartment steamer, the unit will heat up the water, build a pressure form steam and then stop heating, once you close the handle a solenoid opens letting the steam into the compartment, this depressurizes the tank and the unit turns back on to build more pressure. If its killing the flame on the high limit pressure switch you would be able to watch the pressure gauge go up, past the green section on the gauge and into the red until the system gets killed.

    Sounds like you are just loosing water, there is no reason the unit should be draining water when its running unless the drain solenoid is energized because its off OR the drain valve is messed up and draining all your water but you should be able to see these things happen.

    Go to the unit, turn it on and tell me what happens, Its hard to troubleshoot like this because your not telling me a whole lot of sequence type stuff. It should have a glass gauge in the compartment with all the gas and electronics, it comes out from the boiler and is very visible, watch it fill and watch it stop, you can feel the waterlines from the water inlet solenoid vibrate if water is filling.

    Once it stops, watch the pressure gauge, does it go up at all, and if so, how high does it go before the flame cuts off.

    There is a way to solve it man, I am telling you, the problem is somewhere just gotta find it.

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