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Espresso: Lever Espresso Machines
New Gaskets = new life.  Pavoni pro millenium
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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > New Gaskets =...  
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driggers
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 27
Location: Victoria, BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 9:03pm
Subject: New Gaskets = new life.  Pavoni pro millenium
 

I just wanted to say that I replaced a few gaskets in the group head of my La Pavoni Pro, Millenium edition (one green button), and cleaned it out with soap, water and a tooth brush...  AND IT'S FREAKING AWESOME NOW!

Looks like info is pretty widely available, so I'll just mention a few things.

  • I replaced the gaskets on the piston, and around the shower plate.
  • I didn't remove the group head from the machine, but I didn't hammer on the piston while it hung off the machine.  Instead, I used a big vise-like device to get it started, and then braced the head on a bench to tap it out with a wooden mallet.
  • I used one of these with dish soap and water to clean the brown crud Click Here (www.espressotec.com)  I'm sure there are products and regular maintenance that are better, but this works, it's cheap, and it's low effort.  
  • I used only plastic tools to clean inside the teflon cylinder
  • I noticed small black flakes near the cylinder's intake.  To clear it, I put some water in the chamber and blew it out the cylinder.
  • the nut on the top of the piston is plated brass, and I chipped/damaged it a bit using a normal crescent wrench.
  • I rinsed out the soap VERY thoroughly, and bled a cup of hot water
  • My gasket kit came with food grade lube.  It really came in handy, so if yours doesn't, you'll need to buy some.
  • The whole repair took less than 30 minutes.
  • One of the piston gaskets I replaced had actually twisted around and was letting water past it.

The before and after difference is phenomenal.  I used to have to brace the machine on the counter to lift the handle up.  Now it goes up with just one finger, and floats back down if the machine is off.  The shower is now uniform instead of blotchy... etc :).  Very happy.

I do have one question:  When I raise the handle to pull a shot, it exerts considerable downward pressure by itself.  It used to stay wherever I raised it to.  Is this normal?  I normally lift it before inserting the portafilter, and now this is more difficult.
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 475
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 9:25pm
Subject: Re: New Gaskets = new life.  Pavoni pro millenium
 

driggers Said:

I do have one question:  When I raise the handle to pull a shot, it exerts considerable downward pressure by itself.  It used to stay wherever I raised it to.  Is this normal?  I normally lift it before inserting the portafilter, and now this is more difficult.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

Yes.  The boiler pressure is acting throughout the boiler and brewhead. There are 2 ports in the side of the brewhead, one right at the top so that the air above the piston has somewhere to go when the piston rises (It leads into the boiler, of course). And one that the piston rises past when fully raised, this one of course is piped down below the water level in the boiler so that the boiler pressure will force your brew water up into the head for you to drive down through your coffee.  So, the pressure above the piston is always pushing it downward, you just don't notice it if the cylinder friction is too heavy.
Glad to hear of your success, enjoy an espresso.
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driggers
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 27
Location: Victoria, BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 9:43pm
Subject: Re: New Gaskets = new life.  Pavoni pro millenium
 

Thanks, that's exactly the answer I was looking for.  I was beginning to wonder if anyone would get that far in my post :)
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