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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > My $50 Gaggia...  
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LowThudd
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Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 63
Location: Van Nuys
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso, Mukka,...
Grinder: Grindmaster 625(RR45)
Roaster: Salton Popcorn popper
Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 9:51am
Subject: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

I picked up a working(but dirty) Gaggia Espresso model for $50 locally. After descaling and cleaning, it does work well. However, much like the 5.0l Fords I've owned, I feel there is more that I can get out of this little sucker. I have a botomless PF in the mail, and I will be receiving these parts today: Click Here (www.ebay.com)

So, it looks like I have some nice parts to start improvement with. Mainly the OPV and the new pump. I have found these instructions: Click Here (stuff.mit.edu) , and that seems fairly strait forward and should translate to my machine well. One thing, my steam valve is the same one that is added to the machine in the article. So I assume, all I need to do is run tubing back into the resevoir from the top of the OPV. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Everything else seems strait forward, except for the T-fitting(safety valve?) on the pump. Do I need the proper L-fitting for a OPV machine to make this work? I can't tell from the pictures if that is included in my auction.

Later on, I will probably clean up the spare boiler, maybe add add some tubing for a preheater? I believe I read about this somewhere, but I am not sure where. Anything else I should look into in improving the spare boiler like insulation?

Thanks for any ideas you can help me with.
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 11:00am
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

Great find again!  Here is another similar mod site that may help.

http://www.jpvaughan.ie/?p=55

You can change out the steam valve or plug the "prime" valve as above.  If the current steam valve does not drip significantly, then I would not change it.  Most Gaggia valves will drip a bit, the newer model could be worse.  Plug the return and use the tube for the OPV as you suggested.

Is the current pump ok?  I would not change out a good part for the new improved model unless it does not work well.  Just my preference, but keep the new for spare and avoid breaking old plumbing connections.

I believe that you can keep the "T" in at the pump.  It is a safety as is the OPV, but it will be set high enough that when you set the OPV to about 10 static, 9 dynamic, the OPV will release first.

My thought on preheat, though YMMV.  If you PID with a 2 alarm PID so that you can control brew set temperature, steam temperature, and add heat with brew, then you do not need preheat for stability.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sluei1-IkTw

Preheat may make it easier to stabilize in that the incoming water is closer to boiler temperature and the alarm function does not have as much correction to make and the over-under-shoot may be less and that could help.  For that possible help you will have more connections to possibly leak.  In addition the tubing volume is very little and most of that volume will discharge via OPV to the tank.  Pump flow at 9 bar is about 250 - 260 ml/min or about 125 ml in a 25 second pull and 30 - 50 ml of that will go into the cup, the remainder back to the tank.  I think that preheat is mostly a help if no PID controller and then for one pull and enough time to preheat again before the second, and I do not know how long that passive preheat is.  The other answer to preheat is to install an in line OPV, not the Gaggia one, before the preheat line and then divert cold water back to the tank and not empty and flush the line with cold.  Most of that in the initial post here

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/571792

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 11:17am
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

You can look up your pump(s) here to try to decide if there is a great advantage to change.  There may be another brand in the Espresso as I see CP3A noted and do not see that on the ULKA site.

Click Here (www.ulka.it)

And the quote just above the pump here about pump watts

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/vibration-pump-is-it-worn-out

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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LowThudd
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 63
Location: Van Nuys
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso, Mukka,...
Grinder: Grindmaster 625(RR45)
Roaster: Salton Popcorn popper
Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 11:49am
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

D4F Said:

You can change out the steam valve or plug the "prime" valve as above.  If the current steam valve does not drip significantly, then I would not change it.  Most Gaggia valves will drip a bit, the newer model could be worse.  Plug the return and use the tube for the OPV as you suggested.

Is the current pump ok?  I would not change out a good part for the new improved model unless it does not work well.  Just my preference, but keep the new for spare and avoid breaking old plumbing connections.


http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/571792

Posted July 31, 2013 link

I think I was unclear. My Gaggia for some reason has the valve WITHOUT the prime valve. But, I get it now, just one less thing to worry about. Just need to run a line from on top of the OPV to the res.

Current pump kicks arse! But, it is probably the original pump from who knows when, and I have a Krups machine that needs a new one. So I figured I would swap the Gaggias pump into the Krups, and put the new pump into the Gaggia.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 5:38am
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

Swapping pumps "just because" sounds like a lot of unneeded work to me, if the other machine needs a pump then replace that one but there will be no difference in a working pump vs a new working pump.

To quote an old family saying, "don't borrow trouble".

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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LowThudd
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 63
Location: Van Nuys
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso, Mukka,...
Grinder: Grindmaster 625(RR45)
Roaster: Salton Popcorn popper
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

As for the pump, after fixing the Krups I will probably be giving it away. So I would rather not give away the better pump as well. But, *shrug*, that's just me.

A new problem has presented it's self. While the boiler is heating up, the group head leaks a bit. I am assuming this is due to the boiler valve. I have two spare boiler valves, one fairly new. I am thinking I can just take the spring and valve seal out of the existing housing, clean the housing with a brush and the replace the spring/seal/and adjustment nut with the newer one. Does this sound like a plan? Or should I just replace the whole valve? I guess it could be the seat seal, rather than the valve seal. I dunno.
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LowThudd
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 63
Location: Van Nuys
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso, Mukka,...
Grinder: Grindmaster 625(RR45)
Roaster: Salton Popcorn popper
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 8:41pm
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

Also, is there a procedure for adjusting the boiler valve? I would assume just cranking it down might effect preinfusion somehow?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 8:53pm
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

I am not sure the pre-infusion comment, there is none in Gaggia SBDUs.  It is also not very proven in Gaggia when added electronically/PID.

The valve is in machines without 3 way and prevent the water from leaking when it is working properly. It is common to get some scale there and it may just need manual cleaning.  I would take a look and replace if necessary.  I can't remember the actual number, perhaps 1.5 bar, for spring resistance/back pressure.  It is pressure/resistance that the pump must overcome in addition to the puck and some say that you need slightly higher OPV settings.

The only difficulty in trying to keep the new pump is possibly getting a leak in old fittings.  Pumps are not that expensive if you wind up needing another.  YMMV

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 9:01pm
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

Search Gaggia spring valve, here are a couple starters.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/507029

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/348763

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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LowThudd
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 63
Location: Van Nuys
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso, Mukka,...
Grinder: Grindmaster 625(RR45)
Roaster: Salton Popcorn popper
Posted Fri Aug 2, 2013, 5:19pm
Subject: Re: My $50 Gaggia 'Espresso' project
 

Lookie what I got: Click Here (www.ebay.com)

I know this is a basakwards way to get a three way valve machine, but a fun project just the same. The wiring doesn't look to difficult, about four wires to add it in. At any rate, a fun project, with GREAT coffee as a result!
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