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Espresso: Espresso Mods and Restorations
help me fix my saeco.
Jebana from Ethiopia
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 9:03am
Subject: help me fix my saeco.
 

So my parents gave me their oold saeco crema thing, cheap coil but in theory should make something resembling espresso.

Took the screen off thats below the head and the whole thing was caked with coffee, so i cleaned that out, cleaned all the holes in the screen out, poked all the holes in the basket clean so it's at least a bit better. Took pictures of how it sprays, this is the actual head with the screen removed.

Second picture is with the screen back in. Isn't it meant to spray with a fair bit more pressure than that? If i cant get it to make descent espresso i'll probably try to "fix" it, which will probably mostly end up resulting in disassembling it.

Want to know if this thing is working properly or not!

friendlyfoe: noscreen.jpg
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 9:04am
Subject: Re: help me fix my saeco.
 

screen back on. In the first one the screen is off but the screw is turned back into the head.

friendlyfoe: screen in.jpg
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,038
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: help me fix my saeco.
 

I looked up the machine here

http://www.partsguru.com/SaecoGranCrema.html

Manual and diagram are there.

I do not see OPV or 3 way.  They note pressurized PF/basket.

I do not see a true dispersion disk above the screen.  It seems that the water comes out centrally via part 43.  That may be the reason for the stream vs good spread from the screen.  Many machines have a multihole dispersion disk above the screen to spread and even the flow.  There may not be a fix.

The pressurized PF probably partially solves the dispersion problem by letting the brew build about 9 bar.  That is the description on the opening page at Partsguru.  Are you using the OEM pressurized PF?

Hope this helps.

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


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 11:15pm
Subject: Re: help me fix my saeco.
 

This machine appears to be very similar to the magic combi that I worked on not long ago ("Saeco rapid steam - mini HX or what?").  D4F is right, the pressurised portafilter makes up for a lot - you don't have to tamp, grind doesn't need to be as fine as with a normal PF, and I would imagine the dispersion is not that important.  Remember the pressurised PF will mean that water will flow into the PF, dam up and wet all the coffee, and only when the pressure goes above the threshold will the PPF release and let the brewed coffee run into the cup.  By that time everything is soaked, not just the bit directly under the centre of the dispersion screen.  You'll also see the puck is very watery, chanelling isn't something that can really occur there.

I know some people mod the saecos to depressurise the PPF, personally I didn't do it when I had that machine, and the current owner I know is still running it like that.  If I were you, first get the basics right and keep it as is. Don't depressurise it straight away, it just makes it complicated right now.

From my experience, take the covers off and have a look for leaks.  I had to replace almost all the o-rings on the boiler, but then again mine was the "rapid steam" version that ran at about 115-120 deg C all the time, so the o-rings would've brittled quicker.  Also, a good descale will probably be wise, especially if it wasn't maintained until now, as few of these home machines are.  If you saw some scale buildup under the dispersion screen when you took that off, I'd look at descaling.  From the looks of it, you've got the same stainless boiler that my magic combi had, it's pretty robust.  Should you need to replace the o-rings, just make sure you get the right ones that is rated for high temperature - Viton IIRC, not normal nitrile.  If you don't see water marks outside the boiler, and don't hear any fizzing when it's at steaming temperature, it's probably ok as far as o-rings go.  

Good luck, let us know what happens! :)
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 6:02am
Subject: Re: help me fix my saeco.
 

i guess it's running more or less how it's supposed to then. Yes the puck is a soupy mess when it's done pouring, didn't think it was supposed to be like that either! I just ran some stale beans through the grinder and the machine did a lot better with those than it did the fresh ones. I guess i'll just look for a bean that does acceptably well in this machine (im thinking starbucks tbh, not too fresh or oily) and save my pennies for a proper machine!
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biznus97
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2013
Posts: 8
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 6:05pm
Subject: Re: help me fix my saeco.
 

Try backing off the tightness of the screw used to attach the shower screen.  I've used the two types of screens available on the Saeco machines and they are capable of delivering steady droplets of water.  When the water comes out in fast streams like that it can be attributed to the screen needing a good cleaning with an espresso machine cleaner or for it to be seated against the boiler differently. These machines can pull solid shots but you'll have to take the time to know how to use it.  I'd also recommend using fresh beans no matter what machine you are using.  Pressurized shots run shorter than traditional shots.  Not sure if you have an espresso class grinder but that would be the first upgrade I would recommend.  Lastly, since it is a stock machine,  make sure to read up on temp surfing to try to get the most out of your shots.  Good luck!
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