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Problems with new Gaggia Classic
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011, 8:05am
Subject: Problems with new Gaggia Classic
 

I just replaced my Saeco Aroma with a brand new Gaggia Classic and have been struggling for the past two days to get a decent espresso by changing the grinder settings. But the biggest problem now is that suddenly the only way I can get the coffee to flow into a cup after pressing the brew button is to go through the priming process at the same time. Otherwise I get nothing. Needless to say, espresso brewed this way is a disaster. I've primed it repeatedly and checked the shower screen to see if it was clogged, but it was clean. Any ideas?

Addendum: well, I've got the coffee flowing again. Must have something to do with running the machine a couple of times on an empty tank of water. It's very hard to see where the water level is without a flashlight. I just kept priming it till it worked. I still haven't been able to produce a nice crema, even with my Vario and fresh beans.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

I think that if you let the machine run dry you will get the problems you state.  I've never let mine run dry for more than half a shot, so I can't quite remember what happens.

The biggest improvement I found with crema production was reducing the pressure at the group head to get to 8.5-9.5 bar.  Do you see any water returning to the reservoir when you brew?  If not, then the OPV isn't opening, and you could be running up to 15 bar pressure.  There are some instructions around on building a pressure gauge to fit on the spout or tuning the pressure based on flow rate back into the reservoir when backflushing.

Are you using the pressurised portafilter or crema enhancing device that I think comes with these (I got mine secondhand about 5 years ago)?
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Nov 20, 2011, 7:17am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

Thanks, dyqik. I assume I have a non-pressurized portafilter, because the instructions on the CD recommend applying about 30 lbs of pressure when tamping. I can't see any water returning to the reservoir when brewing. I don't know anything about backflushing. I guess I'll have to research that one. And I wouldn't have any idea how to adjust the bar pressure.
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Nov 20, 2011, 9:18am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

After pouring three cups of espresso this morning, the same problem happened again: no water flowing from the brew group. Once again, besides priming it several times, I disassembled the shower screen (as I failed to mention previously), saw that there was no clogging and replaced it. Just like the last times, the water suddenly started flowing again.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Sun Nov 20, 2011, 10:47am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

That doesn't sound normal at all.

I wonder if the 3-way valve is getting stuck - does water flow out of the overflow pipe instead?  If not, then there might be a problem with the pump, or maybe a kink in one of the plastic pipes, or some other problem.  As it's brand new, then how hard would it be for you to return it for exchange or repair?
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Dec 2, 2011, 4:47pm
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

I've been struggling with my Gaggia Classic for over two weeks now and wonder if I ended up with a lemon. I can't return it because I live in Mexico and shipping would cost way too much. The water ceases to flow from the brew group once or twice a day. This morning I had to run about a gallon of water through the system during repeated priming sessions before I was again able to brew an espresso. Does anyone know if there's a customer service person I could talk to about this? I bought the machine through Amazon.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,991
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Dec 3, 2011, 3:30am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

IMHO it's best to send it back to Amazon. I don't know how it is with Amazon.com, but here in Germany it's free of charge to send items back to Amazon.de in case of complaints, for example. You might loose your waranty, if you simply bring the machine to a repair shop.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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chasemonster
Senior Member
chasemonster
Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 364
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Audrey
Grinder: Hario Mini Mill
Drip: V60
Posted Sat Dec 3, 2011, 9:27am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

kmetzger Said:

Does anyone know if there's a customer service person I could talk to about this? I bought the machine through Amazon.

Posted December 2, 2011 link

It is highly unlikely that Amazon can help you fix your machine.
However, there is a Yahoo Gaggia Users Group that you can join
and they should be able to help you: Click Here

As far as returning your machine to Amazon, if you go to "Your Account" click here, and click on "Your Orders" click here, and sign in, and scroll through your orders until you find the one for the Gaggia, and to the right of that order click on "Return Items"
then it should show you how to print a "pre-paid" postage return label to use to return the machine to Amazon.
At least that's how it works in the USA.
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Dec 3, 2011, 11:13am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

Thanks for the tips. Returning the machine to Amazon in the US from Mexico is not really an option for me because shipping would be extremely expensive. But I'll check out the Yahoo group.
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fwtechwiz
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 528
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Mon Dec 5, 2011, 11:42pm
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic problem
 

There is a lovely little valve on the Gaggia Classic steam valve called the SPV, or 'self priming valve'.  This little valve is supposed to prime the pump without needing to run the pump with the steam valve open first before making the espresso.  Trouble is, it sticks open often and channels the hot water past the group and right back into the reservoir, robbing you of nearly all brew pressure.  The Gaggia group should help you on the SPV fix, which basically involves removing the return hose and plugging the valve. It is a must do with any Gaggia machine.
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