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Starbucks Barista dying?
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jonnybignote
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:28am
Subject: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

Hello to any fello Starbucks Barista owners or anyone else reading,

After having a good year out of a used Barista that has served me well, I'm encountering a problem.  Not having changed the grind setting on my Preciso, I'm suddenly faced with the problem of a delay and then slow release of espresso from portafilter, followed by water leaking from the top of the brewhead.  The pump sounds somewhat laboured also.

I'm obviously leaning toward the idea that the pump is dying, but I wondered if anyone else had any theories.  I took it apart and tightened the bolts on the boiler as well as on the four that hold the brewhead to the machine.

I made one for my wife with her 'decaf' beans and that was fine.  I guess the other possibility is that my source for fresh roasted espresso beans have changed their blend or selection slightly, so that I need to make setting changes to my grind.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:35am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

Pumps are cheap and should be easy to replace.   The water leaking out of the top makes me think it is something else.  Try other grinds and see.

 
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jonnybignote
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Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

I just ran with a coarser grind which had the shot flowing quite fast from the portafilter, and it still overflowed.  I should also mention that it trips the socket it's plugged into....
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:44am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

jonnybignote Said:

followed by water leaking from the top of the brewhead.  The pump sounds somewhat laboured also.

Posted November 16, 2012 link

I do not know that machine specifically, but most SBDU machines are similar.  I am not sure what you mean top of the brewhead.  Bad PF gasket?

If you turn on the pump with an open wand, how does it flow and sound?

When was it descaled?

Great article here!
Click Here (www.ifixit.com)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:50am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

jonnybignote Said:

I just ran with a coarser grind which had the shot flowing quite fast from the portafilter, and it still overflowed.  I should also mention that it trips the socket it's plugged into....

Posted November 16, 2012 link

Sounds like a leak from the PF gasket as noted, if I understand correctly.

Tripping GFI often points to a bad element.  Seems like a lot wrong at once???

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:54am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

Good parts list and price check here.

Click Here (espressocare.com)

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


Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

It is technically a Saeco.

Pump with open wand sounds same as usual (it is loud - not a quiet machine, but I don't think any of them are particularly quiet right?) and the flow is good, as it is from the brewhead.

I've attached an image.  The water doesn't leak from the portafilter.  It comes down the side of the outer ring (where the red arrow etc is)  I believe it may also come down from the hole the wand comes from.

I haven't descaled in 5 months or so - probably a little late - but could that alone really be the cause of this??

Thanks

jonnybignote: barista.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:11pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

So the pump may be ok?

With the top off of the machine, find the leak(s).  Keep your hands out :)  Based on the picture, it is leaking inside the machine and running down, the evaporated residue on the mand and group head.  You may be getting a short, setting off the GFI instead of the element failing.  In addition if the GFI goes off many times it will fail.

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


Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:20pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

Right - that makes sense to me.  The gfi tripping always happens after the leak starts, so that maybe a short resulting from the water.

It's that, or there is too much backpressure maybe?

The only thing I'm still not sure of - it still seems like the pump is slightly labored sounding prior to the shot pouring (dripping) so I'm hoping it's not something else causing some kind of resistance, which is in turn creating all the other problems as secondary issues - ie too much back pressure for the boiler and other components etc.

Thanks again for the help
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista dying?
 

Pressure builds over a few seconds and the pump changes sound.  Same on my Gaggia. Your leak is indirect, it leaks in the machine before you see it.  It probably leaks as the pump builds pressure and then runs out.  "Back Pressure" is no more that a blind PF, full pump pressure.  If all gaskets are intact, then you should not leak from full pressure/back pressure.

Look inside and find the leak.

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