It seems, looking at pictures only, that the PF or group gasket and the PF locking ring fit to the boiler and group determine the spacing. Recheck the grouphead/pf locking ring install and the gasket. Again, I only see the article and the parts photo. Look at the part number of the gasket in your ordersheet. Call them and ask about gaskets and thickness for the PF, though not shown. Perhaps more than one thickness is available as on the Gaggia. It has to be something simple.
You were right - it was something simple - me... According to Stefano, there is only one brewhead gasket for that model. I had threaded the nuts onto the lower half of the boiler and then sat the assembled boiler on top of the locking ring, which is of course wrong and meant that the gasket and screen wasn't descended enough to properly lock. The boiler halves AND the locking ring should be pushed together and then bolted, so that the boiler effectively sits on the nuts themselves.
All is well with the brewhead. In the end, I think the brewhead gasket wasn't in great shape, and there ended up being a huge amount of coffee under the shower screen which was probably the main culprit (I couldn't previously get the shower screen screw out as it was partially threaded and I needed the leverage gained by having the boiler removed to be able to loosen it from above). That is probably something I'll have to keep an eye on, as my tamper is ever so slightly too small for the portafilter which occasionally results in coffee on the side of the basket. I have a new screw for the shower screen, so that shouldn't be a problem to routinely check now.
As is often the case, a repair like this can show up something else...
Though my first attempt to pull a shot from the repaired machine was successful, there was a steady stream of water from the wand as the pressure built up - not ideal from a wasted water point of view and also means I'm robbing some of the 'at temperature' water from the boiler for pulling the correct shot.
I have a feeling that that much water is too much to be corrected by adjusting the hex bolt on the wand arm. In my desire to clean while I repaired, I probably removed some of the crud around the wand gaskets that was helping keep water at bay....
Maybe I'll try the adjustment, but in the meantime, I probably need to order replacement gaskets for the wand.
At least I can pull a good shot now, so I'm pretty happy!
Happy to help. That was what I meant about the spacing, but could not comment specifically not having actually seen one. You are correct that if you leak more than a little drip that you may have temperature problems. You can keep the temperature up hitting the steam switch, for very short term, but you will need to fix as you noted.
Jonnybigfnote, I replaced the coil on my Barista and have the same problem with the group head gasket not being spaced correctly. I didn't understand how you corrected this in your posting. Would you mind re-describing how you fixed this problem? Thanks in advance. Bill
Jonnybignote, Got it! I don't know how I missed this in the first place. I was so careful remembering how to put all the electrical connections back together, I must have spaced out this important part of the assembly. Thanks so much for your help! Bill
Two last things you should do Jonnybignote. First decalcify. Second clean the holes in boththe shower screen and the portafilter basket using a stiff brush that has bristles fine and stiff enough to clean the crud out.
Ooh dear, I have to find me a project box. I know I don't want to start a strip down and have to stop partway through... Too many of those lying around already! Thank you for the parts vendor link; most appreciated.
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