I leave mine on as well. If you leave it off, the portafilter will not be at the same temp as the grouphead when you pull your shot. I have not seen any problem doing this, but I change my gasket annually so that it is easier to remove all the old gasket (it doesn't tend to stick as much)
+1 here as well for the same reasons. As a matter of fact, one thing I hate is when I get to the machine in the morning and discover that I had accidentally left it off. then you have to heat it, pull more blank shots and wait for it to be properly at temp.
Leave portafilter on all the time the machine is on and always take it off when the machine is off. Change the group gasket every 6 months for an HX and every year for a twin boiler.....
If your finding the portafilter hard to lock on properly drop down 0.5mm on gasket size. e.g. Duetto owners should be using an 8mm gasket and not an 8.5, for those with the latest Duettos and portafilter baskets, this is even more important.....for some reasons pretty much all manufacturers use a group gasket thicker than ideal. I've no idea why, perhaps the manufacturers tell them this is the best size?
I've been leaving it off when not it use. Makes sense to me, but I've read people ALWAYS leave it on.
Took the brew head off the Silvia for the first time (2 years.....). Man, that was disgusting. No wonder things were tasting funky. Ordered a new gasket, as I will need to find a chisel for removal. Got to do this more often. I backflush regularly, but that's obviously not enough.
No, you won't but it is a major PIA and takes a long time to get all the residual bits off - though I suppose that may depend on how caked on it is. My first one took me about 2 hours, because I did like you and waited a couple/few years before realizing it was necessary. but now they take like...oh, about 5 minutes or less.
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