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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Backflushing and...  
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Chanty
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 227
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Vario, had an MDF
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 3:30am
Subject: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

Hi,
Wondering if it is a necessity to remove the shower plate every time when descaling my Gaggia Classic.  I descale every 3 months and always remove the shower screen, but have been removing the shower plate also every 6 months.  How often is it really necessary to remove the plate when descaling?  Thanks!
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Chanty
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 227
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Vario, had an MDF
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

Please someone?  I don't want to ruin my machine,  but if I only have to take the shower plate out--say--once a year ,I'd rather do that.  I descale every 3 months and backflush once a month.   I only (99% of the time) make two double baskets of espresso per day.  That's it.  That's why I'm wondering if it is necessary to remove the plate that often when descaling.  I'm due for descaling tomorrow, so if a "geek" could be so kind to give me their thoughts, I would really, really appreciate it.  Did I say REALLY appreciate it? ;)
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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 Fri Feb 1, 2013, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

If you backflush with detergent (aluminium safe, as that's the boiler and plate material), then you shouldn't need to remove the shower plate each time.  I only removed it to change the PF gasket about once a year (and to replace it with a brass version of the block in a quest for more thermal stability).
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 1:14pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

I clean my screen at least every week. My Oscar was worse then my E-61 at trapping  grounds up there as well as baked on oils. Seemed a simple drop and clean was better then more frequent detergent back flushes which always seemed to not clean everything as well as a soak and scrub. I do a water back flush after a session of shots to help keep it clean, I detergent to help keep the back flush path clean.

So does the Gaggia have a 3way valve? I believe it does. Every time you finish a shot it is taking pressure out of the PF and inevitable some liquid, that gets things nice and oily.
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sa11os
Senior Member
sa11os
Joined: 1 Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Asheville, NC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Brugnetti Simona
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Porlex mini
Drip: V60-01, Chemex
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

You probably don't need to remove the shower plate too frequently. do you notice it is very dirty/scaled/etc when you remove it after three months? I'd imagine you could use that to gauge the frequency you should clean/remove it. I don't ~think~ you'd damage it by leaving it in when descaling.
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Chanty
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 227
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Vario, had an MDF
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

Thanks.   Think what I'm gonna do is take the plate out every other descaling unless it looks really bad.  (every 6 months).  Here's another question.  Someone told me on my Classic, I have to let water out of the steam tube for a few seconds every day after the machine heats up before brewing.  Why?
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 2:26pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

Chanty Said:

Thanks.   Think what I'm gonna do is take the plate out every other descaling unless it looks really bad.  (every 6 months).  Here's another question.  Someone told me on my Classic, I have to let water out of the steam tube for a few seconds every day after the machine heats up before brewing.  Why?

Posted February 1, 2013 link

Again I don't know the Classic. My Oscar did not have a vacuum breaker so when the boiler heated up from cold false pressure was created, opening the steam wand releases the false pressure so the machine continues to heat. Vacuum breaker allow the machine to get rid of the false pressure so it will heat and stabilize after it is turned on.

I guess things are relative, I go through 2-5lbs a week in my machine so I clean frequently.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,109
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 3:12pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

my thought is...

Since you don't have an E61 machine, it takes a little more effort to remove the screen - such that you need a screwdriver, no?

Do your descale the way you normally do.  Then, before you use the machine, take the shower screen off and take a look at it.  If it looks clean, you're good to go, but if it doesn't then you have your answer.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 3:32pm
Subject: Re: Backflushing and removing Shower Plate?
 

The reason I brought up the Oscar was it had a screw up brass diffuser and screen that sat on the gasket, it allowed grind to get into the screen, the brass diffuser was coated in dried oil after a week with 2-5lbs through it. The e-61 design does not let grinds up into the screen since it has lips that are for the gaskett to hold it in place. I still need a spoon or a tool to remove it, I kept a screwdriver in the drawer that has all my PFs, baskets and what not, each take the same amount of time to remove which is less then one minute. I don't want dried caked on rancid coffee oil to influence my shots.
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