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Gaggia Classic OPV
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Gaggia Classic...  
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat May 18, 2013, 6:49pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic OPV
 

Agree that I would not fix a slow leak/drip.  Most do that. The "needle" or seat wear, or get scale and leak.  The leak that most have is wand drip.  Leak into the machine along the needle threads is not as common and perhaps a bit more troublesome with water inside the machine, but are probably not anything to do with your actual post and concern.  I believe that you would need a Viton O ring that is on the needle if you choose to fix that and it is not the normal inevitable leak.

Interested is hearing your pressure, the bike valve stem way seemed like a good idea to me.  I would have done that except I had already done the standard PF gauge when I saw it.

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


Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 41
Location: PA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat May 18, 2013, 8:53pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic OPV
 

Besides being an annoyance the water dripping inside the machine doesn't affect much, because it drains out the hole where the wand comes out and onto the drip tray.

I have an old bike tube, but the stem is too big to fit thru the hole. Maybe the one in the link is a different design? I don't know much about bike tubes, but this is a standard one, from my kid's old bike.(Why do I even keep an old tube anyway?)  It still could be possible to figure out some kind of small diameter fitting to attach to one of the holes in the portafilter.
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CRW
Senior Member


Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 41
Location: PA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 11:28am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic OPV
 

After a long and confusing battle with my machine I finally replaced the pump, and in doing so fixed a couple different problems I've been having.  D4F, you remember at the end of last year I was posting about my issues with getting air leaking into my lines and continually having to manually reprime my pump. Although I had long suspected that the pump was going bad, a number of people had strongly advised that my problems were more related to needing to descale more thoroughly, adjust the OPV, etc. And as I brought up in this thread, I didn't have an easy way to measure the real pressure.

So I installed a new ULKA pump yesterday and the difference is amazing. I first set the OPV measuring the backflow from the OPV tube into a cup. I think I got in the ballpark of a 9 bar setting. Water drains off into the reservoir now with every shot (But not when I try to steam, as I had mentioned before). I believe my pressure was way down below 9 bars before with the old pump. I'm sure the air was coming thru the leaky steam wand and forcing its way into the lines, and that the old pump's inner valve couldn't hold it back. I could actually watch air bubbles leaving the boiler and make their way thru the high pressure tube.

Today I tried once again to attach my pressure gauge to the steam wand as in that You Tube clip. This time I read approx. 9 bar. Before I could only get it to 4 bar, with the OPV screwed down tight. I had attributed it to a faulty gauge or the leaky steam valve., but now I think it had been accurate, and the slight water leaks negligible. So I think I've verified that my adjustment last night using the flow chart got me really close.

The difference in the shots is profound. I was struggling before to get any crema at all, and now it's decent. I also feel that the steaming is improved; I believe I was losing steam pressure as well before.

Thanks for your links and tips, they've been very helpful.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic OPV
 

Thanks for following up on the fix, happy to be of help.  We all learn on these but only if the results are posted.  Let me know when you are ready for PID  :)

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