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Help! Gaggia Platinum failing to prime (following a leak repair to the steam val
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Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 2
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Oct 11, 2013, 4:01am
Subject: Help! Gaggia Platinum failing to prime (following a leak repair to the steam val

Hey guys,

First post - I've searched the web (including this forum) but still no closer to sorting my problem...

The steam selector knob on our Gaggia Platinum (bean-to-cup) was incredibly stiff and t was leaking slightly, with water coming out of the steam wand (or milk island) when brewing coffee. Descaling the machine obviously removed whatever was blocking the valve - and probably the o-rings too, as from that point on, the machine would leak (eventually simultaneously) from both the steam wand and into the milk island when trying to brew coffee. Eventually, it was as if there was simply no pressure to the brew group head due to the pressure being lost at the wand / milk island - it would start to brew then the pump would "hum" (like to does when the machine first filled and needs bleeding).

I did my research, spoke to an incredibly helpful chap (Andrew?) at gaggia-service.co.uk and he provided me links to exploded diagrams, five replacement o-rings and even threw in the silicon lubricant for free. I was delighted. Whilst on the phone he also explained the hopper bringing coffee from the grinder down to the brew group (Gaggia call it a "conveyor") often broke during use, meaning the gearbox / motor on these machines often fill with coffee, eventually leading to gearbox failure. As I was going to open the case I bought a replacement without inspection- he seemed pretty knowledgeable. Top bloke.

Parts arrived, machine opened. The valve o-rings were absolutely shot so I repaired that - no issue. Then on to the conveyor. Sure enough, on removing the grinder motor I found the original hopper / conveyor snapped and the motor housing filling with coffee. I struggled at first to work out how to fit the new conveyor (you need to remove the grinder gear) but got there in the end. Just now to put back together...

First problem was that my grinder drive gear was not marked so when putting it back together, I didn't know how far to "wind" it back into place. Couldn't get the machine to brew - the grind was either far too coarse or far too fine. Eventually I got it pretty good (moving it away from its maximum stop, reassembling the machine and testing each time) and got a couple of espressos. I still kept seeing the issue with the pump appearing to need to priming, but put this down to constantly opening, tilting the machine etc, but noticed this was much worse when the aroma selector dial on the very front was turned up high. Eventually, just as I thought all was good, the machine now seems totally unable to prime. The brew group head is clean and clear, but when I try to do anything the pump just seems full of air. Selecting "hot water" and then turning on the steam wand results in steam and splattering for a few minutes then "brew failed"; the brew group wash causes the most minuscule amount of water to come through over about a ten minutes period before it says "interrupted", and pre-ground doesn't work either (that did work earlier). Each time I just get the pump humming like it's trying to move a blockage, sometimes accompanied by steam venting behind the brew-group cover into the drip tray.

I've reopened the machine, checked no hoses are trapped, checked everything I can... any ideas? I'd love to get the machine working but there's no way we can afford the 100 or more that we're being quoted to get it serviced. Any help at all would be appreciated...
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