I have been on the CG forum for a short time and have read through most of the posts regarding buying another Espresso machine. i purchased a SB Barista a while ago and have enjoyed it but...you folks have given me the urge to upgrade. Well, budget constraints require my buying another used machine w/o pressurized portafilter. I settled on a used Gaggia Coffee Deluxe. From reading various posts on this forum I determined that it had pretty much the same guts as the Classic which everyone loves so I got one off of Ebay just this past week. Nice condition but...it leaks from the steam knob shaft. Before I tear it apart I would like to get some input from the group which would be most helpful. It does not leak when the knob is fully closed but does so when steam knob is turned.
I am sure that this is repairable but I can't find a schematic for the machine which would be most helpful. Also, I'm guessing that there are seals or O rings that need to be replaced...does anyone know where can I get these. Would these be available from like...Home Depot or Lowes? Are they just common items. I have not contacted customer service at Gaggia yet but will be doing that also but I feel there is more knowledge on the forum.
OR...do I have to replace the entire steam valve part? I have removed the lid and can see it leaking out of the shaft end.
I pulled my first shot today after descaling and general cleaning and turned out tasty. I used a 14 gram shot and I tamped maybe 25-30. From all my reading on this forum and else where on the Internet I have the impression that a non-pressurized machine is more versatile and the rewards are greater. If I only wanted to have good Espresso i would not have to fix this leak but I do enjoy mochas, lattes...all the fun things. My nightly drink is an Americano and I enjoy double shots during the afternoon.
Doug, Welcome to the board! The non pressurized PF will give you REAL crama while the pressurized unit will make FAKE crema, this is why you want to go with unpressurized. Until you get the leak repaired, you might think of using the Barista to steam with while pulling shots on the "new" machine. This can have the advantage of not needing to wait for the temps to swing on a single boiler, this would be sort of a home made two part double boiler machine LOL.
The advice above is good, check out the links.
Welcome out of the shadows and into the discussions! :D
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Be careful and don't loose 14 when taking off 13 the knob. It is a spring clip. You may need 51 if the machine is old, so you may want to get that before you take it a part. You can probably use a pipe cutter as noted in the thread, or carefully with a Dremel and cutting disk.
Thanks you guys for your replies...they have been super helpful. The schematic was excellent...made a copy. The links are excellent and I need to go back to them today and do more research.
While experimenting with the Gaggia today I decided to try the steam maker. One of the things I didn't mention is that the steam valve leaked a steady stream when I ran it for hot water for an Americano. Well, it worked just like it was supposed to for steam and it actually didn't leak steam into the body of the machine which I find kinda strange. Now, realizing my experience is with the Barista, I had a lot of steam coming out of the group head. Don't know if that is normal or not. So, I guess until I get the parts needed to redo the steam valve repair I will use the microwave to heat my water for the Americanos and I will have to remember to bleed off the steam after frothing through the group head rather than using the hot water(steam wand). Not a major price to pay for what appears to be a very nice espresso machine. I guess you may call it a budget man's Gaggia Classic.
Does anyone know if the steam valve is available to buy? I haven't researched the parts sellers but it may be better to do that than to modify mine. If you cut off 1/8" of the body will the needle still seat and will the seals seal or am I seeing this wrong.
D4F: I'm using a Capresso Infinity for my grinder which may not get fine enough and just the plastic tamper the PO sent me with the machine. I'm thinking if I can't get grinds fine enough(I have one fine setting left on the fine scale) I may see about getting the Braville Smart Grinder. I think Seattle Coffee Gear reviewed it and gave favorable ratings for fine grind. Also, I have a coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond for 20% off good through end of the month and they still have a couple in stock($199.99 - 20%=160.00) so maybe Santa might spring for one. Besides, it has a pretty led screen. ;-)
Thanks calblacksmith...my crema was about half that I got from the Barista but was excellent. Your suggestion for keeping the Barista in service for now was perfect. I do intend to keep the unit to use now and then.
Sorry, this post got longer than what it probably should. Merry Christmas Doug
When you steam with the Gaggia the steam pressure will be in the 3 bar range and some of that relieved with opening of the wand. When you run hot water, the pump will provide more pressure at the valve seals. The leak is related to pressure at the steam needle valve O ring. Steam comes out of the group because it steam can exceed the approximate 1.5 bar pressure of the group spring in part 58 of the parts diagram. Classics have a 3 way valve and do not have that part, 58.
The 1/8" that you cut off of the back of the valve casing was rolled over to keep you from unscrewing the valve all the way. You then replace the little O ring with something appropriate. Since Gaggia made the part non-serviceable, the O ring that you need is not a numbered purchasable part. You will need a generic Viton high temperature O ring. I have not done it and do not know a source. It has been written up as you saw, so there must be something available.
Look through this site about grinders. The least expensive motorized grinder that is espresso capable is the Baratza Preciso. There is currently a Baratza Refurb at Baratza.
If you try getting by with less grinder you will have difficulty with fine adjustment. You may get fine enough for occasions, but when you need just a small change up or down you will find too large a step. Some grinders can be modified to help, but save yourself and get the Preciso or Vario, or perhaps a better grinder used. Save your Santa wish for a capable grinder and don't disappoint Santa or yourself with less :)
I know, I know, I know it says not to use it for the Coffee, but that is incorrect. The one they will sell you for the Coffee has a Self Priming Valve, and the first thing you want to do with it is disable the self-priming valve, so.... Get the one without it in the first place..
voy108 Senior Member Joined: 20 Sep 2013 Posts: 5 Location: Mesa, AZ Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat Dec 21, 2013, 10:51am Subject: Re: Leaking Gaggia Coffee Deluxe
Hi SJM: Thank you for the link. I noticed the two steam valves...one with and one without the port for the self-priming valve. I thought the self priming was a GOOD thing. Why would you want to disable it? Maybe point me to the discussions regarding that. For some reason when I do a search it will bomb out so I end up having to go through literally 100's of posts. Good reading but sometimes not pertinent. Today my task is to find a tamper. I knew the plastic one would not work so I'm going to check a couple of restaurant supplies just to see if there is a local one with a 58mm flat one. Kinda like good luck, huh. I have a couple that I'm "watching" on Ebay and I can always turn to Amazon but it would be nice to walk out with one and use it today. ;-) Thanks for the post. Merry Christmas Doug
Posted Sat Dec 21, 2013, 11:34am Subject: Re: Leaking Gaggia Coffee Deluxe
Self priming valves fail and then you leak hot water out of the boiler. That in turn causes temperature difficulties. It sounds like a good thing, but it does not work well for long. It tends to be found in the models under the Classic.
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