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Gaggia Classic problem - pump always on, due to fused steam switch
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smfrgsn
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Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney, Oz
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia classic
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 2:21am
Subject: Gaggia Classic problem [solved] - pump always on, due to fused steam switch
 

Hi coffee geeks. I was wondering if you might spend some time assisting me with my Gaggia and its issues?

So I cleaned out my classic group head the other day and now I have an unending torrent of water coming through the brew head whenever the machine is switched on. That is to say the on switch turns both the machine and pump on, meaning there is no way of getting hot coffee. Switching to the steam setting stops the water coming through the group head, but the pump is still running as if pulling a shot meaning that perhaps too much power is drawn, and smoke develops in the switch. Pump switch light is OFF meaning low temp. It is as if system was switched on with pump switch in ON position, but it is in OFF position.

Things I have tried to no effect:
- taking apart and  rebuilding switch as I first thought the pump switch might be shorting out. Tested it with a multimeter and it seems the switch only closes the circuit when the switches are in the down position (both on/off and pump button from middle pin to upper pin). This seems normal to me, but there are heaps of wires, and I'm not sure of which circuit to check exactly.
- checked continuity with wires attached to switch; there is continuity between all three pins on the pump switch, so it seems as if the switch has no effect, and the short is somewhere else in the circuit. PROBABLY IMPORTANT. unplugged wires and the continuity is broken when pump switch is off, so the switch is not the issue.
- backflush
- multimeter on each thermostat - closed circuit (no resistance) in rest position.
- unplugged brew thermostat - pump stops working, but switches nearly catch fire they are producing so much smoke.

Things that may be relevant
- haven't de scaled for a while
- lamp in on/off switch has blown ( but this has been the case for 2 years or so)
- Central shot/steam switch has continuity between Central pins? Not sure if this is normal?

Now the confession:
- when I turned it on after cleaning there was a crackling sound which I worked out (by opening up and seeing) was a drop of water on one of the heater element contacts. It jus seemed to be getting hot and evaporating so I ignored.
- pulled two shots after this with no problems
- third shot started producing strange sounds. After that it was in this state.

Any ideas? This doesn't seem to be a normal thermostat symptom, but is that a possibility?

Cheers
Sam
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smfrgsn
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Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney, Oz
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia classic
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 2:36am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

Thermal fuse has continuity (so I assume fine).

Continuity for contacts of heating elements.

....
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 6:09am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

All things considered, it sounds like the brew switch or the pump switch has water inside and is shorting out. Other things may have been damaged over the time it has been on and was malfunctioning. You should NEVER draw enough power through the ON/OFF switch for it to smoke! That alone is a MAJOR cause for alarm! Anytime you see water on any electrical component, turn the machine off, un plug it and remove the water then give it a couple of days to dry out or spend half an hour with a hair dryer warming up all the components to remove water, even then more time may be needed to have the water evaporate.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Coffeenoobie
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Espresso: N S Oscar
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Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

Good advice Cal.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Click Here (maps.google.com)

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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
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Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 10:37am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

This diagram may help.

Click Here (www.partsguru.com)

The on and off switch sound like it is working, merely opening and closing the circuit to the machine.  Seems that you have a problem distal, in 9 or the wiring. If 1 turns the pump on and off, then the circuit is already connected distal to 1 and 1 may be fine.  I would be looking at disconnecting 9 and checking it for short, or the wiring.  Digital pictures of the connections to reconnect :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
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Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 10:51am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

Test continuity with the wires unhooked and test the switches with the wires unhooked. You should be able to take a digital photo for reference and then use the wiring diagram.  I reread and realize that you may have really smoked/burned the switch block when it was so hot is smoked. While internally you can isolate the functions, the switch block is all together.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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smfrgsn
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Joined: 28 Dec 2013
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Location: Sydney, Oz
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia classic
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

Hi  

So thanks D4f.  Your diagram confirmed that the switch had that other problem I mentioned. Not the pump switch but the the steam/shot switch having continuity between central pins. I opened up the switch again and it was clear they should not be connecting. Deep inside the plastic there was what looked like a graphite bridge burned into the housing. I had to break the plastic a bit to get it to disconnect. Rebuilt and reconnected and it works! Thanks guys.

Oh and yes Cal - kids if you douse your machine in water and then wonder why it is making that crackling sound and burning smell it is your own fault if you burn your house down and void your warranty. Me - I electrocuted myself when I was five by disassembling a lamp to find out how it worked WHILE IT WAS ON. Point of pride now.

Do not try at home!
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 3:27pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

Great the diagram helped.  The PartsGuru site has diagrams for the machine and electrical, a good favorites.  I am not sure what was wrong and fixed.  The central switch is steam and 3 way, and does not directly go to the pump???  Perhaps if the solenoid side fused....

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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smfrgsn
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Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney, Oz
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia classic
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 4:47pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

The central switch at 7 should act as two separate switches. Each switch is off when the other is on. The graphite bridge fused two of the contacts(the two 'base' contacts in the middle of the switch), so instead of there being two separate switches the circuit was joined. In the diagram, imagine the dotted line at 7 was actually continuity - it then links up the thermostat to the pump, completely wrongly.  I think it's surprising more damage wasn't done.

Enjoyed my morning brew already.  cheers again.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Problem - unending torrent!!!
 

So, connect the dots  :)  I understand that the dotted line was showing that mechanically a single throw switch operated both and they fused together to complete the circuit.  Very interesting.  Thanks for explaining.  Now I will know for the next time/person, probably never :)  Do you think from a drop of water, or have a theory as to why they fused?  Also, IMHO, you might consider editing the first post title, thread title, to something like

"Gaggia Classic Fused Steam Switch - Pump always on"  

so that it is easier to find/search.

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