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Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
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fiefster
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 5:27am
Subject: Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
 

I have had a FF X1 for several years now. Mostly good experience but more and more recently I am having explosion problems. When drawing an espresso about 8/9 secs in the portafilter explodes sending wet coffee grinds everywhere.

Initially I thought I was grinding too fine and/or overfilling the portafilter but I am now noticing that the water starts to spurt rather than flow. This spurting is too much for the seal between the portafilter and the holder and causes the contents to explode out the side.

The only solution I've found is to  shut everything down and let it cool then start again (obviously not satisfying if you are craving a shot!)

Anyone have any thoughts on the problem and a cure?

Cheers

Fiefster
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,388
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 7:33am
Subject: Re: Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
 

How long since the last time you replaced the group-head gasket?

Rich
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,450
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
 

Pretty much the symptoms of the group gasket failing.
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fiefster
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 10:16am
Subject: Re: Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
 

Ok, that seems like an unequivocal answer, many thanks. Now, as I not an expert could you point me in the direction of a noddy guide to replacing this gasket, I would be very grateful.  

Thanks

Fiefster
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,388
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 10:58am
Subject: Re: Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
 

fiefster Said:

Could you point me in the direction of a noddy guide to replacing this gasket?

Posted June 16, 2014 link

Easy-peasy.
  1. Obtain an awl, or preferably an "O-ring 'pick'" (it's a tool commonly used by automobile mechanics), and a new gasket of the appropriate size;
  2. Remove the shower screen.  Pick out the old gasket-- which is indubitably so old and so stuck it's not coming out without being picked out in small pieces, slowly.  The job will likely take you the best part of an hour.    
  3. Turn on the machine. Clean the gasket seat with a group brush and hot water from water on the group;
  4. Turn off the machine and allow it to cool completely.  Replace the gasket with a new one, taking great care to install it right side up (the side with the bevel, and/or logo, and/or lettering against the machine).  Use a "stubby" flathead screwdrive to seat it to the best of your ability -- which won't be all that well seated;
  5. Once the new gasket is completely in the groove and partially seated, fully seat it by repeatedly locking in the pf and using its pressure to force the new gasket tight to the machine; and
  6. Replace the screen. Heat the machine.  Lock in the pf, run some water though it, unlock the pf, and repeat until terminally boredom leads to thoughts of self destruction and you feel that the basket is completely seated.  

Alternatively take your machine to a shop.  The job is simple and should be quite affordable.  

Best practice is to replace your gasket annually.  It's a good idea to keep a spare gasket around, "just in case."  

Rich
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fiefster
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
 

Rich, that's great many thanks. I shall attempt the fix myself, probably break something or get so frustrated I can't continue then end up taking to a shop which is what I should have done in the first place!

Fiefster
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 7 Apr 2012
Posts: 239
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: Francis Francis X1 Portafilter explosions
 

Very cheap and simple fix.  I bet most "nice" shops wouldn't even charge you if you bought the gasket from them and change it for you on the spot.
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