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About larkim

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    Coffee, running, running, coffee
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    Accountant, sad

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  1. I think you're broadly right Rob1, but I did get some retention forced out when I put the lid back on the hopper a few days ago, so whilst it doesn't seal tight it might seal enough just to clear the worst of the offences. I'm no purist just yet so I'm actually (!) not noticing much of a problem with the taste of my coffee even using the retained grinds 24 hours later in my next espresso, but if I can mod to achieve say 85% clearance that would do for me.
  2. Could you shim the gasket seal so that it sits 0.5mm lower maybe? Not sure how you'd manage it to keep it even, but perhaps a layer of tape cut to size / shape might work?
  3. Fabulous, that sounds great. Not knowing what sort of product to repurpose makes it hard to Google it!! I'll take a look. Earlier this afternoon I looked at collapsible camera hoods as a potential option too.
  4. Are there any products out there which could be repurposed to operate like the bellows on top of the Solo? I don't know the dimensions, but I'd like to try modding the MC2 lid to incorporate a similar blow through. I appreciate it won't capture all the retention and might only have a small effect but nonetheless I'd like to try it, but I'm struggling to find a suitable concertina type black rubber fitting. Presumably someone has done a similar mod to a machine somewhere? I know the volume of the air in the hopper means any bellows won't have quite as direct an impact on the chamber as it w
  5. Yep, no issues with getting the valve into 3 pieces, I've done that a few times now. Last time I had to screw the valve to a piece of wood so that I could get enough force on the deep socket to make it budge, which is a good trick. So long as I don't need to get it into any smaller parts I'm OK with the process, especially now I can get it all out without having to dismantle the boiler etc too. I stripped everything down about 3 months ago so at least I know how it all works now. A descaling solution is only really an acid surely? Vinegar is acidic, therefore it is a descaler. An
  6. Ordered some descale sachets to avoid vinegar use 🙂
  7. Vinegar is a descale solution though 😉 Is there any value in taking apart the plunger body too? Or when you say "dismantle" are we saying separate into the three parts; the junction that bolts to the boiler, the sleeve which covers the plunger, and the plunger.
  8. Also, why is the hole from the boiler to the inner body of the 3wv so tiny? What would happen if that hole was bigger? The force required to push espresso volumes of water through that hole must be pretty strong, but equally it must allow 14-15bar of pressure to be delivered as that's what the PF pressure reading would be without adjusting the OPV down to 9-ish or so.
  9. Just thinking specifically of the 3 way valve, are there any chemicals to use / avoid specifically to deal with the whole of that? With the brass body, the springs, the non-brass (I think - could just be silver coloured brass?) plunger body, plastic / rubber seals etc I wouldn't want to soak the valve components in something and risk damaging a part of it. I've actually not got any descaler around but would be happy enough with spirit vinegar as a temporary solution as I'm happy I can remove all traces of it.
  10. Cheers, that's much as expected; just curious why there is the small hole in the body of the plunger on the side, which in that video shows liquid flowing inside. I'd have expected the spring inside to be dry, but that clearly shows it is wet (as it is in the gaggia model). The only reason I asked is that one tutorial on cleaning the 3wv was to make sure that the top and bottom non-metal parts actuated properly, but in truth they are just sealing elements. And I need not worry about the hole on the side. More confused now though as having taken it all apart, cleaned it all through
  11. I'm getting slow output, seems to be a recurring theme. Last time I took off the 3 way valve, took it apart, seemed to find no gunk etc, put it back together and it all worked fine again. Tried the same tactic tonight but less joy. Thought I'd ask what the bits actually are to see if that helps me diagnose! Firstly, what does the hole on the side underneath the spring do? And secondly, what does the springy button on the top of the insert do? I've not added a photo, but there's also a rubber bit in the bottom that presumably seals / sits on the inlet from the boiler?
  12. What are the thoughts of experienced Gaggia owners in relation to the "right" cleaning products to use, and where to use them, on a 2008 GC? I seem to be getting some repeated issues of the 3w valve sticking which normally get resolved with a decent backflush with Pulycaff, but I'll run out of this at some point and thought now would be a good time to find out what I should be buying. It's an aluminium boiler, and whilst scale isn't a huge problem round here we've not got totally soft water, so I'd need to think of descaling too. Do I need a separate descaling chemical as well a
  13. Just popping the lid back on yesterday seemed to prompt most of the retained grinds to fall down the chute, so I suspect the bowl concept would work. For a few ££ might give it a try.
  14. How about pull the tank out, use two glasses - fill the one which should supply the pump with water, leave the other empty. If the pump is drawing water you should see the fill glass water level drop, and if the water is being returned via the OPV you should see the empty glass get filled. That would at least prove the pump is drawing water and isolate the issue to being somewhere between the pump and the grouphead (e.g. OPV valve broken somehow, a blockage causing pressure to build up resulting in the OPV working and discharging water etc etc.
  15. Under the classifieds - here https://coffeeforums.co.uk/classifieds/category/21-accessories/
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