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About planetf1

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    Brewing Nicely
  1. Can anyone point me to a UK supplier of a OPV (looks like I have a v3 as it's adjustable) OR a refresh kit It would appear the gasket within the OPV is severely degraded, and the hex nut doesn't look great (may be pierced?).
  2. 've now managed to remove the part of the opv valve where the pipe attaches to go back to the reservoir (2 paired nuts) and am So I've managed to now loosen the main opv from the boiler (the centre nut is still right), but the nut attaching the braided pipe to the next stage is secured very solidly. A 12mm is too small, a 13mm has too much play, and with a softish nut just gouges it with no motion. (a 1/2" is slightly too small also fyi). Does anyone know what size this nut is meant to be? So the two options now seeem to be a) see if the part I've removed and/or adjustment will address the issue (I'm doubtful since I presume there's some plunger in the body that the spring I removed is pressing against, with adjustment provided by the but.. so if it was stuck before it is likely still stuck?) and if that fails: b) try to dismantle further to release the other end of the braided pipe instead, so that the entire OPV valve may be removed tips & alternatives are very welcome. Seeing what needs to be done isn't too hard but there's certainly a knack to the mechanical execution! Thanks nigel.
  3. I've now managed to remove the part of the opv valve where the pipe attaches to go back to the reservoir (2 paired nuts) and am descaling. Inside is just a spring. It doesn't look too bad but is soaking fior a while. i've yet to be able to remove the main Y shape by the boiler - so will try cleaning what I have first i presume it's the spring section that is more likely to stick?
  4. Another observation: * With the brew head blanked off, the flow & pressure coming back through the return pipe is pretty decent - finger over = squirting everywhere, so that's a good sign the pump is fine * With the brew head open - there's a decent flow of water too - with a small amount coming back through the return pipe - again no surprise as there is little resistance to the flow through the head. This suggests there isn't a significant blockage * After brewing a small amount does come through the 3way valve to the drip tray - not as much as normal, but this is because more is going through the return pipe Just thought I'd mention as I think all this evidence does point to the OPV & hopefully little else :-)
  5. thanks Any tips on removing the opv (and ideally 3way). The OPV has two nuts. I've been unable to release with an adjustable wrench, I also thought I'd try removing the 'sheath' over the pipe that goes back to the reservoir on the opv, but whilst the sheath as a clip to hold in place, it seems as if the plastic pipe beneath it is pretty much moulded on to the opv. I'm unsure if that's normal, it's melted, or I'm not pulling hard enough? The reason I was wondering was to see if I could get a socket over the nut, though tbh it looks as if the metal body is too long. Is it definately a 20mm? I have a 19, 22 & adjustable but can't safely get the leverage with either. If it is I will order/purchase a 20 and try again. Before I do, any recommendations on clean/reset opv without removal? I'm currently retrying descaling, and allowing the opv bubble back in the hope the descaler might allow the valve to release Additionally i've been unable to remove the opv either. I do have a 15mm spanner which fits the nut that sits between the boiler and the 3way. I'm unsure which way to turn it (I assume towards me) but don't seem able to release it and am worried about putting too much stress on the mountings of the boiler. Any tips here? Better when boiler is hot perhaps (I've not tried that yet)? Many thanks for any tips! Nigel.
  6. Thanks, I removed the top of the machine and can see what appears to be the solenoid valve (large brass 3 way piece to right of boiler) The nuts seem stiff. For the nut between the boiler and the valve, do I rotate the middle nut? Which way? I presume the OPV is the part towards the left of the side picture, with the nut to the right next the solenoid the one to remove first, then try cleaning & perhaps disassembling valve The other picture points downwards - I was wondering what I need to check'clean if this isn't the problem, but I guess then we're into splitting the boiler and the corresponding risk & need for a new seal? Thanks
  7. Ok here's the video - after my attempt at descaling/cleaning & with the shower screen removed (for cleaning) * At the beginning you'll hear and see the steam bubbling back into the reservoir. The pipe is hot (and the reservoir ends up heating up) * Initially I had the blanking filter in (from my cleaning attempts) - notice there's very little water coming back to the drain area (I'd removed the tray for cleaning so just as well. lol!) * when I switch the brew on you'll notice low water flow * The 'hot water' button is dispensing water well, with a good pressure and temperature I'm guessing the next step is to start physically dismantling. I've removed the lid before in order to reset a trip on the boiler.. but that was a few years back after it had run dry.. so not directly related. I'm not aware of the workings of the over pressure valve - other than from it's name... I've done more work on an old gaggia so vaguely get the principles. I tend to try and clean the machine every month or so - probably not often enough, and descale has only been every 6 or so The water flow has been reducing significantly in recent months The machine is starting to age - indeed I fancied a new machine over black friday but phone won. Intrigued if you think this is recoverable or time to move on, and if so what next .. likely bean to cup (Sage? can't afford the twin though) Sincere thanks Nigel.
  8. Ok will try and take some video. It does seem a reasonable explanation - suggesting a blockage elsewhere. So far cleaning (poly) and descaling (dezcal) hasn't addressed. Yet to remove/clean screen and/or dismantle. Thanks.
  9. I have a sylvia (V2 I think) and am getting an issue where water/steam is bubbling BACK into the water reservoir The temperature of the water is hot, but I don't think it's just thermostat failure, more likely a blockage or leak The flow is far too low out of the head. I've cleaned so far with puly caff/blanking plate, but the blockage is clearly further back - even here it doesn't look as if the pressure 'builds' as much as normal for the back flow I intend to use some descaler tonight or tomorrow night. Any suggestions as to the likely cause? Blockage? Limescale?
  10. I have had a Rancilio Silvia for a little over a year. When I recently cleaned & descaled I must have lost something as the portafilter no longer "clips" into the basket. WHilst not in any way affecting the coffee I do have to be careful to hit the "bar" straight on when hitting out the grounds. I'm guessing I knocked off a clip or similar when cleaning. Where would I get a replacement clip from? The basket and handle themselves are fine & I love the machine I assume it's an F353 from this diagram http://www.espressoparts.com/parts/homeespressomachineparts/ranciliohomeespressomachineparts/ranciliosilviaparts ie http://www.espressoparts.com/portafilter-spring Any good/cheap UK suppliers?
  11. thanks - yes good points. My hot water boiler, and fridge both already have filters, I also have a third tap I don't use which has a filter - obviously needs replacing before use, so I guess I could use that to fill the reservoir. How good is filtered water compared to bottled (it is easier!) . How often would you proactively descale something like the silvia? I'm sceptical of the gaggia boiler construction. I guess it survives a few years but not sure it's up to longer term. Maybe I'm just angling for an excuse to order the next step up machine
  12. I should add that whilst the ease of use of an auto is partly appealing (mostly to reduce mess) I'm quite capable of making wonderful coffee and grinding my fresh beans appropriately & wonder if a machine could do it as well! Additional complexity also worries me. Something bullet proof and simple may be better
  13. My gaggia baby has just ground to a halt... literally. The lower boiler section appears to be blocked, but descaling doesn't help. the solenoid valve looks ok and is descaled. I've previously tried backflushing with cleaner too... On my last gaggia baby I ended up splitting the boiler and clearing out some gunk which helped for a while, but eventually it was unserviceable & replaced ... with this one. I don't descale the water I put in, and live in a hard water area. I've also not been good at proactively descaling, only doing it when flow is reduced (with lactic acid based descaler). Today I tried to spit the boiler to investigate on this 2nd machine but am struggling with one of the bolts -- despite being as careful as I could the head is smoothing out & it's looking impossible to undo. Drilling out could be the only option... This machine was a factory reconn and I note the boiler has been slightly leaking already (quite a lot of scale around join), and I'm sure the bolts have been messed with before and over tightened. Obviously I could persue a repair, but replacing a boiler is pushing the price up. I'm seriously wondering whether it's time to call it a day on the gaggia and move to a different design, as well as start on a better routine of descaling/using filtered or bottled water. Obviously the rancillo siliva is the most recommended, but it's a huge price step up from the gaggia baby, which to be fair has always given me great coffee when working - and I love the large solid portafilter (I bought a pro one - like the fact they're all the same size). Is the rancillo easier to maintain? last longer? Are there others that are more robust? I do wonder if the Al alloy boiler in the gaggia is not the best plan thoughts?
  14. Just popping in as I have the same issue - or at least very similar & am looking for tips. In my case it's a Gaggia Baby, 18m old. I've already backflushed with puly-caff, cleaned portafilter, removed shower head, and shower block - but am still getting only drips from the group head. On my previous gaggia I have stripped down the solenoid, split the boiler, reworked with new seal, but before things get messy, any specific recommendations? That machine ultimately failed with an uncleanable group head too and the overall costs of replacement led me to get new machine .. As an example is a descaler worth trying? Any particular type/strength/quantity/duration. Any particular risks? I'm slightly concerned about any risk to the material of the boiler which tends to corrode over time (at least it did in my old baby) but at the same time am a bit fed up at the possible need to strip the boiler after such a short period. Starting to wonder if I should be considering a replacement machine in future - are others of a more cleanable design?
  15. Hi, I have a Gaggia Baby and unfortunately yesterday hardly any water came out of the group head. Water via the wand was full pressure. I did it's first clean with proper coffee cleaner/blanking plate (reverse flush), made sure baskets were unblocked, also removed shower head and finally the 1cm thick block behind it attached by allen bolts. All good stuff but there is no flow from behind that - we're talking moderate drips at best rather than a near jet My suspicion therefore is that the solenoid valve is blocked/misbehaving, or the section below the boiler (whatever it is called - is it the group head?) is blocked On my previous gaggia I have stripped down the solenoid, split the boiler, reworked with new seal, but before things get messy, any specific recommendations?
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