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  1. 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?
  2. Hi all. Very new to all this! I bought a second hand Gaggic Classic as my first machine and it has been sitting for a while so I want to rebuild it from scratch before firing it up. My main concern is water contamination due to limescale and other ickyness - I don't want to be drinking coffee made with dirty water! I've taken the boiler and copper parts apart and descaled them with citric acid which worked well. The main pieces that are left now is the water pump, the silicon tubes and the teflon tube. Firstly is it possible to decale the water pump? Can I open it up and take it apart? Can I run something through the machine instead to clean it? Secondly is it worth replacing the teflon tubing that's connected to the top of the water pipe? I took one nut off and it looks quite scaled and for peace of mind I would prefer to replace it. Finally how can I replace the two silicon tubes? I bought a replacement tube which is a single piece that's 1 meter long whereas the existing tubes inside the machine are much shorter. Is it as simple as cutting the tube I have to length with a Stanley knife to length and popping it on the existing pump headers? I couldn't find much online about replacing the silicon tubes. These questions I'm sure are terribly basic so apologies and thanks in advance!
  3. Hey all, I know there is plenty of discussion on Citric Acid previously and have looked at these, however, just want to see if people had any direct recommendations. There are loads of variants and versions of this on eBay etc, however, none of which have any real info on concentrations. So, nice and easy, does anyone have any links for what they've used and what they know works well. Not that it matters hugely, but it will be to descale the Fracino Cherub. Thanks all.
  4. Hi there! I'm relatively new to the espresso world. I've inherited a barista express (yes I've read its not the best but its perfect for me) and would love to keep it working as long as possible. It's been around a year, and afraid that the London hard water was affecting it I ran it through a descaling procedure. After reading about how tough descaling is on machines I now regret that and flushed the whole machine thoroughly. Lesson learned and I'll never descale again. Sage makes hard water filters, which I read are ion exchange resin based, so if I let the water sit in the tank with this filter over night (I'll stir it before brewing to get the water more airated) and change the filter every 4-6 weeks (instead of 8 weeks as recommended by manual) should all my bases be covered? Is there anything else I can do to improve the water so that it doesn't build up scale in the machine? The manual specifically says to only use tap water, so I am curious a) why they say that, and B) why so many people recommend bottled water? What are the risks? Thank you!
  5. Ok I admit it, I have been negligent, It’s been 3 years since I did a descale of my expobar dual leva I decided to check the mushroom and was pleasantly surprised to see it was pretty clean. The Edinburgh water is very soft, maybe too soft and some more minerals would improve flavour? The other side is completely clean so I think I will leave it for a while yet.
  6. Hi Folks, Just bought a second hand Gaggia classic from eBay, it is an older made in Italy polished chrome model with the limited addition colored metal Gaggia badge/Logo on the front. The seller advised it has been in their loft for years and prior to that didn't see much use. All looks good and most pleased with it so far. Very shiny and only slight evidence of coffee residue in the group head and basket. After flushing a couple of tanks of fresh water through, it made a (to my uneducated palate!) very nice espresso and latte, but figured i should give it a good clean and descale to start as i mean to go on... I ordered some puly caff cleaner, blanking plate and some puly cafe descaler and am waiting for them to arrive, my question, as per the thread title - which should i used first? the descaler or the cleaner? Thanks!
  7. hi all there is lot of conflicting info out there on this subject. Rocket for example say do not use descaling solutions and Francino say you dont need to as long as you use soft water. Guy from Fracino says use Brita filter as some bottled water do more harm then good. Any advice? Im getting a new Cherub and want to get it right from first use ha
  8. Hi all, It would seem that my faultless verona is no longer faultless following a full descaling session where there is now a very small leak (10-20ml over the space of 8 hours) has developed. That aside, a more serious fault has developed where the boiler suddenly lost pressure and this was due to the feed inside the water tank not being submerged in the water correctly. Now these units automatically detect when there is no water feed and either top up or switch off - however this didn't happen. I'm beginning to think when I set the brew boiler switch off for the draining sequence I may have inadvertently switched something else off. With this in mind, is there a list of PID settings for this machine so that I can review as I'm struggling to find anything on the net. With regards to the leak I will review this (take it apart or send back to bella for repair) but I'd rather deal with this more serious issue first which is most likely a setting (I am hoping). Thanks in advance. Mark
  9. Hi there, I bought a second hand Gaggia classic and descaled (Gaggia own descaler) and backflushed (Cafiza) as instructed by a Gaggia Classic video. I have since flushed at least five tanks of water and made about 10 espressos only to find out that there's still some very little white particles in the water (alongside a few coffee grains) when I run just water through the group head. Do I need to continue flushing water through the machine or go for another descale? PS I've been using normal tap water (Birmingham) and water from a Brita Jug - it makes no difference whatsoever. Thanks, Dan
  10. Just checked out Puly descaler sachets on amazon which the description states isn't suitable for thermocoil/block machines. Just single and dual boilers. Any idea what descaler is suitable? Excluding the overpriced sachets sold by Sage Many thanks
  11. I picked up my first classic last week and only got around to having a play with it yesterday, only to find that when running some water through it, there was a few little black particles and a small amount of lime scale in the water. 1. Should I be looking to flush this out wit some descaler? If so should I opt for the Gaggia liquid or tartaric acid? (I have some tartaric acid but I'm not sure what ratio I should use, or I can order some gaggia solution online) 2. Strip out e boiler and clear it out with a dremel style tool? 3. Replace the boiler. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm a little bit gutted to say the least, as I was really looking forward to making some proper coffee
  12. Hi all After many years of using and heavily modifying Gaggia SBDU Baby/Classics my curiosity has finally got the better of me and I snaffled up a secondhand refurbed/repaired Sage Dual (yes, from XSitems). I know the risks of buying secondhand and but am sufficiently skilled in diagnosing and repairing Gaggia units (albeit only SBDU ones) that I figured I'd take the risk, if only to get first hand experience of how the Sage DB works. Anyways, the good news is that it appears to work fine. The case is in good condition, there are no signs of leaks, the pumps make the expected noises and it makes lovely coffee when paired with my K30. So far, so good. Question: the "Descale" message appears on start up - no problem, I have plenty of experience of descaling - I live in Manchester, the water is very soft here so we get little scale build up, if at all - however since I don't know the machine's history I'm tempted to descale it... Having done plenty of research on the web it seems to me there's quite a risk of actually doing damage to the machine, given the number of examples of people experiencing problems (esp with the steam boiler element it seems). Soooo, it's working perfectly well right now, I live in a very soft water area - would anyone care to advice me whether to go ahead with a descale or just leave it alone? Thanks in advance. Jerry
  13. Morning all, Picked up a second hand Bambino recently for my workshop. Unit was serviced in November of this year and had lots of new parts (inc element), however on setting the unit up my water appears to be rather cloudy (even after leaving it settled for a long time, so clearly not just bubbles) previous owner had the unit running with a dual filter setup and i am running the Fracino DSU 10L filter (flushed before use with 5 buckets of water, although was running clear by bucket 3) I am planning on dropping the water out today and inspecting the boiler for scale, there was a picture of the boiler internal on the advert and it was good so am i right in thinking if there is scale its probably in the pipes? It is mostly noticeable if pouring hot water from the hot water tap, but also its not perfect coming from the group heads either. Is it worth me running a descale first? If so what with (citric acid?) and what is the process?
  14. I contacted Fracino and was told I never have to descale my machine. I find this hard to believe. Has anyone descaled their retro and how did you go about this?
  15. Just got out the bag of items which came with my DTP so that I could do a descale. What are the tablets on the left of the attached photo? It says on the label 'insert one tablet in the special opening' Once the Sage provided stuff is used up can I use Puly cleaner as I have a box left from when I had the Gaggia. Richard
  16. Hi All, I have a problem with my three-year-old Quick Mill Verona insofar as the rotary pump has stalled/seized. I can hear it electrically buzzing, but there is no rotation. I'm pretty sure it's not an electrical fault but excessive scale build-up within the pump head as it is well overdue for a descale. But this creates a Catch-22 situation. I can't flush descaler through the machine if the pump won't run, so how do I get round the problem? I know I should have descaled sooner, so it's my fault it has happened... any advice gratefully received. Thanks in anticipation. In all other respects, the Verona is still superb. Tony
  17. I have bought a used La Pavoni and it needed a good descale. After trying a sachet of oust (20 mins) and then some vinegar (overnight), most of the scale is gone, however there are still areas of stubborn scale left. These don't appears to fizz when putting vinegar in. The element is now clean, so not sure if I need to worry about what's left? Is it worth trying some citric acid next?
  18. So I've be trying to get to the bottom of a poor tasting shot and I think I've found it! I did a cooling flush earlier and noticed the water had a tinny metallic smell, i've then tasted it and it has a fairly strong metallic taste. I purchased the machine about a month ago from snakehips who I believe did a full descale before hand so could the taste be coming through from the boiler being too clean? I've only used Ashbeck bottled water since I've got the machine if that makes a difference.
  19. Hi Does anyone have a clear set of instructions for descaling a Cherub that they would recommend please. I have searched but thought someone might have a link to one that they used. Thanks in advance
  20. I have been remiss in my duties. My Gaggia Classic has been fed Brita filtered London tap water for the past year, with no effort to descale. In defence I knew I was returning to Australia and planned to do a full strip and manual descale before packing the machine up for transport...which I did today. My PID steam temp is set to 150, so when I re-fill the boiler after steaming the group head is still superheated and a lot of steam is produced there. This resulted in needing to descale under the dispersion plate too! The limescale was a slight yellow color and rock hard, Not even the nice fluffy stuff that's easy to get off. My usual dremel/brass brush had difficulty and I resorted to citric acid which it always entertaining to watch fizz and bubble. So for all the other lazy peeps, a lesson on the importance of descaling regularly... Also a warning for buying a second hand machine in London!
  21. When I introduced myself I said I don't drink espresso, but it made me think about trying it again. The stuff from poorly maintained B2C machines and cheap home items is not a fair way to judge coffee. And so eBay beckoned, and for £45 I acquired a Gaggia Classic which had seen better days. It was advertised as having started loosing pressure, so with my vast knowledge (I looked at one video on Youtube) I set about resolving this issue and servicing it back to working order. Seals ordered (well,almost) and a sunny Saturday outside meant it was time to get cleaning the Gaggia. It was a little dirty outside, had a little scale where water is added and moderately dirty inside the case. The wiring was then labeled (those things where you type the label and print) and a photo taken just to be sure I could reassemble in roughly the right way. The parts came apart quite easily, no bolts too tight and so I get to see the inside of the boiler and grouphead. I'd researched before starting and having come to the conclusion that the citric acid I already have is too harsh, I purchased some tartaric acid, I think it did need descaling. While that's cleaning time to clean the shower head carrier, well if it needs cleaning. I think it needed it. Of the four holes through it, three were blocked fully and the other restricted. It had a solid chunk of residue filling the gap between carrier and shower, with approx a 1cm diameter circle around that one functioning hole. The pipes needed cleaning also, having scale inside them, ditto the valves. So, one day spent cleaning (I even took off the badge and cleaned behind it), polishing etc, and it's all back together except the seal that I forgot to order. New seals arrived for the portafilter, and the new naked portafilter (co MR Shades) and having run a fair bit of water through, and one extraction (thrown away as directed to following de-scale) I've now made an espresso with it. Grabbed coffee, made espresso, decided too strong to start with for me, so add hot milk and taste. Mmm, I taste caramel, look at coffee bag and sure enough tasting notes confirm it. I've had that same coffee before but not noticed the caramel anywhere near as pronounced. So, perhaps I'll try an espresso and like it from this machine, it certainly looks that way. Now to think about PID.
  22. So... managed to get the pretty stuck element out of the Cherub boiler to find a rather poor sight of scale. Nothing unexpected, but a decent build up from hard London water (I presume). Since it's completely isolated I can get it filled up well and descale and flush however I want. What would you say the usual ratio in such a case could be before getting into trouble? For a normal flush through I was using 50g citric for every 2L of water. Internally, the boiler is covered with a film of scale, and in some places there is quite a bit more of it.. Cheers!
  23. I've had my Sage Oracle for almost a year now, and I have to say, the coffee it makes is very good. You just need to spend some time adjusting to your tastes. It is also very sensitive to the quality of coffee beans you use: type, freshness etc. So a lot of adjustments even if you use the same beans but a "new batch". My problem really is from the error messages that I get. Change Filter, Service, Descale. These started to come up after a week of use so initially I thought nothing of it and followed instructions accordingly. However subsequently when it reappeared again after a short time I called it in (as it is still under warrantee) and an engineer was dispatched. To cut the story short, I have had quite a few visits, but the issue never got resolved. I have even had the machine taken away to be tested but the service people couldn't replicate after they reset the machine and tested at theirs for a month. When the machine was returned to me, I get the error messages popping up again after a few days use. The last resort was to change the machine altogether, but this still didn't resolve my problems. Same tests were made on the second replacement machine but the error messages that pop up could not be replicated at the service centre, just at mine. I have had my machine returned to me, the engineer whom I got to know by now, and myself noted that there were no error messages on receipt of the machine. However all messages popped up again the following day. My final test: I followed the instructions to reset the machine, put a surge protector on the machine, but unfortunately I still get the error messages popping up - incidentally the messages can be random, all coming up, or some coming up but always at least two error messages. Any ideas? Anything else I can test? Is there a different/more thorough reset I can do to test out with the surge protector? It is all very frustrating! The coffee produced is fine, just the annoying error messages!
  24. Hi, I thought I'd share a picture of the mushroom of my Pro 700 after 10 months of only running Ashbeck through it, making, most of the time, 1 latte and 1 flat white per day. Should I descale in a few months time? Thanks.
  25. Morning all, Have just plumbed in my Giotto evo 2, 3M scalegard pro and it's doing weird things. Normally it takes around 30 mins to get up to temp and give that "fizz" on the group head. But since plumbing in yesterday, it doesn't feel like it's getting to working temp, even after being on for an hour or more, certainly no "fizz yet"? I very crudely measured temp with a thermometer and got approx 77 deg C in the cup straight out of the group. Like I said, very crude measurement but I would have thought it should be higher than that. Pressure in the service boiler seems fine, sitting and cycling between 0.9 and 1.1bar. I've noticed this delay in getting to temp before actually but put it down to the machine having an off day. Should I be concerned ? I will monitor for now, maybe leave the machine on for longer and see. Would a descale help ? Machines a few years old and pretty sure it wasn't descaled before I had it as was run on bottled water and I've not done it as checking the mushroom, all looked OK. I've been using Brita filtered jug water for the last 5 months. The other issue is brew pressure. Before it would sit a smidge over 9bar but now it's racing up and easily holds at 12bar or more. How do I adjust this ? I have a PRV inline from the filter and have been trimming that back, it's currently at 2bar but not sure it can go much lower. Is it usual for pressure to increase when plumbed ? Any comments or advice welcomed. Thanks
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