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Shower holding plate/group head

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I am attempting to clean my Gaggia Classic. Although I de-scale it regularly, it would appear that the shower holding plate needs removing for a good clean/replacement. The problem that I have is that although I can remove the shower screen and the two Allen bolts, I can not for the life of me get the holding plate off. I have tried:-

 

 

 

Levering it off, but I can not see a rim to leaver off.

Turning the whole thing upside down so that I could leave the plate to soak in de-scaling solution.

 

 

Any ideas?

 

:drink:

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I use a long bolt with the same thread as the shower disc, this lifts the plate off when it is badly stuck, you could do worse than look through your tool box. other than that you must persevere with the levering method. dont be afraid to use a lot of pressure, the body is very robust. hope it helps. Regards Mark

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I am attempting to clean my Gaggia Classic. Although I de-scale it regularly, it would appear that the shower holding plate needs removing for a good clean/replacement. The problem that I have is that although I can remove the shower screen and the two Allen bolts, I can not for the life of me get the holding plate off. I have tried:-

 

 

 

Levering it off, but I can not see a rim to leaver off.

Turning the whole thing upside down so that I could leave the plate to soak in de-scaling solution.

 

 

Any ideas?

 

:drink:

 

As Mark says just lever it off. You won't break it. Chances are you have just got a load off coffee oil/scale and nasties welding it on. A few taps with an engineers hammer arounf the outside of the plate should help loosen it and crack the "seal".

 

Good luck

 

Lee


Coffee consultant, barista trainer & technician based in North Devon!

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I've just gone through this with my Selecta. Be wary of trying to 'jack' the plate off by screwing a bolt through the centre hole. The thread in there is actually a separate nut pressed into the plate and there's not much thickness to either it or the plate. I suspect the plate would break before it comes unstuck from the group head if it is really well stuck.

 

The metal of the plate is quite soft and easily deforms if you're trying to persuade it off using a hammer and screw driver/chisel/6" nail or whatever. I'd recommend just prying it of using a screw drive under the back edge of it where it meets the rubber gasket.

 

I eventually got the WD40 on the job, switch the machine on to see if heating would help and pried it off as above. 'Twas a bu66er! If only it had been as easy as http://www.bluebox.com.au/jcrayon/gaggia/ suggests and I'd been able to free it by hand! Mind you, it had been on for three and a half years and been used probably a 1000times so was well caked up.

 

If anyone's hoping to get the gasket changed without removing their stuck on plate, give up now. The plate has a shoulder at the top (top when the machine's in use) about a millimeter smaller radius than the part you see. That millimeter is holding the gasket on as well as the fact it's got coffee crud behind it.

Edited by JamesGibb
Top half of post got chopped off when pasting it in

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What leson have we learned here then kids? Thats right. Remove the Showerscreen and showerplate on a regular basis. And when you find that the group seal is going hard, change that before it sets because that is a hell of a job!!!!


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the holding plate and disc should be removed and cleaned every time you descale which should be every 4-8 weeks depending on hardeness. And please will people clean the frother after every use!!!! so much damage can be done for the lack of cleaning.

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Has anyone ever come across a shower holding plate that just will not separate from the group head (after the 2 bolts have been removed? I'm close to giving up as I can't get them apart and to replace them both is going to cost around £80 just for the parts. Is there any tricks to getting them apart?

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It took some gentle but persistent prying the first time I did it, so I know what you mean. Eventually mine did separate. Once I got everything clean and well de-gunked, it was much easier, and now I pull them off and clean them fairly regularly, every couple of months.


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If you are looking to replace the seal too, then use 2 self tapping screws into the seal (gasket), not too far though. Then grab the screws with a set of pliers on each and gently tug. This will remove the gasket and bring the block with it.

 

That method worked on the last 2 machines I worked on where that problem existed.

It is a common design fault for the Classic


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The seal had already become rock solid so couldn't be removed with the screw method. I'd had to break the seal up in the head unit and take it out in pieces before hand.

 

I gave up after multiple attempts to drill it out and knock it out with a hammer. I know a high school metalwork teacher so gave it to him as a challenge to see if he could separate them. Thankfully, he won the challenge and they are apart, head unit undamaged. The rest of the parts are on their way from Philips.

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Managed to free mine by screwing a self-tapping screw a little way into one of the holes (not the centre threaded hole if you want to use it again!) and pulling/levering it free.

 

Does anyone in the UK sell the holding plate in brass? I think it might be worth the extra cost.

Here's a link to a USA site, but the postage is prohibitive: http://www.shop.partsguru.com/DY00036-B-Gaggia-Screen-Holding-Plate-in-Brass-DY00036-B.htm

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the thread in the centre accepts a standard M5 bolt so you can try screwing one in and getting a pair of decent grips on it, or in desperate circumstances (like I found) use a basic harmonic puller or any piece if sturdy bar with a hole drilled through to ease it out with an M5 bolt and a washer ;) Alternatively you could screw a couple of M6 bolts in to the plate and lever it out either side with a couple of screwdrivers (which is probably easier).

 

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to get the seal out I used a sharp nail with a 90 deg bend in it to heave it out

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I have successfully removed the shower head, holding plates etc. on my Classic with little trouble, but was really lucky I believe - and in any case the problems lie elsewhere on this machine (see my 'steam, no water' thread). What I'm now having trouble with is removing the shower head plate from another machine (identified on its front only as Coffee Gaggia). There is a simple design fault on the majority of metal bodied Gaggias in that the screwdriver cannot engage with the screwhead straight on; you have to approach from an angle. If there were an access slot or a little less metal in the base, it would be SO much easier, as you would have better leverage and a direct connection to the screw. As it is, frustrating...any tips? I've already smothered the head with WD40...that should improve the taste of tomorrow's espresso.

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Short handled screwdriver or a right angled screwdriver is whats required. I found the swiss army knife one to be suitable also if that helps


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Another suggestion screwdriver bit in a small ratchet

Gaz


Never too old to learn, often too old to remember

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Hi all,

This is great - I just found this thread after spending this afternoon trying to get a Gaggia Classic apart to fix! My sis inlaw gave me theirs to look at as it was leaking and not flowing well. It's a 2004 machine, spent its life in hard water, never been serviced I think... o.O the group gasket is rock hard (crumbling in fact) and the shower holding plate will not budge after several hours in descaler and some judicial whacking with a 2lb hammer... at least I have some more ideas to try without thinking that I'll destroy the machine! I'll check my box of bolts in the morning. I assume I'll probably need to replace the whole group head if the plate won't budge?

 

Cheers,

Martin

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I can confirm that Scott-Westy's method works a treat on the most stubborn shower plate! I used a bolt and penny washer through the centre screen hole, then a hefty pair of pliers as a lever to pop the plate straight up. Cruddy doesn't describe it! I should have taken some pictures... the gasket lifted out easy enough and the head cleaned up nicely. No leaks now (at least from that area!)

 

Cheers,

Martin

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I had the same problem, googled for advice and found this thread. My shower plate on a used machine purchased from ebay, was almost welded on. Thanks to members answers on this forum I modified the techniques suggested.

 

M5 bolt from local hardware shop.

Washers steping up in size from M5 size to around M8

M5 nute

Pair of gas pliers, the one which will extend to accomodate very large nut.

 

Place pliers flat across shower holding plate and outer metal where porterfilter go's in

Attached nut to M5 bolt

 

Place smallest washer of M5 bolt, then step up in size with washers.

Put bolt through gap in the pliers used to adjust size.

Slowly tighten, stop bolt from turning used screwdriver.

Now as you tighten the nut the shower holding plate will seperate from head.

 

Lynn

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