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Wow, old threads are great. Having stripped and descaled my Gaggia I was having a similar issue.

 

Very nearly bought a new Rancilio.

 

Gaggia is working again, well it will be once I've stripped down the solenoid again.


Gear:   Gaggia Classic, La Pavoni Europiccola, Niche zero.

At work:  Aeropress, Porlex mini.

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Safer to wrap some insulating tape around the end of any loose electrical lead.

It's surprising how mobile such loose leads can become !

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Just a 'Thank-you' for the advice in this thread. Had exactly the same issue after a stripdown and thorough descale, and wouldn't have 'twigged' the cause without this. (knew it was the element shorted with a few kohms to earth, but didn't realise they were unsealed). All good now.

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Im perplexed reading this thread - are you guys lifting the earth from your machines on a permanent basis? That's a move that potentially results in a Darwin Award...

 

As for the earlier comment about copper pipes being used for earthing - they shouldn't ever be used for an earth. However, they have to be earth *bonded* as a safety precaution in order that if a piece of faulty electrical equipment in contact with the pipework became live, the RCD would protect you rather than a massive piece of copper in your house / building becoming live!

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Im perplexed reading this thread - are you guys lifting the earth from your machines on a permanent basis? That's a move that potentially results in a Darwin Award...

 

As for the earlier comment about copper pipes being used for earthing - they shouldn't ever be used for an earth. However, they have to be earth *bonded* as a safety precaution in order that if a piece of faulty electrical equipment in contact with the pipework became live, the RCD would protect you rather than a massive piece of copper in your house / building becoming live!

Not permanently. It's just temorary while the insulation on the elements dry out if you've managed to get them wet during descaling.

So long as you don't touch the machine while the earth is disconnected,it won't injure you.

It's safer to just stick the boiler in a low oven for 15-30 min or even the whole machine in a airing cupboard for a few days but that's more labor intensive and/or more time consuming.


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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I'm also chiming in to say thanks for the advice in this thread.  I had the exact same issue and spent all afternoon pouring over the pictures i took prior to disassemble as well as circuit diagrams trying to work out where I'd messed up. ?

Edited by maps

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Another heads-up that drying out the external heating elements if they got soaked in a strip down works perfectly. There are surprisingly many recommendations to "buy a new boiler" around, which for me at least spoils the fun of being able to repair almost all components of the rugged-design Classic, instead of ordering new parts. 

The first time I got Gaggia heating elements wet it took me a while to realise the connection: fuse tripped <-- happened after water exposure <-- can heat with earth disconnected. But all that good info is already concentrated here in this thread, like temporarily disconnecting the heating elements connectors to give the pump a chance to fill the boiler, explaining the time difference reported above between seconds before elements fizzle/steam, and fifteen minutes before it got dry... 

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Thanks from me too.  I had read this thread before I stripped down and descaled a boiler and so took care not to get the insulation wet. Of course it did get splashed and even though I wiped it dry immediately, the RCD in our consumer unit tripped as soon as I switched the machine on; very disconcerting.  

But carefully removing the earth connection meant the boiler could heat up and dry out the insulator. There was no more tripping after I reconnected the earth; such a relief. 

Edited by MartinJ

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I'd like to express my deepest respect to the person who suggested the method. Even after 2h in an oven and 3 days on the radiator it was still tripping the RCD. But a quick zap-zap and it's alive again! ?


Presso: Gaggia Classic '96 (OPV mod / Rancilio wand/PID) + Iberital MC2

Brew: V60/Aeropress + Rhino

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On 09/04/2015 at 21:57, Chockymonster said:

There is a much easier way than sticking it in the oven. The only reason it trips is because there is a connection to earth.

Whip the top off and unplug the machine

If you remove the Earth connection at the rear plug and then plug the machine back in. You'll find it'll turn back on and heat up the boiler, drying out the insulation. As long as you don't put your hands in the machine or touch the sides it's perfectly safe. Just be sensible!

 

I had the same issue and this resolved it.

I have just had the same issue, although I kept the water to a minimum around the thermostat while descaling, as soon as I tried your suggestion, there was a small hiss, a puff of steam from that area, and after waiting for approx 20 mins, I reconnected the earth back up and hey I'm brewing again, thank you so much for posting, glad I have joined this amazing group now.

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