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kwack

Buying 2nd hand Classic - what tests to do to make sure it works OK

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Hi,

 

Been getting back into coffee recently and have decided to purchase a 2nd hand Classic rather than new to save a few pennies.

 

There are plenty on Ebay etc around a £100 mark with varying Mfg dates.

 

When I purchase one is there anything specific I should do straight away to ensure it all works fine, like a mini service or something, check temp etc?

 

Cheers

Kwack

 

PS: I looked at the guides and they were great but some form of mini guide on what to do if you buy 2nd hand would be great

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I would ask the following questions from sellers,

 

Tap or bottled water

How many shots per day

Do you back flush

 

To be honest though the classic is so easy to work on, you can pick up spare parts easy enough and if you are ok with your hands then you can strip down, rebuild after a deep clean and replace seals in no time.


Twitter @Froggystyle

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Brilliant- thanks for the advice - I have no problem stripping and replacing parts I suppose the diagnosis of the issue would be lacking on my part

 

Thanks

Kwack

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9/10 when they stop working its down to the user not looking after it, scale build up, OPV blockage...

 

 

All easy to fix and plenty of people on here to point you in the right direction.


Twitter @Froggystyle

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I prefer to buy 'broken' ones so have a pessimistic view of all eBay machines.

 

They usually aren't broken and just need a clean/service. A nice phrase to look for is 'poor water output' or 'just stopped working after dribbling a bit', as it is usually just the solenoid valve getting blocked or the group head becoming gummed up. If you are DIY keen, pulling an old one apart and 'fixing' it can be easily done in a day, plus save you about £40 as a new seal set is pretty cheap. You also then *know* just how awesome your machine actually is!

 

I have a general opinion that every machine will have a blown boiler seal. Certainly all the ones I purchased and were made in the early 2000's all did, and even a recent new one from 2011 was blown. This can create an issue with removing the boiler bolts as they can get corroded in place and difficult to remove. By difficult, I mean heads sheering off, allen key holes rounding out, and removal options involving dremel, 2ft long knuckle bar, swearing, etc.

 

I would stay well clear of a machine that has a portafilter with the integrated spouts instead of the screw on spout. The integrated spouts is really old school and it will probably be a pain to get the boiler sealing well again due to nasty pitting.

 

A lot of people like the machines made before 2006 (I think) when Philips took over Gaggia and the solenoid valve become smaller and easier to get blocked. I personally can't see this being a problem if you do basic maintenance to the machine. But if you get a 2006 model it is still 10 years old, so refer to previous boiler seal comments!

 

So basically, if getting one of eBay, just assume it is not sealing fully, the previous owner has never done any cleaning, and some basic work will probably be needed (but you just don't know it until you open it up!). Take a punt on one that is cosmetically nice and go from there. We (the forum) will walk you through any troubles!

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Brilliant advice - could be luck of the draw really then!!. I suppose you wont know what needs doing until you pull some shots and take it from there?

 

I like the idea of being able to maintain yourself as well as these do not look too complicated to change parts on

 

Thanks

Kwack

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Thanks for all the replies and tips.

 

Having watched an online video on how to completely strip down a boiler I reckon this is something that I could do if need be - the hardest part would be the diagnosis of what the issue is - this is where this forum will be invaluable

 

So on the hunt for a used machine now

 

I also read a lot about an OPV mod - how essential is this?

 

Thanks

Kwack

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The OPV mod is not essential, you could still make decent coffee with 15 bar pressure but it is very easy to do (once you get a gauge)


What's the point...it'll only change soon!

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having bought one a few weeks ago on ebay, I wish I had made them run water through the group head, as I to spend a few days descaling it as only a small dibble of water was coming from it.


Vibiemme Domobar Junior hx, Gaggia Classic; Ceado E7, Eureka Mignon, Torr Tamper, Motta tamper, Motta Milk Pitcher Champion

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@tommyp215 assuming you have taken off the shower screen and dispersion plate so everything is clean underneath? You can also take the solenoid valve off, open it up the valve and descale it by itself. This should fix the low flow issue and allow for more water to pass through and subsequently make descaling the entire machine easier...

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@tommyp215 assuming you have taken off the shower screen and dispersion plate so everything is clean underneath? You can also take the solenoid valve off, open it up the valve and descale it by itself. This should fix the low flow issue and allow for more water to pass through and subsequently make descaling the entire machine easier...

thanks I did remove the shower screen and dispersion plate (was filthy) and it improved it massively.


Vibiemme Domobar Junior hx, Gaggia Classic; Ceado E7, Eureka Mignon, Torr Tamper, Motta tamper, Motta Milk Pitcher Champion

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