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Classic pump got noisy after descale


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Did a descale yesterday and after running it all through then a run with a tank of clean water the pump is now a lot noisier than it was before and is not working so well.

 

I'm loathe to do it again as I only stripped the pump down not so long ago but would stripping it down and having a poke around be of any help, I'm a bit worried the pump is on its way out so quite keen to learn if any one knows what might be causing the pump to be so much noisier now and for it not to be working properly in that it is taking quite a while to get the water to come through the head and when it comes its really slow, works fine out the steam wand which made me wonder!

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It makes me immediately think of a partially blocked solenoid valve.... plenty of threads about it when searching for fixes.

The extra noise from the pump could be an air lock, or it could be on the way out, but you indicated the flow out the steam wand was good.

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That solenoid is a royal pain in the rump, right so, strip down the pump again then, I have taken the solenoid off and apart 4 times already, no debris and pin goes right through the two holes no problem, must be yet more scale in the pump.

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The pump doesn't normally have issues with scale. The lack of heat means it shouldn't build up there, but maybe dirt in the reservoir gets sucked upinstead.

The solenoid hole is tiny. I would still soak the bottom piece it in citric acid for a few hours.

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That solenoid is a royal pain in the rump, right so, strip down the pump again then, I have taken the solenoid off and apart 4 times already, no debris and pin goes right through the two holes no problem, must be yet more scale in the pump.

 

What water are you using in your classic and what period do you leave it between descaling and what is the approx number of cups you make per day?

Also, when you descale do you let water come out of the group head ? or just the wand?

I read somewhere you werent meant to let the descaler out of the brew head, only the wand

 

Would bet money on it being your solenoid. Doubt its the pump.

 

Doesnt cost a penny to take it off and stick a pin in it and I think you have the free time.

 

You mention sticking a pin in the 2 holes. You do go in from the top smallest hole? (not the holes with the little rubber gasket)

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What water are you using in your classic and what period do you leave it between descaling and what is the approx number of cups you make per day?

Also, when you descale do you let water come out of the group head ? or just the wand?

I read somewhere you werent meant to let the descaler out of the brew head, only the wand

 

Would bet money on it being your solenoid. Doubt its the pump.

 

Doesnt cost a penny to take it off and stick a pin in it and I think you have the free time.

 

You mention sticking a pin in the 2 holes. You do go in from the top smallest hole? (not the holes with the little rubber gasket)

 

 

I stripped the machine down again today, took the boiler apart, checked every single hole I could find and yes I inserted the pin in the hole inside the solenoid thingy, I even turned the needle around so the eye literally just fitted inside the hole and twisted it around just to be sure, there was nothing in there.

 

Before I put it all back together again I ensure 'absolutely' there was no scale what so ever inside the machine anywhere, all the tubes were cleared, the solenoid was clean as a shiny whistle, the boiler was perfectly clear, I seriously didn't miss a thing, there was literally no funk in the machine any where and after putting it back together I prepped the pump, ground some beans, got the portafilter on then fired up the coffee machine hoping to get a nice coffee and the exact same problem persisted, the water was bare dribbling through the head.

 

Yup, the head was removed and thoroughly cleaned, I seriously didn't miss a thing, I gutted the whole interior of the machine and took everything apart and checked it all, there was no way anything was in there except for water.

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Ratty, you are a genius my friend, okay so the problem wasn't with any debris in the system, like I said the whole system was cleared but what you said on the phone made me think about that hole more closely, it is very small isn't it, so small in fact it gives cause to wonder how water gets through it fast enough. After taking the solenoid off again and as I was poking a needle into the hole I gave the needle a little jiggle, would you Adam n Eve it, the darn thing moved ever so slightly from side to side, off I goes to me sewing box and I grabbed a slightly larger needle, this one only just didn't fit into the hole, I held the needle with pliers and slowly twisted the solenoid whilst exerting a modicum of downward pressure. My heart faltered for a moment as I heard a tiny weird noise, I've broken it I thinks but the needle just suddenly went through, the eye of the needle absolutely chock a block with limescale powder. The hole was not blocked by a bit of scale, it was scaled up entirely on the walls of the hole, the hole was just wide enough for some water to get through but not enough.

 

Feeling a new lease of confidence I put the solenoid back on, did that little trick you taught me then got on with making a coffee, BINGO mate, my Classic is working perfectly now, it actually works better than ever, bold strong and solid'ish Crema and the coffee tastes sublime, you're a star mate, thank you for being so patient with me and getting me to look at the problem more closely. :)

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Ratty, you are a genius my friend,what you said on the phone made me think:)

 

So pleased you got it fixed. JumboRatty needs renaming "mighty Lord of the solenoid broddling" or some such.

 

He phoned me, I shouted "ITS YOUR SOLENOID" and hung up :)

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He phoned me, I shouted "ITS YOUR SOLENOID" and hung up :)

Occam's razor. It's always the solenoid. You can see why gaggia ditched it on classics. Sure the coffee isn't as good, but I bet it caused them no end of headaches!

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I think the coffee actually tastes the same from both solenoid and non solenoid versions.

But after speaking to someone from Gaggia UK on the phone about it do believe most failures where down to a blocked solenoid so they may have changed it because of that reason. Most people want to believe it was down to cost.

 

avatar15459_20.gif Jumbo Ratty

user-online.png Solenoid Guru

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  • 3 years later...

Sorry for opening up an old thread but I have a very similar problem and just wanted to ask for some advice on what else could be a solution as it doesn't seem to be the solenoid for me.

The problem I've had is the water seems to get extremely hot, with large amounts of steam coming out of the grouphead - this can happen even after just one minute of heating. Once in a while I have the same isssue mentioned above where the (I guess) the pump makes a loud rattle. I took a look after one occurence and saw that the OPV pipe's water from my tank seemed had (hot) water going back and forth in it even with the machine turned off. I took the solenoid out to look for anything clogged but to be honest it seems totally fine. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Cheers.

 

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