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Gaggia 'Coffee' machine (c.18yrs old) - no water through group head

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Hi, first post here and can't find anything similar to the problem I have - any help appreciated.


I have an old Gaggia Coffee machine (about 18yrs old). It's been maintained well, descaled reasonably regularly, etc. A few replacement parts (gasket, brew head, etc). It's worked so well for 18 years, I'm loath to buy a new machine which will be less repairable.


A few days ago water stopped coming through the brew head. Steamer still works. I've checked for airblocks using usual methods and can't find any problems. So I did a full teardown of the machine (boiler and group head) and gave it a full clean and check. Back together and same issue persists.


I turned the machine on, left to heat up for a minute, then switched on the coffee switch. Pump *sounds* like it's working properly, but still no water making it out of the brew head. If I take the brew head off and remove the spring/rubber valve mechanism from middle of the group head then hot water flows through (about 100ml in 10s) when I switch the coffee switch. Put the spring/valve back in and, again, no water comes through.


Could it be a faulty pump? I think the flow rate without the valve in seems OK, but maybe there needs to be more pressure to push the valve open (these 'Coffee" machines don't have a solenoid/switch). Everything is definitely clean and free of any major scale.


Any help would be much appreciated to try and resurrect the beloved machine!

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Welcome Nick


I'm not 100% familiar with the coffee version, but the spring rubber valve thing is unlikely to be the issue as you would expect the spring and valve to become weaker with time.


I am wondering if the pump has an OPV valve on top of it as the 2015 classic does - I would be tempted to remove the pump and strip it down to check for any wear or blockages. At 18 years old it may well be the pump is the issue. Any chance of a picture of the inside of the machine?

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Here's a pic of the inside prior to cleaning. I've now taken the pump out and checked all tubes and outlets - nothing blocked.

Anyone any clues about the water flow - does 100ml in 10 seconds sound about right? And if so, why is it not shifting the spring valve (the addition of this part is the only change that stops water flowing out)?!


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Can you run the pump with you finger over the outlet from the pump to check for reasonable pressure. Not scientific or precise but would give an indication of pump pressure ??? If OK look elsewhere ?

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Just be carefull as the electrics will be live when you test the pump and water will be likely to spray onto the electrics unless you point the tube away from the machine - if not sure get a sparky in. Have you actually striped down the pump into its pieces - here is how


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I've not stripped the pump down fully yet - thx for youtube link, looks like there are a few more bits that could potentially be clogged up inside the pump then. I'll strip it down later on if I have time. I have tested output again though, direct from pump the water comes through at c.100ml per 10 seconds. Hopefully a good clean will increase the pressure...

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So, new pump fitted (ULKA). The old one was not repairable, as there was no way to open it up (sealed unit).

Good news - we have coffee again! Throughflow doesn't seem noticably stronger, which is odd, although obviously enough to push the valve and spring down. Pump is much quieter too. Coffee tastes lovely, good crema, used coffee puck much drier than previously, so all good.

Thanks all for the tips.

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