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michaelm

Modding steam valve for cleaning?

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The steam valve on my Classic has been steadily getting worse. After descaling at the weekend, it got even worse with a steady flow of water each time the valve is opened. I looked it up and found a video where the owner says the leak is caused by a buildup of scale in the steam valve and because it can't be descaled properly, the leak just gets worse. In the video, he shows how to grind back the collar where the brass open/close pin goes into the aluminium pipe, allowing the pin to be removed for descaling. The end of the video shows the reassembled valve working perfectly with no leaks.

 

Has anyone here made that modification to the steam valve? I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing and not bringing a world of pain on myself doing this.

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Yep. This is what I do.

you can sometimes leave 5mm of the brass collar , so that when you unscrew the valve this little piece gets pushed out of the way and remains to be crimped back over when assembled again. Sometimes it snaps off, but it can be a useful safety option if it works.

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That's the Tex mod I think.

Yes I have attempted this...and it sort of worked. I used a dremel and it was still hard (for me at least) to get the fine control required to not take off too much. I just about managed it though it didn't look as neat as in the video.

 

The problem I then found was the washer on the pin was all cracked and essentially useless.

 

I tried to source a replacement but what I thought would be ok still sits too proud and screwing the valve in and out is no longer smooth. I haven't really used this bak it in anger since.

 

Also bear in mind you get the risk that you can now get burned if you open it too far. Also you have to hope this head of the valve pin is not damaged dur to historic over tightning.

 

I think if you can find a replacement washer it might be worth it.031fd127d1451f865c7e40e6f59333be.jpg

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It can also be easily done with a coarse file. Use a bit of thick cardboard or milk bottle plastic to protect the valve spindle and file away the collar. Quick and simple.

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Yeah, it was a file I was going to use because, as mcrmfc says, using a dremel or a grinding drill bit is too risky even at low speed.

 

I'm getting the impression here that the "collar" is what causes the steam valve knob to stop opening, making it possible to unscrew the pin right out in normal use. Is that right?

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Yes that is correct, hence you have to be careful! There was somebody on here who created a thread on the modded valve such that you could screw on some kind of bolt to act as a stopper. If i can find it I will update with a link.

 

Update:

 

http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/index.php?topic=394.0

 

Scroll down a bit and you will see the safety mod with thread and nut. Also details what size washer...though I ordered a similar size and it wasnt a great fit.

Edited by mcrmfc

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