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NorfolkGaggia

Boiler and Solenoid Issues

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Hi, I am the longtime owner of a Gaggia classic (7 years), and due to a fear of taking things apart have never given the boiler and solenoid a good clean before. The water flow through the group head has stopped (water and steam through the wand is still fine), so I took out the solenoid and gave it a good clean. Putting it back together was fine, but the water continued not to flow. I then replaced the pump, as it had been sounded a little weak of late. Still no water flow, so I took out the boiler to give it a good clean.

 

Unfortunately, I can't open the boiler up. The bolts just won't give. Does anyone have suggestions to get it open? Or, if needs be, a good supplier of replacement boilers and solenoid valves.

 

Many thanks

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The water flow runs from the tank through the pump, the opv, boiler, shower screen holder and shower screen.

 

The 3 way solenoid valve comes in to play when the extraction ends to releive the pressure from inside the boiler.

 

I think the small copper pipe inside the boiler is clogged with residue.

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Spray some WD-40 on the bolts but also make sure you have spare gaskets.

 

You could also soak the hole thing in a mild citric acid solution, about a table spoon to one liter of water. But you should really open up the boiler because that's the only way to properly clean the scale buildup.

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I used a decent 5mm allen key and put all of my weight on it. It may be worth trying this when the boiler is warm, or sit it in warm water for a few minutes.

 

Don't fear if you shear the head of the bolt off, the boiler will prise open (if all bolt heads sheared) and then some wd40 and a pair of decent pliers will hopefully remove the thread from the grouphead.


1995 'Coffee Gaggia' with full Gaggia Classic conversion, DIY PID Controller, OPV set to 9bar, Silvia steam wand, Botomless PF, VST 15g Basket, Motta 58mm Tamper and Ascaso I-Mini grinder

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I used a long T-bar allen key with a ring spanner looped on the end to give more leverage. Just crack the off whilst the boiler is still in the casing the remove them fully once you've removed the whole assembly.

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The espresso shop does a decent service kit that included new thermostats (they can degeade over time & turn off at too low a temp).

They're also a good source of other parts.


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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The water flow runs from the tank through the pump, the opv, boiler, shower screen holder and shower screen.

 

The 3 way solenoid valve comes in to play when the extraction ends to releive the pressure from inside the boiler.

 

 

Not really

 

Water tank -->Pump-->OPV-->Boiler-->3Way-->Group Head-->Shower Screen Plate-->Shower screen

 

Usually 3Way gets blocked with limescale particles from the boiler

 

To undo the bolts use WD-40(or other penetrating oil) and propane torch to heat the bolts

 

SW_5mm_Allen_Key_47ee556b2c1b3-229x229.jpg

 

BR


GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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That socket will foul on the edges of the boiler.


1995 'Coffee Gaggia' with full Gaggia Classic conversion, DIY PID Controller, OPV set to 9bar, Silvia steam wand, Botomless PF, VST 15g Basket, Motta 58mm Tamper and Ascaso I-Mini grinder

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Hi Martin,

This is mine, it has done many rusty bolts from Gaggia boilers

 

0accd379b73675bb92e3d0846f07d28b.jpg7b45a69b6821373ca4e6fff50a317068.jpg

 

BR


GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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Perhaps you should've stated that an extension bar is also required :)


1995 'Coffee Gaggia' with full Gaggia Classic conversion, DIY PID Controller, OPV set to 9bar, Silvia steam wand, Botomless PF, VST 15g Basket, Motta 58mm Tamper and Ascaso I-Mini grinder

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Not really

 

Water tank -->Pump-->OPV-->Boiler-->3Way-->Group Head-->Shower Screen Plate-->Shower screen

 

Usually 3Way gets blocked with limescale particles from the boiler

 

To undo the bolts use WD-40(or other penetrating oil) and propane torch to heat the bolts

 

SW_5mm_Allen_Key_47ee556b2c1b3-229x229.jpg

 

BR

The 3 way solenoid doesn't affect the water flow through the group head, which was the OPs problem.

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It really does, if the valve is not energized, you won't see any water out of the group head.


GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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About stuck bolts, today I had to deal with really corroded one and decided to make some pictures for this thread.

 

If you have really stuck bolts my advice is to follow this procedure.

 

  1. Carefully cut the head with your angle grinder
  2. Remove upper boiler
  3. Apply heat with your torch
  4. Apply penetrating oil
  5. Undo the bolt with your pliers, surprisingly stuck bolt will come out easy

[ATTACH=CONFIG]36920[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]36921[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]36922[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]36923[/ATTACH]


GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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Not always that easy if the machine has spent any time in London :yuk:


1995 'Coffee Gaggia' with full Gaggia Classic conversion, DIY PID Controller, OPV set to 9bar, Silvia steam wand, Botomless PF, VST 15g Basket, Motta 58mm Tamper and Ascaso I-Mini grinder

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Heating up to the red the bolt is the key to success. This machine was extremely scaled, you can count it from London ;)

[ATTACH=CONFIG]36924[/ATTACH]

Edited by L&R

GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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I used a decent 5mm allen key and put all of my weight on it. It may be worth trying this when the boiler is warm, or sit it in warm water for a few minutes.

 

Don't fear if you shear the head of the bolt off, the boiler will prise open (if all bolt heads sheared) and then some wd40 and a pair of decent pliers will hopefully remove the thread from the grouphead.

 

Appreciate it, unfortunately all my weight and extra leverage isn't opening it. I got one of the bolts out, and it was in very bad shape. Unfortunately I don't have the tools to heat the bolts.

 

I'm thinking I need to get a new boiler and group head. Any advice on what is a reasonable price to pay?

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Appreciate it, unfortunately all my weight and extra leverage isn't opening it. I got one of the bolts out, and it was in very bad shape. Unfortunately I don't have the tools to heat the bolts.

 

I'm thinking I need to get a new boiler and group head. Any advice on what is a reasonable price to pay?

Buying those 2 bits new you're looking at the better part of £160 + postage from The Espresso shop. The grouphed is silly money.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Thanks. Perhaps cheaper to find someone in Norfolk or nearby with the tools to remove the bolts connecting the boiler and group head.
A local independant garage may help. You wouldn't be the first to take the innards of an espresso machine to one.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Pretty sure I have a spare grouphead you can have for £15 if I can find it.


1995 'Coffee Gaggia' with full Gaggia Classic conversion, DIY PID Controller, OPV set to 9bar, Silvia steam wand, Botomless PF, VST 15g Basket, Motta 58mm Tamper and Ascaso I-Mini grinder

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