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gaggia classic suddenly stopped working


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had a gaggia classic for many years with lots of delicious coffee, today it suddenly stopped working - went from pumping out a normal amount of water to nothing at all in an instant

machine was cleaned once a month with detergent

pump sounds like it is working fine, the water is being pumped out of the steam wand when wand valve open and all three switches on control panel set to down

I took the machine apart thinking it was a solenoid valve issue, but I opened the valve up put my mouth to it and gave it a blow, no problems or obstructions. Gave it a long soaking in detergent anyway even though I know thats not the problem. 

could anyone suggest what I should do next? as most online guides dont give any more advice beyond 'clean solenoid valve'

my only idea is maybe the solenoid valve's electromagnet has stopped working but I dont know how I'd prove that theory

THANKS !!!!

 

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Just blowing through the solenoid does not mean it is OK, you need to fully dismantle it then soak and clean.  The tiniest bit of scale can float about or get jammed.    Listen for the click as the solenoid is switched on (before removing)

Have you removed and cleaned the screen and the dispersion block behind ?  is it clean ?

Do you live in a hard water area ?   Has the machine been D/ scaled ?

Edited by El carajillo
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5 hours ago, El carajillo said:

Just blowing through the solenoid does not mean it is OK, you need to fully dismantle it then soak and clean.  The tiniest bit of scale can float about or get jammed.    Listen for the click as the solenoid is switched on (before removing)

Have you removed and cleaned the screen and the dispersion block behind ?  is it clean ?

Do you live in a hard water area ?   Has the machine been D/ scaled ?

How should I know if the valve is clean and OK for reassembly? I have cleaned and removed the screen and block yes

I do live in a hardwater area, I'd like to open the boiler and properly descale it but sadly the bolts are jammed hard, I wonder if they sell new ones on ebay...?

6 hours ago, NJD1977 said:

Definitely sounds like a solenoid problem. Is the wiring to it all sound? Can you hear it operate when the brew switch is pressed?

What kind of sound does it make? the wiring visually looks fine

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If you dismantle the solenoid you can check the components and see if there is anything casing a blockage/ any scale

Do you filter the water or use straight from the tap

The boiler bolts are readily available, the difficult part is getting the old ones out particularly if they shear off as they often do.

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2 hours ago, NJD1977 said:

The solenoid makes a very definite and fairly loud click sound when it operates.

 

2 hours ago, El carajillo said:

If you dismantle the solenoid you can check the components and see if there is anything casing a blockage/ any scale

Do you filter the water or use straight from the tap

The boiler bolts are readily available, the difficult part is getting the old ones out particularly if they shear off as they often do.

Well I would say, the solenoid valve is working fine. Is there anything else that would be the issue?

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The solenoid part of the valve is most easily determined to be working by touch. If you rest a finger on the black plastic part of the solenoid - being careful to avoid the electrical connections obviously - then you should be able to feel the clunk as the solenoid actuates and the valve stem goes up and down.

If the valve is moving and water is coming out of the steam valve when you pump - then it’s one of four things:

1. Blocked water exit path from boiler to solenoid valve (very doubtful)
2. Blocked solenoid valve (much more likely unless you really have stripped it down and cleared the small centre hole / gicleur with a needle)
3. Blocked water path from solenoid valve to group
4. Blocked water exit from group or dispersion plate or even massively filthy showerscreen

That’s about it.

My money would be on the solenoid valve.


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1 hour ago, MrShades said:


1. Blocked water exit path from boiler to solenoid valve (very doubtful)
2. Blocked solenoid valve (much more likely unless you really have stripped it down and cleared the small centre hole / gicleur with a needle)
3. Blocked water path from solenoid valve to group
4. Blocked water exit from group or dispersion plate or even massively filthy showerscreen

 

I feel like 1 or 3 would be the problem, I have cleaned the solenoid valve scrupiously/taken it apart and ensured all waterways are cleared and the machine is still not working 

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Very, very rarely the solenoid coil fails. This is the black box part. I’ve seen it once and it’s pretty rare.

 As stated above, can you feel the solenoid click when you turn the brew switch on? If you can, then the coil is good. Fully blocking the boiler water path is unlikely, however blocking the solenoid outlet is very very common. This is the tiny pin hole in the centre of the solenoid that also has an internal 90 degree bend associated. Blockage here is so common that most people who claim to have cleaned their solenoid and refused to believe the advice end up cleaning the solenoid again and fixing the issue ;) 

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I feel like 1 or 3 would be the problem, I have cleaned the solenoid valve scrupiously/taken it apart and ensured all waterways are cleared and the machine is still not working 

Did you clean the centre hole with a needle?


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Also,.FYI, blowing through the solenoid when it’s dismantled does not prove that it is working. There are 2 water pathways that it is selecting between, and the largest hole is never going to be the issue and it lets all your puffing go through. Get a pin and give the tiny central hole a good poke and jiggle from both sides.

Edited by timmyjj21
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Also,.FYI, blowing through the solenoid when it’s dismantled does not prove that it is working. There are 2 water pathways that it is selecting between, and the largest hole is never going to be the issue and it lets all your puffing go through. Get a pin and give the tiny central hole a good poke and jiggle from both sides.

A pin’s usually too big - it needs a needle.

I tend to wrap layers of masking tape around one end and hand hold the needle - or more easily for stubborn blockages - grasp the needle in a set of mole grips.


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is it possible to replace the solenoid valve? 

Never known an actual valve that needs replacing.. just cleaning usually. At most they need a new solenoid but that’s only if it’s not moving / clicking.

I say again- did you strip it down completely and clean the middle hole with a needle? If you haven’t done that then you need to.


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I dont know what to tell you guys, the solenoid valve is working fine, I must have taken it apart cleaned it out and put it back together 5 times now. 

I dont really know if the solenoid valve made a noise when operated, I dont recall hearing it before, and it isnt making a noise now. 

Edited by Keep_Scrolling
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If the solenoid isn't making a click and you can't feel anything when you hit the brew switch then the solenoid is at fault.

On my E61 machine, the click from the solenoid is plenty loud enough to hear it from inside the case. It's not a subtle click, the electro magnet engages and pulls the valve upwards to open it very rapidly resulting in a click noise.

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I guess you could take the solenoid off the valve, hit the brew switch and see if the magnet engages by using a bit of ferrous metal to see if it sticks to it. You shouldn't really need to do that though, you'll hear it when it's installed over the valve.

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This is all assuming that the wiring to the solenoid is doing what it should be doing i.e. its not broken in any way, no loose connections, no spade connectors loose etc.

May be worth checking the wiring back to the brew switch to check its getting its feed correctly.

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18 hours ago, NJD1977 said:

This is all assuming that the wiring to the solenoid is doing what it should be doing i.e. its not broken in any way, no loose connections, no spade connectors loose etc.

May be worth checking the wiring back to the brew switch to check its getting its feed correctly.

I have extremely poor electrical skills, as far as I know its basically magic, what would you advise me to do at this point? 

I am happy to dump this gaggia and pick up a new gaggia if needed, I think they go for $140ish on ebay if I remember right, and I've owned this one for YEARS maybe its just time to replace it

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I have extremely poor electrical skills, as far as I know its basically magic, what would you advise me to do at this point? 

I am happy to dump this gaggia and pick up a new gaggia if needed, I think they go for $140ish on ebay if I remember right, and I've owned this one for YEARS maybe its just time to replace it
I was just thinking of tracing the wires back from the solenoid to the other end and making sure there are no torn cables, no connections that have come loose etc.
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I have extremely poor electrical skills, as far as I know its basically magic, what would you advise me to do at this point? 

I am happy to dump this gaggia and pick up a new gaggia if needed, I think they go for $140ish on ebay if I remember right, and I've owned this one for YEARS maybe its just time to replace it
Where in the country are you?

Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk

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On 13/07/2020 at 16:16, NJD1977 said:
On 13/07/2020 at 12:41, Keep_Scrolling said:
I have extremely poor electrical skills, as far as I know its basically magic, what would you advise me to do at this point? 

I am happy to dump this gaggia and pick up a new gaggia if needed, I think they go for $140ish on ebay if I remember right, and I've owned this one for YEARS maybe its just time to replace it

I was just thinking of tracing the wires back from the solenoid to the other end and making sure there are no torn cables, no connections that have come loose etc.

I had a visual look at them, they seem fine

On 13/07/2020 at 18:44, ChilledMatt said:

Where in the country are you?

Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
 

sussex, hastings

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