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Inside the 3 way valve

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I'm getting slow output, seems to be a recurring theme. Last time I took off the 3 way valve, took it apart, seemed to find no gunk etc, put it back together and it all worked fine again.

Tried the same tactic tonight but less joy.

Thought I'd ask what the bits actually are to see if that helps me diagnose!

Firstly, what does the hole on the side underneath the spring do? 

And secondly, what does the springy button on the top of the insert do?  I've not added a photo, but there's also a rubber bit in the bottom that presumably seals / sits on the inlet from the boiler?




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This is quite helpful:



Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group


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Cheers, that's much as expected; just curious why there is the small hole in the body of the plunger on the side, which in that video shows liquid flowing inside.  I'd have expected the spring inside to be dry, but that clearly shows it is wet (as it is in the gaggia model).

The only reason I asked is that one tutorial on cleaning the 3wv was to make sure that the top and bottom non-metal parts actuated properly, but in truth they are just sealing elements.  And I need not worry about the hole on the side.

More confused now though as having taken it all apart, cleaned it all through etc it's not improved the flow.  Will need to check for a blockage in the various ports to / from the boiler I think (I've checked the pump and it is working fine, the OPV is discharging quite a bit and the steam wand flows plenty of water through when the steam and brew button are pressed together).

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Also, why is the hole from the boiler to the inner body of the 3wv so tiny?  What would happen if that hole was bigger?  The force required to push espresso volumes of water through that hole must be pretty strong, but equally it must allow 14-15bar of pressure to be delivered as that's what the PF pressure reading would be without adjusting the OPV down to 9-ish or so.  

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