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Group head chrome coating


hansliss
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I am trying to salvage a badly mistreated Gaggia Paros boiler (I have a new boiler already, just don't want to just throw away the old one unnecessarily), and in order to get out the remainder of the screws that held the group head to the boiler, I may need to resort to hydrochloric acid since nothing else seems to do much. However, that will probably strip off the chrome coating as well.

Does anyone know if there's a technical (as opposed to esthetic) reason for that chrome coating, or if it can be safely stripped? I'm thinking a bare brass group head might look kinda cool, actually.

 

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2 hours ago, hansliss said:

Does anyone know if there's a technical (as opposed to esthetic) reason for that chrome coating,

I believe it's purely aesthetics. 

The Rancilio Silvia, for instance, had the group ring cover made of plastic coated in chrome. It would peel off eventually. It's now just black.

Some machines have the group completely not-coated, but those are usually then behind a panel/fascia so hidden from view. 

Also the inside of the group is not chrome plated what so ever. 

The above therefore leads me to believe the chroming is purely aesthetics and have absolutely no technical of functional function. 

Edited by MediumRoastSteam
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2 hours ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

I believe it's purely aesthetics. 

The Rancilio Silvia, for instance, had the group ring cover made of plastic coated in chrome. It would peel off eventually. It's now just black.

Some machines have the group completely not-coated, but those are usually then behind a panel/fascia so hidden from view. 

Also the inside of the group is not chrome plated what so ever. 

The above therefore leads me to believe the chroming is purely aesthetics and have absolutely no technical of functional function. 

Thanks! I suspected this. I guess I'll try it and see how it turns out. I don't know if I can salvage the upper half of the boiler, unfortunately. Not only is it caked with scale, but I managed to break one of the screws for the steam valve, so unless one of those screw remover gadgets happens to actually work, it'll be a lost cause.

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23 hours ago, hansliss said:

Thanks! I suspected this. I guess I'll try it and see how it turns out. I don't know if I can salvage the upper half of the boiler, unfortunately. Not only is it caked with scale, but I managed to break one of the screws for the steam valve, so unless one of those screw remover gadgets happens to actually work, it'll be a lost cause.

I can report that it appears to be a non-issue. After several treatments with hydrochloric acid to get rid of lime and rust, I finally got the screws out, with the help of some WD-40. And there's no visible damage to the chrome that wasn't there before.

As for the boiler top, I bought a set of screw extractors and tried get the stuck screw out of there, but ended up breaking the screw extractor - so now instead of the soft screw metal, I have an extremely hard piece of the tool stuck in there, which I can't drill into. But it's not a big deal, I was prepared to write off that boiler anyway.

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