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First try at backflushing and descaling Gaggia Classic - some questions
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coffeebear
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2009
Posts: 33
Location: houston
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic, naked pf
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly, used
Vac Pot: none
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: none
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010, 3:07pm
Subject: First try at backflushing and descaling Gaggia Classic - some questions
 

The user manual describes how to descale the machine, which ought to be pretty routine. But as for backflushinig, Gaggia does not approve. I'm about to try both procedures anyway, following directions given on this and other web sites, such as "Espresso Machine Cleaning and Maintenance" on home-barista.com.
Some questions before I dive in:

- I have Cleancaf for descaling. Gaggia says to use their own descalant, but I don't find it for sale online. Whole Latte Love's maintenance guide lists Cleancaf as OK for Gaggias. Is that right? Is it safe for the aluminum boiler?
- I have Cafiza for backflushing. Would another cleaner be better than Cafiza for this machine? Is there any danger of the backflush solution getting into the boiler, despite the 3-way solenoid?
- How hot should the water be for each procedure? Should it heat to brewing temperature, or should I just turn on the machine and start from room temperature? (It will heat up pretty fast anyway: I don't know if the pump can be turned on without the the heating element turned on too.)
- I also plan to remove the shower screen and gasket and clean the head with a brush. What sequence should these three operations (descaling, backflush, manual cleaning) be done in, or does it matter?

Thanks for good advice in the past. Because of it, I've quit using distilled water.
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gime2much
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,965
Location: Sunny S Fl
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni, Astoria comm, 2...
Grinder: La Pavoni Zip, Bunn...
Drip: Bunn comm
Roaster: Popcorn popper (air),co/ufo
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: First try at backflushing and descaling Gaggia Classic - some questions
 

First go join the user group, Yahoo/Groups/Gaggia. Then take the time to read THIS how to guide. It's a piece of cake but if you still have questions please check back.

 
Dan Brewer
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coffeebear
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2009
Posts: 33
Location: houston
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic, naked pf
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly, used
Vac Pot: none
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: none
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010, 9:05pm
Subject: Re: First try at backflushing and descaling Gaggia Classic - some questions
 

Thanks for the advice, Dan. That article is really helpful; it talks about the water temperature, says Cafiza is OK to use, and warns about not letting descalant touch the parts that touch coffee, among a lot of other guidance. It may be all the info I need. I viewed a Gaggia user group sometime back but got turned off by sniping among the participants and since then have relied mostly on coffeegeek and home-barista. I need to visit user group sites more often.
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