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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > repair or...  
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aydelacasa
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Eastern USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 8:05pm
Subject: repair or replace?
 

I have a Baratza Maestro Classic that I purchased refurbished at the end of March 2005.  Recently it did not seem to be giving me the right grind and the motor had moments when it seemed to slow down; I thought it might have something caught in it and I decided to clean it.  In the process a felt gasket of some sort has broken and I cannot get the plastic and metal housing that surrounds the burrs to stay in place; it always seems to come loose and to stand higher than it should around the burrs.  When I try to grind coffee I get a knocking sound and the coffee does not grind.  But without coffee in it the motor does seem strong.  I have used this machine since the day I took possession of it; mostly for drip, though sometimes even for espresso(I rarely drink espresso, though I did go through a period once when I had it every morning, and for my taste it was OK)  in a Krups pump machine.  

I can send it back to Baratza and for $40 they will clean, repair, recalibrate and inspect it.  I suppose parts will be extra.  I expect that it will cost around what i paid for it in the first place.

Or, I can puchase a new inexpensive grinder.  Seems to me that most people in this forum like the Beville 450, which I can get as a refurb.  I can also consider the Capresso Infinity.  I probably would not do the mod some people suggested for a finer grind for esperesso, but expect that it will be no worse than from my Maestro, which was never known for espresso.  Or am I wrong?  I do have an old hand grinder (not sure what make; I found it in a 2nd hand shop but someone carved the date 1953 into it) and i can try that for espersso also, I suppose.  

Does anyone want to offer an opinion.  Better to repair the Maestro or buy one of those that I mentioned?  If I find a used better one that would be fine also.  Or do you have any other suggestions?
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 9:53pm
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

Baratza doesn't sell the felt gasket.  Therefore, if you contact them and tell them you tore it and need a new one, they very well may just mail you one.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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aydelacasa
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Eastern USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 10:42pm
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

Thanks.  Unfortunately,  I am not even sure what the gasket goes around or that that is the real problem with my grinder; around the base of the cone bean holder?  The plastic housing around the burrs?  And unless I am misunderstanding the importance of that gasket, I suspect the problem is worse.  I just can't get that plastic housing around the burrs to sit properly and it doesn't lock into place.  As I recall, it did not lock into place last time I cleaned it either, but it did fit snugly and over time it locked in (and it was hard to unlock now for cleaning).  Now, when I start the grinder it stands up above the groove it is supposed to fit into.  In any case, I will call Baratza tomorrow.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 6:47am
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

if it's round and about 1 1/2" diameter, it goes at the base of the hopper (the "cone bean holder" as you put it).  The only other felt gasket I know of on that machine is rectangular and goes above the grounds basket...but you would have had to remove the cover to get to it.  The new gasket for that part is rubber. but they don't sell it either. you're right the gasket shouldn't do anything much in burr stabilization, it just helps hold the hopper to the carrier better.

the upper burrs should move up and down when you rotate the carrier, whether the hopper is attached or not.  you should have a small red dot or other mark on the carrier to help you know where to align it, and it should line up about where the presspot icon is on the outer ring of the case.  Wiggle it a little to get it to engage, then rotate it towards fine.  as you rotate it towards fine, you should feel a difference in the stability and see the gap between the upper and lower burrs getting more narrow and as you rotate back towards press it should get wider.  If you can't get that to happen, take a look at the support pages of the baratza site, they may have some good info about this issue. otherwise, shoot them an email or call them.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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aydelacasa
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Eastern USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 6:58pm
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

I finally did what I should have done in the first place and took a look at the Baratza web site.  There I found the troubleshooting section and quickly located my problem.  The burr sits on a "paddlewheel"  with 8 little "spokes" or "paddles" that come out from it.  These turn and must grab onto something else  and the result is that the beans are drawn down into the the grinder.  Sorry, it must be apparent from this description that I am no technical wiz.  That paddle wheel is plastic and over time those spokes --or the paddles-- wear out.  What I had to do was order a new paddle wheel and replace the one that is on my machine.  The part is only $5.  The hardest thing was getting the the burr off so I could remove the paddle wheel, which it sits on.  Now that was a job; you have to use a clamp pliers and give it a sudden twist colcokwise to loosen the burr. Ultimately, I had to resort to a hammer which I used to give several quick hits to the clamp, to turn the burr.  it is a testimonial to the burr that at worst I put just a slight nick in it.  The tech support person who helped me told me that those burrs should be good to grind 10,000 lbs of coffee before theyt typically need to be replaced; so they surely are strong.  

As was suggested to me, I asked the tech support person for the felt ring that goes around the base of the hopper, and they are sending one to me for free.

Should I need to replace my grinder after all, I have decided to buy another Baratza product.  The tech support is worth it.  
They were patient, informative, unrushed and unrisyhing;  an excellent experience and as I have aged I have come to think  that even if I can get a different product for a little less money good tech support is valuable.  I suppose it is sad that Baratza uses plastic parts, but it is understandable; we should be happy if this helps this otherwise excellent product and company survive in a difficult climate for business. Many thanks to Baratza and for the responses on this list.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 7:14pm
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

great! Didn't realize you needed a new paddlewheel.

I had a similar tech support experience.  The guy I dealt with is named Pierce Jens.  He's awesome.  However, 10k pound of beans...no freakin' way.  He must have been exaggerating - or maybe you made up that number?  Anyhow, it's more like 400-500 pounds, before you need to replace the burrs - still a long way off.  If you figure 20g/dose, this comes out to like 10,000 doses (nearly 10 years if you have 2-3 doses/day).  Sorry to hear you nicked them.  They are very difficult to get off, but typically vice grips or channel locks are good enough, if you can give them a proper jolt without losing the grip (though it's best to wrap the jaws with electrical tape or some other sturdy padding to prevent the chipping.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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aydelacasa
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Eastern USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 8:33pm
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

I dealt with the same person.  Really very nice.  I was not exagerating about the 10K of beans.  That is what they told me.  At the Baratza web site it states that the burrs last 4 - 5 years.  But the people I spoke with both told me that they will last much longer; the woman I first spoke with called over to someone else to find out how many pounds, and they told me 10,000.  I drink drip coffee and use 32 grams per day in my Bona Vita brewer (which also is excellent!).  My wife uses 3 tablespoons and we both do this ever single day.  I don't keep track but I must order 16 -20 lbs of beans per quarter and have been doing it for years; and I have had my grinder since 2005.  But the burrs in my grinder look just like the ones in the Baratza parts picture (now with a little nick, which I doubt will affect anything).  So I tend to believe that they last more than 4 - 5 years and they really might last for 10,000 lbs.

I was going to buy a new burr just in case the parts were discontinued, but that might already have happened.  The web site says that the burrs are out of stock and cannot be backordered.  So, hopefully the burr i have is still OK and will last.  Thanks again for your comments.
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aydelacasa
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Eastern USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 9:57pm
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

Hmmm... i am beginnning to think that the person a Baratza said athe burrs would liast 1,000 pounds not 10,000.  Becasue i now recall calculating that if i am using 60 -80 pounds of Greens per year, I am 1/2 to 3/4 away from reaching that point.  Not sure why I got so confused.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Jan 3, 2013, 5:59am
Subject: Re: repair or replace?
 

yeah, would be more on par with other grinders.  Macap and Mazzer both recommend replacing after 400 pounds.  I asked Pierce about burrs as well, and he told me they expect them in sometime later this month, so no, the notice on the website just means they're out of stock and won't take pre-orders.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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