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Gaggia Steam Wand Drip
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bpt
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Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 94
Location: Ft Worth Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Major
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Drip: Technivorm
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2008, 2:24pm
Subject: Gaggia Steam Wand Drip
 

In looking through posts here it appears that descaling is the fix that everyone suggests for the above problem.  If I have already done that and it still leaks is the only other solution to buy a new valve?  It doesn't look like the valve comes apart but I am thinking that there might be a way that I am not seeing.

          Thanks, BPT
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ChrisCullum
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Espresso: Expobar Office Lever
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2008, 2:42pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Steam Wand Drip
 

I recently had this problem with my Classic. The steam valve does not come apart to service it AFAIK. I took the steam valve assy off, thoroughly soaked it in citric acid, replaced the O-ring, re-installed and it still leaked. I went back the the local Gaggia parts dealer and bought a new steam valve. It was about $30 IIRC and it works perfect now, no leaks. I guess they just fail after a while.
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SJM
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2008, 5:24pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Steam Wand Drip
 

Nope, steam valves don't come apart.  
Order a new one.
Order one that is NOT self-priming !!!! (even if the one you are replacing was self-priming).  

Susan
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dsclark
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Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 33
Location: Carson City
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Posted Sun Feb 10, 2008, 11:22am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Steam Wand Drip
 

The steam valve does come apart. Use some needle nose pliers to pull out the clip and it will come out. Of course, I have tried a couple of different O-rings and they didn't work.
I got another steam valve three months ago from whole latte love and this one was different; rather than being made out of plastic, it was made of brass. Hoepfully, it will last longer.
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SJM
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Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Sun Feb 10, 2008, 11:35am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Steam Wand Drip
 

dsclark Said:

The steam valve does come apart.

Posted February 10, 2008 link

 Hmmmm.....just the opposite of what I stated so unequivocably.   Well, maybe we are using the language differently.??? The steam valve does come OFF, but I still don't think that it domes APART.

That having been said, I have never seen a plastic steam valve, so maybe that's where we are differing.  The brass steam valves that I am familiar with really are cast all in one piece and don't have parts that can be taken apart and re-assembled.

The valve itself certainly can be prised off of the boiler, and would have to be to be replaced.

Susan
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DenisSeattle
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014
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Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Steam Wand Drip & Valve Modification
 

I researched the Classic dripping problem and concluded that it's probably due to stubborn scale. I found "Tex's Directions for Modding your Steam Valve so you can actually open and clean it."

I did that modification and made a video that shows how I took the collar off of the steam valve body:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aBsYGXpLcc&list=PLvvVo5WHwtQOvJL2lp2Gk1AtVfnVrAah7&index=3

Now I can remove the stem and clean the valve with descaling solution. It appears that this fixes the dripping. Some notes:
  • The mod isn't hard, but it does involve grinding off metal parts. Don't do the mod if you're not comfortable with that idea. Also see the safety precautions in the video.

  • Very frequent and intense descaling with strong solution might prevent or even reverse this problem without the mod, it's worth a try.

  • New valves are available for around $70. I found them at WLL and Partsguru. The part number is EF0045/01/A.

  • You might have actual damage to the brass needle and seat if the valve has been badly overtightened. Then the fix gets more complicated. Brass is soft. Try brass polish before resorting to more aggressive measures. The needle and seat must mate perfectly, which they did when the valve was new. Once you start abrading it, the changes you make could cause a permanent leak. It might be worth the money to start fresh with a new valve.
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skydragondave
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Joined: 18 Feb 2013
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Posted Fri Mar 14, 2014, 7:18pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Steam Wand Drip & Valve Modification
 

The OP did not specify what model we are talking about so this question is impossible to answer.
All commercial Gaggia machines use rebuildable steam valves.
And of course if the water going into the machine is properly softened and conditioned in the first place, scale buildup will not be an issue for a very long time.
However if it is a consumer machine like a Classic, and replacement valves are $30, why would one even try to rebuild it. A new valve will last much longer.
Let us know what model of machine it is and we will go from there. Good luck.
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XCoffee
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Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: East
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 8:32pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Steam Wand Drip & Valve Modification
 

skydragondave Said:

However if it is a consumer machine like a Classic, and replacement valves are $30, why would one even try to rebuild it.

Posted March 14, 2014 link

I would love to know where you have seen replacement steam valve for the classic for just $30.  I only see them north of $50.

Thanks!
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SJM
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Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
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Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 7:47am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Steam Wand Drip & Valve Modification
 

Replacing it will work....briefly.  Cerinis has it for $45.00.

The design of the valve is such that the new one will begin to leak very soon.

Unfortunately descaling while the valve is still on the machine doesn't leave the internals of the valve in contact with the descaler for long enough to do the necessary job.  Perhaps removing it and soaking it for a longer time might clear the scale???  I've always been to impatient to put the machine back together to try that.

So....either put a pitcher or cup under the drip to make the leak less annoying, or do the mod that DennisSeattle has so well documented above.  If you are going to own a Classic and are going to steam you are going to have a leaky valve.
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XCoffee
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Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: East
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 1, 2014, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Steam Wand Drip & Valve Modification
 

Thanks SJM.  That is what I thought... Cerinis was the cheapest I found too at +$50 when you include shipping.  The $30 cost comment was probably just an inaccurate memory.  Going to go for it.  The original valve worked fine for at least a couple of years so a new valve should last that long too before it fails.
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