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Grouphead leaking when backflushing, puddle in portafilter.
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Grouphead...  
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Chumunga
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Dec 2012
Posts: 7
Location: San Jose, ca
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia classic
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 3:08am
Subject: Grouphead leaking when backflushing, puddle in portafilter.
 

Where do begin... Not sure if both problems related. I have a gaggia classic and I got it used from a friend. Whenever I pull a shot whether I tamp a lot or lightly (and of course 30lbs) I end up with a soupy portafilter. I can do the double or a single basket with 14 grams or 20grams same results. I don't think it's the grind as my grinder is a cheap bodum grinder ( I'm ordering a new grinder since I'm doing espresso now and not just French press) reason I'm not worried about the grind is I assume too fine of a grind will not allow water to pass but I've pulled shots with no tamp and still soupy and to compare and contrast I have the Mypressi twist and it leaves the puck dry with same grind.

I've taken the group head and cleaned it and gently removed grouphead seal for cleaning and inspecting although looks fine but I believe it needs replacing reasoning being:

I was doing a backflushing and the seam where the portafilter and grouphead meets it begins to leaks before I get the "whoosh" in to the drip pan.

So I will be replacing seal as soon as it comes in hoping this solves my back flush leak at the group head, but I'm skeptical this will resolve the puddle or soupy puck.

Any thoughts?

I have read a few post not sure dosing it my problems but then again I'm new to this.

Ps i will post a picture to show u or maybe a video.
Ps
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,006
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Grouphead leaking when backflushing, puddle in portafilter.
 

Hi, welcome to CG.

I would not worry about the wet puck or try to do puck analysis or puckology.  From your description, the 3 way is working in that you get the "whoosh" and the pressure is released.  In addition, you likely have noticed that a backflush can be a more forceful whoosh.  If you start the backfluch with a PF full of water, then you generally do not get as much whoosh, and you will see water still in the PF, essentially full.  If you have little water in the PF for backflush, then some air escapes around the gasket with pressurization and some is trapped in the PF.  The PF will hold pressure against the gasket.  With air trapped n top of some water you then get a very forceful whoosh on release of the 3 way.

Now think of grounds in the basket.  Depending on how full, some water may be left above even if all of the pressure is released.  The 3 way only releases pressure, it does not suction off the top of the puck. OTOH, if you over fill the PF to try to leave no water on top, then you can get the basket too full and have grounds against the screen. You can make difficult to lock in and expand the puck up into the screen and potentially get more grounds under the screen.

If the gasket feels compliant and seals well during a brew then it is probably functioning. I can't tell from our description whether you get a water leak or some air under full pressure.

If the gasket does not leak during brew, and the 3 way releases pressure, it is probably all working.

You can play with dose and grind somewhat and see if you get a dry puck, but worry more about taste.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Chumunga
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Dec 2012
Posts: 7
Location: San Jose, ca
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia classic
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Grouphead leaking when backflushing, puddle in portafilter.
 

Thanks ill have to play around with dose and see. I was concern since I've haven't produce one dry puck instead a puddle of water on the filter. I thought the whole reason for the 3 way was to stop water from boiler to the group head when the brew switch put in the off position.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,006
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: Grouphead leaking when backflushing, puddle in portafilter.
 

I would say that the 3 way is to release pressure.  Water stops when the pump stops.  If the grounds are lower than the screen, then the water between the puck and screen is not suctioned out any more than the water in your backflush basket is pulled out.

If you had a machine without a 3 way you would find that as soon as you stop the pump there would still be enough pressure to keep the PF tightly clamped and if you turned it without a little time to bleed off pressure through the puck, you would have spray all over.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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daduck748
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 157
Location: California, USA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (2012)
Grinder: Breville BMF600XL
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: Grouphead leaking when backflushing, puddle in portafilter.
 

I had the same question about wet pucks after I started weighing my grinds.  Apparently, how I was doing it before, grinding to get a small mound above the top of the filter, leveling off and tamping to get a 25-30 second pull worked out for me.  Coffee taste was pretty good.  After I started weighting, I had to grind finer (and less amount to get 14gr) and I started getting wet pucks.  Taste is still about the same, just less coffee usage... and a wet puck.

After thinking about it logically and 3-way solenoid aside, when the pump is running, there's 9-10bar of pressure pushing water through the grinds.  When the pump is turned off, there is no pressure pushing what water that is left on top of the puck so logically, a wet puck would be expected.

But yeah, after knocking out dry pucks for a long time, and now knocking out a puddle is a tad bothersome, but well... if that's how it is, just go with it.

 
Gaggia Classic
Breville BMF600XL
Ducati Hypersport 748r
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daduck748
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 157
Location: California, USA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (2012)
Grinder: Breville BMF600XL
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: Grouphead leaking when backflushing, puddle in portafilter.
 

Just a quick note on puck analysis, you can take your old, dried pucks and break them in half.  If it is consistent, all the way through, your extraction is good.  If you get light areas and dark areas, your distribution is not so good.

I'm getting puck consistency no matter if my puck comes out dry or soupy... now more soupy.

 
Gaggia Classic
Breville BMF600XL
Ducati Hypersport 748r
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