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Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
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_aki
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 7:07pm
Subject: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Hi,

My first post here, been browsing the forum a lot the last two weeks and I love it!

I bought a Gaggia Classic over the holidays and received it on New Years Eve.
I am very happy with the machine but recently I noticed that it started leaking from the bottom left (facing the machine) corner when pulling a shot. It's not leaking that much water (maybe 30 - 60 ml) but enough to get me worried.

A few days ago I modded the machine with a new Silvia steam arm (bought from Happy Donkey here in the UK so it included the Gaggia bolt). The installation was easy but I couldn't fit it with the black rubber ring that was attached to the top of the Silvia arm (the end that goes into the machine) so I took that off. Not sure if it matters...

I've also replaced the Perfect Crema (or what it's called) basket and black rubber thingie with a standard Gaggia double basket.

I pull double espressos using 18g of coffee which I tamp well (recently started using the Weiss distribution technique as well).

I don't think that the water reservoir is leaking, at least I couldn't notice that when I pulled it out and put it on the kitchen counter.

Any ideas what I could do to diagnose the problem/s? I would prefer to fix it myself if possible to save me the hassle of sending back the machine.

Many thanks in advance,
_aki
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_aki
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 8:10pm
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Did a little experiment...

I turned on the machine, let it heat up for a good 20 minutes and then put some water through the portafilter without coffee into a jug. No leaking.
Waited 5 minutes then pressed the Brew button again to put more water through, this time about 150 ml into the jug. Again no leaking.

Pressed the Steam button and the machine started leaking after a while from the bottom left corner and the bottom middle. Quite a bit of water leaking...
Looking at the front of the machine I could see water trickling from the metal area above the water reservoir, to the left.

Earlier today though the machine was leaking when I was pulling an espresso, i.e. without the Steam mode activated.

Depressing!

Cheers,
_aki
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,014
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 9:07pm
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Hi, welcome to CG.  

Generally, I would probably say to send a new machine back with problems essentially out of the box.  That said, I like to look around.   Here is a parts diagram.

Click Here (www.partsguru.com)

You mentioned a wand change.  Part #50, the rubber O ring is probably up #49.  It often stays there when you remove the wand and then works with the Silvia wand and does not need or accept another rubber ring.

Good move on the non-pressurized basket.  

You are describing a leak on the L and the wand is R, so probably not related.  You need to pull off the top of the machine and see where water is coming from.  A couple of screws on top to remove.  Water can run across the floor of the boiler compartment, so you are going to need to see where it originates.  The parts diagram above is your friend, as you can see most screws and fittings.  You could have a loose screw/bolt at any seam, or loose hose, not common on the Classic.  You can also make sure that you did not do anything to the steam downpipe, 49.  How much force was applied to remove the wand, or tighten the new one.  Force should not have been needed as there is an O ring seal.

You are describing a leak that occurs with pressure of the boiler, pump or steam pressure elevate internal boiler pressure.  When you run the pumpand the group is open there is little internal pressure.

Look inside and report back.

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


Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 5:57am
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Hi D4F,

Thanks a lot for your help and for the helpful link to the parts guide!

I did as you said and took the top of the machine. Turned it on and after about 5 minutes I noticed water on the machine floor originating at the pump (part 43). Also some water drops building up around the elbow joint and the nut (42 and 41). So it seems the machine is leaking by just turning it on (after a while).
When I pulled a blank shot I noticed some water spraying at the side of the inside of the machine. I could not actually see the stream of spray but I saw the waterdroplets on the side. Could also see lots of dried water splashes in that left corner of the machine.

I will see if there is something that can be tightened once the machine cools down again. Did you mean that loose hoses is "not UNcommon" on the Gaggia Classic?

Either way I'm happy that I eliminated any problems with the new steam wand. No water coming from that area.

Thanks,
_aki
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_aki
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 7:28am
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Update 2:
I now definitely identified that the leak is coming from the bottom of the elbow connector. Where the connector connects to the nylon tube.
I disconnected the hose and tried to tighten the elbow connector but it seemed pretty tight already.
Reassembled it all again and tried again, still leaking from the same place.

I think the next step might be to try to unscrew the plastic bit from the pump so that I can have a good look at the elbow connector.

Seems like this is a semi-common problem with Gaggia Classics... :-(

Cheers,
_aki
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,267
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Mine has been used everyday of its life for five years and never leaked a drop,other than a drip
from the steam wand,a new valve fixed that. What you have is not normal and should be sent back to be fixed if you cant do it yourself.


_aki Said:

Update 2:
I now definitely identified that the leak is coming from the bottom of the elbow connector. Where the connector connects to the nylon tube.
I disconnected the hose and tried to tighten the elbow connector but it seemed pretty tight already.
Reassembled it all again and tried again, still leaking from the same place.

I think the next step might be to try to unscrew the plastic bit from the pump so that I can have a good look at the elbow connector.

Seems like this is a semi-common problem with Gaggia Classics... :-(

Cheers,
_aki

Posted January 13, 2013 link

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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,014
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 2:13pm
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

I will stick with "leaks are not common on the Classic," except minor steam wand drip as mentioned.   Hopefully you will have an easy fix now.  Great job tracking it down, keep posting.

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


Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 4:39pm
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Good news, I've fixed my machine!

The solution was to get some white teflon tape (PFTE tape), tape it around the male end of the elbow connector. Three wraps, overlapping the tape each turn and then evening it out around the thread with my fingers and a tweezer. Then screwing it back in to the plastic pipe on the pump. I didn't use a wrench/pliers for this, just tightened both the elbow connector and the brass nut for the silicon tube as hard as I could with my hands.
It took three goes to get it right but in the end it worked. Take your time taping the threads to get it nice and even.
I would also recommend being quite careful unscrewing the elbow connector and when putting it all together again, since the plastic tube have plastic threads I think they can break quite easily.
I guess the problem was that the green/blueish pipe compound that Gaggia smeared around the pipe cracked or something.

On the second try I ordered a new pump out of frustration. An Ulka EX5. This is the same pump as in my Gaggia Classic but with a brass tube on the top. The Ulka EP5 has a plastic tube as outlined above.
The EX5 was only 20 including delivery so really cheap. I will keep it as a spare pump now or maybe replace the EP5 sometime when I feel up for it. I definitely prefer brass over plastic!

Anyway, I hope my story can help someone with the same problem here on CG.

Thanks again for your help, D4F!

Cheers,
_aki
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,014
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 4:51pm
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

Happy to help.  I always learn something in these threads.  I am sure that you know your machine a little better now and can continue to post in other threads to help others.  

Have you adjusted OPV?

When are you going to PID :) ???

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


Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 5:07pm
Subject: Re: Brand new Gaggia Classic leaking from the bottom left corner
 

I have not adjusted OPV yet. Just reading up about it now, sounds interesting!

I still have a few accessories left to buy (bottomless porta, VST double basket etc) so PIDing will have to wait a bit. I need to learn my machine a bit better first... :-)

I was thinking about installing a thermocouple with a cable with washer to the boiler though to try temp surfing. Good idea?
I could get that up and running quite cheaply.
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