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Gaggia Classic - age?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Gaggia Classic -...  
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Williamh
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Posts: 6
Location: RSA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Aug 17, 2013, 4:30pm
Subject: Gaggia Classic - age?
 

Hi all

I'm looking to purchase a second hand Gaggia Classic and was hoping someone might be able to assist in determining how old the machine is from its appearance (picture attached  - sorry about the quality).  The machine was passed on to the current seller by a friend and he unfortunately has no idea as to its age.

I gather its sometimes possible to tell the age of the Classic from a serial number, I've picked up a few references along these lines in previous posts.  Could anyone confirm what exactly I should be looking for on the serial number?  I should be able to drop by and see the machine in the next few days so could then try and check this.

Also, not sure if its relevant, but apparently the machine has a UK plug so it would be 220v.

I realise there is always a degree of risk purchasing second hand, but I imagine it makes quite a difference if the machine is from 2004 as opposed to 1994.

Apologies if this specific question has been covered before - ran a search without finding an answer. Any help would be much appreciated.

Williamh: classic.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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kitt2000
Senior Member
kitt2000
Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 229
Location: nelson, new zealand
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Lambro,
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Gene cafe
Posted Sat Aug 17, 2013, 5:06pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic - age?
 

Hi, there should be a sticker on the bottom of the machine like this machine 04/2004

kitt2000: 278929515.jpg
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Aug 17, 2013, 5:54pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic - age?
 

Hi, welcome to CG.

Agree, you will need to see a sticker with the date.  That said, I would not get fixated on age.  Poor maintenance and hard water could "age" the machine quickly and soft water and good maintenance could keep it going.  They are fairly easy to work on.  Are parts readily available for reasonable price?  

Take the top off and look for any evidence of internal leak or water spotting.

Leave it on for 30 minutes and put something under the steam wand and quantify the steam leak/drip.  It should be minimal or may need a de-scale or new steam valve.  

Brew and get a feel for how it works and the pump.

Is there a good release of pressure from the 3 way valve.  Again, this should work well of maintained.  If you are not used to 3 way, you should get a pressure and water release into the overflow and should be able to immediately remove the portafilter without spray.

Does the seller use it?  Has it sat unused?  Can he or you demo it?

That is a start and worthwhile since you seem to be able to actually see/handle the machine.

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


Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Posts: 6
Location: RSA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Aug 18, 2013, 12:16am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic - age?
 

Thanks very much for the quick response, much appreciated.

I understand age is not everything, just thought it might be a good starting point.  Generally the water here is not hard so hopefully that would help too.  I gather it has not been used all that much recently, the seller elected to go for a capsule machine and only makes use of the wand now. Seller is generally a bit vague on the past use, get the impression he was given the machine and thought it was too much of a hassle to bother with much.

Unfortunately there are not too many agents/stores selling Gaggias here, so parts will not be that easy to come by but not impossible either.

I'll try and follow the steps you set out below.  Dont know how keen the seller will be for me to arrive with a screwdriver to take the top off, but can certainly ask. The steam drip should be easy enough to test.

Would it possible to explain how one should check if there is a good release of pressure from the three way valve in a bit more detail? i.e. "should get a pressure and water release into the overflow and should be able to immediately remove the portafilter without spray".  I'm still very new to this so please excuse the obvious questions.

I could brew, but I think the limitations will be that neither the seller not I (yet) have a grinder.  Have one lined up, but will only arrive in a week or two and by then may have lost out on this sale.  So a proper test of the machine wont really be possible.  Its intended for me to learn on so I'm also not sure my skills would be anywhere up to scratch yet.

Thanks again for the help.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Aug 18, 2013, 7:41am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic - age?
 

You have to build up pressure, like a brew, to test it.  You can brew, duct tape all of the basket holes,  use Saran wrap or a blind basket, or similar to make pressure in the basket.  It will likely be ok if the machine is little used and was cared for.

Click Here (www.partsguru.com)

I only loosen the screws labeled 1 in part 3.  The plastic and stainless lift off as a unit.  Some older machines may have a screw or two in the stainless portion of the top.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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