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New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New seals 'fit'...  
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classicswhanganui
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Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: wanganui
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 2:42pm
Subject: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...have to pull portafilters soo tight to the right that they are almost at right angles...these are brand new seals for a C.M.A susegana (has RIO written on the front) - the seals are from C.M.A no# 12217 - my experience with espresso machines is that when new seals are installed they are very tight at first and shouldn't really from the get go let the portafilters go so far to the right, or require extreme human pressure to seal them.. - essentially they are acting like old seals that need replacing, not brand spanking new ones. the machine is relatively old but in good condition, we have just revamped it. ideas? do i perhaps need a spacer of some kind, to lower the seals in to a more effective position?
any help would be greatly appreciated!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Location: Houston
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
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Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 6:15pm
Subject: Re: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

Do you have any leaking? From your description, the only "problem" is how far you can rotate the pf to engage it...and that doesn't really matter if you don't have a leak.  Oh, and...one can only assume you're referring to the group gasket. Is that correct?

 
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skydragondave
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Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 130
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 7:17pm
Subject: Re: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

Likely what has happened is that the portafilter locking tabs and channels have worn out, increasing the clearance required to get gaskets to seal to the baskets. The correct position of portafilter handles is 6:00 or straight at you, to provide a visual indicator of when correct pressure is acheived and when replacement of the gaskets is required. Technicians will select gasket thickness or add shims as required to achieve this locking position. However, too many shims (two with the thin gasket or one with the thick one is the limit) will make the gasket fall out, and will increase the effective volume of the basket chamber, making proper extraction more difficult. So when you have extreme wear your first option is to replace the portafilter. Many CMA groups have a replaceable group bell. If it's an older machine this is usually as far as you can go - if it's one-piece you can either spend a ton on new group castings or just live with it. Good luck
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SStones
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SStones
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Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

I may be assuming too much, but if you care about the machine, I'll assume it's a proper E61 head that came with a stock 8mm group gasket.  If not, this answer isn't is more directed toward people with other machines.

If a single, half-mm paper shim isn't enough, use a 1 mm teflon shim.  When that isn't enough, switch to buying 9mm gaskets and shim them when necessary.  If you're more than 2 mm worn out, between portafilter and E-61 bell,  so that 9mm gasket with a 1mm shim is still uncomfortably past wrist-angle..  Surely the machine has made 50000+ espressos, has saved you enough money that you can either afford to retire it and replace it or buy a new portafilter and grouphead (Or bracket if it's a little disposable).

But a shim will probably solve your problem, won't it?
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sharky
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sharky
Joined: 9 Jan 2013
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Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 8:40am
Subject: Re: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

classicswhanganui Said:

New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...have to pull portafilters soo tight to the right that they are almost at right angles...these are brand new seals for a C.M.A susegana (has RIO written on the front) - the seals are from C.M.A no# 12217 - my experience with espresso machines is that when new seals are installed they are very tight at first and shouldn't really from the get go let the portafilters go so far to the right, or require extreme human pressure to seal them.. - essentially they are acting like old seals that need replacing, not brand spanking new ones. the machine is relatively old but in good condition, we have just revamped it. ideas? do i perhaps need a spacer of some kind, to lower the seals in to a more effective position? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Posted December 2, 2013 link




WOW, that is waaaaaay too tight!  On my Vetrano 2B, I can tighten with a pinky finger only, and it is sealed tight!  Maybe time to purchase a 'soft gasket' instead of the hard ones.  Look around CCS site and you will see the soft gaskets for sale.  Good luck!
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classicswhanganui
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Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: wanganui
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 1:28pm
Subject: Re: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

Grouphead gasket is correct yes. There is leaking - even with extreme pressure to seal them - which I've never required on any machine I've worked with before...
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classicswhanganui
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: wanganui
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 1:34pm
Subject: Re: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

Thanks for your answers, I'm going to try the shim technique - though (hilariously) they are .50 cents from overseas (I'm from New Zealand) and generally i get quoted about 50 bucks to post it - seems criminal to me so I'm trying to find some local shims... which seems entirely harder than it should.. The porta filters could def be worn out - they have wear and tear so if the shims dont work - I will have a commmit to replacing those aswell... I got this machine for nothing from the back of cafe who couldn't be bothered fixing it... - so dont mind too much if I have to invest a little to get her going....former glory i believe, former glory..
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skydragondave
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Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 130
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: New seals 'fit' my machine but don't provide a tight seal...
 

Also check the rims of the filter baskets - if there was no knockbox there the previous owners might have just been knocking the portafilters directly on tabletop edges or other hard surfaces, in which case the baskets will not seal properly against the gaskets.
You should be able to find someone in NZ to supply group shims - they are a common size. Just take a group gasket with you and visually match the size to a shim. Good luck
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