hoby141 Senior Member Joined: 31 Dec 2012 Posts: 3 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Feb 24, 2014, 11:38am Subject: Gaggia Classic steam knob stuck open
I have a Gaggia Classic and was steaming the milk and when I tried to turn off the steam I couldn't, I turned off the machine and tried to close the steam wand but couldn't. The knob is slipping when I try to close the steam valve and have taken off the knob and tried to close it but its jammed.
Can anyone advise me on what is wrong and possible fixes.
D4F Senior Member Joined: 15 Mar 2012 Posts: 1,811 Location: USA Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID Grinder: Preciso
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 9:39am Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic steam knob stuck open
I have not seen or read of that specific problem. Steaming only uses the valve at about 1/4 turn open, so unlikely jammed at the threads unless it had been forced previously. Here is a thread that talks about Gaggia valve repair and disassembly, not just removal from the machine.
SJM Senior Member Joined: 17 Nov 2004 Posts: 1,652 Location: CA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: SAMA, Gaggia Classic Grinder: OE Pharos, Rancilio MD-50 Vac Pot: no Drip: no Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014, 8:14am Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic steam knob stuck open
Did you get this sorted yet?
Are you saying that even when you pulled the knob off you were unable to close the valve using pliers?
The plastic knob itself has a half-moon shaped core that fits around the turning end of the valve stem. Sometimes this gets stripped, in which case the knob will just spin and not turn the valve open or closed. When that happens the only solution is to order a new knob. I think I got mine from Cerini Coffee.
If that isn't the issue, and your valve simply won't close all the way, even when you use the knob, then you probably need to replace the entire steam valve*. Classic steam valves always get leaky; they are more susceptible than any other parts of the machine to the smallest bits of scale clogging them up, and they are not easily descaled. If your water is prone to scale, running descaler through the new steam valve more often than not would be a good idea; living with a pitcher under the steam valve is my solution to the problem.
There IS a way to cut that steam valve open so that it can be cleaned, and I think there has already been a link posted to the directions for doing that. It's pretty easy to do with a Dremel. When I did mine I ordered a new one, put the new one on and then cut the old one; so far I have not tried using the cut one, choosing instead to live with the regular small leakage while the machine warms up.
*If you order a new steam valve, do NOT be tempted by the one which has a "self priming valve" built into it. It is one of Gaggias very bad ideas; it will eventually fail and feed hot water back into your reservoir....
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