This morning, my old school Gaggia blew its (plastic!) self-priming steam valve fitting and it seems to be stripped. I'll probably replace it but in the mean time I'd like to plug it but I don't want to damage the threads. Can anyone tell me its correct diameter and threading? Or should I just literally stick a cork in it?
The fix is to plug it not replace. They all are leaking, or will. When they leak it will affect brew pressure. You can just plug it and prime by opening the steam valve until a bit of water escapes. I do not remember seeing the thread size though there was another recent post. You can remove the threaded section and match threads, likely metric, or tap and rethread to a common size.
Yeah I see that the feature has been completely eliminated. Although it's a great machine I've never felt like it has quite the pressure it should and I wouldn't be surprised if this was the culprit but replacement ones are steel and obviously of a higher quality so I thought I would at least give a new one a chance. Just in general, I hate to perform any modification to anything that can't be undone until I'm positive it's an improvement. I suppose I can pull the fitting and take it with me to the hardware store to try to eyeball and buy a cork at the same time in case my eyes deceive me - especially since the blown fitting is quite stripped.
It would still be nice if someone could give me the definitive specs for the fitting though. I don't really want to end up having to remove the steam valve to match threads.
I suppose if I buy a plastic threaded plug it won't damage the threads, though - even if it doesn't match perfectly.
It will be an improvement. Some of the less expensive Gaggias still have the SPV, but it will fail. They all do, just when. Be careful trying plastic. That valve, or plug must hold against pump pressure, 150ish to 200 psi depending on how it is safety valved or OPV'd. That will also be seeing steam temperature. The very reasons that the valves fail. Match or tap the threads, water and electricity can prove exciting. If you bought a new valve, most would advise finding a valve that is the same as OEM original minus the SPV.
"Coffee" model, serial number 000235 so it's old. Like I said the fitting was plastic to start with and it lasted that long. I'm not too worried about it getting wet since it sprayed water all over its internals when it popped this morning. I'm pretty comfortable working on things like this I just don't want to end up having to replace the whole valve. The only one I see is the steel one on wholelattelove. Also, there was a spring in the hose that leads back to the reservoir but it seems like it should have a needle or ball valve in there pressing against the fitting to act as a pressure gauge but it didn't, and the fitting was still tightly connected to the hose, it blew out from the valve. I haven't looked closely in my reservoir for it yet.
Here is the fix thread for more explanation. The NPT give the best seal without a gasket, IIRC. Perhaps if you found a thread match bolt of the correct length, so that you still use the Viton gasket, you could avoid the tap. Or if you find the correct threads, "adjust" the length :)
Well, after quite a bit of searching I came to the conclusion that it's basically impossible to find an m7x0.75 bolt. I accepted the closest match and bought a couple m7x1.0 bolts for a nickle on clearance at Lowe's, wrapped one in teflon tape and screwed it in. It held fine for my normal morning americano that I've been missing the last couple days, but we'll see how it does under steam pressure when my wife wants a cappuccino. I didn't get as much crema as I was before but that may be because I was a bit anxious to test it and didn't let the basket get as hot as I usually do, or I might not have adequately primed it since I'm not practiced at doing that yet.
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