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BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
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Vance
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Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 63
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 8:52am
Subject: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

Out of the blue the portafilter just popped off during extraction, coffee grounds everywhere. Twice! The second time I even had my hand on the handle and felt the pressure actually turning the handle before it popped off. In both instances water started dripping, but it was hard to tell from where. What could it be? A gasket issue? Could my grind be too fine? My portafilter basket itself is clear, no obstructions,and I just cleaned the shower screen and bottom of the brass last week. Machine is a Lelit PL041.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
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Espresso: Crossland CC1
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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 9:09am
Subject: Re: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

Sounds like a worn gasket. How long have you had it? Even if your grind is choking the opv would relieve pressure if the gasket was normal. Had this happen on my 1st machine, just a cheap Delonghi Bar32, at the end of it's life (1 year lol) the PF would come unlocked by itself and since there was no 3 way valve grounds/water would literally explode all over.
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Vance
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Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 63
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 9:32am
Subject: Re: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

That sounds like it, then.  I will order a new gasket from 1st Line.  The gasket is a few years old, but I pulled it apart for a cleaning a few months ago and it felt fine.  But, maybe I damaged it in a more limited cleaning I did a few days ago.  I just pulled the shower screen off and cleaned it and the bottom on the brass and up around the gasket with q-tips.  Maybe I messed something up then.
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DanoM
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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 11:03am
Subject: Re: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

There have also been reports of some machines that had popping off portafilters when the group gasket had lubricant applied.  In this case it was Dow 111 grease on the gasket.  One person also mentioned that they had grease where the PF ears meet the group too.  Not sure if this applies to your situation, but doesn't hurt to check and make sure the gasket isn't too slippery.
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Vance
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 63
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 11:15am
Subject: Re: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

Thanks for that additional possibility, I will check and see, but I don't think there should be any additional lubrication.  But worth checking, for sure.
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JGG
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JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
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Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 3:28pm
Subject: Re: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

Overfilling the basket can cause this.

Jim
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
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Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 3:33pm
Subject: Re: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

JGG Said:

Overfilling the basket can cause this.

Jim

Posted March 21, 2014 link

I would vote for this over the 111 application. IU've been applying a bit of 11 for years when re-inserting a cleaned group screen/gasket using the basket less PF method.
However, if it HAS been confirmed by more than one person. I may eschew the 111, as after 4-5 months, the insertion is no issue.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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Vance
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 63
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 4:13pm
Subject: Re: BOOM! my portafilter exploded off
 

I backflushed and at first it didn't send any water back through the valve and down into the tray.  It took a few "on and offs" before it sent some water through, and then not as much as usual.  After that I ran some more espresso shots and the portafilter was still trying to come off, I had to hold the handle against the pressure or it would have twisted right off.

I know nothing about how the valves work, where they are, how to check or fix them.  Any suggestions?
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