How many uptake tubes should the Gaggia Espresso have? From some pix I've found it appears as if there ought to be two - will someone confirm please? If I'm correct this machine is missing the tube on the right, the one behind the steam wand. That ought to be easy enough to replace and may fix the "no throughput" problem.
IIRC the second tube is return to the reservoir from the 3 way valve on those machines that have one. One trick that I have used is to replace, temporarily, the pump suction tube with a longer tube that can be held in an elevated position with a small funnel inserted.....my thinking was that it provided the pump with a little bit of 'positive head'......seemed to work out OK, after circulating a bunch of water/cleaner thru the funnel - pump - boiler - steam wand. BTW, I unhooked the heater wires while excercising the pump to guard against ruining the heaters by allowing them to energize in an empty boiler (tape up the 'hot' wire while unhooked for obvious safety reasons). Mike (just plain)
My Thrift store Gaggia Baby performed similar to yours, and I eventually took apart the boiler to clean out the scum. Yes it is made of aluminum, the end has a head on it like an automobile engine, only with an O-ring seal for a gasket, and cap screws set in for assembly. This is very thick aluminum. There was lots of gunk in mine, and I cleaned and scraped it all out. The end result did not look like aluminum though. Not the shiny stuff you think of on pots and pans, but very heavily oxidized and medium grey looking. I decided not to scrape off the oxide, and then wondered what all the fuss was about using certain cleaners since I would guess that the oxidation protects the boiler and just the scale will dissolve. Do not ignore recommendations on my account though. When I got it all back together it did not flow water any better. :-( :'( I started slicing all along where I thought the water path would be with my dremel and soon found that there is a very small restriction coming *out *of the boiler, a little check valve IIRC, and this was stuck! You do NOT have to slice into all the aluminum and brass and copper to get to this part. It has been a while but iirc you just had to undo a fitting in the boiler and it is behind it. It is not very obvious to find. It would be easier if you could find an assembly drawing on line. Hmmm. start first looking at the tiny valve in the group head, that may be what I am thinking of. It was stuck too! Anyway, after a couple of afternoons, and a new pressure hose from the pump to the boiler, the Baby works fine. Definitely worth the $10.00 initial outlay, and the tinkering and few more dollars for a new gasket and hose. None of the slits and cuts I made seem to have any effect on anything. Just be warned that you do not have to do that ;) Good luck, PeterZ Michael Dhabolt wrote: <Snip>
Mike, you are right. The machines with a three way valve have a return hose. The Gaggia Espresso does not have a three way valve. The Gaggia Baby is the first one on their line to use a three way valve. ********************* Ed Needham® "to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters) *********************
It's called a gicleur. A flow restrictor between the pump and the portafilter that can get clogged with a small chunk of scale or whatever. Be careful not to enlarge it when dislodging the chunk. ********************* Ed Needham® "to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters) *********************
Return tube, yes. 3 way valve, no. It's from the Over Pressure Valve (OPV). If it had a 3-way valve, that one would dump into the drip tray. Jack On Sun, June 17, 2007 11:26 am, Michael Dhabolt wrote: <Snip>
Jack, Like Duh! Of course, you are right. That'll teach me for trying to think before my second shot. Mike (just plain)