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Date: 06 Dec 2006 03:45:27
From:
Subject: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
Hi there

This is my first post here, and first post as owner of a decent
espresso maker: predictably, I'm looking for some help.

I picked up a well-used 2 group Gaggia D90 for a song on
ebay a while ago, and have just got it plumbed in and going.
Haven't been able to find a manual for it online, though the
PDF for the Gaggia Evolution range was close enough for
me to work out the installation and switch-on.

On trying it, I get steam from both steam wands, but I also
get steam from the hot water spout - not much use for tea.

Boiler pressure fluctuates from 1.1 to 1.5 bar: I guess I need
to turn the regulator down a touch, but will this help with
getting hot water out?

One of the wands leaks slightly when turned off - is it
possible to replace the valve seals, or am I looking at a
whole new valve here?

On trying the groupheads (admittedly with some fairly old
preground stuff, as I wasn't expecting to get anything
drinkable my first few times), I'm basically seeing brown
soup.

The PFs both turn too far round to the right (replace the
seals, I guess), and my pump pressure is lousy, only about
2 bar max. I tried turning the regulator screw right in, but
it seemed to have no effect at all on pressure, and just made
the pump squeal in pain.

If anyone's got any bright ideas, I'd welcome them ...

I'd also love a copy of the operations manual (though I can
get by without it at the moment) and ideally a service manual
for the machine - does Gaggia make such a thing available?
I'm in the UK if it make a difference.

Finally, I'm dreading my next electricity bill ... Is it possible
to insulate the boiler in some way to cut heat losses and
make it sensible to leave the thing on?

Sorry to turn up here and ask a whole raft of questions as
my introduction, and thanks both for reading this far and
for any help or advice.

Cheers

John





 
Date: 07 Dec 2006 15:27:10
From:
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
An update.

I wrote:

> I picked up a well-used 2 group Gaggia D90 for a song ...

> Boiler pressure fluctuates from 1.1 to 1.5 bar:

Advised to either replace P-stat or diaphragm. Will do: if
anyone can suggest a supplier of Sirai diaphragm kits
I'd be grateful

> One of the wands leaks slightly when turned off

Again, need to find a supplier for the seals.

> The PFs both turn too far round to the right (replace the
> seals, I guess),

Going to try 9mm gaskets, but the PF ears are very
worn indeed. Ho hum.

> and my pump pressure is lousy, only about
> 2 bar max.

On this, I found it helps if you have the water supply tap
open (this also sorted out my empty boiler and lack of
water from the wand). I'm a muppet.

Still not sure when to adjust the regulator screw: should I
be seeing a steady 8/9 bar when the machine is idling, or
should it be lower than this and rise to the sweet spot
when pulling?

I've started to use my grinder rather than testing with some
old preground stuff and have seen a big improvement, but
I'm now finding it hard to work out all the variables -
pressure, time, grind ...

Had one shot that seemed quite decent - reasonable crema,
pleasant taste - then ground some more at the same setting
and got a poorer, very bitter one.

I think I tamped quite a bit harder - seem reasonable as a
cause?

More practice needed I think.

Thanks for help, advice, comments

John



 
Date: 07 Dec 2006 15:16:50
From:
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> > "Ed Needham" <ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com> wrote in message
> > news:HsWdnbd5mME2suXYnZ2dnUVZ_vmdnZ2d@insightbb.com...

> > > I use the hot water on my machine to rinse the portafilter, cleanup, to
> > > heat a ceramic mug, but in a boiler-type machine used for home purposes,
> > > that water sits, and then boils, over and over again without being
> > > regularly flushed. Yuck.

> I wouldn't think that the water getting old in a small single-boiler
> machine at home would be a problem unless you don't use it very much at
> all. Virtually any use at home would infuse fresh water into the boiler
> at a level to keep it from being an issue, imo.

The problem being that this isn't a small boiler ... 13 litres I think.

So, having got water coming from the spout (thanks Danny) I'll keep an
eye on the water quality and see what the results are like. I reckon it
may well get nasty quickly.

John



  
Date: 09 Dec 2006 11:33:14
From: Sheldon T. Hall - DO NOT MAIL
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
On 7 Dec 2006 15:16:50 -0800, john.sabine@gmail.com wrote:

>Lloyd Parsons wrote:
>> > "Ed Needham" <ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com> wrote in message
>> > news:HsWdnbd5mME2suXYnZ2dnUVZ_vmdnZ2d@insightbb.com...
>
>> > > I use the hot water on my machine to rinse the portafilter, cleanup, to
>> > > heat a ceramic mug, but in a boiler-type machine used for home purposes,
>> > > that water sits, and then boils, over and over again without being
>> > > regularly flushed. Yuck.
>
>> I wouldn't think that the water getting old in a small single-boiler
>> machine at home would be a problem unless you don't use it very much at
>> all. Virtually any use at home would infuse fresh water into the boiler
>> at a level to keep it from being an issue, imo.
>
>The problem being that this isn't a small boiler ... 13 litres I think.
>
>So, having got water coming from the spout (thanks Danny) I'll keep an
>eye on the water quality and see what the results are like. I reckon it
>may well get nasty quickly.

Actually, it won't get nasty quickly, but it will get nasty
eventually. How foul, and how long it takes, depends on your water
and your usage habits.

The steam boiler on my old La zocco isn't nearly 13 litres, and the
water in it is still usable after sitting in there for weeks. We have
OK tapwater; I filter for particulate matter, but don't soften it. It
makes very good coffee.

I use very little water from the steam boiler. A few cups of tea a
week, maybe warm up a few cups by rinsing them with hot water. That's
about it. The dripscreen under the hot water tap isn't perforated, so
I rinse the portafilters under the groupheads.

However, any time the machine is powered off, I drain the steam
boiler. If we don't have a power-off event for a while, I'll run a
bunch of water through it and down the drain to dilute the minerals a
bit. Five years of untreated water hasn't left much in the way of
crap in the boiler, so this seems sufficient from both the taste and
the maintenance standoints. YMMV, of course.

On another topic ... steam valves. All the old ones I've seen,
including the ones on my LM, are pretty simple. Because some of the
"soft parts" for the old LM steam valves have become hard to find,
I've developed alternate ways to make the things work. The O-rings
are no problem, of course, but I've had to come up with replacements
for the rubber valve seats, and I'll soon run out of the nylon
"mushrooms" for the end of the valve stem and have to improvise
something there, too.

The rubber seats I've replaced with ordinary plumbing parts from the
hardware store; it's some generic faucet washer. They turn to stone
in about 6 months, but they work fine until they do.

If I can't find any more nylon mushrooms, I'll probably replace them
with metal. The nylon ones deform and eventually lose their ability
to seal, a problem that a metal part will solve nicely. I tried some
flat-headed stainless machine screws, and they worked OK from the
sealing standpoint. They fit too tightly in the stem, though, so they
rubbed against the valve seat instead of rotating in the stem. This
meant a lot of extra effort when closing the valve firmly, and would
probably shorten the life of the valve itself. I'll probably get
eMachineShop.com to make me something in brass if I can't find
something adaptable.

When you have old, exotic hardware of any type, you just have to be
creative.

-Shel



   
Date: 09 Dec 2006 22:06:56
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
"Sheldon T. Hall - DO NOT MAIL" <aquaman@tandem.artell.net > wrote in message
news:ic2mn25hrnbkh6cjjdbe5k812i1kn4mpkb@4ax.com...
> On 7 Dec 2006 15:16:50 -0800, john.sabine@gmail.com wrote:
>
>
> When you have old, exotic hardware of any type, you just have to be
> creative.
>
> -Shel
>

even if it isn't that old or that exotic. My 11 year old Cimbali Junior S
pourover has an overpressure valve that in the stock configuration as
delivered in North America, was not used. The result, of course, was 15 bar
of pressure applied from the vibe pump to the puck. Several years ago, with
assistance from Jim Schulman and some online advice from Barry J., I
attached silicone tubing to vent the excess water back to the pourover tank,
and adjusted the valve. It was easy enough to get ~9 bar of pressure out of
the arrangement, but after a couple of months the thing made an awful
screeching noise at about 90 decibels during pump actuation. After a lot
of examination, dissasembly and re-examination, and work it became apparent
that the offending part was a small rubber seal about 8 or 9mm across that
looks like it is worth maybe 5 cents at a Home Depot.

I called Pasquini in LA, who is the large West coast based Cimbali importer.
They informed me that they don't stock any parts for valves, that when
valves go bad they NEED to be REPLACED, period. Cough up $75 plus shipping,
please, they said.

I decided to make my own seal out of a used group gasket cut up with a box
cutter knife. Time required: five minutes. Cost: zero. Utility: 100%.
It has functioned perfectly for more than a year now, and I have the
remainder of the used group gasket in a drawer for use later should I need
to replace it.

I've also improvised a few plumbing parts along the route from the vibe pump
to the solenoid, and it hasn't effected the espresso one bit, although it
has saved a fair bit of money in replacement parts.

ken




  
Date: 07 Dec 2006 20:20:38
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
Pour some water from the boiler, let it cool and compare with your drinking
water. If it tastes good and you are comfortable it isn't concentrated
minerals, then use it. Simple.
--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************

<john.sabine@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1165533410.390077.294330@n67g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
> So, having got water coming from the spout (thanks Danny) I'll keep an
> eye on the water quality and see what the results are like. I reckon it
> may well get nasty quickly.
>
> John
>




 
Date: 07 Dec 2006 03:13:43
From:
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
Danny wrote:

> Yes, usually a Sirai, but those prices are way to expensive.
> Pressurestat possibly =A335+VAT at most. Look for the model number and
> post here.

Looks to me as though it's a Sirai P302-6. Ebay has a Sirai stat in
the US for 65 bucks, and I've found someone here (Zoedale) with them
for =A330 plus VAT and postage - any other preferred suppliers?

> On most grinders, unscrew the top burr (adjustment collar that the
> hopper is fitted to). Remove and replace top and bottom burrs.

Yep, got to that point after working out it was a L/H thread. How do
I tell if the burrs need replacing - I've seen references to them being
'sharp' but it's difficult to know what that really means in practice.

Again, would be grateful for parts sources - pretty sure it's a Mazzer
Major (certainly needs 83mm burrs), though there's an Ebay seller
with stock.

> > Spotted your reference to lagging the boiler
>
> Look at the images in the exploded views of my machine.

Think I'm being a bit dim as I can't spot the images with the lagging
visible. No matter, sure I can find something .... Foil backed foam,
you say - should be OK.

Thanks again for help & comments

Regards

John



 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 22:48:20
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
Some use boiler water for tea or other drinks. I personally think it's
nasty. Most of the time, it's water that's been boiled and boiled and
boiled. It may even be supersaturated with minerals since much of it has
been released by clean, mineral free steam. Maybe boilers are contaminated
with all kinds of scale, crud and even milk, sucked into the steam wand.
Do yourself and your customers a favor and provide a clean source for hot,
filtered good tasting water for your specialty teas and other water based
drinks.
--
*********************
Ed Needham® (everyone has an opinion. That's mine)
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************

<john.sabine@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1165405527.056061.287010@f1g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Hi there
>
> This is my first post here, and first post as owner of a decent
> espresso maker: predictably, I'm looking for some help.
>
> I picked up a well-used 2 group Gaggia D90 for a song on
> ebay a while ago, and have just got it plumbed in and going.
> Haven't been able to find a manual for it online, though the
> PDF for the Gaggia Evolution range was close enough for
> me to work out the installation and switch-on.
>
> On trying it, I get steam from both steam wands, but I also
> get steam from the hot water spout - not much use for tea.
>
> Boiler pressure fluctuates from 1.1 to 1.5 bar: I guess I need
> to turn the regulator down a touch, but will this help with
> getting hot water out?
>
> One of the wands leaks slightly when turned off - is it
> possible to replace the valve seals, or am I looking at a
> whole new valve here?
>
> On trying the groupheads (admittedly with some fairly old
> preground stuff, as I wasn't expecting to get anything
> drinkable my first few times), I'm basically seeing brown
> soup.
>
> The PFs both turn too far round to the right (replace the
> seals, I guess), and my pump pressure is lousy, only about
> 2 bar max. I tried turning the regulator screw right in, but
> it seemed to have no effect at all on pressure, and just made
> the pump squeal in pain.
>
> If anyone's got any bright ideas, I'd welcome them ...
>
> I'd also love a copy of the operations manual (though I can
> get by without it at the moment) and ideally a service manual
> for the machine - does Gaggia make such a thing available?
> I'm in the UK if it make a difference.
>
> Finally, I'm dreading my next electricity bill ... Is it possible
> to insulate the boiler in some way to cut heat losses and
> make it sensible to leave the thing on?
>
> Sorry to turn up here and ask a whole raft of questions as
> my introduction, and thanks both for reading this far and
> for any help or advice.
>
> Cheers
>
> John
>





  
Date: 07 Dec 2006 05:14:42
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
Ed Needham wrote:
> Some use boiler water for tea or other drinks. I personally think it's
> nasty. Most of the time, it's water that's been boiled and boiled and
> boiled. It may even be supersaturated with minerals since much of it has
> been released by clean, mineral free steam. Maybe boilers are contaminated
> with all kinds of scale, crud and even milk, sucked into the steam wand.
> Do yourself and your customers a favor and provide a clean source for hot,
> filtered good tasting water for your specialty teas and other water based
> drinks.

You may be right, but I use the water from the single boiler lever
machines daily. Since the boiler (16 litres) is replenished many
times a day (we use 125 litres of water a day) at least I know it's
fresh. It also passes through some filtration before the machine.
Many modern machines have boilers that are much smaller, so the water
won't be there long.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



   
Date: 07 Dec 2006 10:15:33
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
In your situation, having a high volume of usage, it obviously works. But
I've seen and tasted some of the nastiest boiler water you could imagine. I
would never try to make a quality drink from it. If I'm ordering tea or an
Americano, I'll specifically request not to use the boiler water.

I use the hot water on my machine to rinse the portafilter, cleanup, to heat
a ceramic mug, but in a boiler-type machine used for home purposes, that
water sits, and then boils, over and over again without being regularly
flushed. Yuck.
--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************


"Danny" <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote in message
news:4tpm8dF154ft2U1@mid.individual.net...
> You may be right, but I use the water from the single boiler lever
> machines daily. Since the boiler (16 litres) is replenished many times a
> day (we use 125 litres of water a day) at least I know it's fresh. It
> also passes through some filtration before the machine. Many modern
> machines have boilers that are much smaller, so the water won't be there
> long.




    
Date: 07 Dec 2006 12:18:33
From: Harry Moos
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
I use the hot water from Silvia to make Americanos, and I haven't detected
any bad taste. Never tasted the water straight, though. This is all RO
water, refreshed daily by about one-half. But then, I've only had the
machine about three months.

"Ed Needham" <ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com > wrote in message
news:HsWdnbd5mME2suXYnZ2dnUVZ_vmdnZ2d@insightbb.com...
> In your situation, having a high volume of usage, it obviously works. But
> I've seen and tasted some of the nastiest boiler water you could imagine.
> I would never try to make a quality drink from it. If I'm ordering tea or
> an Americano, I'll specifically request not to use the boiler water.
>
> I use the hot water on my machine to rinse the portafilter, cleanup, to
> heat a ceramic mug, but in a boiler-type machine used for home purposes,
> that water sits, and then boils, over and over again without being
> regularly flushed. Yuck.




     
Date: 07 Dec 2006 20:19:04
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
I was referring to heat exchanger machines and those with double boilers.
A Silvia would be fine for hot water since it's the same water as you make
espresso with. Not the case in the machines mentioned above.
Maybe it's a finer point, but there's just something icky about water that
has spent a lot of time in a boiler.

--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************

"Harry Moos" <harrym@ruraltel.net > wrote in message
news:bOSdnWV_bvJpx-XYnZ2dnUVZ_q2pnZ2d@news.ruraltel.net...
>I use the hot water from Silvia to make Americanos, and I haven't detected
>any bad taste. Never tasted the water straight, though. This is all RO
>water, refreshed daily by about one-half. But then, I've only had the
>machine about three months.




     
Date: 07 Dec 2006 12:28:38
From: Lloyd Parsons
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
In article <bOSdnWV_bvJpx-XYnZ2dnUVZ_q2pnZ2d@news.ruraltel.net >,
"Harry Moos" <harrym@ruraltel.net > wrote:

> I use the hot water from Silvia to make Americanos, and I haven't detected
> any bad taste. Never tasted the water straight, though. This is all RO
> water, refreshed daily by about one-half. But then, I've only had the
> machine about three months.
>
> "Ed Needham" <ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com> wrote in message
> news:HsWdnbd5mME2suXYnZ2dnUVZ_vmdnZ2d@insightbb.com...
> > In your situation, having a high volume of usage, it obviously works. But
> > I've seen and tasted some of the nastiest boiler water you could imagine.
> > I would never try to make a quality drink from it. If I'm ordering tea or
> > an Americano, I'll specifically request not to use the boiler water.
> >
> > I use the hot water on my machine to rinse the portafilter, cleanup, to
> > heat a ceramic mug, but in a boiler-type machine used for home purposes,
> > that water sits, and then boils, over and over again without being
> > regularly flushed. Yuck.

With a single boiler, especially the smaller ones, you shouldn't expect
the water to be a problem. Given that the Silvia boiler is only 12 oz,
2 Americanos would drain it if they were done back to back.

I wouldn't think that the water getting old in a small single-boiler
machine at home would be a problem unless you don't use it very much at
all. Virtually any use at home would infuse fresh water into the boiler
at a level to keep it from being an issue, imo.

In something like my not-yet-here Izzo Alex, with a 2-liter boiler whose
water is only used for steam or hot water, it could be a problem as I
tend to not use either much.

As part of the install of this new machine, I am adding a small water
softener and filter system. Coupled with the relatively soft water
around here, it ought to take a lot of worry out of the equation.


 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 12:09:04
From:
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)

Danny wrote:
> john.sabine@gmail.com wrote:
> > Hi there
> >
> > This is my first post here, and first post as owner of a decent
> > espresso maker: predictably, I'm looking for some help.
> >
> > I picked up a well-used 2 group Gaggia D90 for a song on
> > ebay a while ago, and have just got it plumbed in and going.
> > Haven't been able to find a manual for it online, though the
> > PDF for the Gaggia Evolution range was close enough for
> > me to work out the installation and switch-on.
> >
> > On trying it, I get steam from both steam wands, but I also
> > get steam from the hot water spout - not much use for tea.
>
> I'd guess that your boiler water level is too low? Or the pick up for
> the wtare spout has fallen off. Boilers have steam at the top and
> water at the bottom. The water spout is connected to a pipe that
> should be immersed in the water when the boiler has the correct water
> level, but usually not at the bottom so it doesn't pick up scale. You
> should have an automatic water fill and possibly a sight glass to
> ensure the boiler is full?

OK, that description's helpful for my understanding of the workings.

I do have auto fill which is obviously working to some degree: when
I first switched the machine on the fill alarm flashed and the pump
cut in. My sight glass shows water at the normal level, but I'm not
convinced I trust this as the machine has sat in my home for some
months and I don't know how long it was idle before that.

I will fiddle some more and see what I can work out.

> >
> > Boiler pressure fluctuates from 1.1 to 1.5 bar: I guess I need
> > to turn the regulator down a touch, but will this help with
> > getting hot water out?
>
> Normally set to fluctuate between 1.1 - 1.2 bar. If the deadband is
> too wide (as yours is) the pressurestat needs replacing (or just the
> membrane if it's a Sirai or similar stat) - this is an easy job.

Is this likely to be the same as what London Espresso
(http://www.londonespresso.com/GAGGIA_spareparts_london.htm)
describes as a pressure switch, part no GA 170?

> > One of the wands leaks slightly when turned off - is it
> > possible to replace the valve seals, or am I looking at a
> > whole new valve here?
>
> Most machines have replaceable valve seals. Most Gaggia machines use
> a seal called a top hat seal.

Yep, found the exploded diagram on your site (and elsewhere) for the
valve and was reassured that it looked a fairly simple construction

> You will definitely need an espresso grinder. You will definitely need
> an espresso grinder. You will definitely need an espresso grinder.
> You will definitely need an espresso grinder. You will definitely
> need an espresso grinder. You will definitely need an espresso
> grinder. You will definitely need an espresso grinder.

Um, are you trying to tell me something?

I have an unknown Mazzer (believed to be a Royal, though I'm not
certain) sat behind my sofa at the moment. I'd been going to leave
questions on that until I had the Gaggia up and running, as I'm
sure there will be lots.

Meantime, if anyone can tell me how to get at the burrs, and then
what to check them for when I do, I'd be grateful.

> > Finally, I'm dreading my next electricity bill ... Is it possible
> > to insulate the boiler in some way to cut heat losses and
> > make it sensible to leave the thing on?
>
> See my site below for insulation and other advice.

Spotted your reference to lagging the boiler a little while ago and
was intrigued by it: what did you do? Literally just cut insulation
to size and then, what, lash it in place with wire?

What sort of insulation? I think you refer to loft insulation but I'm a

bit reluctant to have a go with, say, rockwool simply because of
all the fibres around the place near food.

Cheers

John



  
Date: 06 Dec 2006 22:14:15
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
john.sabine@gmail.com wrote:

> Is this likely to be the same as what London Espresso
> (http://www.londonespresso.com/GAGGIA_spareparts_london.htm)
> describes as a pressure switch, part no GA 170?

Yes, usually a Sirai, but those prices are way to expensive.
Pressurestat possibly £35+VAT at most. Look for the model number and
post here.

> Um, are you trying to tell me something?
>
> I have an unknown Mazzer (believed to be a Royal, though I'm not
> certain) sat behind my sofa at the moment. I'd been going to leave
> questions on that until I had the Gaggia up and running, as I'm
> sure there will be lots.
>
> Meantime, if anyone can tell me how to get at the burrs, and then
> what to check them for when I do, I'd be grateful.

On most grinders, unscrew the top burr (adjustment collar that the
hopper is fitted to). Remove and replace top and bottom burrs.

> Spotted your reference to lagging the boiler a little while ago and
> was intrigued by it: what did you do? Literally just cut insulation
> to size and then, what, lash it in place with wire?
>
> What sort of insulation? I think you refer to loft insulation but I'm a
>
> bit reluctant to have a go with, say, rockwool simply because of
> all the fibres around the place near food.


Look at the images in the exploded views of my machine. You can also
google this group (boiler insulation) for other solutions that are
basically stick on or tied on panels of foam backed foil or similar
construction. Ensure that you don't trap electronics within any
insulation as they will overheat.


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 11:36:47
From:
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)

Robert Harmon wrote:
> Howdy John!
> I did a quick Google for your machine & found this link in the UK:
> http://www.espressoservices.co.uk/gaggia_espresso_machines.html. If they
> sell the D90 they should have a manual.

Thanks ... I'd seen their site a little while ago and forgotten about
it;
truth is I'm lazy and was hoping for a downloadable manual, as I
found Gaggia do for the Evolution range. Really hoping for a service
manual too, or are these unnecessary?

Cheers

John



 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 17:41:01
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
john.sabine@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi there
>
> This is my first post here, and first post as owner of a decent
> espresso maker: predictably, I'm looking for some help.
>
> I picked up a well-used 2 group Gaggia D90 for a song on
> ebay a while ago, and have just got it plumbed in and going.
> Haven't been able to find a manual for it online, though the
> PDF for the Gaggia Evolution range was close enough for
> me to work out the installation and switch-on.
>
> On trying it, I get steam from both steam wands, but I also
> get steam from the hot water spout - not much use for tea.

I'd guess that your boiler water level is too low? Or the pick up for
the wtare spout has fallen off. Boilers have steam at the top and
water at the bottom. The water spout is connected to a pipe that
should be immersed in the water when the boiler has the correct water
level, but usually not at the bottom so it doesn't pick up scale. You
should have an automatic water fill and possibly a sight glass to
ensure the boiler is full?

>
> Boiler pressure fluctuates from 1.1 to 1.5 bar: I guess I need
> to turn the regulator down a touch, but will this help with
> getting hot water out?

Normally set to fluctuate between 1.1 - 1.2 bar. If the deadband is
too wide (as yours is) the pressurestat needs replacing (or just the
membrane if it's a Sirai or similar stat) - this is an easy job.

>
> One of the wands leaks slightly when turned off - is it
> possible to replace the valve seals, or am I looking at a
> whole new valve here?

Most machines have replaceable valve seals. Most Gaggia machines use
a seal called a top hat seal.

>
> On trying the groupheads (admittedly with some fairly old
> preground stuff, as I wasn't expecting to get anything
> drinkable my first few times), I'm basically seeing brown
> soup.

You will definitely need an espresso grinder. You will definitely need
an espresso grinder. You will definitely need an espresso grinder.
You will definitely need an espresso grinder. You will definitely
need an espresso grinder. You will definitely need an espresso
grinder. You will definitely need an espresso grinder.

>
> The PFs both turn too far round to the right (replace the
> seals, I guess), and my pump pressure is lousy, only about
> 2 bar max. I tried turning the regulator screw right in, but
> it seemed to have no effect at all on pressure, and just made
> the pump squeal in pain.
>
> If anyone's got any bright ideas, I'd welcome them ...
>
> I'd also love a copy of the operations manual (though I can
> get by without it at the moment) and ideally a service manual
> for the machine - does Gaggia make such a thing available?
> I'm in the UK if it make a difference.
>
> Finally, I'm dreading my next electricity bill ... Is it possible
> to insulate the boiler in some way to cut heat losses and
> make it sensible to leave the thing on?

See my site below for insulation and other advice.

>
> Sorry to turn up here and ask a whole raft of questions as
> my introduction, and thanks both for reading this far and
> for any help or advice.
>
> Cheers
>
> John
>

Good luck.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 16:24:17
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
john.sabine@gmail.com wrote in news:1165405527.056061.287010
@f1g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Hi there
>
> This is my first post here, and first post as owner of a decent
> espresso maker: predictably, I'm looking for some help.
>
> I picked up a well-used 2 group Gaggia D90 for a song on
> ebay a while ago, and have just got it plumbed in and going.
> Haven't been able to find a manual for it online, though the
> PDF for the Gaggia Evolution range was close enough for
> me to work out the installation and switch-on.

> snipped

> I'd also love a copy of the operations manual (though I can
> get by without it at the moment) and ideally a service manual
> for the machine - does Gaggia make such a thing available?
> I'm in the UK if it make a difference.
> Cheers
>
> John
>

Howdy John!
I did a quick Google for your machine & found this link in the UK:
http://www.espressoservices.co.uk/gaggia_espresso_machines.html. If they
sell the D90 they should have a manual.

Robert (duck & cover) Harmon
--
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r
Remove "Z" to reply via email.


 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 08:08:35
From:
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
Stuart Hudson wrote:
> > On trying the groupheads (admittedly with some fairly old
> > preground stuff, as I wasn't expecting to get anything
> > drinkable my first few times), I'm basically seeing brown
> > soup.
> >
> > The PFs both turn too far round to the right (replace the
> > seals, I guess), and my pump pressure is lousy, only about
> > 2 bar max.
>
> I would have thought that you would need to use fresh coffee at the
> right grind for the pump pressure to develop otherwise the water is just
> flooding through the puck instead of being held back.

Coffee is - or claims to be - espresso grind. Certainly pucks don't
show
any sign of flooding (not that I'd know, in truth) and are nice and
firm.
Will probably test with a blind PF when I get hold of one.

Had off-list advice that the pump needs replacing. Price doesn't seem
too bad (any tips for suppliers in the UK, preferably London, welcome -
I've looked at London Espresso so far), but if there are options for a
rebuild/refurb I'd rather explore them first. Any advice?

Regards

John



  
Date: 07 Dec 2006 10:49:17
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
But when you consider that the change in environment can screw the grind
settings scarily fast, how can you possibly pregrind with any real effect?

Bit ethe bullet, go and buy a nice shiny (commercial) grinder get some fresh
roasted beans and enjoy!

Brent

> Coffee is - or claims to be - espresso grind. Certainly pucks don't
> show
> any sign of flooding (not that I'd know, in truth) and are nice and
> firm.
> Will probably test with a blind PF when I get hold of one.
>
> Had off-list advice that the pump needs replacing. Price doesn't seem
> too bad (any tips for suppliers in the UK, preferably London, welcome -
> I've looked at London Espresso so far), but if there are options for a
> rebuild/refurb I'd rather explore them first. Any advice?
>
> Regards
>
> John
>




 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 13:49:03
From: Stuart Hudson
Subject: Re: Ex-commercial machine - getting it going (longish)
john.sabine@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi there
>
> This is my first post here, and first post as owner of a decent
> espresso maker: predictably, I'm looking for some help.
>

>
> On trying the groupheads (admittedly with some fairly old
> preground stuff, as I wasn't expecting to get anything
> drinkable my first few times), I'm basically seeing brown
> soup.
>
> The PFs both turn too far round to the right (replace the
> seals, I guess), and my pump pressure is lousy, only about
> 2 bar max. I tried turning the regulator screw right in, but
> it seemed to have no effect at all on pressure, and just made
> the pump squeal in pain.
>


I would have thought that you would need to use fresh coffee at the
right grind for the pump pressure to develop otherwise the water is just
flooding through the puck instead of being held back.

Stuart Hudson