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Date: 04 Jun 2007 01:04:08
From:
Subject: Gaggia Baby - Loss of Flow Pressure!
Hello! Apologies in advance if this has been answered previously, but
I couldn't manage to find something precisely on point in the
alt.coffee threads. I have a Gaggia Baby ca. 1980s i got off ebay a
few years ago, which had some age on it but the original owners had
never used it and it sat in their basement for years (i think it was a
wedding gift). It worked like a champ right out of the box and has
served me well up until a few days ago when it suddenly stopped
working. If someone can diagnose the problem I'd really appreciate
it! Basically, when i turn the machine on now to brew - running hot
water through the group head first as i usually do - the volume of
water coming out of the group head is very minimal. So the pump seems
to be working, but i guess there's something clogging the flow because
the pressure is virtually zero and no water manages to get through the
grounds to my cup.. In any case, i must confess to NEVER cleaning the
group head - yes, i know this is sacriligious. what can i say? i'm
lazy. A few times i made a half hearted effort to clear some excess
grounds etc, but never made a serious attempt. The most i would do is
run hot water through it before i attach the handle to brew the
coffee. I guess the first thing to do is to clean the group head -
but i wonder if the symptoms i'm describing portend something more
serious (like a loose water connection or burned out pump, etc).. Any
advice would be greatly appreciated!





 
Date: 05 Jun 2007 01:36:06
From:
Subject: Re: Gaggia Baby - Loss of Flow Pressure!

Thanks John & Danny! This is great advice! I'll clean the group head
and also try de-scaling as a first order of business. What does de-
scaling involve exactly? (afraid I've never done that either!)..
Thanks again!





  
Date: 05 Jun 2007 06:39:11
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Gaggia Baby - Loss of Flow Pressure!
vonsipolje@gmail.com wrote:
> Thanks John & Danny! This is great advice! I'll clean the group head
> and also try de-scaling as a first order of business. What does de-
> scaling involve exactly? (afraid I've never done that either!)..
> Thanks again!
>
>
>

I would do the two seperately, even if both tasks are in urgent need
of completing. Sort out the grouphead blockage first (if that's the
problem), so that you are back to a working machine, before you
descale it, but that's just me. It's easier to diagnose one fault at
a time before adding other potential problems to the equation, but it
doesn't really matter.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



 
Date: 04 Jun 2007 06:38:40
From: John B
Subject: Re: Gaggia Baby - Loss of Flow Pressure!
My Baby is about 25-yrs old and I just finished bringing it back to
life, so maybe I can help ...

You can test the pump by removing the white nylon (teflon?) tube
feeding into the side of the boiler and pointing the tube towards an
empty bowl. If water flows freely there then you know that something
else is blocked downstream.

There are only a few other places to check:

* Something might be clogging up inside the 3-way valve
* The hole in the group head that feeds water to the dispersion plate
* The 4 holes in the dispersion plate
* The dispersion screen

Based on the history you will want to clean up the group head even if
the pump turns out to be the problem. But it's possible too that a
piece of scale from inside the boiler has worked its way through the
pipe and into the group head, cloggin up the valve or water outlet
hole. I know from experience that that can happen, my 3-way valve
became clogged after I descaled my boiler.

Good luck!
John



 
Date: 04 Jun 2007 04:47:22
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Gaggia Baby - Loss of Flow Pressure!
vonsipolje@gmail.com wrote:
> Hello! Apologies in advance if this has been answered previously, but
> I couldn't manage to find something precisely on point in the
> alt.coffee threads. I have a Gaggia Baby ca. 1980s i got off ebay a
> few years ago, which had some age on it but the original owners had
> never used it and it sat in their basement for years (i think it was a
> wedding gift). It worked like a champ right out of the box and has
> served me well up until a few days ago when it suddenly stopped
> working. If someone can diagnose the problem I'd really appreciate
> it! Basically, when i turn the machine on now to brew - running hot
> water through the group head first as i usually do - the volume of
> water coming out of the group head is very minimal. So the pump seems
> to be working, but i guess there's something clogging the flow because
> the pressure is virtually zero and no water manages to get through the
> grounds to my cup.. In any case, i must confess to NEVER cleaning the
> group head - yes, i know this is sacriligious. what can i say? i'm
> lazy. A few times i made a half hearted effort to clear some excess
> grounds etc, but never made a serious attempt. The most i would do is
> run hot water through it before i attach the handle to brew the
> coffee. I guess the first thing to do is to clean the group head -
> but i wonder if the symptoms i'm describing portend something more
> serious (like a loose water connection or burned out pump, etc).. Any
> advice would be greatly appreciated!
>

Sounds like your brewhead is in serious need of a cleaning (many
threads on the subject here), but - remove showerscreen (phillips
screw). Remove lump of metal above (allen bolts) and thoroughly clean
area. If you've never done this before there is a good chance that
the lump of metal might seem to be stuck, or one piece. Use a small
screwdriver carefully to prise the lump of metal off. Consider
descaling the boiler too.

It might still be the pump, though, since you have some flow, but
minimal flow would indicate blocked grouphead.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)