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Date: 13 Sep 2006 23:16:37
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?
This is a 45 minute procedure requiring just a few hand tools & has
difficulty rating of +1 (out of a range of 1 - 5 with 5 being most
difficult).

How to manually clean the inside of a Gaggia boiler.

If the mineral buildup is bad descaling with an acidic solution won't do a
good enough job. And if the accumulation of deposits is very bad the area
around the O-ring needs to be visually checked to prevent future leaks.
Remove just the water lines & wires attached to the boiler & thermostats and
clearly k them for easier reassembly. Remove the allen bolts holding the
portafilter attachment point. Remove the bolts holding the steam valve. Lift
out the boiler (it'll still have water in it).
Remove the four allen bolts holding the boiler together and the boiler
should split into two parts. The lower part (brass) usually needs little
more than blowing out the water paths with compressed air. The upper half
(aluminum) will probably need more work. A Dremel tool with a wire brush
attachment will make short work of the mineral buildup. If the mating flange
is clean & not eroded great, but if is then you'll need to fix that before
reassembly. I use a flat piece of aluminum plate that I spray glue different
grit emery paper to. I set the boiler part flat on the abrasive & move it
about in a non repeating motion. I start with a fairly heavy grit & work my
way down in steps.
Once it appears clean again reassemble the two boiler halves. If the O-ring
is still intact & pliable reuse it otherwise order a new one. I lay in a
thin bead of LocTite RTV silicone gasket sealer (NSF approved) & lay the
O-ring on top followed by another thin bead of sealant. Tighten the four
bolts until you feel the resistance of the O-ring. Stop & wait for the
sealer to partially cure (read directions) before tightening the bolts
completely. The sealer usually needs to completely cure for 24 hours and
after that you've got a seal that can withstand any temp & pressures an
espresso machine can offer up. And I've been assured by the techies at
LocTite that the sealant will resist incursion by mineral deposits, so your
boiler should never leak.
Reinstall the boiler, valves, water & electrical wires. Bolt everything back
in the same order that you removed them. Plug in the machine, grind some
beans, dose, tamp & brew. You'll think you have a new machine!
--
Robert (will post simple how-to guides from time-to-time) Harmon
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r






 
Date: 14 Sep 2006 09:45:18
From: Tim Blue
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?
It is surprising to me that the citric acid solution did not work.

I have seen some pretty bad boiler scale build up and the citric has
always worked. The main trick with the citric is heat.

The difference in a heated vs non-heated solution is stunning.

~Tim


Robert Harmon wrote:
> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring just a few hand tools & has
> difficulty rating of +1 (out of a range of 1 - 5 with 5 being most
> difficult).
>
> How to manually clean the inside of a Gaggia boiler.
>
> If the mineral buildup is bad descaling with an acidic solution won't do a
> good enough job. And if the accumulation of deposits is very bad the area
> around the O-ring needs to be visually checked to prevent future leaks.
> Remove just the water lines & wires attached to the boiler & thermostats and
> clearly k them for easier reassembly. Remove the allen bolts holding the
> portafilter attachment point. Remove the bolts holding the steam valve. Lift
> out the boiler (it'll still have water in it).
> Remove the four allen bolts holding the boiler together and the boiler
> should split into two parts. The lower part (brass) usually needs little
> more than blowing out the water paths with compressed air. The upper half
> (aluminum) will probably need more work. A Dremel tool with a wire brush
> attachment will make short work of the mineral buildup. If the mating flange
> is clean & not eroded great, but if is then you'll need to fix that before
> reassembly. I use a flat piece of aluminum plate that I spray glue different
> grit emery paper to. I set the boiler part flat on the abrasive & move it
> about in a non repeating motion. I start with a fairly heavy grit & work my
> way down in steps.
> Once it appears clean again reassemble the two boiler halves. If the O-ring
> is still intact & pliable reuse it otherwise order a new one. I lay in a
> thin bead of LocTite RTV silicone gasket sealer (NSF approved) & lay the
> O-ring on top followed by another thin bead of sealant. Tighten the four
> bolts until you feel the resistance of the O-ring. Stop & wait for the
> sealer to partially cure (read directions) before tightening the bolts
> completely. The sealer usually needs to completely cure for 24 hours and
> after that you've got a seal that can withstand any temp & pressures an
> espresso machine can offer up. And I've been assured by the techies at
> LocTite that the sealant will resist incursion by mineral deposits, so your
> boiler should never leak.
> Reinstall the boiler, valves, water & electrical wires. Bolt everything back
> in the same order that you removed them. Plug in the machine, grind some
> beans, dose, tamp & brew. You'll think you have a new machine!
> --
> Robert (will post simple how-to guides from time-to-time) Harmon
> http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
> http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r



 
Date: 14 Sep 2006 15:34:39
From: Natalie Drest
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?
"Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com > wrote in message
news:pj0Og.11564$xQ1.2209@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring...
(snip) ... You'll think you have a new machine!
> --
> Robert (will post simple how-to guides from time-to-time) Harmon
> http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
> http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r

Thanks for the Guide, Robert.
When do I know my machine needs this kind of surgery?
My machine (Gaggia Evolution) makes great shots, but there's usually a
lingering metallic taste afterward. I'm guessing that's the alarm bell
indicating surgery is required.
I ran espresso cleaner through it & got a noticeable improvement in both
group head & steam pressure, but still have the taste thing.

Also, if I leave it on for over 1/2 an hour, the boiler is dry- even if I
fill the pump after steaming milk.. Where does the water go?






  
Date: 14 Sep 2006 14:46:21
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?
Howdy Natalie,
I've never had a metallic taste when using a Gaggia. Did you use a descaling
agent to clean your machine & if so did you flush the machine with fresh
water? I use citric acid & I flush until there's no acidic taste to the
water from the group.

The first indication of a calcified boiler is usually the absence of water
from the group while water still flows freely from the steam wand. Actually
the first indication will be a slow reduction of volume at the group. Check
this by doing a water-debit test. As far as where does the water go, you
probably have a leak. If your machine has a group valve (located under the
shower screen holder: remove one screw for the shower & two allen bolts for
the disk), that would be where I'd first look.

Good luck!

http://home.earthlink.net/~r_harmon/Gaggia%20maintenence.htm
--
Robert (duck & cover) Harmon
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r


"Natalie Drest" <fugeddaboudit@notarealemailaddress.net > wrote in message
news:4508e9eb$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> "Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:pj0Og.11564$xQ1.2209@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring...
> (snip) ... You'll think you have a new machine!
>> --
>> Robert (will post simple how-to guides from time-to-time) Harmon
>> http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
>> http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r
>
> Thanks for the Guide, Robert.
> When do I know my machine needs this kind of surgery?
> My machine (Gaggia Evolution) makes great shots, but there's usually a
> lingering metallic taste afterward. I'm guessing that's the alarm bell
> indicating surgery is required.
> I ran espresso cleaner through it & got a noticeable improvement in both
> group head & steam pressure, but still have the taste thing.
>
> Also, if I leave it on for over 1/2 an hour, the boiler is dry- even if I
> fill the pump after steaming milk.. Where does the water go?
>
>
>
>




  
Date: 14 Sep 2006 15:42:11
From: Natalie Drest
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?
"Natalie Drest" <fugeddaboudit@notarealemailaddress.net > wrote in message
news:4508e9eb$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> "Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:pj0Og.11564$xQ1.2209@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring...
> (snip) ... You'll think you have a new machine!
>> --
>> Robert (will post simple how-to guides from time-to-time) Harmon
>> http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
>> http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r
>
> Thanks for the Guide, Robert.
> When do I know my machine needs this kind of surgery?
> My machine (Gaggia Evolution) makes great shots, but there's usually a
> lingering metallic taste afterward. I'm guessing that's the alarm bell
> indicating surgery is required.
> I ran espresso cleaner through it & got a noticeable improvement in both
> group head & steam pressure, but still have the taste thing.
>
> Also, if I leave it on for over 1/2 an hour, the boiler is dry- even if I
> fill the pump after steaming milk.. Where does the water go?
>

I guess what I'm really asking is whether taking the boiler to bits for a
scrub out will take away that metallic aftertaste- or do aluminium boilers
all taste like that anyway?

Thanks
ND




 
Date: 14 Sep 2006 05:22:51
From: Danny
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?
Robert Harmon wrote:
> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring just a few hand tools & has
> difficulty rating of +1 (out of a range of 1 - 5 with 5 being most
> difficult).
>
-snip-

As long as the procedure works on all Gaggia home machines, it's a
very useful and well written piece - thanks. I'll have to save and
use it it on my two (older) Gaggia Baby's, before I get round to
selling them, since I was very naughty and didn't drain the boilers...


--
Regards, Danny

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



 
Date: 13 Sep 2006 17:38:58
From: LF
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?

Robert Harmon wrote:
> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring just a few hand tools & has
> difficulty rating of +1 (out of a range of 1 - 5 with 5 being most
> difficult).
>
> How to manually clean the inside of a Gaggia boiler.
>
<snip >
Thanks Robert,

I enjoyed reading your post.
I recently purchased two used Gaggias, a Coffee and a Classic Gold.
After following the link to your ebay article on used Gaggias, I was
happy to learn that I could adapt a new boiler to the Coffee if need
be..

All the best,
Larry



 
Date: 13 Sep 2006 17:38:52
From: LF
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?

Robert Harmon wrote:
> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring just a few hand tools & has
> difficulty rating of +1 (out of a range of 1 - 5 with 5 being most
> difficult).
>
> How to manually clean the inside of a Gaggia boiler.
>
<snip >
Thanks Robert,

I enjoyed reading your post.
I recently purchased two used Gaggias, a Coffee and a Classic Gold.
After following the link to your ebay article on used Gaggias, I was
happy to learn that I could adapt a new boiler to the Coffee if need
be..

All the best,
Larry



  
Date: 14 Sep 2006 02:26:57
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: What to do if descaling with citric acid doesn't do the trick?
"LF" <fieman@gmail.com > wrote in news:1158194332.170030.245030
@d34g2000cwd.googlegroups.com:

>
> Robert Harmon wrote:
>> This is a 45 minute procedure requiring just a few hand tools & has
>> difficulty rating of +1 (out of a range of 1 - 5 with 5 being most
>> difficult).
>>
>> How to manually clean the inside of a Gaggia boiler.
>>
> <snip>
> Thanks Robert,
>
> I enjoyed reading your post.
> I recently purchased two used Gaggias, a Coffee and a Classic Gold.
> After following the link to your ebay article on used Gaggias, I was
> happy to learn that I could adapt a new boiler to the Coffee if need
> be..
>
> All the best,
> Larry
>
>
Thanks Larry, it's nice to get positive feedback like that!

This & other Gaggia related issues are discussed on my web site:
http://home.earthlink.net/~r_harmon/Gaggia%20maintenence.htm

Robert (duck & cover) Harmon
--
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r
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