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Thread: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

  1. #1
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    Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    One of the main complaints (and rightfully so) of the Kitchen Aid espresso machine is that it comes with one of the "froth enhancing" steam wands.

    Unfortunately I bought my machine BCS (before coffee snobs).

    I made some inquiries at a local coffee machine shop, they were very helpful but were reluctant to do anything because they do not sell or repair the machines (and fair enough too). They suggested I try the Kitchen Aid service center. However because Kitchen Aid do make anything suitable for the machine they couldnt help me either.

    I was on the verge of listing the machine on ebay, but I though I would give it a crack myself.

    Web research did not reveal any clues, so I on got onto Coffee Parts and went through each steam wand, web searching for manuals of the corresponding machines. I finally decided on the MINIWEGA steam wand (part 703109 - www.coffeeparts.com/wega/weg3) from Coffee Parts.

    I have put details of the mod on the web - http://picasaweb.google.com/DavidLPaget/KitchenAidSteamerMod if anyone is interested.

    The nozzle on the wand has 5 holes and Kitchen Aid just doesnt produce that much steam. I have blocked up the four outside holes and just use the central hole.

    I also had to bend the wand slightly more at the bends because the kitchen aid is quite low.

    The results are great and I am now happy enough with my machine until I save up for Vibiemme Domobar Super Lever


  2. #2
    cremakid
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    I understand that you now have success with your modded wand (bent etc) but I was wondering if a Silvia wand could be fitted as I believe the Kitchenaide is actually a Gaggia inside.

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by cremakid link=1215938701/0#1 date=1215987480
    I understand that you now have success with your modded wand (bent etc) but I was wondering if a Silvia wand could be fitted as I believe the Kitchenaide is actually a Gaggia inside.
    Dont know why youd want to "ck"? This looks like a top job to me and an excellent outcome 8-).... You can always experiment with other Wand Tips if the need for speed arises since this looks like a commercial sized wand in the photos.

    Top job DP..... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Mal.

  4. #4
    cremakid
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Dont know why youd want to "ck"? This looks like a top job to me and an excellent outcome
    Sure Mal, but I was mainly suggesting it for anyone else having the same prob and are not in the bending, taping up steam wands frame of mind and want a neat easy fix even if it does involve a few bucks expenditure. Anyway my suggestion may not even work.

  5. #5
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by cremakid link=1215938701/0#1 date=1215987480
    I understand that you now have success with your modded wand (bent etc) but I was wondering if a Silvia wand could be fitted as I believe the Kitchenaide is actually a Gaggia inside.
    Thanks CK, I had heard, of coarse, that the Kitchenaid is Gaggia inside however I couldnt find a copy of the manual on line so I couldnt verify if the wand would work or which one try. Also, none of the exploded views on Coffee Parts looked like the inside of the Kitchenaid, although its hard to tell from diagrams I guess :P I was hopping that someone else had done the hard work before me, but these machines dont seem to be to popular, particularly amongst CSers.

    Hopefully, if anyone else has one and wants to get a decent texture for the milk, here at least is one solution that will work.

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by DP link=1215938701/0#4 date=1216035862
    I was hopping that someone else had done the hard work before me, but these machines dont seem to be to popular, particularly amongst CSers.
    I really like the end result of your efforts "DP" [smiley=thumbsup.gif]; regarding KitchenAid espresso machines, its not that theres anything wrong with the machine as such, its more to do with the cost of them. In the same price bracket you can buy superior machines but as we all harp on about.... Its the grinder thats most important so, as long as youve got a decent grinder, you should be able to pull some excellent espresso with the KA.

    One good thing about the innards being made up of mostly standard Gaggia consumer hardware is that spares will never be a problem, and the machine certainly has that Italian Pizzazz 8-) about it. All the best mate,

    Mal.

  7. #7
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Also, none of the exploded views on Coffee Parts looked like the inside of the Kitchenaid,
    coffee parts sell commercial parts, not domestic

    the kitchenaid coffee machine is made by gaggia using the same components as a gaggia baby with a cast body. built to last
    it has two full size gaggia alloy boilers with 3way solenoid on coffee boiler and 2way fill solenoid on steam/water boiler
    both boilers are approx 1100watts

    good machine, poorly marketed

    graham

  8. #8
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    DP - I was a sucker for the looks too, and bought the same machine BCS.

    I am happy with the machine so far, but would LOVE to have a better steam wand. For the electrically/mechanically challenged such as myself, Im a bit apprehensive to upgrade the steam wand if the wand needs to be cut/bent.

    Do you think the KitchenAid wand could be replaced with a Rancilio Silvia Articulating Steam Wand? See http://www.espressoparts.com/product...Kit.html<br />

    Your pics on taking apart the machine are fantastic, and will come in handy if I decide to try it for myself (with the assistance from someone who can construct something more complex than an IKEA shoe rack)

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Gday cantoccino,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs mate..... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    For what its worth, the wand depicted on that page from espressoparts (in the USA by the way) is of a very similar design to the MiniWega wand that DP used in his Mod. I think the most difficult aspect of this type of mod, isnt the swapping around of the wands themselves but the disassembly and reassembly of the machine.

    Id just go with what ever wand of a similar design that you are able to purchase from where ever you are located. If in Australia, then it is very hard to go past CoffeeParts, one of our long standing and very respected sponsors... Theyll have Steam Wands of practically every design possible but I would still argue to stick with the setup that DP has already identified, and that ends up being a very professionally finished job.

    All the best mate, :)
    Mal.

  10. #10
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Thanks Mal,

    Can I just say, I am so impressed that experienced CSers will go out of their way to help us mere noobs.

    I am not in Oz, but will be back in December, so I may pick up a MiniWega, hand the reducing bush to someone who is experienced in cutting metal (to cut off the top of the hexagonal part as DP suggested), then give it a go when Im back home.

    DPs pics and instructions are so detailed, there doesnt seem to be much room for error - it reminds me of a bomb being disarmed and let me assure you, Ill be sweating just as much while taking it apart.

    DP - if you are still following this thread, you noted you cut too much off the hex part of the bush so it didnt seal against the O-ring. Did this create a problem with leaking? Or was it just an explanation for the gap in the pic?

    Cheers.

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by cantoccino link=1215938701/0#9 date=1223382684
    Can I just say, I am so impressed that experienced CSers will go out of their way to help us mere noobs.
    Thats what were all about here at CS, helping as many people as we can along the journey towards great coffee at home. Dont forget to let us know how you get on, will you canto ;)

    All the best,
    Mal.

  12. #12
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by cantoccino link=1215938701/0#9 date=1223382684
    Thanks Mal,

    noted you cut too much off the hex part of the bush so it didnt seal against the O-ring. *Did this create a problem with leaking? *Or was it just an explanation for the gap in the pic?
    Cantoccino,

    Initially I did have a leakage problem, however this was easily rectified with a bit of thread tape and re-tightening the bush. I have no leaks at all now.

    Since doing the modification I am over the moon with my machine and wonder why I ever hesitated to do it. My advise, go for it. Hope the information I have shown helps.

    Cheeers.

  13. #13
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    I own a Pro Line and totally agree that it is a great machine. Of course the price when they first hit the market was overkill for the class its in, but I found mine pretty cheap and Im totally satisfied. It is basically a Gaggia Classis X 2 with that sexy KA design.

    I have found the stock wand to be just fine. Now the Panarello attachment that came on the machine is a joke as it just aerates the milk way too much before it hits the proper temp. I just tossed it to the side and use the bare wand. I like how the wand can be articulated in any direction. It is a bit short, but I never submerge the tip more than 1/2" anyway and I can steam as much as 12 oz. of chilled whole milk in a 20 oz. pitcher with it in about 1.5 minutes. Not lightning quick, but not bad either. I dont use much milk in my cappuccino anyway and only steam large portions like that for guests.

    Nice modification though and nice pics. Ive had mine apart doing a few fixes in the last 1.5 years. Only problem most people have is with the water from the OPV running down the back of the machine. I came up with a really simple, cheap fix for that. I also modified the way it dumps the water from the puck into the drip tray and came up with a few minor fixes for the vibrating sounds that come from the stock machine. Later!


  14. #14
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Thanks for the update DP. I have no idea when it comes to pulling apart machines (other than to disconnect it to the power supply first :o), but Ill give it a go after New Year and let you know how it turns out.

    Shadow745, I have also taken away the plastic attachment, and have also found it to do a good job with smaller volumes of milk. Sometimes I find the the foam is too thick, but it probably has a lot to do with my technique. Maybe Im stretching the milk too much at the beginning.

    Bye for now

  15. #15
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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    I have a confession....I chickened out and didnt go through with the modification in the end. Pathetic, I know.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    I just joined this forum and I cant believe all the things I was thinking had been discussed by people before. I know this is an old thread but just wanted to say that I also thought the steam wand was pathetic, especially when trying to clean it (the end just slips off).

    I dont think Ill have the guts to change it myself either. Im hoping the service guy will do it for me.

    Cheers all.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Steam Wand Upgrade

    I realise I am reviving a very old thread, but I thought I'd post that I too have upgraded my Kitchen Aid Steam Wand with the aid of user wrstikoff's post above (and the linked Picassa album of photos).

    Thank you so much for the photos - it made it very simple indeed.

    It took about 90 mins in total, and most of this was me taking it apart a second time to hunt down a leak (I didn't test it as thoroughly as I should have done before I put it back together).

    In case anyone else is interested, I replaced the wand with a Rancilio Silvia (v1/v2) wand, which cost 11.95GBP from Amazon. It fitted with no modifications required, although a I used a couple of extra o-rings and some PTFE tape to get a good seal with the new wand.

    It seems to be working well, but time will tell how robust the mod is.

    Thanks again for the very useful info in this post, and I hope someone finds my additional info useful too.

    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by roblevine View Post
    I realise I am reviving a very old thread, but I thought I'd post that I too have upgraded my Kitchen Aid Steam Wand with the aid of user wrstikoff's post above (and the linked Picassa album of photos).

    Thank you so much for the photos - it made it very simple indeed.

    It took about 90 mins in total, and most of this was me taking it apart a second time to hunt down a leak (I didn't test it as thoroughly as I should have done before I put it back together).

    In case anyone else is interested, I replaced the wand with a Rancilio Silvia (v1/v2) wand, which cost 11.95GBP from Amazon. It fitted with no modifications required, although a I used a couple of extra o-rings and some PTFE tape to get a good seal with the new wand.

    It seems to be working well, but time will tell how robust the mod is.

    Thanks again for the very useful info in this post, and I hope someone finds my additional info useful too.

    Cheers,

    Rob
    Hi Rob!

    I have a question for you.

    How did you fasten the v1 wand do that there were no leaks? Did you have to modify the wand for it to fit?

    I have the same, and it's always been leaking slightly from the wand/nut connection, not where the nut is attached to the valve.

    How and where did you place o-rings? Did you use some kind of lubricant?

    @all: I've also been thinking of upgrading the wand to a rancilio silvia v3, anyone here with experiences with that wand?

    Best,
    Christoffer

  19. #19
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    Okay, I bought the Rancilio Silvia V3 wand, and successfully installed it to my KitchenAid. I explained the process in another post, here. Hope this helps someone!

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    Cool KitchenAid + Rancilio Silvia V3 wand

    Hi again,

    I now successfully completed the upgrade from Rancilio Silvia V1 to V3. Here's how I did it:

    Alright,

    I grew tired of the Rancilio Silvia v1 wand, and pulled the trigger on the v3.

    The nut on the v3 is too large (3/8" female vs 1/4" female in the v1/2) to screw into place directly. Therefore you'll need a 3/8" to 1/4" adapter.

    With the reducing nipple in place the wand fits the valve fine, the problem being that it doesn't fit through the hole made for the wand anymore. I just took a rough file to it, and after 5 minutes of filing and trying the hole for size it fit perfectly.

    Other than the above, I applied teflon tape on the threads, and I took the spring and the white plastic piece from inside the nut in the original KitchenAid frother, which puts some pressure on the ball joint, perhaps helping with the seal. These seem to be included in some of the V3 upgrade kits, make sure they are to be on the safe side.

    I did take some pictures detailing the process - but as I'm not able to attach anything to the post directly I instead uploaded them to the cloud. Here's the link: KitchenAid + Rancilio Silvia V3 wand

    The v3 looks so much better than the v1, and at least for now, doesn't leak at all. I'm happy - for now

    Best,
    Christoffer
    The above is taken directly from my post in the other KitchenAid thread, here.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckarv View Post
    Hi again,

    I now successfully completed the upgrade from Rancilio Silvia V1 to V3. Here's how I did it:



    The above is taken directly from my post in the other KitchenAid thread, here.

    Hi ckarv,

    Sorry for the delay in not getting back to you - I didn't notice your post!

    It's sounds like you've got everything sorted out in the meantime. Congratulations

    To answer your previous question anyway: I didn't use any lubricant but did wrap some PTFE tape around the thread to the nut.

    For the o-rings, I had to experiment a bit and, unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of the final configuration.
    If I remember correctly I had an arrangement of one or two o-rings around the shaft of the wand and a further one or two whose inner diameter was slightly smaller than the wand pushed up into the valve. This meant when the wand was bolted in, the top of the wand was pressed up against these.

    I think I might need to replace my valve anyway (unrelated failure), so if I get in there again I'll take pics this time.

    Rob

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