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Thread: Gaggia Classic 10 years old should I buy

  1. #1
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    Gaggia Classic 10 years old should I buy

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Cheap working gaggia Classic for sale . Should I buy? Want to start making espresso at home. Thought might be cheap way to get started.( $100) apparently it works. Might need a service. Was used daily to make 1 coffee for 5 years. Is 10 years old. Any advise be most welcome!! Total noob 😇

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    Try before you buy, if possible ... And yes. I'd do it . I own and love mine.

    About 6 years old. It's had to be repaired once for a valve going . Can't remember which , but it was coz the boiler gummed up with scale. I mention this because its a typical problem I believe .

    but not a problem with filter water & regular descaling.

    You can replace the plastic steam wand with a breville(?) I believe (many here have done it) to improve steaming capabilities. Shortblackmen require no such mod!
    GreenBeanGenii likes this.

  3. #3
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    Go for it. I've got one that I've had for probably 10 years and it still works great. I've serviced it myself with new seals and shower screens and I took the boiler apart to clean. I've also replaced the rubbish steam arm with a Sylvia wand. Get a grinder and some good beans and you'll be laughing.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    It's as much of a risk as any machine that old. The beauty of the Classic is its simplicity so if anythings not working you can just replace that part. Obviously that can get expensive if lots of parts are stuffed. But at least you have that possibility which you wouldn't with a Sunbeam or Breville of the same age.
    The more you know about its history the better - was it cleaned regularly and only used with filtered water? The Gaggia aluminium boilers are unique and work really well, but they are more susceptible to scale damage than other metals. So yeah try before you buy if you can, then take it straight in for a service. Spend $80-$100 for a professional to manually descale it, set the OPV pressure to 10bar static, test its operation, and electrically test and tag it. If that all goes ok then you've got a machine that will run for another 10yrs for $200 or less. And you're right, they're a great little machine to learn on as they are quite forgiving.

  5. #5
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    Happy little Gaggia Classic owner (10 years now!) here, and a big hearty second for what Bangalow & Leroy said. The Gaggia's a great little machine to 'play' with to start your coffee experience. Definitely replace the steam wand with the Sylvia upgrade (coffeeparts and the like sell them and their dead easy to replace). Just be aware that as a small single boiler (couple of hundred ml, I think?) they are great for 1 or 2 milk coffees at a time. For $100 to $200? Go for it!

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    As long as the boiler does not get a through thickness hole they can generally be fixed; okay. They can be a bit of a maintanance nightmare.

    The biggest issue is the boiler throwing corroded Aluminium particles. These particles can block things.

    I would open the boiler and clean it out. Buy a new o-ring. The top half (aluminium) of the boiler can corrode a lot around the o-ring. You might need sand to a flatter surface with fine wet/dry sandpaper to make the o-ring seal. You can lay the sand paper on a flat surface (glass sheet works well) and move the boiler around on the sand paper.

    From experience I would leave the steam connector (brass) alone if it is corroded fixed to the top of the boiler (aluminium). It will not leak, but might if you remove it.

    You can buy legit o-rings or go aftermarket. Here is a guide for Gaggia o-ring sizes, including guidance on loose tollerances (Haphazard Espresso: Gaggia Coffee o-rings and spring clips needed for rebuild). If you do go aftermarket, verify thoose sizes with the o-rings you pull out.

    Best of luck.

  7. #7
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    gaggia usually makes durable machines so you have some hope. However 10 years is still a lot so do it only if you are willing to lose

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    Quote Originally Posted by BangalowBarista View Post
    I've also replaced the rubbish steam arm with a Sylvia wand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee_Dude View Post
    Definitely replace the steam wand with the Sylvia upgrade
    I'll be the heretic and say don't do this without trying the stock arm with the panerello sleeve removed (but with the plastic stub still attached). Yes, the outright steam power won't be as high but you will never run out of steam either, as the boiler can cycle with the steam tap wide open (I have brought a 1 litre jug of water from tap temperature to the boil to test this out). And the slightly slower steaming helps you control the texture of the milk better.

    Gaggia's are great machines - they make very good espresso with a simple tep surf plus you can't burn the elements out and they are very easy to work on and service. The hardest thing to service can be the showerscreen as the screw can set pretty hard in the dispersion disc if you overtighten it (it only needs to be barely more than finger tight).
    haywooj likes this.

  9. #9
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    Sudafed,
    I've had around eight Gaggia Classic machines,such as yours,collected both for free and also paid for,obviously second hand.All but one worked well first time although with some tinkering,preformed much better!
    I have a bit of a parts collection now,you may prefer to order new,just check CS's sponsor list....quick service and good prices,where necessary.
    Good thing about the classics is they are totally electro-mechanical,no cursed pub boards to go bad!
    Always remember if you do have drama's,someone here, will help you.
    GreenBeanGenii likes this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage View Post
    I'll be the heretic and say don't do this without trying the stock arm with the panerello sleeve removed (but with the plastic stub still attached). Yes, the outright steam power won't be as high but you will never run out of steam either, as the boiler can cycle with the steam tap wide open (I have brought a 1 litre jug of water from tap temperature to the boil to test this out). And the slightly slower steaming helps you control the texture of the milk better.

    Gaggia's are great machines - they make very good espresso with a simple tep surf plus you can't burn the elements out and they are very easy to work on and service. The hardest thing to service can be the showerscreen as the screw can set pretty hard in the dispersion disc if you overtighten it (it only needs to be barely more than finger tight).
    The Sylvia wand upgrade is still a better option, you just have to know how to use it properly. Whether you upgrade the steam wand or not, the best way to get the most out of the Classic’s steaming ability is to turn the steam switch on, purge it straight away, grab your jug of milk and start texturing pretty much straight away as well. The small boiler heats quickly and only needs 5 or 6 seconds to get up to a good temperature after purging. If you follow this method the machine hasn’t yet ‘reached temperature’ when you start to texture and it will continue to cycle the boiler. If you wait for the indicator light to come on then the boiler has already stopped heating and you will lose both heat and pressure fairly quickly.
    aussieflicker likes this.

  11. #11
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    And I'm saying the Sylvia arm doesn't make as much difference as most people would think.

    But that's my opinion which isn't the same as yours (hence these being opinions)

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    Sorry, I didn't get any replys for a few days and I never checked back! But thanks for all the advise....well that particular classic I missed but I got another one with a gaggia mdf grinder and gaggia tray/ drawer/knock box bundle on eBay for $285 2009 model. I've since bought an auberins pid kit with steam control, pulled apart the grinder , cleaned it and replaced the burrs, bought a regbarber tamper a motta milk jug and a naked portafilter. I also modded the pressure doing the 1 and a 1/4 turn on the OPV. I'm also planning to mod the grinder to stepless but not there yet. Oh and I gave it a thorough descaling when I first got it! In for a penny in for a pound I say!

    Now im making ok coffee , ( just got the naked portafilter today so that's all very new to me so far) but my shots seem to still be running to fast. Say around 18 secs. I'm using the double shot basket, what I can't work out is how much coffee I need in there! I thought it was around 7 grams per shot so like 14? But it can take 21 grams and can take a lot more like 30 grams ! How close to the top of the basket should you fill is I guess what I'm asking? I have to say the PID GIVES MUCH BETTER coffee than before I installed it, before my coffees were sour mostly , I understood the temp surf thing but couldn't master it. anyways I'm pretty set up now, just gotta practice I guess! Feels like a new hobby plus I don't need to head out for a decent brew in the mornings.

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    Oh yes, and when I bought it, it already had the Silvia steam arm mod.

  14. #14
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudafed View Post
    Oh yes, and when I bought it, it already had the Silvia steam arm mod.

    Great! Good news. You should be able to achieve 25sec shots without too much difficulty so keep experimenting. I'd be aiming for a 16-18g double depending on your tastes and then just adjust the grind and tamp until you achieve your 25sec shot. The old MDF grinders can get a bit worn out, but keep trying and let us know how you go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Great! Good news. You should be able to achieve 25sec shots without too much difficulty so keep experimenting. I'd be aiming for a 16-18g double depending on your tastes and then just adjust the grind and tamp until you achieve your 25sec shot. The old MDF grinders can get a bit worn out, but keep trying and let us know how you go.
    Thanks for the advise, I've been playing around and have gotten a pretty nice brew with 17g of beans, the mdf grinder set between 4 and 5 with the new stepless modification I got from here New MDF Gaggia Stepless Mod (mod of a mod) - Home-Barista.com using a bathtub gasket ( recommended and its not permanent so if you don't like you can reverse it). Getting 22 to 25second shots before it gets very blonded. I have used the new naked portafilter a few times, is cool to see the coffee come out in a nice twirling stream. The question I have about that is with 17 g coffee its way less filled than my standard double portafilter. I'm wondering if it's a triple basket? I suppose I could transfer the old basket into the naked one too.



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