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Thread: Gaggia classic - spitting portafilter

  1. #1
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    Gaggia classic - spitting portafilter

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I managed to pick up a Gaggia Classic on eBay for $100 as a refurb project.

    the issue with the machine was that it 'spits' out of the left hand side of the portafilter, shooting tiny blobs of espresso out. Its useable but a bit messy.

    I fully descaled the machine, stripped it down to bare parts, cleaned everything, replaced all of the seals, including the group head seal, and for good measure fitted a new shower screen (old one was quite worn).

    Unfortunately, this has done nothing to improve the issue with the spitting, leading me to think it must be the portafilter itself (pics).

    I cant see any issue with it, but I am not very familiar with how these should look. Could anyone advise me what to try next?

    Screenshot by Lightshot

    Screenshot by Lightshot

    Screenshot by Lightshot

    Screenshot by Lightshot

    Thanks,

    jim

  2. #2
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Hi Jim
    Bagged yourself a good deal there!! I purchased a second hand one not that long ago for more than double the price!!

    In my (limited) experience, this doesn't sound like a hardware fault to me. The portafilter looks fine, and to be honest there isn't much that can go wrong with them.
    The 'spitting' you describe sounds to me more like an extraction issue. ie. grind quality
    What type of grinder are you using with the Gaggia?
    Cheers
    Greg

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    Hello Jim,
    I'm up to number twelve Gaggia (classic,baby,dose,carizza,baby twin),I just think they are the best make for domestic machines.
    Yours is the classic and therefore equipped with a three way solenoid,do you get the correct back flush ( with blind filter) ejection bypass?
    May be a blockage in it's tiny orifice (3way valve).
    Without the group handle on and brewing,do you get a good flow from the shower screen?
    I'm presuming you are using single floor baskets,not the double pressurised as they can become blocked (single hole).
    Please keep us posted as your problem sounds intriguing.
    Cheers,
    Mick.

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    Imagine the mess if you were using a naked portafilter! That will happen if you are using a pressurized filter basket without the nozzle pin. That will also happen even if you are using a non pressurized filter basket when the distribution, leveling and tamping of coffee grounds are not correctly done. Are you using preground coffee?

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Where is the 'spitting' actually coming from? Is it coming from the top of the PF, around where it seals with the group gasket? Is it coming from the bottom where the spout is? We need a bit more info. If it's a pressurised 'spitting', like a fine jet of coffee, it'll be from the top and will either be a dose/tamp/distribution issue, a grinder/machine relationship issue, or possibly a poor fitting filter basket. If it's lower pressure and lower down it could be because you need to seal the spout properly. I always used thread tape on the spout thread AND had an o-ring in place on mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidquinn View Post
    Hi Jim
    Bagged yourself a good deal there!! I purchased a second hand one not that long ago for more than double the price!!

    In my (limited) experience, this doesn't sound like a hardware fault to me. The portafilter looks fine, and to be honest there isn't much that can go wrong with them.
    The 'spitting' you describe sounds to me more like an extraction issue. ie. grind quality
    What type of grinder are you using with the Gaggia?
    Cheers
    Greg
    hi greg

    its one of those breville smart grinder BCG820. electronic dose control, conical burrs. The grinder is dialled in for 'espresso'. I have noticed no improvement with differing grind settings.

    J

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    Quote Originally Posted by mulquemi View Post
    Hello Jim,
    I'm up to number twelve Gaggia (classic,baby,dose,carizza,baby twin),I just think they are the best make for domestic machines.
    Yours is the classic and therefore equipped with a three way solenoid,do you get the correct back flush ( with blind filter) ejection bypass?
    May be a blockage in it's tiny orifice (3way valve).
    Without the group handle on and brewing,do you get a good flow from the shower screen?
    I'm presuming you are using single floor baskets,not the double pressurised as they can become blocked (single hole).
    Please keep us posted as your problem sounds intriguing.
    Cheers,
    Mick.
    Hi Mick

    1. I dont know what back flush is or blind filter or ejection bypass. Can you explain those aspects a little? Should I pull the 3-way and check the orofice?

    2. Flow with no gp handle - it forms two robust, constant streams. Looks pretty even and steady, although I have nothing to compare it to.

    3. Its the basket that comes with it as far as I know

    4. Will do

    Jim

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    The spitting is coming from the left nozzle of the portafilter. Its not a gasket leak.

    Its kind of like a fine spray. and it sputters (not 'even')

    Should I make a video?

    J

  9. #9
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apcrcom View Post
    The spitting is coming from the left nozzle of the portafilter. Its not a gasket leak.

    Its kind of like a fine spray. and it sputters (not 'even')

    Should I make a video?

    J
    Hi Jim
    This makes me think it is a distribution/tamp issue. Particularly given that the flow without the group handle sounds ok.
    It could be that you are getting the spray shooting directly out of the portafilter spout. This is a little strange given the spouts usually hide any distribution/tamp issues, but this is where a blind portafilter is a big help.
    It may be that you are just consistently off with your distribution/tamp and this is why it keeps happening on the one side?
    Others might have more ideas?

    As a suggestion, I'd try grinding into a container and then pouring the grinds into your portafilter. This helps distribute the grinds more evenly. You could even try distributing the grinds using the toothpick method (not sure what this is exactly called, but basically you use a toothpick to 'swirl' the grinds around in the basket to ensure proper distribution). Also ensure you are tamping perfectly level.
    Let us know how you go.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by apcrcom View Post

    I fully descaled the machine, stripped it down to bare parts, cleaned everything, replaced all of the seals, including the group head seal, and for good measure fitted a new shower screen (old one was quite worn).

    jim
    Is it possible that you have set the brew pressure too high during the tear down process? You can adjust the OPV to see if that will solve the channeling issues.



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