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Thread: a failed water pump?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    a failed water pump?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    After 6 years of problem free shots, my gaggia classic is now ailing. I get steam thru the wand but very little water through the porto. Any ideas on the source of my woes? Im guessing water pump but I confused as the steam is fine.

  2. #2
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    Re: a failed water pump?

    At a guess, If you can "hear" the pump running and because you are getting some water through the PF Id say the pump is ok.

    The steam wand does not need the pump since, the steam pressure built up in the boiler drives that function.

    It sounds more like a "flow" problem, possibly caused by blockages in the three way valve [Im pretty sure the classic has a 3WV] or the shower screen.

    Are these components cleaned regularily, how often do you backflush?


  3. #3
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    Re: a failed water pump?

    The pump is clearly audible - *it sounds like very similar to when the water reservoir it low.
    As for cleaning - I try to clean atleast monthly. The problem arose right after a cleaning and replacement of the gasket which was blown.
    As for backflushing, I didnt think the classic had that capacity. Does it? If so whats the technique?

  4. #4
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    Re: a failed water pump?


    Hi Rick,

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.


    Backflushing can only be done If your machine has a three way valve...Do not attempt it if you dont have one.
    Some Gaggias have them, so check your manual or perhaps other CSers can confirm.

    The 3WV is like a "T" junction that sits between the boiler and the PF, and when brewing it will allow water to flow from the boiler to the PF.
    When you cut the shot, the 3WV disconnects the boiler from the PF, and connects the PF to an outlet pipe that flows into the drip tray. This allows the built up pressure to vent, so you can remove the PF without a blowout [PF-Sneeze]. If you see coffee stained water run into the drip tray following a shot you probably have one.

    When you backflush you are cleaning the "brew-path" between the PF, Showersceen and 3WV, ie all of the "pipework" that can be stained and gunked up with coffee residue.

    In short, you use a "blind" [sealed] basket in the PF and put in some cleaning compound [eg caffetto] the PF.
    When you briefly hit the brew button, it forces cleaning fluid back through the brew path and out into the drip tray.

    For a really good description of Backflushing and the Three Way Valve, check this out:

    http://www.espressomyespresso.com/

    If you have not not been doing this regularily [most CSers would suggest as a min: every 2nd week] and also regularily cleaning your showerscreen, Id start there as its a likely cause of your problems.

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: a failed water pump?

    Im pretty sure the Classic has the 3-Way valve so it can be and should be regularly back-flushed. The fact that you havent been doing this is the most likely cause for your current problems. You will probably need more than a simple back-flushing to get things right now though.... More likely have to pull the machine down and give everything a very thorough clean, especially the Group-Head and the 3-Way Valve.

    Lots of info around on the Net on how to do this so a Google search will be very helpful. All the best and Happy Cleaning,

    Mal.

  6. #6
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    Re: a failed water pump?

    Actually, whilst the gaggia classic has a three way valve, they dont recommend that you backflush.

    http://www.wholelattelove.com/tips.cfm?TipID=6130&itemID=35&page=3&tcid=0#tipdet ail

    "Although this machine has a 3-way solenoid valve, the manufacturer does not recommend backflushing and in fact, doing so could void your warranty. To keep your machine clean internally, you should descale it every 2-3 months or so, with a decalcifying agent like Urnex Cleancaf. You can purchase Urnex Cleancaf and learn more about descaling by following the links below.
    "

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: a failed water pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by ona rampage link=1193619950/0#5 date=1194852924
    Actually, whilst the gaggia classic has a three way valve, they dont recommend that you backflush.

    http://www.wholelattelove.com/tips.cfm?TipID=6130&itemID=35&page=3&tcid=0#tipdet ail

    "Although this machine has a 3-way solenoid valve, the manufacturer does not recommend backflushing and in fact, doing so could void your warranty. To keep your machine clean internally, you should descale it every 2-3 months or so, with a decalcifying agent like Urnex Cleancaf. You can purchase Urnex Cleancaf and learn more about descaling by following the links below.
    Yep, Rancilio say the same thing for their Silvia too.... More to do with the litigious nature of the USA than anything to do with proper machine maintenance Im afraid. The reality is, you must clean out the 3-Way Valve circuit on a regular basis using a regular back-flushing routine coupled with a good quality espresso detergent such as "Espresso Clean". Failure to do this not only results in the problem you are now experiencing but also allows freshly brewed shots to be contaminated with the detritus, rancid oils, etc that collects in this circuit until it finally blocks up.

    No amount of Boiler De-scaling will ever correct this problem, thats a different part of the hydraulic circuit and physically isolated from the 3-Way Valve circuit by the valve itself. I suppose you could always tear the 3-Way circuit down every couple of weeks and clean it all out via other means but that would surely only result in the risk of more damage to the system than would ever be inflicted by back-flushing. After all, you are not exposing the system to higher than normal pressures experienced when you pull a Ristretto or Choke the Pump :-?.

    Will leave it up to you I guess..... All the best :),

    Mal.



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