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Thread: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

  1. #1
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    Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Gday all and thanks for a great forum.
    I have had a Gaggia Carezza for about 2 1/2 years and have always been very happy with it - 2-3 coffees a day.
    Just this week however, it seems to be venting too much water from the boiler.
    In the past, if I left it on for say 1/2 hour, 30 mls or so would be vented from the group head.
    Now, it will vent about 60mls in 10-15 minutes and when I turn the brew switch on, it sounds like it is taking longer to get water up into the boiler.

    It doesnt seem to be a problem of excess heat or a faulty thermostat. It just kinda drips constantly like a leaky tap - not like a big steam surge.

    Does anybody know if there is a valve somewhere that can be replaced/cleaned?
    Are these cheaper domestic machines repairable, or are they more throw away and replace. If I did have to get a new machine, Id be happy with another Carezza, or maybe the Classic, purely on looks :)

    thanks
    john

  2. #2
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    Re: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    I am guessing your Carezza is a boiler (rather than thermoblock) machine? If so, these machines usually have a safety (pressure relief) valve built into the middle / bottom of the group/boiler assembly.

    They are nothing more than a spring and ball recessed into a channel in the group, just above the shower.

    These things leak commonly enough however it is usually manifested when you are in steam mode, not usually when you are "only" in coffee mode, as there is not enough pressure in the boiler at that time to push against the spring tension and open the valve.

    Are you leaving the machine to idle indefinitely in steam mode, or is this leakage happening when you are in coffee mode?

    If it is indeed occuring when you are "only" in coffee mode, then I would suggest
    a) the spring tension in this safety valve is fatigued OR,
    b) the ball (usually a plastic bead) could be worn where it seats OR
    c) there could be a piece of grit lodged in the seat of the valve OR
    d) as the boiler / group assembly is aluminium, there could be a bit of corrosion on the seat

    The usual course of action would be to remove the ball and spring and inspect, give the orifice / seat a clean up and refit the same ball and spring and test. If this does not solve the problem you could replace the ball and spring with one of exactly the same type (obtained from Gaggia repair / service) agent. Use only the "genuine" part or you risk the valve not opening when it really should, turning this into a real safety issue.

    Regardez,
    FC.

  3. #3
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    Re: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    Thanks for that FC. A quick but super detailed reply :)
    It is a boiler type, and does leak when in coffee mode.

    Will have a look for the spring and ball setup and let the forum know how I go.
    Many thanks
    john

  4. #4
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    Re: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    Ok, all is fixed.
    Pulled the boiler apart and realised even though I use rainwater (by default, no scheme where I live) there was a lot of scale build up. Cleaned it as much as I could, then reassesmbled and descaled for the first time in 2 years.
    Works perfectly now.
    Thanks again
    John

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnmckinney link=1106552979/0#3 date=1106793751
    Ok, all is fixed.
    Pulled the boiler apart and realised even though I use rainwater (by default, no scheme where I live) there was a lot of scale build up. Cleaned it as much as I could, then reassesmbled and descaled for the first time in 2 years.
    Works perfectly now.
    Thanks again
    John
    Hi John,

    You have to be quite careful using just straight rainwater in your boiler. The scale you removed might actually have been the result of cathodic corrosion caused by the naturally acidic nature of rainwater, whereby the scale may have been deposited from scavenged material elsewhere in your machines water circuit.

    Theres quite a lot of information about this in the alt.coffee newsgroup if you want to do a search via Google. All the best,

    Mal.

  6. #6
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    Re: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    Thankyou, for the thankyou!

    Chiz,
    FC.

  7. #7
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    Re: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1106552979/0#5 date=1106835524
    Hi John,
    You have to be quite careful using just straight rainwater in your boiler. Theres quite a lot of information about this in the alt.coffee newsgroup if you want to do a search via Google.
    All the best,
    Mal.
    Thanks Mal - after your heads up I had a bit of a look round on the net re: rainwater and aluminium boilers... all very interesting.
    john

  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Repairing a leaky Carezza?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi again John,

    Whod have thought that rainwater could be so complex, eh? The same goes for other forms of water capture via a means involving condensation, eg distilled water.

    I dont know whether it is practical to try and install some form of simple cathodic protection into your water circuit. In the end, it might be better to consider upgrading to a machine that uses a brass or s/s boiler when your boiler starts to look as though it is on its last legs.

    In the mean time, I would recommend that you use a good quality "Spring" water of a type that can be found in most supermarkets. Pretty cheap to buy in five or ten litre containers and once you try it, Id be surprised if you didnt find that the coffee flavour improved markedly.

    All the best,
    Mal.



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