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Thread: Residual metal in portafilter

  1. #1
    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Residual metal in portafilter

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I wash my portafilter every fortnight, and always found metal residual around the area highlighted in the picture below. When I rub my fingers in those areas, it'll stain my skin with a dark greyish metal residual (sorta like silver paint). I suspect it might be from low grade metal of the spring, released when there's friction with the basket, possibly when locking the handle to the group.

    I'm beginning to worry if this is a health hazard, can anyone check their equipment and see if you're getting the same?

    Mine's a Breville BES920 stock eq, but suspect it can happen to any other machine.


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    Never noticed it on any of my springs. As you suggested, could be a poor quality metal/finish on the spring. Cheap to replace, so might be worth doing first up to see if it resolves the issue?

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    I just cleaned my portafilter and I didn't it find it. how tight gets your filterbasket in it?

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Show us the equipment... and your finger. What are you washing with? I'm curious as to why you'd be wiping the spring in the first place and what you are wiping it with - baskets are normally brushed with a nylon type brush and at most you'd use the same brush on the PF to clean it.

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    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruity View Post
    Never noticed it on any of my springs. As you suggested, could be a poor quality metal/finish on the spring. Cheap to replace, so might be worth doing first up to see if it resolves the issue?
    Thanks, I might do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolf View Post
    I just cleaned my portafilter and I didn't it find it. how tight gets your filterbasket in it?
    Mine gets REALLY tight, need tools to ply it out.

    May I ask what machine are you's using?

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    "You's" ouch, that's a serious grammar faux pax right there!

    I'm using the Silvia. I've got three springs (multiple PFs & baskets) and none have exhibited that issue.

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    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    Show us the equipment... and your finger. What are you washing with? I'm curious as to why you'd be wiping the spring in the first place and what you are wiping it with - baskets are normally brushed with a nylon type brush and at most you'd use the same brush on the PF to clean it.
    Equipment shown in first post, let me know what else you'd like to see.

    Picture of the stain on my thumb below, that was after washing up, but you still can see some stain. It was much darker before washing up.

    I was rinsing them with plain water, and finger rubbing the interior, not specifically at the spring, but noticed the residual coming from the spring. I'd dry them with cotton cloth at the end of the process.


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    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Ok, here's a better shot.

    The good thing is I can reliably reproduce this problem by locking and unlocking the portafilter to the group. I get more residual from the area in contact with the spring on the basket, but I think the residual is from the spring rather than the basket.


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    are you sure it's not steel on chrome friction products?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gusteaundarly View Post
    I wash my portafilter every fortnight,
    I'm beginning to worry if this is a health hazard,
    Wash your PF every 14 days! seriously? a bit of metal residue is not the only health hazard I'd be worried about try washing it after each use, will make a world of difference, to both your coffee and peace of mind.
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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Yelta has a point - unless you have like a coffee per week, that's a long time between cleans.

    I wash both my naked PF with the VST basket and the SB PF & SB basket after every use. I don't rub the spring but I use a brush about the stiffness of a grouphead brush to scrub them. I just went and wet my PF's and neither of them gave me any stain.

    The SB equipment is cheaper than the Breville as far as I know but I've had no 'metal' smudges. Are you sure it isn't just old coffee?

    Remove the spring. Examine the metal surfaces - use a magnifying glass. If you are getting metal particles you should be able to see where they come from.
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  12. #12
    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    are you sure it's not steel on chrome friction products?
    as far as I know, there's no chrome in breville bes920. .

    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Wash your PF every 14 days! seriously? a bit of metal residue is not the only health hazard I'd be worried about try washing it after each use, will make a world of difference, to both your coffee and peace of mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    Yelta has a point - unless you have like a coffee per week, that's a long time between cleans.

    I wash both my naked PF with the VST basket and the SB PF & SB basket after every use. I don't rub the spring but I use a brush about the stiffness of a grouphead brush to scrub them. I just went and wet my PF's and neither of them gave me any stain.

    The SB equipment is cheaper than the Breville as far as I know but I've had no 'metal' smudges. Are you sure it isn't just old coffee?

    Remove the spring. Examine the metal surfaces - use a magnifying glass. If you are getting metal particles you should be able to see where they come from.
    100% not old coffee. Like I said, I can have it clean off the residual right now, lock and unlock the handle a few times, and still get residual build up.

    I have 1-3 coffee per day, clear water flush every use, clean portafilter every fortnight, soapy flush every month. It thought that's enough, but clearly not. Although, it's one thing to have the portafilter cleaned daily, and another to have this residual constantly produced every use.

    If you guys are not getting this on your machine, I wonder if this is a Breville BES920 thing. I will be contacting Breville.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    There are threads about the Brevilles - check who is on there and seems to know their machines and PM them. 'Soapy flush'? I wouldn't put soap near mine machine - not sure what you mean but detergents and hospitality equipment are very dicey things. Gotta get the right one or things 'gang agley' big time.

    Lock and unlock the handle should NOT be giving residue where your arrow points. If anything it might happen on the outside of the PF where the lugs contact the ramp inside the grouphead. There should not be anything contacting the spring inside except the outside of the basket - your description doesn't sound like you are removing/replacing the basket when you do this.

  14. #14
    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    There are threads about the Brevilles - check who is on there and seems to know their machines and PM them. 'Soapy flush'? I wouldn't put soap near mine machine - not sure what you mean but detergents and hospitality equipment are very dicey things. Gotta get the right one or things 'gang agley' big time.
    I use the cleaning tablets supplied by Breville for the soapy backflush, nothing else.

    Lock and unlock the handle should NOT be giving residue where your arrow points. If anything it might happen on the outside of the PF where the lugs contact the ramp inside the grouphead. There should not be anything contacting the spring inside except the outside of the basket - your description doesn't sound like you are removing/replacing the basket when you do this.
    Indeed there shouldn't be giving out residue where my arrow points. But it is, it can only mean the residue is coming from either the spring or the basket, due to friction within the portafilter caused by the lock/unlock action.

    Other BES920 users also reported requiring some effort to lock/unlock the portafilter, I'll ask them. I've reported the problem to Breville.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusteaundarly View Post
    Mine gets REALLY tight, need tools to ply it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by fruity View Post
    could be a poor quality metal/finish on the spring. Cheap to replace, so might be worth doing first up to see if it resolves the issue?
    do like fruity did write, buy a new spring.

  16. #16
    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    I did more testing and found that the residue is coming from the basket, not the spring.

    Residue is more prominent at yellow arrows, caused by friction between the basket and the handle. And residues do fall into the handle (blue arrow).

    What's causing friction between the basket and the handle you ask? Well, my theory is the handle and the group head gets so tight that when the baskets comes in contact with the gasket, it causes the basket to not turn with the handle, thus any contact between the basket and the handle will have friction. I can certainly feel metal rubbing against each other when locking and unlocking the handle, and I'm certained it's not coming from the locking mechanism.

    The amount of residue is of course minimal and have less chance of being ingested if you dismantle and wash your portafilter every run, but it's getting produced nonetheless. I also don't think users should be expected to do that.

    One other BES920 user is already noticing this, so it's not just me.


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    Personally, I would be more worried about long term wear weakening the basket to the point of failure under pressure.

  18. #18
    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Ya, I get the feeling people here are fine with the idea of ingesting some metal residue with their coffee...

  19. #19
    TC
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    I might be missing something here, but you're telling us that when metal comes into contact with metal the softer one can suffer some abrasion? My goodness!

    Good thing you don't have brass portafilters. What would you do when the chrome plating lifted from the internals and then was pretty much gone in a year?

    I am sure Breville service are eagerly awaiting the call. It will give them some lunch table conversation.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I might be missing something here, but you're telling us that when metal comes into contact with metal the softer one can suffer some abrasion? My goodness!

    Good thing you don't have brass portafilters. What would you do when the chrome plating lifted from the internals and then was pretty much gone in a year?

    I am sure Breville service are eagerly awaiting the call. It will give them some lunch table conversation.
    Don't think your missing anything Chris, been watching this thread with a degree of incredulity and wondering exactly what the OP is trying to achieve?

    This thread most certainly won't answer the question, surely if there is a genuine health concern the thing to have done would be to contact Breville direct instead of unnecessarily attempting to alarm people, rambling on a public forum with a heap of guesses and meaningless photo's won't achieve anything.

    Wonder if the OP has contemplated the amount of metal and other materials we unknowingly ingest daily from common household utensils, cutlery, cooking utensils, grinder burrs etc these all shed minute amounts of metal at every use, I've seen spoons half worn away by years of constant use, wonder where the metal went

    Guess some of us simply need something to worry about.

  21. #21
    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    You know what, this forum isn't worth my while. Mod feel free to delete my posts and account.

    Have a good life.

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    Hi everyone, name is Nelson... From Brooklyn NY.. Was looking for reviews for the Oracle and i had to join this cool community of coffee lovers .. I think I'm pretty sold on the Oracle so I can't wait to write a review and put up a YouTube video of the action I had a laugh. Will be writing soon. Peace out!

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    Senior Member saroadie's Avatar
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    Okay, after a week to digest the above, and at the risk of being howled down, here goes.

    The OP had raised a concern. Being a BES920, chances are the OP was newish to the scene. Yes, I'm aware of the irony of my post count.

    The replies were good and constructive and heading toward a good outcome. Then (he winced) the posts got a bit harsh in tone although the intent and content was informative and accurate.

    The perception of the OP to this was unfortunately that they were being sarcastically ridiculed and thus gave up.

    Were the posts that led to this a little harsh in tone? To a noob probably yes, to a more seasoned blogger no, they were more humerous. They were still helpful albeit a bit "between the lines".

    Was the OP over sensitive? Probably a little and likely due to "noob" status, embarrassment and a little shock.

    This thread got a little unnecessarily "dark" for the above reasons.

    Just sayin'.

  24. #24
    bxp
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    Completely agree. Doesn't matter how it's meant to be read because the perception can be different. There's some sponsors who I wouldn't use based on their interactions here (not this thread). Just my opinion...
    saroadie and cafelazio like this.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Come on guys! are you here to participate or judge? this whole thread was a storm in a tea cup, ummmm, perhaps coffee cup.
    Dimal, chokkidog, TC and 2 others like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NelsonDeCali View Post
    Hi everyone, name is Nelson... From Brooklyn NY.. Was looking for reviews for the Oracle and i had to join this cool community of coffee lovers .. I think I'm pretty sold on the Oracle so I can't wait to write a review and put up a YouTube video of the action I had a laugh. Will be writing soon. Peace out!
    Welcome Nelson.

    I expect that you have looked at:
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...-bes980xl.html

    Barry

  27. #27
    Senior Member saroadie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Come on guys! are you here to participate or judge? this whole thread was a storm in a tea cup, ummmm, perhaps coffee cup.
    Definately to participate. So I hope was the OP.

    As I said - I was just sayin'. I didn't want to be overly judgemental and my status here would indicate to anyone that I cannot reasonably be the judge either.

    Yelta, I agree with you - it was a storm in a tea err coffee cup. My comment was of the whole thread and the result which I hope you'd agree was not anyones intended goal at the start.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Not going to debate it guys, I've said my piece.



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