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Thread: When to change the group head gasket?

  1. #1
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    When to change the group head gasket?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Gentlement,

    Could anybody tell me when is the time to replace the group head gasket? You know, the piece of rubber that seals the portafilter to the group head.

    The machine is a silvia.

    Thanks,
    Laurent

  2. #2
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    Laurent:

    Just leave it unless it leaks.

    Every few weeks give it a brush using a grouphead cleaning brush and a bit of espresso machine detergent.

    Grant

  3. #3
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    Hi Grant,

    thanks. Easy indeed.

    Cheers,
    Laurent

  4. #4
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    the gasket gets hard and dry as it ages and requires more force to seat the basket and handle. On some machines it will leak but on others such as my cimbali it just requires a lot of extra force to lock it in. I like to change them when it no longer feels smooth. About once a year is average for my usage

  5. #5
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    The combination of heat, friction and age takes its toll on gaskets, which, as mentioned, lose their elasticity and become hard and baked on to hot metal surfaces.

    So, even if theres no obvious problem---like failure to seal, the gasket could be getting to the point where it has to be scraped off.

    I clean the gasket area daily with a damp cloth. The amount of coffee grounds which collect there never ceases to amaze.

    Weekly, or so, I remove the water tank and turn the Silvia upside down so the group and gasket are clearly visible and accessible.

    That makes it easier to give the gasket and sides of the group an even more thorough clean, while simultaneously determining if the gasket is still fit for duty.

    Dried grounds on its surface will easily work themselves into the gasket face over time, so prevention is better than cure.

  6. #6
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1129249410/0#4 date=1129279015
    Weekly, or so, I remove the water tank and turn the Silvia upside down so the group and gasket are clearly visible and accessible.

    That makes it easier to give the gasket and sides of the group an even more thorough clean, while simultaneously determining if the gasket is still fit for duty.
    I just use a mirror and a torch after cleaning with an electric tooth brush.

    Might look at doing the inverted inspection annually. We should write up an all singing all dancing maintenance programm. Ahhhh! ;D

    Boris

  7. #7
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    Hate maintenance and hate cleaning even more. But in relatiion to other kitchen appliances, most especially electric juicers, theres very little to do on the Silvia (and similar machines).

    We have a fantastic juicer, but the amlount of disassembly and cleaning required straight after every single use makes us most reluctant to utilise it.

    By comparison, the coffee machine just needs flushing of the shower screen and a gasket wipe while everything stays intact. How easy is that.


  8. #8
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    I have been cleaning the machine once a week with a blind filter basket.

    With the machine brewing, I lock the portafilter for 3 sec then release and wiggle the handle to get the hot water flow around the group head. Hot water has been really good to dissolve/soften the greasy sticky coffee left over. Then I finish the job with a microfiber towel, which is also very good at removing greasy stuff.

    So far, it takes around 5 min to clean the Silvia, for superb result.

  9. #9
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    Hey Boris, do you floss it before or after brushing ;D ;D !!

    As far as the group gasket is concerned, as long as it is not leaking, leave it alone. I went decided to replace mine for no reason other than "its been a while". I must have gone through three gaskets that time. Once installed and it leaks, theres no way you can remove it again to re-install without damaging it. I made sure the area of the gasket was cleaned before installing the new one and it kept leaking.

    In the end I left it and progressively locked on the portafilter harder each time until it leaked no more. Not touching that again!!!

    franjae

  10. #10
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    When I originally saw robusto comment of turning the Silvia upside down, I must admit, thought that was over top. However, while giving the old girl a once over, Miss Silvia that is, I thought, why not. Even just to verify my mirror cleaning technique. Well the good news is my technique works well. Bad news is - flipping it over revealed the chasis has surface rust. Largely due to poor preparation before spray painting. Convieniently, the warranty just ran out. >:(

    Its not serious damage as such, but I would suspect there are plenty of owners who are unaware. Turn it off, empty the water container out, let it cool down and then flip it over. :o

    Remedy, Im hoping any of the surface rust kills will fix.

    Bugger.

    Boris

  11. #11
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    Re: When to change the group head gasket?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi Boris,

    I have noticed this as well. All parts unpainted are stainless and all black painted parts are just steel. Some areas below the tray are starting to rust, and the paint is flaking... Also, it is a bit inconvenient to apply the rust paint. Which one are you using that could withstand the heat?

    Laurent



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