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Thread: Pressure(?) problem with Rocket Giotto

  1. #1
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    Question Pressure(?) problem with Rocket Giotto

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

    I bought a Giotto ex-demo almost 2 years ago from a reputable snobs sponsor, and it's been great so far aside from eventually needing a pump replacement.

    I replaced the shower screen + seal a short while ago, and ever since then it seems to be losing extraction pressure through the drain valve at the bottom of the group. I worry that my "gentle persuasion" of the shower screen, when removing it, has done something but I honestly can't guess what it would be.

    The water isn't draining slowly, it is actually draining rather quickly and I think the brew pressure is degraded as a result.

    Any thoughts?


    Thanks

  2. #2
    TC
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    G'day shiny,

    Time to check and repair or replace the seals in the group valves.

    Sometimes the cam followers on the valves can be worn or the seals have had it.

    You will need to be prepared for new valves as the cam followers can break off when seal replacement is attempted.

    Cheers

    Chris

  3. #3
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like the lower valve and/or seal is gone. Parts are cheap and the E61 group is very simple to service at home. Site sponsors have the parts, I know DiBartoli does as I ordered some cam lever seals recently for my giotto. I recommend ensuring you get appropriate grease.

    I don't recommend regular chemical back-flushing of E61 machines. The coffee oils help lubricate the cam and valves. chem backflush results in squeeking metal-on-metal noises. If you do, ensure you re-lube.

    Speaking of giotto issues, my steam wand tap recently refused to work. just kept unscrewing. discovered the valve's c-clip had popped off. luckily easy to fix

  4. #4
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
    I don't recommend regular chemical back-flushing of E61 machines. The coffee oils help lubricate the cam and valves. chem backflush results in squeeking metal-on-metal noises. If you do, ensure you re-lube.
    Anyone who doesn't chemical backflush their machine drinks rancid shots. Coffee oils go off and they adhere to the internals of the group. We see the results every week.

    CS'ers, I can only recommend that you ignore this advice. We are here after all for coffee quality.

    Go easy on the backflush detergent and you will be fine. The service job is simple and quick. No way would I compromise my coffee with poor hygiene so as to avoid routine maintenance.

  5. #5
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Chris, I meant to say regular chem backflushes without re-lubing the E61. Obviously it strips all coffee oils and wear of the valves and cam is the result. I do a fortnightly chemical flush on my machine and it makes 1x shot on weekdays and about 3x shots per day on the weekend.

  6. #6
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    For someone not confident in lubing the E61.. backflush all you like and have a reputable technician lube it for you every now and then

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Anyone who doesn't chemical backflush their machine drinks rancid shots. Coffee oils go off and they adhere to the internals of the group. We see the results every week.

    CS'ers, I can only recommend that you ignore this advice. We are here after all for coffee quality.

    Go easy on the backflush detergent and you will be fine. The service job is simple and quick. No way would I compromise my coffee with poor hygiene so as to avoid routine maintenance.
    Reading and asking around I have found/heard at least 6 different opinions on how often a chemical back-flush is required. What say you fine gentleman??

    Pete

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    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete39 View Post
    Reading and asking around I have found/heard at least 6 different opinions on how often a chemical back-flush is required. What say you fine gentleman??

    Pete
    Well I'm certainly no fine gentleman :-) but I CF fortnightly. Average of 2 shots per week day & 8 over the weekend. Seems to keep things in check.

    Steve.

  9. #9
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Steve, sounds good. I guess everyone is different. I do a no-chem backflush far more regularly. Like Chris said, rancid coffee = bad.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete39 View Post
    Reading and asking around I have found/heard at least 6 different opinions on how often a chemical back-flush is required. What say you fine gentleman??

    Pete
    Yeh, some time ago I did a similar search and found the same anti-consensus. I back-flush with water every day (after a quick once over with grouphead brush) until water in the blind filter is clear (usually only takes two or three flushes). Every 3-4 weeks I do a chemical backflush. Yes, this feels like it has de-lubed some parts, but this 'seems' to go away after a couple of coffees.

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    I use my machine (Rocket PP) 3 times per day every day and chemical flush every two weeks. With the chemical in I cycle it 5 times then wash out the blind filter and flush with 10 cycles with the blind filter on. I find that at about the tenth flush the handle movement seems to feel smooth and free through its whole travel. After each use I back flush with water only and cycle it three times. Again the handle movement appears smoother. As I am relatively new to the PP I am interested in what others find.

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    Thanks for the tips, I'll give it a shot.

    Cheers.

  13. #13
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    After each use: once over with brush and water back flush 2 cycles

    Fortnightly: chem back flush - do not follow instructions indicating a whole scoop of detergent as i doubt those instructions are meant for people like me who water back flush after each use

    have not had any problems and more importantly i know my coffee isn't being tainted by anything hanging around from previous shots

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    I water backflush every day and use chemical every couple of weeks or so.
    I've lubed my cam a few times too, is there anything else requiring lube apart from the cam area?

  15. #15
    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
    Steve, sounds good. I guess everyone is different. I do a no-chem backflush far more regularly. Like Chris said, rancid coffee = bad.
    OOps, my post may have been a bit misleading. I DO back flush after every "session" but flush with chemical fortnightly.

    Steve.

    Yes, rancid oils=bad coffee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    G'day shiny,

    Time to check and repair or replace the seals in the group valves.

    Sometimes the cam followers on the valves can be worn or the seals have had it.

    You will need to be prepared for new valves as the cam followers can break off when seal replacement is attempted.
    I find the best way to ensure not snapping the mounting studs when replacing those seals is to apply a bit of heat to each seal carrier assembly with a blowtorch before attempting to undo the thread - it does cook the seals, but those are going in the bin anyway. I have broken a few in the past, even when being very careful and gentle, but haven't damaged or broken any since using the blowtorch.

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    Sorry to bring up a slightly old thread.

    I seem to have a different issue but it is the other way around.

    My pressure is high for much longer than it used to be, it heats up and the pressure sticks at 2bar for quite some time (from turning on to 30-50mins it stays there). Eventually falling down to 1.5bar and the hovering between 1 and 1.5bar.

    Where as previously it would heat up to 1.5bar then stay there for the duration. Hovering between 1 and 1.5 when in use.

    I still use the machine most of the time 30mins after turning on, regardless of how how the pressure is. I do regularly chemically backwash every 2weeks.

    Should I be worried?

  18. #18
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    I'm sure you will get replies from more technically proficient people than myself, but the gauge is the usully the first sign that my Giotto requires a descale and/or service. In my case it shows up as taking a long time for the gauge to register properly after switching on. The pipe that connects to the gauge starts to clog up with scale around the connection to the boiler. I have removed and cleaned it up myself a few times, but also get it serviced properly in between.

    So it probably depends on how old your machine is, when you descaled or had it serviced last and your own skills. Probabably best to leave it to the professionals if you do not have appropriate electrical/plumbing type skills.


    GrahamK

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    Thanks Graham.

    I think it's a couple of years old now (bought from Talk_Coffee ), never descaled but have used filtered water only and regularly cleaned and used espresso clean every 2 weeks to chemically backflush / wash.

    Maybe it is just due for a service.

  20. #20
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    I only use Filtered water and do a basic descale every 6 or so months, but reckon it only scratches the surface so to speak, and from what I understand a proper descale is the best way to go. The Espresso clean cleans up the coffee oils & crud, but does not address scale in the boiler and pipes. Probabaly best to speak to Chris about a service.

    GrahamK

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    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamK View Post
    I only use Filtered water and do a basic descale every 6 or so months, but reckon it only scratches the surface so to speak, and from what I understand a proper descale is the best way to go. The Espresso clean cleans up the coffee oils & crud, but does not address scale in the boiler and pipes. Probabaly best to speak to Chris about a service.

    GrahamK
    Hi Graham,

    Be sure that you are descaling because the machine needs it.

    There are many here who descale "every x months" out of routine, not need. Does it damage the boiler? Unlikely. What we do see is cooked copper plumbing- the runs to steam wands, water wands and other connections corrode and then fail. These pipes are thin and very soft and descaler does eat through them. We have replaced bits on this scenario on quite a few occasions recently.

    CS'ers- If you are in a location where your machine actually requires descaling every few months, it's time to invest in appropriate filtration so as to prolong intervals. If you are descaling as part of a routine, it's likely you are killing your machine with kindness and doing way more harm than good. It's much better to invest in appropriate filtration to slow/stop scaling.

    My home machine has just turned 4. It has never been descaled and I can't see it requiring one before it turns 10. It gets the right water.

    Now.....to andreasb


    Hi Andreasb,

    Time for service

    Chris
    Last edited by TC; 12th December 2012 at 02:09 PM.

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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Thanks for Advice Chris



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