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Gaggia Classic Not Pumping

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  • Gaggia Classic Not Pumping

    Hi CS

    My trusty Classic, which has been with me for many many years and many road trips (it goes everywhere) finally died this morning. Half way through pulling a shot the pump stopped making its usual viby noise and turned into a much quieter and deeper sound and the coffee stopped pouring out. i flicked it to steam mode and hit the pump. it made the same low noise and no water comes out of the steam wand either. now this is different to the other issues i see on youtube where the pump makes a really high pitched scream. ive had that issue but that's just a block/water thing and can be fixed by leaving the machine cool. to me this sounds like the pump has finally died a slow death and is no longer pumping. like i say it still makes "the noise" but its very different to the normal pump noise. it's as if you've taken your foot off the throttle and the engine is now at 500RPM instead of 1500RPM. Not sure that helps but you get the idea. so before i buy a pump for about $60 I thought I would ask the pros if I'm on the right track with the pump OR could it be something else and the pump is just a symptom. with no water coming out of the group or wand and the pump making the same exact low noise on both with no pressure involved you would think pump but maybe a solonoid is blocking the whole thing or??? \
    thanks all. i can post a video if that helps???
    Video on the way....

  • #2


    • #3
      I had exactly that problem with mine. It's not the pump. It' the valve(?). I got it fixed (pre discovering cs so a non site sponsor) for $240 including a service that figured was due.

      Your video brought back sad memories , but she works like a charm now.


      • #4
        Thanks SBM. What valve is it that went on yours?
        The OPV valve or the solenoid valve. .


        • #5
          Hello Gaggia Users,
          Another option is to check they cover all gaggia models and have easy step by step troubleshooting videos and "how to's".
          If your solenoid is the problem then they can be disassembled and cleared (common problem),if you can hear the coil clicking when you select brew etc ,then its repairable.
          I have four classic's and all have shown some blockages one type or another however, none have ever had a failed coil in the solenoid (always a first time I suppose).
          I have had one with a failed boiler element,even that was repairable,great coffee machines.
          Classic's are so well built and hardly anything kills them,blockages only slow them temporarily.
          Hope that helps,if not I can offer you a reasonable price and I'll repair it and add it to my collection!


          • #6
            It seems to be called a steam valve. (I come from an extremely low knowledge base re how coffee machines actually work.)
            online for about $55.

            good luck.


            • #7
              I don't think your problem is in the solenoid valve or the steam valve. The pump sucks water from the tank and pumps it into the boiler via the OPV. From the boiler it is forced through the solenoid valve into the group head, or out of the steam wand if the steam valve is open.

              If the pump is working, and the solenoid valve was blocked or faulty, you should still get water through the steam wand. If the steam valve was blocked you should still get water through the group head. So unless they both failed at the same time they are probably OK.

              It seems more like a jammed valve in the pump, or a blockage between pump and boiler.
              Vibe pumps will sound quieter than normal if there is a blockage in the pump valve, or somewhere downstream from it.

              To check if the pump is working, you need to unscrew the output tube from the pump at bottom of the OPV, put the end of it into a container, and see if you can pump water. If you can't, then the problem is in the pump, and if you can, then it's probably the OPV, or the entry hole into the boiler.


              • #8
                Thanks deegee. I'm handy with the tools so took it apart last night and agree it could be the OPV. I turned it on as it was now stone cold and water did flow through the group. I decided to run some flush through it and after a good flush and back flush which caused a lot of brown crud to come out she's all fine again. I suspect the OPV was blocked after seeing the brown crud come out on a back flush. It's a sturdy old machine that classic. I seriously have had it for years it's even been to Bathurst and sat on the back of somebody's UTE and ran off a genie. Anyway I'll have to keep a better eye on the back flush and clean from now on. Thanks for the tips everyone.


                • #9
                  Well done.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dmbassett View Post
                    . Anyway I'll have to keep a better eye on the back flush and clean from now on. Thanks for the tips everyone.
                    It would probably be a good idea to give it a thorough descale treatment too.

                    Cheers, deegee.


                    • #11
                      Just be aware that it could happen again. If you haven't been descaling the machine regularly then you've probably got a decent build up inside the boiler and group by now. Doing a back flush and a descale can actually dislodge some of this descale and send it back into the solenoid and/or OPV. My Classic is currently in pieces while it undergoes a full strip and rebuild due to this.

                      As you've found out its hardly ever the pump, and the pump is easy to test so can be eliminated straight away if you have problems. If it happens again you'll need to pull out the solenoid and OPV and clean them properly. From personal experience I suggest that you pull the whole lot out of the frame as it's really fiddly getting in to try and remove the solenoid and OPV individually, but the whole assembly (barring the pump) comes out easily. Glad you're up and running again. Good luck.


                      • #12
                        Hey Leroy. You jinxed me. She stopped pumping again this morning! No water out of the group or steam wand. Definitely feels like a blockage. I'll pull it apart tonight and take pics as I go and report back. May help others if and when I get to the source of the issue.


                        • #13
                          Ok stripped it down and pulled the boiler apart and took the solenoid and opv off. Took loads of pics but here's a video of it back together and water flowing out the wand but not the group. I'm thinking solenoid?


                          • #14
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                            Some pics of the valves flowing water and the boiler split apart


                            • #15
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