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Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

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  • Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

    Hi all

    Ive deduced that my Gaggia Coffee Deluxe probably has some minor corrosion in the boiler due to sitting around unused by previous owners.

    Ive opened the top and had a look inside, and I managed to download the parts map so I know what everything is.

    Just wanted to ask before I dive in whether theres anything I should know about taking the boiler apart and/or putting it back together again - like things that are easily damaged or issues with re-sealing etc.?

    I am mechanically competent but not experienced and I dont want to mess anything up

  • #2
    Re: Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

    Still interested in responses to the above, but I have another related question: whats the best way to drain the boiler and hoses etc. of water so that when I take it apart I dont make a big mess?

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    • #3
      Re: Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

      I dont know anything much about the machines except that the downside of gaggias has always been their boilers. I have read some places that they make an excellent machine but u should only expect the boiler to last 3 years. Im sure you could get replacement boilers but I think in general the machines would be unserviceable or at least uneconomical to service. Have you run all the appropriate cleans with descalers etc? Thats where I would start and I would only open up the boiler if I really had to. I suspect you would need to buy new seals etc if you did open it up.

      Justin

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      • #4
        Re: Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

        That happens not to be the case. Its easy, nothing needs replacing when just disassembling and the Gaggia machines are very simple and cheap to service.

        To drain the bolier, remove the showerscreen (phllips head screw), dispersion disc (2 allen screws) and the group valve (bolt).

        Then unplug the electrical connections to the boiler element and thermostats.

        Finally, you should be able to just unbolt the boiler (4 allen screws) and hopefully remove it with the steam arm attached (I could with my Carezza and Classics). If not, the steam assembly will need to be unbolted from the boiler (2 allen screws).

        The boiler is sealed to the group with a large o-ring that you reuse.

        Alternatively, you may find it easier to disassemble by taking the whole boiler/group assembly out first. In this case, you would disconnect the electrical leads 1st and then disconnect the water inlet hose from the group before unbolting the group from below (4 allen screws).

        I have found the most difficult part of the process is that sometimes, the screw holding the showerscreen gets jammed on due to the themal cycling and in these cases, if you cant unscrew it when the machine is hot, you will need to remove the group from the machine and use an impact driver to loosen the screw.

        Where are you located, mrfurion?

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        • #5
          Re: Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

          Thanks for the useful advice kaanage. Ive actually taken the shower screen off and cleaned it already (it was pretty disgusting on the inner side).

          Having looked inside the machine, it actually appears to be in immaculate condition (no leakage or corrosion or anything), so Im fairly confident that once I have time to get the tools out and start taking things apart I will be able to get into the boiler without too much trouble. Ive taken several photos in case I get in trouble when putting it back together, and Ive got the exploded parts diagram in case of real emergency.

          Kaanage, what do you run through your machine to clean it? Cafetto advised me that their products (Espresso Clean @ Home and Restore descaler) are safe for use with the aluminium boiler, but someone else on these forums said that they are not. I was thinking of cleaning out the boiler manually and soaking the group head parts in @Home then running some through the system once its all back together.

          Im in Melbourne.

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          • #6
            Re: Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

            General bolier disassembly comment.

            Mark the upper and lower sections with a pencil/tape/scratch BEFORE you start to undo the screws that hold it together.
            Or at least take in a good view of the allignment.

            If it falls apart in you hands [like one did on me], youll know how to re-allign it exactly as it was.
            Whilst it may no always be a problem, if it has survived for years without leaking, it makes sense to put it back the same way.

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            • #7
              Re: Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

              Mrfurion, Im in eastern Melbourne so I may be able to help if you get really stuck.

              A Gaggia rep once told me to descale with white vinegar rather than bothering to buy a descaler suitable for aluminium innards so I use this every couple of months. One of the legends of home espresso, Roger Barrett, suggested to me that this would work well for preventative maintenance but probably would not be strong enough to clean out a heavily scaled machine.

              Personally, Id pull it open and scrub it out with a brillo pad so I was certain that things were nice and clean and then do the regular descale to keep it spice & span.

              Its almost impossible to put a Gaggia back together incorrectly since they are so simple which is one of the reasons Im such a fan of them.

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              • #8
                Re: Disassembling Gaggia boiler - any tips/warnings?

                Hey again

                Thanks for the advice - Ill stick with the vinegar. Whats your recipe (i.e. how many parts vinegar to how many parts water)?

                I dont think my machine has any scale build up, just some corrosion. All I need is a bit of spare time to pull it apart.

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