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Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

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  • Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

    Hello, yet another newbie registering in desperation

    My 6 year old gaggia classic stopped working recently, and after reading all the threads on here I have undertaken the following to try and fix it. I am getting no flow through the group head, but plenty of flow through the steam wand...

    1. Descaled repeatedly
    2. pulled the boiler out and removed the group head and thoroughly cleaned both ( I was shocked at the amount of residue in there)
    3. Cleaned the dispersion block and the shower filter
    4. Cleaned the solenoid valve (which was horribly blocked)
    5. Bought a blind filter and back flushed
    6. Replaced the solenoid valve
    7.reopened the boiler ensured there were no blockages in the head pathways (compressed air)
    8.fiddled around with the opv valve to try and get some flow....

    After all this I am still no closer to getting any flow through the group head....I was thinking the pump might be stuffed, but I get great flow through the steam wand??

    I am at a loss...have I missed anything?

  • #2
    Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

    Welcome "Gead".... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    As a matter of interest, can you hear the pump working when youre trying to pull a shot/flush the Group? If so, theres a good chance that the problem will lie with the 3-Way Valve (unless you meant by "Replacing the solenoid valve.", you replaced the old with a newie). It could be stuck, some detritus could be jamming the solenoid armature; or the coil could be burnt out.... :-?

    Either way, unless you are a qualified, licensed sparky you will need to involve such a person in order to inspect/test the valve for you. Were not in a position to recommend unqualified people undertake these potentially hazardous tasks....



    • #3
      Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

      The pump should be ok as you have removed and replaced the boiler, so it would need to be pumping in order to fll the boiler and produce stream. It may not be providing full pressure though if some grit is caught inside it. I remember a thread on the net about how to repair these pumps - search for ulka pump repair and it will show you what to do. Alternatively, I have a spare pump you are welcome to.

      Another thing that is easy to check is that the opv may be stuck open,. If so, then anytime the pump operates, water will be going straight back into the water tank, which should be easy enough to see/hear.

      If any water is going into the drip tray when trying to pull a shot, there may still be problems with the three way valve.

      I am assuming that you have checked the internal seals arent leaking after putting the boiler back together.

      Let us know how you go.


      • #4
        Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

        Hi guys, thanks for the replies.

        I have replaced the three way valve with a new one, as I originally figured that was the most likely source of the problem.

        i took the machine apart again last night after some more reading on the forum with the idea that the OPV might be the problem. i was getting a lot of flow back into the tank when the pump was on...i took it apart cleaned it and put it back together but still no luck...

        i might need to get a profeesional to look at it...


        • #5
          Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

          If you are getting any water flowing through the opv back to the tank with no portafilter attached, the opv is stuffed, or you have a blockage. It is easy to replace the rubber seal in the opv.

          Did you remove the shower screen and diffuser plate when the boiler and group head were out?  You probably did, but worth checking.
          Oh, also whereabouts afte you located?


          • #6
            Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

            I have admitted taking it to 9bar on Friday... Thanks for your suggestions


            • #7
              Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

              Originally posted by 24060207630 link=1303300211/5#5 date=1303898382
              I have admitted taking it to 9bar on Friday... Thanks for your suggestions 
              Id be very interested to know what the problem turns out to be.


              • #8
                Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

                I would also be interested to know what the problem was.

                I had a similar problem 3.5 years ago (at that time my machine was 7 years old) - details here:

                I had it professionally serviced and cleaned and recall it cost close to $200 because, despite regular descaling, it had blockages in several areas.

                This has just started happening again, and the machine is now 10 years old.

                Rather than getting it repaired I am considering putting it up on eBay for parts to cut my losses and buy a Nespresso (ok just jokes) and go up a class to the GEE, a PIDd Silvia, or wait on the details of this new Breville.

                Just started on the research path 

                Footprint is a big issue as I dont want to go much larger than the Gaggia Classic, and I have a separate Gaggia MDF grinder. However given the reviews of the Breville Smart grinder I am tempted to sell the MDF and go the Breville grinder too.



                • #9
                  Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

                  Well I just fixed my problem - Gead, this might help you.

                  Despite all the things you did to your Gaggia Classic, did you at all touch the OPV or have you adjusted it in the past?

                  Turns out the issue I just started having wasnt a scaling issue at all. I already have the OPV adjusted so it is backed right off to reduce the flow through the group head and through general use and perhaps a bit of blockage, it had become always engaged (for want of a better word).

                  All I did this afternoon was tighten the OPV right up i.e. screwed it IN, clockwise (normal thread), until it didnt go in any further, then backed it off a couple of turns.

                  With the pump engaged, water happily flowed through the group head.

                  The next thing Ill do is descale again now that I have water flowing through the group, and start backing off the OPV until I get the reduced flow that I am after.

                  For instructions on the OPV adjustment, look here:

                  Note that useful pictures start halfway down the article.

                  Also, to re-iterate, screwing the OPV in (clockwise), compresses the OPV spring making it harder for water to escape back to the water tank via Over Pressure relief. i.e. forces water to flow through the group head.

                  Hope this helps.



                  • #10
                    Re: Gaggia classic no flow through group head?

                    Just a thought, but rather than readjusting, perhaps putting a blind basket in and running the pump for 30 sec would work. Guessing that there was some grit/scale preventing the opv from sealing correctly.

                    Might not work, but worth a try.