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Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

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  • Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

    Hey guys, wondering if someone can help me.

    I recently had my portafilter cut back to expose the basket and had a few cracking shots result. I had it done by the owner of a saxophone store I used to work at, and he did an beautiful job.

    Problem is, a few days after I noticed that most of the shots were leaking around the edges of the basket, resulting in underextracted shots, although they have a massive amount of crema.

    I pulled out the pistol and shower screen and checked the group seal- all good, I replaced it about 4 months ago. Im wondering if the older 70s machine like mine need a slightly thicker seal than the ones you get now.

    Anyone come up against this before? Im thinking about picking up another seal and trimming it back to put it under the other one to make it sit lower, closer to the top of the filter basket.

    Help!

  • #2
    Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

    Weird if it was not leaking prior, as making your PF naked should not affect anything sealing wise. The sealing is between the top of the basket and the group seal, the PF just pushes the basket tight against the seal (from the underside of the sealing lip). Unless the top of your PF was damaged in some way and is now not flat/even/uniform, causing the basket top to distort and not seal?

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    • #3
      Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

      The portafilter wasnt damaged in any way. I think the gap between the basket and the portafilter has always been letting coffee through, as the basket sits quite loosely in it.
      I havent managed to get onto any other La Pav users to find out whether theirs is as loose. Have been considering sorting out an extra seal for it. Any ideas?

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      • #4
        Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

        I interpret this to mean that the basket itself is loose (can be moved a bit) when the portafilter is locked into the group. Causes of this that come to mind are:
        - worn or distorted portafilter body
        - worn or bent portafilter body ears
        - worn tabs in the group
        - wrong group gasket
        - compressed group gasket
        Instead of trying to cut an existing gasket, it would be easier to figure out the thickness you need and make a spacer by getting a sheet of gasket material at an auto parts store and cutting your own.

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        • #5
          Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

          Randy G- awesome idea, never would have occurred to me. Cheers.

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          • #6
            Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

            My bet would be on worn portafilter body ears.

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            • #7
              Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

              Originally posted by 46757A706D4B533A140 link=1312207128/3#3 date=1312380710
              Instead of trying to cut an existing gasket, it would be easier to figure out the thickness you need and make a spacer by getting a sheet of gasket material at an auto parts store and cutting your own.

              That jogged my memory, which could be faulty ;D

              I am sure that I have heard of people using cardboard spacers under their group seal. Could be worth trying that and seeing if it makes a difference before moving to a more permanent solution.

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              • #8
                Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

                Originally posted by 6761767D6760787A130 link=1312207128/6#6 date=1312431926
                I am sure that I have heard of people using cardboard spacers under their group seal. Could be worth trying that and seeing if it makes a difference before moving to a more permanent solution.
                I started that craze.
                Give it a try.

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                • #9
                  Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

                  I like the spacer idea, but I found out the problem- when my mate chopped the spouts, he also took a dremel tool to the inside of the handle and polished the metal. My bet is hes taken too much off.

                  Looks I Ive got two fixes to try- the spacer and the gasket for the basket/handle interface.

                  Thanks for the help guys, will let you know how it goes on the weekend.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

                    hmm weird, it really shouldnt matter, as its only the very top of the filter holder that effects the seal by pushing the basket upwards onto the gasket. Have a really close look at the top edge of the basket - any dents or pits? My 60s Pavoni double basket is pitted slightly and might well be leaking as yours is, but I have no way of telling!

                    Orphan Espresso in the States stock the old style Pavoni group seals, which are thicker and flat as opposed to the newer rounded style. Id check the basket first though, as if the whole basket was loose in the filter holder in theory you could just give the handle an extra shove and lock it in further.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

                      Ive checked out the top of the basket- no wear and tear, no dents or pits...

                      I bought a few gaskets from an autoparts place and used a hobby knife to customise one until I could seat the basket in the portafilter handle (with a LOT of coercing). Pretty sure its a strong seal, and yet coffee is still coming out of the gap between the basket and the outer handle metal.

                      Next Im going to try the spacer idea but I think that the people who sold me the seal actually sent me the wrong one for the age of the machine. Will update results of the spacer when I get time to do it, hopefully tomorrow.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Europiccola naked portafilter exposing problems

                        Well Ive tried the spacer idea. No dice. Looks like Im researching a new source for gaskets AND probably a new basket just for fun. Ah well, I WAS planning to do a service, Ill probably do all the seals and things at the same time.

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