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Gaggia Classic Steam/Frothing Problem

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  • Gaggia Classic Steam/Frothing Problem

    Gaggia Classic Steam/FrothingProblem

    I brought this one onmyself. My original problem/issue wasthat most times if doing a second pull within a few minutes of the first; itwas as if steam, not water was spewing through the Portafilter. It did not matter how fine the grind, howfull the basket or or how hard it was tamped, it would flow out as if the grindwas coarse and not tamped. I decalcifythe unit on a monthly basis and back flush weekly. I even swapped out the head screen mount witha brass one.

    I thought perhaps thethermostats might be at fault and since they were not expensive, I replacedboth. Ahh, then it hit the fan! Now Iget no steam at all. When I replacedthe “stats”, I was careful; I removed power, did not disturb any other wiringand was again careful to not over tighten the stats when I put them in. Also, it used to be that when I activated thesteam switch, the ready light would go out until the steam temperature wasreached. Now it does not go out. I have a good electronic/electrical backgroundso I was not just blindly jumping into this.

    I have done the following inthe way of trouble shooting:

    1. I put theoriginal thermostats back in. No change,still no steam.
    2. I checked thefuse, it is fine.
    3. I checked theheating elements with an ohm meter and did read resistance. So they are not shorted or open.
    4. I put athermometer to the top of the heating chamber and it reads approximately 145 F.
    5. I get plenty ofhot water through the brew head.
    6. I get plenty ofhot water through the steam wand when pumping water as if to make tea.

    I am at a loss and have hadto resort to my old coffee maker. Mywife and I really miss our AM and PM cappuccinos and I would be very gratefulfor any hints someone could provide.


  • #2
    welcome lex.

    if i understand correctly, your first shot is fine, then i'm guessing you stretch some milk, then you pull a 2nd shot and that 2nd shot is no good? i'm guessing that the machine is still a lot hotter than brew temp and so you're not so much getting water through the group as you are steam. there's still plenty of thermal energy stored in the little gaggia boiler so it takes a little while to cycle to and from brew and steam temperatures. maybe attach a temperature probe to the boiler itself and keep an eye on it- you'd be surprised by how variable the temperature can be when the machine is solely under the control of the 'stats and knowing the whole picture will make it much easier to produce consistency.


    • #3
      Sounds like your original problem was due to not re-priming the boiler after steaming, ISTR the classic only has two switches? One for Brew/Hot Water and one for Steam? After steaming you should turn on the brew switch and leave it run until you get a constant stream of water out of the group (you can also use the hot water wand to do this but running it through the group will help stablise the group temperature (and assist in cleaning your shower screen))

      As for your current problem, are you sure you put the right thermostat back in the right place? There is one "brew" thermostat, which opens around 100C, and a "steam" thermostat which opens at 120-140C.

      My guess is that your steam thermostat is open circuit, with the machine off and cold, disconnect the wires from the steam stat (that's the one on top of the boiler) and do a continuity test, should be short circuit, if it's short circuit I'd say you've the wrong thermostat there.


      • #4
        I wonder how the one post wonder went?