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Lelit group head leak?

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  • Lelit group head leak?

    My 2yo Lelit Combi (PL042EM) has developed a problem where (usually) on the second pour there is a "popping/hissing" noise followed by a decent flow of coffee coming up over the group head collar (between the top of the collar and the underside of the machine's body). Seems that the group head seal might be due for replacement, but I also notice that when texturing the milk (no portafilter fitted) steam also flows out from the same place (between the top of the collar and the underside of the machine's body).

    Are both these problems related back to the group head seal or is there another problem lurking?

    Thanks in advance for any advice - the machine is used daily - at least two pours every day with up to eight or so on weekends and holidays. It is water-backflushed every day and chemically cleaned once a month.

  • #2
    Re: Lelit group head leak?

    Edit: just re-read where the leak was, so probably not residual grounds as I first thought. Do you think its leaking through the group seal, or further "upstream" in the system?

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    • #3
      Honestly I'm not really sure. It is picking up grounds with it and spilling them over the top, so it is probably at least the group head seal. The leak only occurs when the pressure gauge hits about 9-11bar. But seeing as it usually happens on the second shot, it could be some residue grounds from the first shot against an old perished seal.

      What confuses the issue is the steam coming out when in "steam mode". I hadn't found that problem referred to before in all my searches before posting. I'm hoping this is only related to the group seal it hasn't sprung a leak in the boiler letting the steam out.

      The machine was originally purchased from Jetblack - been very very happy with it. I have followed the cleaning instructions enclosed with it religiously - use a group head brush and a "flush" between shots. I have my on-line cart filled with a couple of new group head seals (and steam knob - been meaning to replace the leaky steam valve for some now but couldn't for love or money remove the old knob), just wondering what else I need to include to amortise the shipping costs before committing.

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      • #4
        Hi Casey,

        You'll need a group seal to fix the leak.

        The steam "leak" when it goes into steam mode is normal. The water in the group head pipe also boils and escapes as steam through the group head. You usually don't notice this because the steam goes through the pf or into the coffee puck. But with a group seal leak you see it.

        Let us know if you need any more help: http://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/contact/

        charlie

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        • #5
          Many thanks Charlie - I'll hit the checkout and finalise my purchases then.

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          • #6
            Finally got around to fitting the new seal today. The old seal hadn't leaked again since the first post above, but it was definitely time for a new one. The old seal was black in colour and showing signs of breaking down, the new seal is clear and a lot more subtle. Simple job, only took about 20 minutes including cleaning a buildup of gunk off the boiler and the inside of the group head collar, and fitting a new steam valve.

            Gave it a chemical clean and poured a test shot for us both. No leaks or drips - just like a brand new machine

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            • #7
              I am very glad I found this post as I too believe I need to change my group seal..In my case though it is sort of weird. The leak over the top of the group head only spits out towards the group handle. It's not violent, it does go into the glass but I would still prefer not to have ground beans in my espresso..The other thing that is strange is that it only occurs when I use the single basket, the double gives me no problem at all unless I don't seal the group past halfway.. I am glad you got your problem sorted

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              • #8
                Hey guys

                I've got a Mokita Combi (rebadged Lelit); I've got exact same problem - BUT I replaced the group seal yesterday and it's worse. Plus the old group seal wasn't expired - still quite springy. Any other ideas?
                Thx
                K

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                • #9
                  Take the seal out and give the head and back of the seal a good clean. Make sure all the coffee grounds are out and try again,

                  charlie

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