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Gaggia Classic maintenance questions

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  • Gaggia Classic maintenance questions

    Hi Coffeesnobs,

    I enjoy my black coffee and a dash of milk, a self confessed novice to home brewing and have just acquired a used Gaggia Classic and a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder from ebay.

    I'm quite handy with the screwdriver and enjoy tinkering - so far I have dismantled and cleaned the caked shower screen with hot water and some elbow grease. Still have some coffee grounds in the filter. Also noticed the grouphead gasket will need replacing.

    Have been reading up on backflushing and descaling on the internet and the more I read the more I am getting confused because some say backflushing, the Cafetto espresso machine cleaner is not to be with the shower screen in place because it is Aluminium material, and some say it is alright. So I would like to get your expertise opinion on this. Also is it advisable to clean the aluminium shower screen in the Cafetto solution?

    As for descaling - I plan to use a diluted citric acid solution and run it until a few times. Any comments?

    Also I would be grateful if someone can advise where one can buy the gasket, cleaning agents in a Brisbane store.

    Thanks so much.

  • #2
    G'day Hopa, welcome to CS. If you haven't already you need to join the Gaggia User Group forum. They have their own website and it contains all you'll ever need to know about a Gaggia Classic as well as a bunch of friendly members that are always happy to help. It will be a better source of info than here on CS.


    • #3
      But to answer a couple of your questions: Dismantle as much of the machine as you can easily then soak all the parts in Caffeto for 10min (including the shower screen). Rinse them all under hot water and give them a good scrub. Reassemble the machine and then backflush using Caffeto without the shower screen in place.


      • #4
        And finally - don't run a descale unless you are absolutely sure that you need to. If you do need to do one then a manual descale with the boiler removed and disassembled is the best way to go. Running a descale through the machine using citric acid without knowing the condition of the boiler creates a very high risk of blocking other parts of the machine with pieces of broken off scale. The 3-way solenoid is the most likely the be affected, but the group head and OPV can also be affected. Take it from someone that's been there and done it. Once it's all clean and running well the 2 easiest and also best modifications to make are fitting a different steam wand (if it hasn't already been done), and adjusting the OPV pressure to 10bar (static). Fitting a PID will give you some more control over brew temp, but with a machine like the GC that is quite forgiving to use and fairly intuitive it's not really necessary. Good luck with it all.


        • #5
          Thanks LeroyC for your comments and sharing your wisdoms. Really appreciate them.
          I will also look into the Gaggia user group as you have pointed out.

          Cheers and have a good day