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  • Leaking steam wand

    Hiya,

    So I've had my Bezzera Gea for ~3.5 years and am very happy with it. The only problem I have with it is that the top of the steam wand keeps coming loose and leaking steam. This thing has so much steam that the only real effect is that the milk takes longer to froth so I've been persevering for months this time, but I'm over it now. The 1st 2 times I took it to the repairer and had it serviced and fixed, but it is a 60min drive each way and (even worse) a week without coffee! You can see a gap in the picture at the top of the wand just above the knuckle, below the tap.

    I would like to know why this keeps happening, but also how do I fix it? I've tried rotating the wand, but the "knuckle" at the top rotates with the wand which gets jammed up against the machine and can't turn any further. It looks like the SS pipe than forms the wand is screwed onto the moveable part that comes out of the knuckle, but I can't get a grip on the top part in order to unscrew the wand part - I've not been brave enough yet to get a spanner and just yank it. Hope that makes sense....

    It's due for a service (and a thorough clean) so seeing as I am going to be pulling it apart anyway I thought I would do that as well. I'm pretty handy, and can usually get things put back together when I pull them apart. Is this something that a "handyman" should attempt, or should I just suck it up and spend the cash on a professional?

    Thanks for your time
    Attached Files

  • #2
    G'day Wildman...

    Are you referring to the Nut that secures the Steam Wand to the Valve? I'm not sure what the "Knuckle" is, that you refer to.

    If it is just this, why not use some high-temperature plumbing tape (pink) to allow the Nut to be properly secured...

    Mal.

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    • #3
      Yep, my knuckle=your nut ..... that sounds a bit wrong, but we are talking about the same thing . It seems to have a threaded end which screwed into the valve fitting, so I didn't think nut was the right word?? Anyway - I've had another fiddle, and it seems that I can turn the nut and the wand independently using a fair bit more force. But I wonder if I am damaging it by doing so?

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      • #4
        From the pic it looks like that steam wand is the type with the ball swivel end threaded into the tube of the wand, rather than welded together. All the ones I have come across of this type have a pair of small machined flats on the sides of the ball swivel that allow you to tighten it into the wand tube with a spanner if it comes loose there (with a dab of liquid threadlocker to stop it coming loose again). Although from the pic, it looks like the actual steam nut is loose on the tap body, and your description sounds as though the wand is not turning freely in the nut, so that you can't tighten the nut up onto the tap. The o-ring in the bottom of the steam nut might be sticking to the ball swivel, preventing them moving independently. This would be a sign it is not properly lubricated. I just Googled a bigger pic of a Gea, and it looks like the bends in the wand may be too tight for the nut to slide down the arm and off at the bottom (once the nozzle is unscrewed), which is often the reason the top of the arm unscrews, to allow the nut to be removed for access to/replacement of the o-ring. It may well be that the o-ring wasn't correctly replaced/lubricated at the last service, since it can't be done correctly without removing the top of the arm, and the tech may not have known the ball end is removable.

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        • #5
          Thanks MorganGT,
          Dunno why I'm so afraid to pull this thing apart. I'm just going to do it.
          Would you be able to suggest an appropriate lubricant for the o-ring? And how do you protect the stainless steel finish from damage from a spanner?

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          • #6
            Inox MX6 food grade grease does the trick, we buy it by the tub at work (2.5kg at a time) but a 30g tube will last you years doing the occasional home service. That quantity would probably last me a month of constant use doing machines all day every day. About $8 a tube at Jaycar if there's a store local to you, otherwise it's easy to find on eBay and other places. You only need a thin smear on the surface of the ball joint.

            As far as protecting the stainless goes, you don't have to be especially careful to avoid marring the surface of the nut - it's pretty durable. It's just worth being careful how far you swing the spanner so it doesn't touch the front panel of the machine - often when the nut is close to the front panel you have to use the tips of the spanner jaws on the nut rather than slide the jaws right down over the nut, where the tips are then likely to touch or scrape on the front panel.

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            • #7
              Here's a schematic if you're DIYClick image for larger version

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