As a big espresso drinker I have had a machine for as long as i can remember. When we redid our kitchen last year I replaced my Kenwood machine with a Gaggia Baby Twin. About a week ago it started to leak from the top of the portafilter when using the machine. A little bit of googling led me to believe it was the group seal so I set about replacing it.
The group seal is the bit of rubber installed within the body of the Gaggia coffee machine that provides the seal with the portafilter to ensure all the pressure is forced through the coffee and not around the edges.
The first job is to buy a replacement. Gaggia would not sell me one directly directing me to a Gaggia repair centre I used a company in the UK called Happy Donkey
Once the seal has arrived it is time to remove the old one.
Unplug your Gaggia machine, empty it of water and turn it upside down on an old towel.
You will see a philips head screw that needs to be removed.
Once you have removed the screw you can prise the shower screen off with a flat blade screwdriver. Go easy on it.
Once you have removed the shower screen toy will see 2 5mm Allen Key bolts. remove these using an allen key
Once this is done you can remove the group head.
The next job is to remove the old seal. Chances are it is going to be brittle and the easiest way to remove it is to take a self tapping screw and screw it in to the seal a couple of turns. You can then use a pair of pliers to pull the screw and free the now defunct seal from it’s old home.
Once out the next thing to do is to compare the thickness of the old and new seal. You have bought an italian coffee machine and as such you should not presume the seals are the same size. The replacement seals come with a degree of tolerance. If you find the new one is thinner than the old one you have a decision to make. you can either install the thinner one and accept that the basket will be more than 90 degrees to the base when making a coffee. Or give your supplier a call and ask for a thicker one. Happy Donkey sent me a thicker one for free on the promise that I mentioned it when ordering again (Unfortunately this could be an annual job but hey you did not buy a Bosch. I think that is good customer service and on that basis I would always recommend them.
Now is a good time to give everything a good clean. All the debris is old coffee and it is going to taint the flavour. I believe a good clean will get that first expresso tasting better than when you bought the machine!
Put the new seal in and reverse the instructions to reinstall the group head and shower screen.
Plug it back in an give it a go. The leaking should be a thing of the past and your coffee should be back to it’s former glory! And as a bonus you won’t have to empty that drip tray as often!
What’s in the bike stand: Nothing I am fixing the coffee machine and that is an important job in it’s self!