danblev wrote:The group gasket dried out quite soon after my timer broke and I left it on continuously.
The question of letting espresso equipment run comes up frequently; the thread Is it really safe to leave a HX on 24/7?
echos Dan's comment that some components such as gaskets deteriorate more quickly. Vendors invariably recommend leaving the equipment on, claiming that it reduces failure rates. The truth is likely closer to some components benefitting from the steady temperatures (less metal expansion, less scale buildup) while others suffer (electronics rarely like constant exposure to heat, same for components made of rubber, plastic, or nylon).
I'm unconvinced there's a noteworthy benefit of 24/7 operation. Until there is indisputable evidence of a net benefit with all considerations weighing in (longevity, convenience, costs, environmental impact), I am unwilling to pay the extra cost / produce the extra pollution of the added electricity. Besides, I have a cautious nature and believe it's good advice to never leave something hot running unattended (iron, stove, space heater, etc.).
danblev wrote:On the other hand, turning it off seems to require pulling out a short steam spurt to get it to its working pressure.
Sounds like the vacuum breaker is sticking.