Stainless steel portafilter hard to lock in

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Derryisreal
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#1: Post by Derryisreal »

Hi, I am having a weird issue with my one year old ECM Puristika - I bought a bottomless SS ECM portafilter and part of the time it locks in easily at 6:00,
at other times it wouldn't go further than the 7:00 position (with empty basket). I have changed the gasket to the red 8 mm Cafelat, which I sparingly lubricate with Molykote 111.
When I run a wet paper towel up into the grooves of the grouphead to clean stray coffee, the portafilter slides in easily. If the grouphead is dry, the portafilter's movement becomes choppy as if it it grinding. I can turn the portafilter to the 6:00 position more easily when the machine is cold, warmed up I am at 7:00.
Also, on the wings of the portafilter there is what looks like accumulated brass, which could only have come from the grouphead. I am not sure why this is happening, but it drives me nuts to only be able to insert it smoothly half of the time.
Any pointers would be appreciated!

Thanks!



Light roasts are to me what garlic is to vampires.

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BaristaBoy E61

#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

It will probably get better with time and use. As long as there is no leaking around the perimeter of the portafilter and group gasket of any water or coffee.

How old I your machine? Has it always done this? Have you spoken to your vendor?
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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Derryisreal (original poster)
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#3: Post by Derryisreal (original poster) »

Hi Steve, no, there are no leaks. I am not really sure anymore if pairing a Stainless steel portafilter with a brass grouphead was a good idea, even though both are made by ECM. I am beginning to think that the PF is scrapping the chrome plated brass. I don't recall this happening right after I bought the machine. I have not spoken to IDC.
Light roasts are to me what garlic is to vampires.

romlee
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#4: Post by romlee »

I had to stifle a laugh.

I have a 1 year old Puristika and the standard (non-stainless) ECM bottomless portafilter. It would lock in at 6 o'clock with any basket (VST, ECM OEM, EPN) inserted. The exception was the ECM blind basket. It would lock in at 5:30.

Last month I replaced the original ECM group head gasket with an 8mm Caffewerks and the shower screen with a generic E61 screen from Espresso Parts.

Now the portafilter (regardless of the basket) locks in at 7. The blind basket still locks in at 5:30.

My Silvia did the same thing when I replaced many gaskets over 16 years. And I'm fairly certain it'll all break in over time, only to repeat next year when I replace the gasket.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

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Derryisreal (original poster)
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#5: Post by Derryisreal (original poster) »

Caffewerks are known to be taller than their advertised height. Ask me how I know :lol:
I am actually beginning to think that a BRAND NEW rubber gasket has less drag on the portafilter than silicone. It seems that when compressed, silicone gives a more "choppy" tightening experience. Of course I might be dead wrong on this.
Light roasts are to me what garlic is to vampires.

romlee
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#6: Post by romlee »

I remember reading your earlier posts about the gasket. The Caffewerks (orange gasket) has been "loosening up"'a bit over the past month. When the group head is cold the portafilter easily locks at 6.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

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Derryisreal (original poster)
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#7: Post by Derryisreal (original poster) »

I still have the orange Caffewerks in the drawer. Can I ask why you chose it instead of Cafelat one?
Also, do you have similar buildup on your portafilter ears?
Light roasts are to me what garlic is to vampires.

romlee
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#8: Post by romlee »

I contacted Caffewerks and they assured me it would fit the Puristika. It seems to work fine. No leaks.

There doesn't appear to much of any buildup on the ears of the portafilter.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

DaveC

#9: Post by DaveC »

There are 3 factors that affect the portafilter lock in experience

Profile and thickness of ears (viewed side on)
Thickness of gasket (and to some extent material)
Top profile of basket (some just sit more proud of the portafilter than others.

Wear happens most of the time and will have no significant effect and should not be a major concern....more wear will be seen when the ear profile is not good e.g. too thick/steeply sloped.

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BaristaBoy E61

#10: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

DaveC wrote:Wear happens most of the time and will have no significant effect and should not be a major concern....more wear will be seen when the ear profile is not good e.g. too thick/steeply sloped.
Then the question also becomes, is there any significant wear of the group and its locking channel mechanism?
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"