Major Gaggia Stuff-up?

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DJF

Postby DJF » Feb 12, 2018, 6:02 am

I'm trying to work out how on earth the sight glass arrangement on my Tell is supposed to work. When I first started to restore the machine I realised that it must a very early example as the sight glass assembly was like nothing I've seen on later Tells and Oriones.

Where later machines have horizontal top and bottom feeds to a sight glass mounted in front of the stainless panel and is easily visible. Mine has the bottom feed tube dropping vertically and then to a sight glass that sits behind the SS panel and lower than the later ones. When the boiler is just over half full the level is out of sight. When it does become visible the elements are exposed :shock:.

I thought maybe when the machine is at pressure the water level may become visible but no.

I can only assume the Gaggia engineers at the time had a giant brain fart. I've only seen one other machine the same on HB and it had obviously been in service for a long time

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"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."

OldNuc

Postby OldNuc » Feb 12, 2018, 12:48 pm

Wonder if that front panel is original.

DJF

Postby DJF » Feb 12, 2018, 5:55 pm

It is. I'll try and find the pic of the other machine.
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."

DJF

Postby DJF » Feb 12, 2018, 6:03 pm

Here it is..

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"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."

OldNuc

Postby OldNuc » Feb 12, 2018, 6:12 pm

Are the boilers at the same level relative to the sight glass in both machines? Those machines have something like a 140 mm long glass tube. That does not seem like a good solution with that length vs boiler diameter.

Sansibar99

Postby Sansibar99 » Feb 12, 2018, 6:22 pm

In that case I'd add autofill functionality...
... or: a small mirror on the base, so you could look behind the upper panel.
LMWDP #422

DJF

Postby DJF » Feb 12, 2018, 10:34 pm

OldNuc wrote:Are the boilers at the same level relative to the sight glass in both machines? Those machines have something like a 140 mm long glass tube. That does not seem like a good solution with that length vs boiler diameter.


If you mean are the boilers mounted in the same position in both machines then yes. In mine its a longer sight glass because of the way the bottom tube drops down. The assembly sits in a cradle and the frame and front panel are not interchangeable with later machines. An autofill would be ideal except I would have to strip down the machine and send the boiler to an engineer to make a suitable fitting. Then there's the expense :( ..

I'm going to put another hole, about 25mm, in the front panel just above the window so when the level disappears I know to put more water in. I still can't understand why an experienced company like Gaggia would design it like that in the first place.

I hope all this helps someone who comes across another early Tell and hopefully be forewarned because there was absolutely nothing on the net when I first started the journey.

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"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."

DJF

Postby DJF » Feb 12, 2018, 10:44 pm

And you'll notice in the first pic the thing's driven me to drink.. :shock:
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."

OldNuc

Postby OldNuc » Feb 12, 2018, 10:58 pm

It does not compute that it would be built this way unless a brother-in-law had the replacement heating element contract. It seems a lot of these machines were sold to other companies for re-casing and modification before retail sale, that might explain what is going on.

DJF

Postby DJF » Feb 12, 2018, 11:23 pm

Could well be. I'll just have to live with it.

Makes damn good coffee though :D
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."