Olympia Cremina group leak

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#1: Post by pcdawson »

Some of you may remember my recent Cremina odyssey in which my SL group disappeared while being shipped to my vendor after I botched a seal replacement. While the group was eventually located and returned, I had purchased a manual group in the interim. It's been really interesting comparing the spring and manual groups - and I will write something about my experiences in the weeks to come.

Right now, I have a question about the manual group. During pulls, I've noticed a trickle of clear water running down the outside of the portafilter. I'm assuming that the portafilter isn't properly seated against the group head gasket. However, as the gasket should be new I'm hesitant to replace it with another. Any ideas for a fix? The portafilter is very stiff and tight when locking into the group so it seems like it should be snug against the seal.


#2: Post by ajs »

I've never had that happen on mine. Furthermore, I wouldn't say I ever have the portafilter tight or stiff.

Two things spring to mind:
  • Are you sure the seal is properly seated? If it isn't seated properly that could account for it being tight, stiff and also (maybe?) leaking.
  • Is there any grit in it? For example maybe the portafilter rim wasn't clean once, or maybe you had a "sneeze" when removing the portafilter before it had drained. Something like that could account for the leak if it prevents a clean seal, and then it gets tight and stuff when you over-tighten to compensate for the leak...
Maybe a photo would help with identifying anything out of the ordinary?




#3: Post by JTom »

I just received my new Cremina in last week. Your post saved me. I made sure I filled it with water before even looking at the plug. Sure enough, the switch was on and it heated the water. Working on longer pre-infusions to gain volume in the cup.

pcdawson (original poster)
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#4: Post by pcdawson (original poster) »

I'm wondering if the culprit is a dirty/blocked puck screen. I pulled a few shots without the screen and noticed that the portafilter was not as tight and that there was no leak. Not sure this makes sense but the shot flowed much better out of the bottomless portafilter too.


#5: Post by mikel »

Do you have plenty of headspace with your dose?

pcdawson (original poster)
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#6: Post by pcdawson (original poster) »

Yes, I do now but didn't before - and with the puck screen it was even less.

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#7: Post by RockyIII »

I've seen clear water trickle down the outside of the portafilter basket of my Cremina in the past if the portafilter wasn't inserted as tightly as usual. If inserting it tighter doesn't work, before you replace the gasket, make sure it clean as AJS suggested. Cleaning that area of the group should be routine daily maintenance.

I suppose it could also be caused by grinding the coffee beans too fine which would necessitate an increase in the pressure exerted on the puck when pulling a shot.

pcdawson (original poster)
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#8: Post by pcdawson (original poster) »

Thanks all - increasing head space, removing the puck screen, and cleaning the gasket seems to have done the trick!