truemagellen wrote:are you saying the machine is doing this without coffee in the portafilter?
Because on most spring lever machines the down preinfusion state you must hold the lever down. There is very few machines were there is a locking mechnism on the machine for the down state which is more common in older machines or very new machines (La Marzocco Leva ie) where it is built into the handle.
I do not think I have ever seen a commercial lever machine that does not have a rest position at the bottom. They all do. Some small home levers such as the Elektra do not have a rest position.
If a lever machine is not resting by itself at the bottom, i.e. the barista must hold it all the time, it must be severely worn out at the forks. A remote chance would be the spring is incorrect, broken or rusted inside, preventing the lever from going all the way down to the rest position.
Edit: The first ever Gaggia levers had no locking mechanism, the flint lock style lock was then added.