2 Group Gaggia Tell Restoration [Finished] - Page 17

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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IamOiman (original poster)

#161: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

I do not believe so. I ordered the 110V 2kW element from cafeparts but the turn around time is 12-16 weeks for it (though today is week 12!). I originally was going to order a 220V 750W element but then I realized I still needed to buy a step up transformer so I decided against it for now. I actually will have access to Ascaso directly as a family member is starting a business and I can use the company number for business transactions since it will be Italian related. I appreciate the offer Paul.
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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IamOiman (original poster)

#162: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

I also confirmed that the element I ordered will fit. I ordered GI. 195 from cafeparts as mentioned and I tracked down a table that gives me the element measurements, which I confirmed with my 1250W 220V ones. If anyone was curious as to whether the 110V 2kW element will fit I can tell you it should.

After talking in another discussion I will see if the 2kW will actually be 2kW, or whether it will actually be about 2.2kW under 120V when it arrives.
-Ryan
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IamOiman (original poster)

#163: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

It is approaching 15 weeks since I ordered that heating element. I was told 16 weeks was likely when it will be ready so I will see what happens in the coming week!

I ordered and received a standard Sirai p-stat to use for the machine. I did this because there is a chance this machine could be used for as a complimentary coffee provider at a relative's business. I am now going to be adding modern safety features like a thermostat as well when I find one I like. I was orignally going to use the La Marzocco 2-pronged thermostat, but it appears to be limited to 16A. Are there any suggestions for a thermostat that can be on 20A or more?


I set up the wiring for the semi-permanent arrangement in the machine. Whenever I select and receive the thermostat I will add that in addition. Literally the only portion missing is the wiring to and from the heating element. Whether I keep the p-stat in its orientation remains to be seen, but it is supported by the old bracket.


It also remains to be seen if I only want a zip tie holding the power cable from tugging at the switch.

-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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IamOiman (original poster)

#164: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

After nearly 17 weeks, the element arrived today! I finished the wiring with that and tightened the bolts on the element. Be careful if you use brass nuts as in my vigor I stripped 2 accidentaly and needed to use some new ones. I would prefer my nut to be stripped over the flange bolt anytime.


It came as advertised, though it says 110V on the element. I cannot confirm right now if it draws the calculated current of 16.67 amps or a higher current right now.



Everything was ready for the first test. I brought some towels and had a drain line + bucket if I got that far. I selected 5/8" ID tubing to fit the drain tub snugly. I turned on the machine after presumably a decade or two of storage, and it heated up without issue! I tightened some pipe fittings as it heated up but nothing leaked from the boiler fittings, groups, or heating elements. In fact the only leaks I had were a loose safety valve as I filled the boiler from there and the manometer 90 degree fitting, both of which can be easily fixed.




Now to whether the machine is functional, let me just show these two vids and you make the call :D
Please do not mind my grunts as I pull the levers down...

The next things to do are fixing the small sputtering on the manometer piping and testing the machine out with coffee!
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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IamOiman (original poster)

#165: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

This is what it has all been for.
It tasted good but was a little long for my preferences. It will only get better from here!
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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IamOiman (original poster)

#166: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

I pulled two more shots yesterday with a little more coffee and finer grind, yielding me very paletable results. I was so excited I let it run a little overextracted but it still tasted good!


I have the right panel and cup holder taken off when testing the machine. I do put the cup holder on when I want to pull a shot, and the cups warm up quickly. If I had my normal towels covering them it would take maybe 5 minutes to get that nice, hot temperature. I noticed after the first heatup the boiler changed from a rosy pink to a full copper sheen, probably reacting from the heat. The pipes had this effect a little bit as well. I changed out the safety valve as the old one appeared weak and I want to be safe. The new one is much smaller (I used a 25mm wrench for the old one and a 20mm wrench for the new one) but still uses the odd M19 thread seen on Gaggia machines. Aparantly some La Carimali machines have this thread as well.




The manometer piping has been fixed up and no leaks are apparant right now. I tightened some boiler bolts but they were still pretty snug even after cooling down completely. At this point the only thing sputtering is the safety valve since the copper washer is normally a one time use part but I am using it until I hook the machine up to a pump. It emits a little steam from the threads very slightly but does not impact machine operation.


The single portafilter was missing a plastic ring towards the base, and as a result it was loose on the handle. I temporarily fixed this by grabbing a used gasket that originally held a Faema steam valve to the machine. It was a perfect fit to keep the portafilter snug!



The heating element resistance was measured, and I got 7.5Ω on my readings. At 120V I calculated the power to be 1920W. I am pretty ok with this slight difference in power and the machine heats up to pressure in 25 minutes at just under half full in the boiler and reaching operating temperature in about 70-80 minutes, a similar time frame for my Bosco. It also might mean I could squeak by with a 16A thermofuse but I will need to wait for that when it arrives with my Ascaso order. I am ordering the same one Paul Pratt uses for his machines.

The last thing on my mind is how the p-stat is held. In its current position there are two issues: it will be tedious to alter the pressure setting once the panels are on as the adjusting screw is only accessible when a specific panel is taken off. This may not be bad for me as for my other machines I have never altered their settings once I have it set during initial setup. The other issue is the bracket that originally came with the machine will not fit the thread connector on the p-stat. It is too narrow on the slot. For now I have the whole p-stat resting on the nut of the pipe, but I do not want to keep it like that. I am probably going to fashion or acquire a different bracket to answer this at some point but I do not believe it will damage the pipe over time.
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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IamOiman (original poster)

#167: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

More testing today! I sealed up the safety valve with some teflon tape and as of now there are no visible leaks. The pressurestat cycles on and off every 2 minutes and 15 seconds on average, which seems a little low in duration. My Bosco cycles every 5 minutes idle for comparison, and the deadband in pressure on the Gaggia is about 0.1 bar. There may be a very small steam leak somewhere so I will need to keep my open.

I cleared a bench off to throw the coffee accessories on when pulling shots. I cycle between groups with the same portafilter to check they behave similarly even with the slightly different 80mm hex spanner height. I have not really noted a difference so far.



I tried the steam wands today. The left one was full of black crud so I used a pitcher with soap and water to clean it up but the right wand was ready for use. It froths very quickly like my Bosco 4-hole steam wand.



Some general notes about the Gaggia group. It seems to run hotter than the CMA/Astoria group on the Bosco, though the groups are more directly connected to the boiler with the Gaggia. I reduced the pressure as a result to about .9 bar. I do not need to do warming flushes either with the coffee I am using. It is just walk up and pull. One big difference between the Gaggia group and the CMA/Astoria group is the amount of time I need to leave the portafilter in the group to prevent sneezing. I can take out the portafilter about 2 minutes after the shot finishes while Gaggia takes about double that time. The puck is still a little wet even then, but it has not dampened the quality of the shot at all.


The machine itself is a heat sink. I would not really want to run this in the summer time at home competing against my AC unit as the large copper boiler and massive groups are quite toasty. Perhaps I could insulate the boiler to mitigate this and also reduce electricity consumption. No serious issues have cropped up and I am almost ready to start using my mineralized water used for my other machines. The tap water here works in a pinch but can scale up the boilers after prolonged use. Pretty giddy and caffeinated right now so I need stop myself for today!
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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IamOiman (original poster)

#168: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

I have gone back to my Bosco as I simply do not trust the table I currently use to be able to hold the weight of the Gaggia + my 30lb grinder + all the accessories below. Something about 250lbs is what I estimate the total weight to be sitting on a used IKEA tv console table. With the Bosco it is more manegeable at 150lb give or take

This seems a little odd but I cannot decide on a table to hold this monstrous weight. The table needs to fit the decor of the dining room for me to be allowed to have it there so something from a restaurant (ie SS work table SS steel top) is not preferred. Going on used equipment websites and others leaves me even more indecisive.

Perhaps I am just paranoid and do not want to wake up to a crash in the middle of the night...

Is there a table anyone may recommend that can hold at least 300lbs?
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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Sansibar99

#169: Post by Sansibar99 »

I'd go for an old workbench, carpenterstyle or steel, which could be freshed up and painted, if so needed.
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Bluecold

#170: Post by Bluecold »

I recently made a small podium, and made sort of a sandwich panel, around 11 cm thick. You can easily jump on it, and it weighs around 12kg (needed to be mobile
It was two sheets of 9mm plywood, a cross-grid between the sheets, and then I filled it with pu foam for aspirations of a true sandwich panel. Not too difficult to make, except if you do it exactly like me and spend too much time on a frivolous theoretically more efficient construction to save a few grams :lol:
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