Group gasket replacement tips

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
User avatar
Compass Coffee
Sponsor

#1: Post by Compass Coffee »

Replaced the group gaskets on my Linea again. First I'll say it was a month or two over due simply because I'd misplaced my pick. No leaks during shots but having to lock in noticeably harder and harder, especially backflushing. If anyone's looking Lowe's has an affordable Kobalt 4-Piece Hook and Pick Set with straight, 45degree, 90degree and hook for ~$6.

That's not the tip though. All went fine 'til group three. Forgot to wet the new gasket before insertion and the sucker didn't want to go in far enough to get both PF ears to engage and finish pushing it in. Or so I thought dry new gasket was the problem. Tried all kinds of pushing and wiggling and cajoling. And that's working on a HOT group, machine on, which is my norm for group gasket replacements. Even resorted to upward tapping on the PF with a small hammer to no avail! Ok, not the brightest thing to do but it was like hour eleven for the day. Finally dawned on me to take the partially seated gasket out and reinspect the channel. Duh! About an 1/8" piece of old gasket still wedged in there!

So the tip: make damn sure ALL the old gasket is out before trying to put a new gasket in! :oops:
Jeeze.... :roll:
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

User avatar
stefano65
Sponsor

#2: Post by stefano65 »

to re-insert a new gasket
of course clean the groove with the grouphead brush
put some lube ( dow 111 or such) in the groove inside and outside wall of the new gasket
position it with your fingers in place, then push it up with a stubby flat blade ( normally they are stubby blade and wide not sharp at all)
THEN
remove the basket from your most worn out portafilter and
wiggle it inside the group couple of time
the portafilter ears will be worn enough to lock in the channel and help push the gasket all the way in
Stefano Cremonesi
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repairs & sales from Oregon.

Lockman

#3: Post by Lockman »

So the tip: make damn sure ALL the old gasket is out before trying to put a new gasket in! :oops:
Jeeze.... :roll:
Ewe Mike, that sounds painful! I just did mine for the first time yesterday and I was lucky to have a snap on set of picks to get that hard sucker out (in pieces). I used a plastic chop stick to get it seat enough for the PF to lock in. What do you figure for the ideal replacement time in your setting?
LMWDP #226.

"It takes many victims to make a culinary masterpiece"

terhune281

#4: Post by terhune281 »

Thanks for the tip on the Kobalt tools. I will buy them tomorrow. I just removed a 10 year old gasket on a Rancilio Nancy. Needless to say, it didn't come off easily. Digging, prying, scratching. It took a half an hour. Biggest surprise was the black tarry junk under the grouphead screen. Picks certainly will work better than screwdrivers which have a tendency to scratch up the grouphead. Fortunately for me no pieces remained. Thanks again. Carl

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#5: Post by cannonfodder »

Use a wood screw. Screw it into the hard gasket (not too far, don't want to put it into the brass) then grab the head with some pliers and yank. Works every time.
Dave Stephens

User avatar
Psyd

#6: Post by Psyd »

I dunno, I've discovered that if I replace them often enough, it's a lot easier. The three that I use fairly frequently get replaced something like between six months and a year, and I buy a few at a time so I can just decide to change 'em, out. I keep a coupla the old ones around sometimes, if they still feel fairly pliable, as emergency spares for whatever.

They're what, six, eight, ten bucks a piece with shipping? I gotta say, it's cheaper than the frustration I felt after swapping the one that live din my Silvia for (period too embarrassingly long to publish) years... ; >

My tip is, "swap 'em out often!"
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

Lockman

#7: Post by Lockman »

cannonfodder wrote:Use a wood screw. Screw it into the hard gasket (not to far, don't want to put it into the brass) then grab the head with some pliers and yank. Works every time.
Nice Dave. Great idea! Mine wasn't that hard but I like the idea, I could still get the pick into it. :)
Psyd wrote: My tip is, "swap 'em out often!"
Yeah, cheap enough to do often. Sweet! :D
LMWDP #226.

"It takes many victims to make a culinary masterpiece"

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#8: Post by cannonfodder »

I have only had to dig one out, well two since it was a two group. It was an abused and crusty machine and I had to dig out the gaskets before rebuilding the groups. I have not had a problem with them getting stuck in. I take them out now and then to clean the group which prevents this from happening.
Dave Stephens

Phaelon56

#9: Post by Phaelon56 »

If the gasket is not ridiculously hard then my technique will probably work. I use a screw starter, screw it in just until it has penetrated through the gasket, and then give a good tug. Usually most of the gasket comes out with one good tug but sometimes it just pulls out a chunk. With one chunk out it's easy to get the rest.

I often forget to do it but a skim coat of food safe silicone grease on top of the new gasket does make them easier to pull out next time you have to change.

User avatar
Compass Coffee
Sponsor

#10: Post by Compass Coffee »

Phaelon56 wrote:I often forget to do it but a skim coat of food safe silicone grease on top of the new gasket does make them easier to pull out next time you have to change.
Not sure makee them easier to come out next change, but definitely makes them easier to put in. :wink:
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com