Question about Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine

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Gaggia Espresso - Not Priming

We haven't used our Gaggia "Espresso" model espresso machine in a couple of years, and pulled it out to clean it and prime it for the holidays... we followed the instructions, you can hear the pump making the loud noise, and it won't self-prime. We tried to manually prime it using the steam valve, but only an occasional drop of water will come out of it. Is there anything we can do?... we'd be deeply grateful for your expertise!

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  • dwallac7 Dec 21, 2008

    We got it!!! The steam wand was clogged... used a small metal cake tested to slide up the wand, and cleared a major blockage. Also had to remove the back / top cover, and manually primed the tubes that suction water from the reservoir. We were then able to use the descaler, and have finally made a great cup of espresso! Hope this helps someone else out there!

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SOURCE: gaggia baby espresso machine - water comes out of

Remove shower and screw, then run brew button, if that works clean shower, if not remove allen wrench screws and clean diffuser and valve on spirng.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009

  • 14 Answers

SOURCE: Starbucks Barista Espresso Maker

This is a general comment for people having problems with leaks and pressure in their espresso machines. If you do not used filtered water, the minerals and other materials suspended in the water will bond to the moving parts and tubes of your machine (e.g.: scale). The problem will be worse if you live in an area with particularly hard water. In some cases the pressure pipes can get completely blocked and if the pump is powerful enough, the pipes can rupture, otherwise, the pump will simply not put out any water. The solution is to regularly flush out the system with descaler. The frequency of cleaning depends upon how often you use the machine. You can get descaler from any decent coffe place (like Starbucks), an appliance repair place, or the hardware store. I use CLR which is sold at hardware stores. CLR stands for Calcium-Lime-Rust, and it effectively cleans all of these and is cheaper than specialty scale removers. Simply dilute some in water and pour the mixture in the machine, then cycle the pump and run it through. Collect the spent liquid and run it through again 4 or 5 times (or more if you've never cleaned your machine before...) Allow the liquid to sit for 10-15 minutes between flushes so that the solution has a chance to eat away at the scale. Once you have done this a few times, flush out the machine thoroughly with clean water 4 or 5 times, using CLEAN water each time you rinse. If you want to get an idea of the scale that has been removed, keep a small amount of the original clean solution in a glass and then compare the spend cleaning liquid with unused cleaning liquid to see the difference. The spent liquid should be foggy/muddy compared to the clean stuff and if you let it sit, the scale will settle to the bottom of the glass and will be clearly visible. You can prevent some of the buildup in your machine by using filtered water as they do at Starbucks.

Posted on Jun 05, 2009

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