How to change the Group Gasket on a Gaggia Classic Espresso machine ...

This page was inspired by the fantastic guys at Whole Latte Love! and their instructions on replacing the group gasket as shown here:
http://www.coffee-machine.com/articles/techtips/changing_gasket.htm.

This guide expands on their article with a little more visual information. I hope it helps you.

Changing the Group Gasket on your Gaggia is an essential task. When to replace it will depend on your frequency of brewing. If you don't change it, the gasket becomes hard and you lose the seal and subsequently the pressure required to extract the crema and make a great cup of coffee. The drop in pressure is not immediately obvious - it fades over time and other things start happening such as water leaking around the edges of your portafilter (the basket and handle thing you put the coffee in). If you get any leakage around the portafilter, and you have made sure all the contact surface areas are clean and free of coffee grains, then it is definitely time to change the gasket.

I learnt the hard way - I didn't change the gasket for 3 years! Not only was I losing pressure, but the coffee was tasting additionally bad because the shower screen and the group head parts had never been cleaned, as you will see in the photos. Oh, the shame :-).

It is very easy to change the gasket. Just buy a new one from your supplier (they are cheap) and grab a couple of tools.

Follow these instructions and the whole process will probably take 20-30 minutes the first time you do it. Subsequent changes should only take about 10 minutes, it is so easy to do.

Preparation:

1. Ensure you have the following items:

2. Unplug the machine.

3. Remove the water reservoir, drip tray, drip pan and reservoir cover. Put these things aside for a thorough wash.

3. Lay down an old towel, and put your Gaggia on its back, on the towel. You will be doing some cleaning, so the towel is there to soak up water and catch all the mess

Dismantling:

4. Use a short Philips head screwdriver to remove the shower screen retaining screw. Gently prise the show screen away from the "Shower Holding Plate" with the tip of the screw driver. With a bit of a jiggle it will just fall away:

5. Under the shower screen you will see the “Shower Holding Plate” that is held in place with two Allen screws. In the following picture, you can see that 3 years worth of buildup is not pretty and makes it a bit difficult to see the screws (indicated by yellow circles).

6. Remove the two Allen screws with a 5mm Allen wrench.

5. Now you need to prise off the shower holding plate. Try to do it by hand, or by light leverage with the allen key in one of the screw holes. You could also use a flat blade screwdriver but be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into:


6.Get the 2 screws you gathered earlier and screw them into the old gasket. Make sure that they are across from each other. Do not go completely through the gasket - just screw them in far enough to get a good grip. You can judge this by looking at the new gasket you are going to install:

7. Use pliers to pull on the screws and work the old gasket out. Pull one side and then the other until it comes out:

8. All the removable bits are out. Give everything a good clean with warm water. Use the corner of a clean sponge to get into tight places. The sponges that are made to scrub non-stick pans are ideal because their hard scrubbing surface is plastic and can't damage anything.:

9. What difference a good clean makes!

 

Reassembling:

10. Now that everything is clean and dry, it is time to push the new gasket firmly into place:

11. Next, re-attach the shower screen holding plate:

12. Then, screw the shower screen back into place:

13. Stand your machine back up and install:

14. Fill the reservoir, and run some water through.

15. You are ready to go!


For more great coffee info (the best info I have found anywhere to date!) checkout the guys at Whole Latte Love.
If you are a Gaggia owner, you should also check out their Guide and CD


Disclaimer: This web site is not affiliated with Whole Latte Love in any way. These instructions have been provided as a guide. If you do not feel competent with tools in your hand then you should have your coffee machine serviced by an authorised technician. If you break your machine, it's your fault.

Last Updated: 28 Nov 2003