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Question Submitted by Adam Dean
Product Manual click to open/closeopen and close answer
Question Submitted by Adam Dean
What do I do if my coffee flow is reduced or stopped altogether? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to determine the cause:

    1. Turn the machine on.
    2. Let the machine heat up as usual.
    3. When the machine is hot, open the steam knob and then turn on the brew switch. You should hear the pump operate and you should see a constant stream of water exiting out of the steam wand. Turn off the brew switch and close the steam knob.
    4. If you did see a constant stream of water exiting out of the steam wand, proceed to step 5. If you do not see a constant stream of water exiting out of the steam wand, then there is most likely a problem with the pump. If this is the case, go to Solution 2.
    5. Without any coffee in the portafilter, lock it in place on the group head.
    6. Turn on the brew switch. If the machine cannot produce 2 oz of water in a 20 second brew cycle, the group head needs to be cleaned. If this is the case, follow Solution 1.

    Solution 1: Clean the grouphead:

    1. Ensure that the brew switch and steam knob are turned off and the machine is cold.
    2. Unplug the machine.
    3. Remove the reservoir, drip tray and drip pan and carefully lay the machine on its back.
    4. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the shower screen. It is fastened into the group head with a chrome Phillips-head screw (if you damage the shower screen and/or screw, we have replacements available and they are not too expensive).
    5. Under the shower screen you will see the “Shower Holding Plate” that is held in place with 2 Allen screws. Remove the 2 Allen screws with a 5mm Allen wrench. Note: If the shower holding plate comes out after removing the 2 Allen screws, skip to step 6.
    If the shower holding plate does not come out after removing the 2 Allen screws, use a large flat blade screwdriver to gently pry out the Shower Holding Plate. Note: Be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into. If it still does not come out, you may need to apply some descaler solution in the gaps with a turkey baster or something similar. Be careful not to break or scratch the holding plate, but if this piece is damaged, you can purchase a replacement from us, and it is relatively inexpensive.
    6. Soak the shower holding plate and shower screen in descaler and use an old toothbrush or group brush to clean the shower screen. DO NOT push a pin through the holes in the screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    7. Rinse the parts thoroughly.
    8. Replace the Shower Holding Plate and Shower Screen.
    9. Tip the unit back up and replace the drip pan, drip tray and water reservoir.
    10. Fill the reservoir and plug the machine in and your machine should be ready to brew again.

    Solution 2

    If there is a problem with the pump, please call us to set up the machine for repair. We are an authorized repair center and can accept your machine for a repair.

    Comments (2)


    03/05/10 at 10:58 PM by Donna Greene
    I've tried all of it, too. This time it was working pretty well until I used Cleancaf and then the flow slowed way down and eventually stopped.

    10/11/09 at 03:42 AM by Sarah Dyer
    I've tried all this. Water does flow out of steam nozzle, but water still flowing to slow out of brew head. This prob keeps happening. What's wrong?

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Question Submitted by Adam Dean
The pump is loud and no water comes out of the steam wand or group head click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to solve it.

    Solution 1

    The The most common solution to this problem is to re-prime your machine. If the water tank runs out or becomes low, or if the water inlet tube floats up in the reservoir and brings in air, it can cause a bubble of air to get caught in the pump. Follow these steps to resolve the issue:

    1. Unplug the machine and allow it to cool completely.
    2. First you need to get a turkey baster or something that can inject water with some pressure. If you do not have anything suitable please call us to order a priming pump.
    3. Look into the reservoir and find the soft tubes. There is usually 1 or 2. You will need to locate the inlet tube. It is usually the longer tube with a V-shaped cut or angled cut at the end. This is the tube you are going to inject water into. NOTE: if your machine has a water softener on it, remove this while priming.
    4. Plug in your machine and turn it on.
    5. Fill the turkey baster or priming pump with water.
    6. Open the steam knob.
    7. Press the brewing button. Note: Some models will need to have the steam and brew buttons depressed in order to have water only come out of the steam wand.
    8. Now the pump will activate. Quickly make a tight seal with the priming pump/turkey baster and the inlet tube and force water into the tube.
    9. As soon as you have injected the water, turn the pump off by turning off the brewing button (we recommend doing this step 2-3 times before going on to the next step).
    10. Once you see water being pulled through the machine, replace the tube into a FULL water reservoir and let the water run out of the steam wand for 1 minute or until you no longer see sputtering. Your machine is now re-primed and ready to use again.

    Solution 2

    The second most common solution to this problem is that your pump has become dislodged from its mount. You may be able to reset it yourself at home. Do not perform this if your machine is still within its warranty period. Please call our technical help line for instructions.

    Solution 3

    If the first two solutions do not work, you may need a new pump. Please call us to set up a repair.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
My machine powers on but it won't heat up click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The most common solution to this problem is to replace one of the thermostats. Your machine has one thermostat for steaming and one for brewing. To determine which thermostat you need to replace, follow these instructions:

    1. Turn the machine on.
    2. Immediately put the machine into steam mode.
    3. Wait 20 minutes.
    4. Open the steam valve.
    5. If you get steam, you need a new brew thermostat. If you do not get steam, you need a new steam thermostat. Call us to order a replacement.

    When you are ready to install a new thermostat, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug your machine.
    2. Remove the top panel on the machine as follows:

    Gaggia Classic- Remove the 2 screws on the top.

    Gaggia Baby and Baby D- Remove the single long screw in the funnel that leads to the reservoir. Then pull straight up on the steam knob. Under it is another screw that must be removed. Then lift off the top.

    3. Double check to make sure that it the machine is not plugged in.
    4. With the top of the machine removed, you can see the brew boiler. It is the large, silver component right over the brew group with all of the wires going to it. Note: Your machine has 2 thermostats. One for steaming and one for brewing. The one at the back of the top of the boiler is the steam thermostat. The one at the bottom left side of the boiler is the brew thermostat.
    5. Remove the 2 wires that are attached to the thermostat and use a wrench on the brass part of the thermostat to unscrew it.
    6. Put a little heat transfer compound on the bottom of the new thermostat and carefully screw it back into place. Note: To tighten it, turn the brass part of the thermostat only. Be sure it is snug, but do not to overtighten it.
    7. Insert the 2 wires on the thermostat.
    8. Replace the top panel and screws.
    9. Turn the main power switch on and test it out.

    If this did not solve the problem, please call us to set up the machine for repair. We are an authorized repair center and can accept your machine for a repair.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
What do I do if my machine leaks around the portafilter while brewing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to solve it.

    Solution 1

    This problem can occur if the metal filter basket in the portafilter is damaged around the edges, or if coffee has built-up on the edges. Ensure that your filter basket is clean around the edges, and if it is damaged, replacements are available on our Parts Page below.

    Solution 2

    The most common solution to this problem is to replace the group head gasket. You should install a new about once a year. It is easy to install and you can do it from home. First, you will need to get a new gasket. Please call us to order, or visit our parts page linked below. The gasket is a large, black circular rubber piece in the group head. This is where your machine makes a seal for pressure brewing. To replace it, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug the machine.
    2. Remove the reservoir, drip tray and drip pan and carefully lay the machine on its back.
    3. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the shower screen (if you damage the shower screen and/or screw, we have replacements available and they are not too expensive).
    4. Under the shower screen you will see the “Shower Holding Plate” that is held in place with 2 Allen screws. Remove the 2 Allen screws with a 5mm Allen wrench. Note: If the shower holding plate comes out after removing the 2 Allen screws, skip to step 6.
    If the shower holding plate does not come out after removing the 2 Allen screws, use a large flat blade screwdriver to gently pry out the Shower Holding Plate. Note: Be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into. If it still does not come out, you may need to apply some descaler solution in the gaps with a turkey baster or something similar. Be careful not to break or scratch the holding plate, but if this piece is damaged, you can purchase a replacement from us, and it is relatively inexpensive.
    5. Now locate the group gasket. It is a black rubber ring. You need to pry off the rubber gasket. It should easily come out. If it does, skip to step 8.
    6. If the rubber gasket is difficult to remove by hand, find a couple of screws that you might have lying around. They do not have to be any special size, but a sheet metal screw with a 5/16-inch or 1/4-inch six sided head and a ratchet works best. Screw them into the old gasket. Make sure that they are across from each other. Note: Do not screw them in 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. The gasket depth is about 5/16-inch.
    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. At this point, it is a good idea to clean the shower screen and group head. DO NOT use a pin to clean out the holes in the shower screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    9. Clean and dry the slot in the machine that the gasket fits into.
    10. Slide a new gasket into place.
    11. Replace the Shower Holding Plate and Shower Screen.
    12. Tip the unit back up and install the drip pan, drip tray and water reservoir.
    Fill the reservoir and plug the machine in and your machine should be ready to brew again.

    Parts Page

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
How do I change my group gasket? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • You should install a new group gasket about once a year. It is easy to install and you can do it from home. First, you will need to get a new gasket. Please call us to order, or visit our parts page linked below. The gasket is a large, black circular rubber piece in the group head. This is where your machine makes a seal for pressure brewing. To replace it, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug the machine.
    2. Remove the reservoir, drip tray and drip pan and carefully lay the machine on its back.
    3. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the shower screen (if you damage the shower screen and/or screw, we have replacements available and they are not too expensive).
    4. Under the shower screen you will see the “Shower Holding Plate” that is held in place with 2 Allen screws. Remove the 2 Allen screws with a 5mm Allen wrench. Note: If the shower holding plate comes out after removing the 2 Allen screws, skip to step 6.
    If the shower holding plate does not come out after removing the 2 Allen screws, use a large flat blade screwdriver to gently pry out the Shower Holding Plate. Note: Be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into. If it still does not come out, you may need to apply some descaler solution in the gaps with a turkey baster or something similar. Be careful not to break or scratch the holding plate, but if this piece is damaged, you can purchase a replacement from us, and it is relatively inexpensive.
    5. Now locate the group gasket. It is a black rubber ring. You need to pry off the rubber gasket. It should easily come out. If it does, skip to step 8.
    6. If the rubber gasket is difficult to remove by hand, find a couple of screws that you might have lying around. They do not have to be any special size, but a sheet metal screw with a 5/16-inch or 1/4-inch six sided head and a ratchet works best. Screw them into the old gasket. Make sure that they are across from each other. Note: Do not screw them in 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. The gasket depth is about 5/16-inch.
    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. At this point, it is a good idea to clean the shower screen and group head. DO NOT use a pin to clean out the holes in the shower screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    9. Clean and dry the slot in the machine that the gasket fits into.
    10. Slide a new gasket into place.
    11. Replace the Shower Holding Plate and Shower Screen.
    12. Tip the unit back up and install the drip pan, drip tray and water reservoir.
    13. Fill the reservoir and plug the machine in and your machine should be ready to brew again.

    Parts Page

    Comments (1)


    05/21/10 at 05:30 PM by Richard Fowler
    If the shower plate is stuck then get an ~ 1 inch x 5mm screw. Screw this through the center hole and it will push the plate up.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
My machine will not power on click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The most common solution to this problem is to replace a fuse in your machine. This is a relatively simple process that only requires a few tools. Please call us to order fuse DM1040. When you are ready to install this fuse, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug your machine.
    2. Remove the top panel on the machine as follows:

    Gaggia Classic and Gaggia Coffee- Remove the 2 screws on the top.

    Gaggia Carezza
    a) Remove the single screw in the funnel that leads to the reservoir.
    b) Remove the screw on top of the steam knob.
    c) Remove the steam knob.

    Gaggia Espresso- Remove the single long screw in the funnel that leads to the reservoir. Note: Be careful when removing the top of the Gaggia Espresso, do not force it or it may crack.

    3. With the top of the machine removed, you can see the brew boiler. It is the large, silver component right over the brew group with all of the wires going to it.
    4. Locate the Phillips-head screw on top of the boiler that is holding down a brass-colored clip. It should be on the left-hand side if you are facing the front of the machine.
    5. Under the brass-colored clip, locate the semi-clear soft tube with wires coming out of both ends of it. The fuse link is in this soft tube.
    6. Remove the Phillips-head screw and cut the 2 small plastic ties at either end of the rubber tube.
    7. Slide the rubber tube toward the front of the machine. You may have to move the switches on the machine if they are in the way. You will also have to cut 2 or three plastic ties that hold the wires together so that you may move the rubber tube forward.
    8. Leave the rubber tube on the wires so that you can slide it back over the new fuse.
    9. Taking note of where each wire connects to the, cut the wires that lead to both sides of the fuse. Note: Cut it very close to the existing crimp connector so that the wires will not be overly shortened.
    10. Strip the wires that you just cut back about ¼-inch. This will expose the metal part of the wires.
    11. Before you install the new fuse, make sure that that the rubber tube will be long enough to cover the whole fuse and that it connects with at least ¼-inch to spare. Cut the fuse shorter if necessary.
    12. Install the new fuse (it does not matter which way it faces) using the crimp connectors provided. The connectors are 2 different sizes. The small one is for the single wire from the front of the boiler and the larger connector is for the 2 wires coming from the back of the boiler.
    13. Crimp the connectors onto the wire and fuse firmly, but not so firm as to cut the connector.
    14. Gently tug on the fuse and the wire to make sure that there is no movement and the connection is secure.
    15. Slide the rubber tube over the fuse. Note: Make sure that that all exposed wires and the fuse are inside of the rubber tube.
    16. Install new wire zip ties on the ends of the fuse link and replace any that where cut when moving the rubber tube.
    17. Replace the brass-colored clip and Phillips-head screw, making sure that the fat part of the fuse link is located under the clip.
    18. Make sure that the fuse and rubber tube are securely held in place by the clip. Put the machine back together, plug it in and test it out.

    If this solution does not work, please call us to set up the machine for repair. We are an authorized repair center.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
How do I clean the shower screen? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The shower screen is located right above where the portafilter attaches to the brew group. It is used to evenly disperse water over the coffee grounds when you brew. As a daily maintenance routine, you should remove the portafilter after brewing and then press the brew button for a few seconds to let the water clean off any grounds that may be stuck to the screen.

    More thorough cleaning should be done about once every other week to keep the machine working at its best. To clean the shower screen thoroughly, follow these instructions:

    1. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw in the center of the shower screen. The shower screen should fall out into your hand.
    2. Soak the screen and screw in descaler and use an old toothbrush or group brush to clean them. DO NOT push a pin through the holes in the screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    3. Rinse the shower screen and screw thoroughly.
    4. Replace the shower screen and screw.

    Gaggia Shower Screen

    Group Brush

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
How do I descale/decalcify my machine? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • First, descaling and decalcifying are the same thing. When you descale your machine, you are removing the calcium and mineral build-up in the boiler, brew group, frothing wand, and other related parts. You should descale your machine every 2-3 months. If you use reverse osmosis water or distilled water, you should descale about every 5-6 months.

    The first thing you will need is a descaling agent. Urnex Cleancaf or Durgol are the best for almost all espresso machines and coffee makers. Do NOT just use any product that claims to remove calcium and lime. Many products you can purchase at the local store can be harsh enough to ruin your boiler and cause leaks. Some are even poisonous. CLR or Dip it! are general descalers and are made more for coffee carafes. Lemon juice or vinegar can be absorbed into some of the components of the machine causing a very sour taste. Make sure the cleaner that you select is specifically for espresso machines and/or coffee machines.

    To descale your machine, follow these steps:

    1) Remove the machine’s water reservoir.
    2) Empty all liquid from the reservoir.
    3) Mix the cleaner/descaler according to the manufacturer’s directions.
    4) Return the water reservoir to the machine.
    5) Turn the machine on.
    6) Place a large container underneath the steam wand to collect the decalcifying solution.
    7) Place another small container underneath the brew spout to collect more of the decalcifying solution.
    8) Set up your machine so that hot water -NOT steam- will be emitted from the steam wand when the steam valve is opened.
    9) To start the decalcifying process, press the "brew" button (some models must have the brew and steam buttons pressed in order for water to exit the wand only).
    10) While pressing the "brew" button, open the steam valve.
    11) Allow about 8 oz of water to be dispensed from the machine.
    12) Turn off the brew button.
    13) Close the steam valve.
    14) Allow the machine to sit for the amount of time specified on the cleaner packaging. If no time is specified, 5-6 minutes is usually enough.
    15) Repeat steps 9 through 14 until all of the decalcifying solution has drained into the containers.
    16) Remove the containers and discard the collected liquid.
    17) Rinse the water reservoir thoroughly and then fill it with your usual water for brewing.
    18) Place the water reservoir back in its normal position.
    19) Rinse out the decalcifying solution by repeating steps 6 through 10 until the water reservoir is empty again. You can repeat the rinsing cycle if you wish.

    Your machine should now be ready to brew again.

    Why Decalcify?

    Cleaning Products page

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Question Submitted by Nigel Gan
The coffee isn't very hot. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are a few things that will help get your espresso hot. The first, which you mentioned, is letting the machine heat up a little longer before you use it. Make sure that the temperature ready light comes on before you try to use the machine. After the machine says its up to temperature, you’ll also want to run a "blank shot". This is simply activating the brew function while the empty portafilter is in place to allow hot water to come through the brew group and portafilter. In addition, you should preheat the cup you’ll be brewing into with hot water. Cold brew groups, portafilters, and cups will absorb the heat from your espresso, making it colder and reducing the amount of crema you get. Preheating all of these components prevents that from happening and helps you to get the perfect shot.

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Question Submitted by jennifer franklin
More coffee comes out of one spout than the other when I brew. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to determine the cause:

    Solution 1

    The most common cause is an uneven tamp. Make sure that you’re not tamping more heavily on one side of the portafilter, as water will try to find its way through the path of least resistance - the more lightly tamped side. If you’ve determined that this isn’t the case, you may want to clean the shower screen. Follow Solution 2 for instructions.

    Solution 2

    The shower screen is located right above where the portafilter attaches to the brew group. It is used to evenly disperse water over the coffee grounds when you brew. As a daily maintenance routine, you should remove the portafilter after brewing and then press the brew button for a few seconds to let the water clean off any grounds that may be stuck to the screen.

    More thorough cleaning should be done about once every other week to keep the machine working at its best. To clean the shower screen thoroughly, follow these instructions:

    1. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw in the center of the shower screen. The shower screen should fall out into your hand.
    2. Soak the screen and screw in descaler and use an old toothbrush or group brush to clean them. DO NOT push a pin through the holes in the screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    3. Rinse the shower screen and screw thoroughly.
    4. Replace the shower screen and screw.

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Question Submitted by
What is the Golden Rule? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Very basically, the Golden Rule states that using the correct amount of coffee (based on a single or double shot) should produce a shot of espresso in 20 to 25 seconds. Changing the grind setting or the amount of tamp pressure you are using will change how quickly the shot is produced. Follow the links below to find more in depth discussions of the Golden Rule.

    Golden Rule
    Purchasing Coffee & Brewing Espresso PART I
    Purchasing Coffee & Brewing Espresso PART II
    Rituals of Making Espresso

    Comments (2)


    09/12/09 at 05:15 AM by calum swanson
    What could be causing my Gaggia Baby Twin to be cutting out. It comes on as normal and seems to cut out after a few minutes.

    11/20/08 at 09:33 AM by Carrie Nelson
    Please explain benefits and draw-backs of going from Rancilio Silvia to an Epoca. We have used the Silvia for 2yrs, love it, but need more volume.

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