I finally did it, using intrepid510’s walk-through as a guide (thanks, man). With all the encouragement here (X, Y) and elsewhere concerning the importance of giving yourself a little margin for error by bringing the pressure down, my resistance was wearing thin. An Amazon credit removed the final obstacle, namely my own cheapness, so the parts were ordered Monday. They arrived yesterday, and within half an hour I’d assembled my gauge, determined my Classic was running at 170 psi (!), and adjusted it to 140 static. Today I pulled 2 shots of fresh Olympia Big Truck and noticed a marked improvement. Success!

 

For others still on the fence about doing this mod, I figured I’d add a few details from my own experience to the collective wisdom pile here.

 

Removing the portafilter’s double spout:
Personally, I didn’t need a vise (lucky me). Like Eric, I just stuck a Phillips screwdriver through the holes on either side of the spout and applied some muscle. I won’t put it back on either—no need, as I never split shots.

 

Be prepared:
I opened up my machine prior to placing an order for parts, and I’m glad I did. First and foremost, a dry run is a good way to make sure you have the right tools before you need them. In my case, I discovered that (a) the extender I’d planned to use with my socket wrench didn’t fit my 17 mm bit, and (b) the hex key I’d thought was 5 mm actually wasn’t. No worries—a small adjustable wrench did, indeed, work fine for removing the nut atop the OPV valve, and a T30 Torx wrench was the perfect stand-in for that hex key when adjusting the OPV.

 

Parts:
The gauge and coupling I used are the same ones that intrepid510 posted links to originally. They're cheap and effective. If you want a gauge that doesn’t need a coupling, this one was recommended to me. If you’re fussy about precision and want a liquid-filled gauge to eliminate needle bounce (which I got essentially none of, for whatever reason), here are two others (A, B) that Tex from the Gaggia Yahoo group mentioned recently.

 

How to deal with leaks:
At first, I was getting too much leakage despite having used plumber’s tape on the joint between the coupling and the gauge. This is probably due to the fact that I couldn’t thread the two together completely. Frankly, I think it’s the coupling that’s the issue, but I was too lazy to go to the hardware store and find a new one (preferably one with an elbow), so I just torqued it in as best I could and tried again. The second time was the charm. That’s not to say there wasn’t still leakage; during round #2 it was simply more manageable. You probably can’t tell in the pic below, but enough water had dribbled down that the gauge was entirely filled with water, which had seeped into it through a gap in its steel housing. No harm done. Speaking of water, consider putting some paper towels down under the gauge, and *definitely* put a small glass under the drain pipe coming from the 3-way valve.

 

Adjusting the OPV:
In case it’s not obvious, turn it counterclockwise to reduce pressure as needed. One full turn did the trick for me.

 

And that’s it! Now there’s one less thing standing between me and the best espresso I can make. I consider this a team effort. Much appreciated, y'all.

Blog Category: 

Comments

Submitted by jbviau on
Well, the price of parts has gone up to a whopping $13.73 (not including plumber's tape), so it took some soul-searching! ;) Cheapness wasn't the main obstacle though--only the last little one.

I'm glad that it all worked out for you! I used to have a gaggia and part of the reason I did not have very good shots from it was probably because of the non-adjustable OPV

Submitted by jbviau on
Good to hear. Small world, right? Or did you get your parts recommendations from that same blog post?

Submitted by jbviau on
Thanks. Which Gaggia did you have again? You've probably mentioned it in the past, but I forget.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>glad that it worked for you - the difference is more than remarkable in the cup - easier to pull a gusherless shot too.

Submitted by jbviau on
Yup, and thanks for the help + encouragement. About gushers and the like, after my adjustment I found I did have to grind a bit more finely for espresso, but that could have been because of the beans.

Submitted by wakeknot on
this is some great Roaste.com teamwork as these blogs build together to show how to improve everyone's coffee!

Submitted by jbviau on
I definitely enjoy the back and forth here. If we could reply to replies forum-style under each post, that would add to the experience IMO.

I've read many times before lowering the high pressure on Gaggia to a standard 9 bar would really smoothen out the shots. I hope it is that way for you too! I am impressed that you haven't been hit by the upgraditis after being here for a long while. Haha!

Submitted by jbviau on
Yup, there's a noticeable difference in the cup. About upgrades, I'm trying to focus more on coffee and less on gear this year, but certain manufacturers are making this a difficult resolution to stick to!

No longer feelin’ the pressure: my Gaggia Classic OPV adjustment experience

| by

I finally did it, using intrepid510’s walk-through as a guide (thanks, man). With all the encouragement here (X, Y) and elsewhere concerning the importance of giving yourself a little margin for error by bringing the pressure down, my resistance was wearing thin. An Amazon credit removed the final obstacle, namely my own cheapness, so the parts were ordered Monday. They arrived yesterday, and within half an hour I’d assembled my gauge, determined my Classic was running at 170 psi (!), and adjusted it to 140 static. Today I pulled 2 shots of fresh Olympia Big Truck and noticed a marked improvement. Success!

 

For others still on the fence about doing this mod, I figured I’d add a few details from my own experience to the collective wisdom pile here.

 

Removing the portafilter’s double spout:
Personally, I didn’t need a vise (lucky me). Like Eric, I just stuck a Phillips screwdriver through the holes on either side of the spout and applied some muscle. I won’t put it back on either—no need, as I never split shots.

 

Be prepared:
I opened up my machine prior to placing an order for parts, and I’m glad I did. First and foremost, a dry run is a good way to make sure you have the right tools before you need them. In my case, I discovered that (a) the extender I’d planned to use with my socket wrench didn’t fit my 17 mm bit, and (b) the hex key I’d thought was 5 mm actually wasn’t. No worries—a small adjustable wrench did, indeed, work fine for removing the nut atop the OPV valve, and a T30 Torx wrench was the perfect stand-in for that hex key when adjusting the OPV.

 

Parts:
The gauge and coupling I used are the same ones that intrepid510 posted links to originally. They're cheap and effective. If you want a gauge that doesn’t need a coupling, this one was recommended to me. If you’re fussy about precision and want a liquid-filled gauge to eliminate needle bounce (which I got essentially none of, for whatever reason), here are two others (A, B) that Tex from the Gaggia Yahoo group mentioned recently.

 

How to deal with leaks:
At first, I was getting too much leakage despite having used plumber’s tape on the joint between the coupling and the gauge. This is probably due to the fact that I couldn’t thread the two together completely. Frankly, I think it’s the coupling that’s the issue, but I was too lazy to go to the hardware store and find a new one (preferably one with an elbow), so I just torqued it in as best I could and tried again. The second time was the charm. That’s not to say there wasn’t still leakage; during round #2 it was simply more manageable. You probably can’t tell in the pic below, but enough water had dribbled down that the gauge was entirely filled with water, which had seeped into it through a gap in its steel housing. No harm done. Speaking of water, consider putting some paper towels down under the gauge, and *definitely* put a small glass under the drain pipe coming from the 3-way valve.

 

Adjusting the OPV:
In case it’s not obvious, turn it counterclockwise to reduce pressure as needed. One full turn did the trick for me.

 

And that’s it! Now there’s one less thing standing between me and the best espresso I can make. I consider this a team effort. Much appreciated, y'all.

Category: BLOG

@samuellaw178

February 28, 2012 | by jbviau

Yup, there's a noticeable difference in the cup. About upgrades, I'm trying to focus more on coffee and less on gear this year, but certain manufacturers are making this a difficult resolution to stick to!

Great one!

February 15, 2012 | by samuellaw178

I've read many times before lowering the high pressure on Gaggia to a standard 9 bar would really smoothen out the shots. I hope it is that way for you too! I am impressed that you haven't been hit by the upgraditis after being here for a long while. Haha!

@Wakeknot

February 12, 2012 | by jbviau

I definitely enjoy the back and forth here. If we could reply to replies forum-style under each post, that would add to the experience IMO.

nice

February 9, 2012 | by wakeknot

this is some great Roaste.com teamwork as these blogs build together to show how to improve everyone's coffee!

@EricBNC

February 6, 2012 | by jbviau

Yup, and thanks for the help + encouragement. About gushers and the like, after my adjustment I found I did have to grind a bit more finely for espresso, but that could have been because of the beans.

adjusted

February 6, 2012 | by EricBNC


glad that it worked for you - the difference is more than remarkable in the cup - easier to pull a gusherless shot too.

@Son Ton

January 28, 2012 | by jbviau

Thanks. Which Gaggia did you have again? You've probably mentioned it in the past, but I forget.

@hoonchul

January 28, 2012 | by jbviau

Good to hear. Small world, right? Or did you get your parts recommendations from that same blog post?

glad it all worked out!

January 28, 2012 | by sontondaman

I'm glad that it all worked out for you! I used to have a gaggia and part of the reason I did not have very good shots from it was probably because of the non-adjustable OPV

I bought the same exact

January 27, 2012 | by hoonchul@hotmail.com

I bought the same exact parts for my mod-minus the tape. Glad to hear you finally did the mod, it was the best thing I did to my gaggia.

@intrepid510

January 27, 2012 | by jbviau

Well, the price of parts has gone up to a whopping $13.73 (not including plumber's tape), so it took some soul-searching! ;) Cheapness wasn't the main obstacle though--only the last little one.

Glad you got it adjusted,

January 27, 2012 | by intrepid510

Glad you got it adjusted, man I thought I was cheap! Considering it was only like 10 bucks for the parts to make a big improvement!

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