The E61 group (demystified, disassembled and detailed)
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I would like to thank Bella Barista for the loan of a brand new E61 group to take apart and generally abuse in the interests of people who own machines with this type of group. I have taken the time to specify what I believe should be in an E61 group service kit and Bella Barista have taken the trouble to order these parts and make them up into kits. It was a lot of work to do this and it is not really very profitable for them to stock these kits, but I persuaded them to do this as a service to their customers. your E61 group uses the same compounds in it's seals that make up the group head gasket. we all know how this hardens and perishes with time. This also happens to the components within the group head. in addition springs become weaker and the whole system generally stops working as well as it should. depending on how much you use your machine and how many hours per day you have it switched on, you could expect to need to replace items any time from 2-3 years onwards. Cam Lever gaskets can for example start to leak after a few years (these are detailed in the article, as they can be replaced without major group disassembly). Other gaskets within the E61 group may last longer (they will be hard and cracked, but may not be leaking excessively)….be assured though, at some point your group will need a service.
There is a great deal of mystery surrounding the E61 group and this article aims to push some of that aside and show you what I love most about the E61, just how simple it really is! (click any images to enlarge)
This simplicity is a huge bonus when it comes to maintenance and repairs, because as with anything on espresso machines, parts within the E61 group do age and need replacement over time. These parts are things like springs, washers and seals, o-rings etc. The springs “tire” over time, they are under tension, they get hot and cold. The seals and little gaskets harden with time; just think how fast your group head gasket hardens…what do you think these seals are made of?
Luckily replacement of everything within the E61 group is actually simplicity itself and you do not even have to remove the group from the machine if you don’t want to.
So let’s get started The E61 group in all its glory (click here to read rest of article)