Shower Screen And Group Gasket

Cleaning Shower Screen and group Gasket every 3-4 months

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Checking, cleaning and replacing the shower screen and group gasket…from the perspective of the inexperienced user, but it does show how easy it is for anyone to do! (my comments in bold)

I figure experience experience experience. First step - perform the tasks I’ve been afraid to perform before. Namely Descale and cleaning the shower screen - both of which I’ve never done before.


So onto the shower screen…. from Dave’s description, it should just be a simple issue of putting 2 spoons on the groove and levering it down. As the machine was cooling down I thought I’d give it a shot. For those who haven't done this DO NOT try to do this when the machine's still hot… . Let’s just say it was quite interesting. But, for love nor money, I could NOT get that thing out!!! I thought I’d leave it for a while to cool down and gave it another shot the next morning. After a LOT of swearing and cursing it came down and there was quite a bit of built up coffee sludge on top. I soaked the shower screen a bit, washed with the group head brush, then used the brush on the group head, rinsed and reassembled.

Sometimes they come out easier when their hot, of course they come out much easier if you have been performing maintenance on a regular basis, say every 3 months. The best way to use the spoons (in case you wondered and yes you need 2), is to hold them in each hand with a thumb in the bowl, then place the curved part of the bowls into the recess where the portafilter lugs go. The front edge of the spoon should now be in the groove around the rim of the shower screen (shown by the red arrows)…a quick lever and it's off. For sure…the espresso gods must have made spoons for this job, has to be simply one of the best tools. Don't of course use your best spoons for this!

So how does the coffee taste now? Well first off the bat, I have to say it seems to taste "cleaner" and there doesn't seem to be the hint of burnt taste that was there before. Success! I'm happy. I'm now going to work these two maintenance things into my regular regime.

This is because there was probably loads of black crap behind the shower screen and round the group gasket. Use a concentrated Puly Caf solution dissolved in boiling water and your group head scrubbing brush to get it clean (mind those eyes)

I wonder if he soaked the shower screen and gasket in Puly Caf for 10 minutes or so before giving them a scrub?

Yeah I soaked the shower screen for a few minutes then scrubbed it, the gasket and the group as well… it’s all good

Ah good!


Incidentally, I forgot to check which way up the rubber gasket was but I think I remember the guys saying that the bevelled side (the one with writing) faces up? Is this right?


Yup that's right, I sometimes use a smear of Vaseline on the top, inner and outer surface of the gasket….they come off a lot easier next time (and go in easier), BUT, if you are removing it regularly, you will not need any vaseline.


The inside of the shower screen, and the whole assembly ready to go back into the machine. Interestingly what's missing from the post was the process for getting the gasket back in. It's a lot easier than you think. First loosely push the showerscreen and gasket into place, you don't have to push hard, just enough so it doesn't fall out.

Then take the portafilter and remove the basket (this gives you sufficient clearance), lock the portafilter into the group, very gently, and the gasket will begin to seat. ONLY do this enough to allow you to put the basket insert into the portafilter and then re-lock it and apply some pressure to fully seat the gasket and shower screen. The reason you want the basket in, is because the edges of the portafilter are thin and may damage the gasket surface.

P.S. Should have said earlier when you scrubbed out the group with your group brush and puly caf. That black is meant to be brass on the spreader plate. , you will never get it that brass colour again, but there can be a lot of crap there.

Who knows, maybe in a few weeks time I’ll take the casing off the machine and look at the internal workings.

oh dear….I'll remember to let you know how that went :-)!