Once Christmas was out of the way, I had a plan to descale the TS, hopefully to cure an occasional problem with scale blocking the pipes (more of this in a future post). But the machine got the better of me and began dripping from the hot water tap, filling a cup in about an hour. Time to get the taps apart and investigate.
First to come off are the front panel knobs. These should just pull off, but the steam one was stubborn. A bit of levering with a screwdriver….
…and it snapped off. Nothing that the hot glue gun won’t fix later.
With the remnants of the knob removed, the nut bit on the front panel can be removed. Use two good spanners to prevent damage to the pipework.
Continuing with the tap, loosen the copper tubing connection.
Both the steam and water taps can be removed with their spouts still attached.
Using a pair of spanners again (or better still a vice) loosen the pipe connection from the rear of the valve. Undo the final turns of the nut by hand and be ready for it all to fly apart under spring pressure.
In my case the cause of the leak is the perished washer. You can turn these over and reuse the other side, but you will be back here in a year replacing the washer as they become brittle over time.
Hold the body in some grips (protecting it from damage with a cloth) and loosen. If the thread breaks at this stage, a new tap will be required.
This is what it looks like when the old washer has been levered out. Obviously, when putting it back together, just nip it up. It will be so much easier next time.
Scale can build up on the ridge where the washer sits when the valve is closed. Carefully remove it with a blunt tool, or soak in descaler.
This pintle sits between the threaded control knob shaft and the washer carrier. Soak in descaler if required and lubricate with silicone grease before refitting. It should move freely in the brass tap body.
Here is the detail of the Gaggia TS Steam wand, if your machine has the basic panarello milk frother, this is a must do mod. The steam power is almost unbelievable in comparison.
Putting it back together is the reverse of disassembly. Flush through both of the taps to remove any debris, and check for leaks on the pipe connections before replacing the lid. I had to glue the knob back on, which was straightforward with the hot melt glue gun.
We stock the TS wand, spare washers, taps and knobs to buy online if you need them.