The Espresso Machine Restoration site
A non-commercial site for those interested in espresso equipment repair and restoration.
Safety guidelines and liability disclaimer

The serious bit

Let me assure you, my writing style may be fun and full of humour (albeit eccentric humour) but at the top of my list
is safety.  I have been working with espresso coffee machines now for about 9 years and in that time I have been
very fortunate to have had instruction and tuition from some of the best in the business.  Nevermind your PID
installation to your Silvia, nevermind your god-shots - at the top of your list should always be safety.

My site is designed as a way people can see machines stripped down into components and then rebuilt back to
"factory" conditions.  I really hope that people can get some idea of the fun I have.

However that said I do not expect (and pray to God) that it does not give people a false sense of security to start
messing with your own machines.   I cannot accept any liability for people to start ripping their own machines apart if
they have had no formal training.

A few lucky escapes

Even with formal electrical training the best of  technicians get tired.  I have been guilty of this on a few occasions
and am lucky enough to be typing this today. I have been electrocuted a few times over the years and to this day
count my blessings that I am still alive.  It is no joke and it is no fun either.  
Even the pros treat the equipment with the respect it deserves!
Electrical issues

Always switch the power off AT THE MAINS when doing anything with the machine.  Switching it off with the
On/Off rocker or barrel switch on the machine is not good enough.  Live current is still present at that

I NEVER trust the mains power switch - I always double check with an AC voltmeter to see that the AC
reading is ZERO.  I have seen to many cowboy electrical installations in cafes and restaurants to know not to
trust the work done by previous contractors.

The only time I leave the power on is when testing for current with an AMP CLAMP - THAT IS IT.

However the best advice about electrical wiring is...

If you have to ask about wiring or safety issues on alt.coffee or coffeegeek then you are not qualified.  It is as
simple as that, call in the technicians. Please.
Boiler issues

Steam boilers are very dangerous, proceed with extreme caution.

NEVER undo fittings when the boiler is at operating pressure.

NEVER over-tighten (aka squelch) leaking and hissing fittings  on boilers that are up to temp.  They may just
break and you will get a faceful of steam.  If I have to do this I cover the fitting with a heavy damp cloth with
the POWER OFF at the MAINS.

Never, ever touch the safety valve which is factory set at 1.8bar and replace it every
24 months.
I am sorry I had to go in bold and capital letters for some words above.  But honestly please don't attempt to fix your
own machine if you have had no formal training or do not have someone with you that has.  My photo-essays may
seem easy but they are not.  I have been doing this for years and from a very young age I was taught by my Dad all
about safety with electricity.

As I said above I cannot be held liable for anything that happens to you whilst trying to descale your Gaggia classic
or your Isomac Tea or any machine for that matter.  Please not only respect your equipment but also your local
equipment technicians and give it to them to do properly.  Most probably they are small businesses like me and will
not only do the job better and quicker than you using the correct parts but you will be supporting small boutique
companies with families to support.

Coffee is fun and the moment it stops being fun is when it becomes unsafe through negligence and ignorance.  

Please please be safe.  

This website is created by Paul Pratt, Hong Kong 2004. If you would like to use any of the images or text I am sure I
will say yes, but please ask first!  

Email me here.