Poort Miss Silvia was still laboring with the original brew system gasket that seals the portafilter against the body of the machine. After six years of almost daily use, a replacement was in order as it was prone to leaks.
I knew the old gasket would be difficult to remove but I had a few dental pick style tools ready. This is what it looked like after removing the diffusion screen:
You can seen a channel worn around the diameter of the gasket where it was crushed by the portafilter. The diffusion screen was badly grunged up and there’s a stained pattern of holes on the brass behind where the screen was.
The old gasket was hardened and brittle in spots. I wound up using a chisel at times to cut the material. Here’s the remains of the old gasket next to the new gasket:
The cheap Harbor Freight tools didn’t stand up to the job very well – the dental picks bent easily and the chisel was damaged too:
Once the old gasket was out I ran the machine before reassembly to make sure no old gasket material would be trapped behind the diffusion screen. I didn’t expect it to shoot a stream in a forward direction.
Getting the new gasket in was relatively easy and it was nice and squishy compared to the old one. I won’t wait six years to do the next replacement!