Removing a Stuck Shower Plate from the Gaggia Classic

Shower Plate Removal

My shower plate had become badly clogged, with two of the holes pretty much completely blocked. When I tried to remove it, I found it was really badly stuck… I tried soaking in descaling solution, tapping it with a soft faced hammer, levering it from the side with wood (mindful of damaging the shower plate)…. but it wouldn’t budge.

Then I stumbled on a tip in a forum: simply insert a longer screw in the central hole, and tighten this until it pulls the shower plate free! So, I used an M5x20mm socket head cap screw (pictured above) and, with a few turns of an allen key, the plate popped straight off.

I tried cleaning and descaling the shower plate, but it was pretty badly stained. Having neglected my machine so badly, I felt slightly ashamed and decided it deserved an upgrade with a shiny new brass shower plate…

Brass Gaggia Shower Plate

Much better!

12 thoughts on “Removing a Stuck Shower Plate from the Gaggia Classic”

  1. Thanks for the tip. I saw that a onger screw could go into the center hole, but was afraid to try. Thinking this might be the way, just like you remove a stuck drum in a car brake system, or other types of seals.

      1. Oh dear Pam, that’s not good!
        It might be worth trying to soak it in some descaling solution (maybe even remove the water tank, and invert the machine completely to try and get the descaler into the threads).
        You could also try heating/cooling it to try and free it.
        To avoid chewing up the screw head, be careful to use the exact right size screwdriver bit also.
        Not sure what else to suggest… penetrating oil might help, but it would need to be cleaned thoroughtly afterwards if you did that of course…
        Good luck with it

  2. Your post helped me immensely and I appreciated the photos.

    Here in Nov, 2021 working on a 1997 Baby Gaggia that I scored while thrifting. It’s in excellent shape but the water wasn’t flowing cleanly.

    Here was my journey:
    -ran white vinegar through the machine. There was almost zero scale but water wasn’t dispensing evenly so I wanted to do a deeper clean.
    -the screw for the screen and two screws for the plate came off easily. But the plate was cemented in. I banged on it with hammer and screwdriver (using thick rubber bands to prevent damage) and tried the ‘grip n twist’ with needle nose pliers but my efforts were only harming the piece
    -it felt as solid as concrete.
    -soaked it over night in a half packet of “descaler” (basically citric salts). The machine was upright and I pinned a small plastic container filled with the liquid up around the entire grouphead.
    -ran the descaler through the machine and a rinse cycle as well. I kept the screws off of the plate, expecting it to blast off but… nothing.
    -finally found a matching machine screw. I tried one that wasn’t quite long enough but I think it did some work.
    -tried a longer machine screw and it fell off almost immediately like it was never stuck. The hidden side was a bit wet so the descaler was getting to it.

  3. I had a similar problem, my approach was slightly different, because running a bolt through presses it against the group head. I’ve placed a piece of steel plate (some ~150x150x8mm to have an idea) over the whole group head, and pulled the diffuser out using a longer screw. Worked like a charm and all the force was against the massive outer ring of the group head.
    Schematic of the contraption:

  4. Thanks for the tip. My shower plate looks like an artifact from a sunken ship—totally crusted with scale and who knows what. I had used all the methods described by others above: pliers to twist, screwdriver to pry, dental hook to pull. It felt like it was fused together and would not budge.

    Had to make a trip to the hardware store for the long m5 screw, and it worked like magic. Whew. I have to order new plate too now.

    Thanks for the help!

  5. Thanks so much! That helped me get my shower holding plate unstuck, after I spent an hour or so trying to pry it off with screwdrivers, some banging etc…. I noted though that the required screw (matching the size of the one holding the shower plate in place) on my Gaggia Classic was an M4, not M5 (4mm diameter), and that the threaded section of the screw needs to be more than 2cm long for it to work.

    1. Well, that’s interesting!
      There must be different versions I guess. Mine is the original Gaggia Classic with the Aluminium Boiler, is yours maybe a newer model with the Stainless Steel boiler?
      Mine is definitely M5 and I used an M5 16mm socket headed cap screw (just measured it to be sure). So it seems like they changed the design at some point.
      Thanks for sharing, that may be useful information for others with the same.

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