Problems with new gasket in my Bialetti 3-cup Moka Pot

bluesmike

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Aug 4, 2017
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I've been using my 3-cup Bialetti Moka Express for quite some time, 2-4 times a day, with great results every time. Now the original gasket is showing some wear, so I thought I should replace it. I bought a three-pack of gaskets, allegedly from Bialetti via Amazon, and I've since tried to make 3 pots without success. I get a sputtering mess that gives me a third of non-drinkable sludge. I'm using exactly the same grind and heat I've always used. What is going on?

I did notice that the new gasket seems awfully stiff compared to my existing one, but I figured that was simply due to it being new. It did seem a bit smaller in outer diameter -- not by much -- and it could be my imagination, but it seems to fit a bit looser in the machine than I think it should.

Frustrated, I went back to my old gasket, and turned out a perfect 3-cup pot! So what's going on? Do I need to crank that new gasket down even harder? Change my heat settings? I don't understand the physics of what's happening by simply changing a gasket. It should improve things, no?

Thinking about it more, I suspect I'm not getting a decent seal with the new gasket. With the old gasket, the brew time is consistent from one pot to the next, right around 5 minutes. With the new gasket, it took much longer, and I suspect because there was a poor seal, the water was going to a boil rather than being forced up via pressure, causing the burnt odor, the sputtering. Does that sound logical?


At this point I don't know if I should continue to try to make these new gaskets work -- will they really eventually seal -- or give up on them. The packaging says Bialetti, but I'm beginning to wonder.
 

CucamongaDan

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Jan 22, 2018
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Doesn't sound right. Contact the seller and tell them the new gaskets are not the same as the old one, and don't work, before leaving feedback or a review. Hopefully a correct gasket or refund will be forthcoming.
 
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bluesmike

bluesmike

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Well, I don't know how much different it would be directly from Bialetti. This packaging says Bialetti, Made in Italy -- everything looks legit. I know there are knockoffs of all manner of things out there, but this doesn't have the appearance of a counterfeit. I'll look into it a bit more, but I believe these are the real deal. I went to the Bialetti website, and although they are out of the 3-cup replacement gaskets, they do give outside diameter dimensions for the gaskets, and my replacement gaskets are the right size, according to their own chart. Pretty frustrating. I'm contacting Bialetti USA -- see if they have something to say about it. I noticed on other forums around the web that other people are having the same issues.
 
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JoeConiglioArmenia

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Well, I don't know how much different it would be directly from Bialetti. This packaging says Bialetti, Made in Italy -- everything looks legit. I know there are knockoffs of all manner of things out there, but this doesn't have the appearance of a counterfeit. I'll look into it a bit more, but I believe these are the real deal. I went to the Bialetti website, and although they are out of the 3-cup replacement gaskets, they do give outside diameter dimensions for the gaskets, and my replacement gaskets are the right size, according to their own chart. Pretty frustrating. I'm contacting Bialetti USA -- see if they have something to say about it. I noticed on other forums around the web that other people are having the same issues.

Agreed if they look legit I would reach out to them directly and see what they say. Maybe they had a bad run or the materials used were no good. They may say put it under hot water to expand/contract, who knows. I would love to hear the outcome, good luck.
 
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bluesmike

bluesmike

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UPDATE: I talked to Bialetti and they claimed to have never heard of the problem I was having with their gaskets, and basically had no solution for me. I know mine is not an isolated case; upon searching the Internet I found scores of other people with the identical issue. It was suggested by some that you have to go through 5-7 pots before the gaskets are "seasoned" and seal properly. Well, that's exactly what is happening now in my case. With no other solution, I decided to continue to try to brew a decent pot. At the seventh attempt, I got a partial pot of drinkable coffee. Okay, that was an improvement over the sputtering mess I'd gotten before. The eighth and ninth pots sputtered more than they should, took a bit longer, but eventually I got complete brews. So, in my case, as with others I've read about, the gasket is settling in, seasoning, whatever you want to call it. I did get a response from one person who suggested I go to a silicone gasket by Primula, sold on Amazon, which was his solution to the problem. That was going to be my next move.
 

PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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UPDATE: I talked to Bialetti and they claimed to have never heard of the problem I was having with their gaskets, and basically had no solution for me. I know mine is not an isolated case; upon searching the Internet I found scores of other people with the identical issue. It was suggested by some that you have to go through 5-7 pots before the gaskets are "seasoned" and seal properly. Well, that's exactly what is happening now in my case. With no other solution, I decided to continue to try to brew a decent pot. At the seventh attempt, I got a partial pot of drinkable coffee. Okay, that was an improvement over the sputtering mess I'd gotten before. The eighth and ninth pots sputtered more than they should, took a bit longer, but eventually I got complete brews. So, in my case, as with others I've read about, the gasket is settling in, seasoning, whatever you want to call it. I did get a response from one person who suggested I go to a silicone gasket by Primula, sold on Amazon, which was his solution to the problem. That was going to be my next move.

It sounds like you were very determined to find a solution to your problem. It's good to see that you didn't give up, and you kept on trying until you started seeing good results. I hope it stays that way!

Rose
 
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bluesmike

bluesmike

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Rose, yes, very determined. I love my Bialetti and, though frustrated with the new gasket ordeal, wasn't going to let that stand in the way of my coffee! I do have a 6-cup as well, so I always had that to fall back on. :coffee:
 

JoeConiglioArmenia

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Mike, Bialetti didn't offer to send a new gasket or suggestion a solution in anyway? That surprises me, i always viewed them as a top quality company. After brewing 20+ please report back and let us know if the seating/seasoned process has actually worked as the simplest solution.
 
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bluesmike

bluesmike

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No, the woman I spoke to from Bialetti offered no suggestions, no possible solutions. She was baffled. The positive news is that I am now getting consistently good brews -- this after about a dozen attempts of various success. The replacement gasket seems to have "settled in."

I hate to think of having to go through this process every time I change the gasket. I may try those silicone gaskets by Primula anyway as an experiment. Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.
 

FidoWilliams

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Aug 16, 2020
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I know this is an old thread, but I was happy to learn at least others had experienced this same problem and I'm not going crazy. My Bialetti Moka Express previously worked fine. Changed gasket only, and now only get spurts and splatters of coffee out the upper column while loud boiling sounds coming from below; upper chamber only fills about 1/3 full no matter how long it is left on heat. No steam or water leakage visible from upper half to lower half screw joint or the safety valve. New gasket same size and thickness of old gasket. Using exact same heat as before. Put old gasket back in and it works fine again. Defies logical engineering explanation.
 

fademi

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Apr 3, 2021
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Hi. I'm a new member and just wanted to add my discovery on this topic, as it's one that seems to plague many people. Been using various stovetop mokas, bialetti and others, for years, and 'sputtering' after gasket replacement is a regular problem. Like one or two others posting online, I noticed that accidentally boiling the pot dry seemed to partially melt the gasket, seating it firmly against the upper chamber, and thus solve the problem, however this is NOT a recommended solution! In fact the answer is much simpler as I discovered. The sputtering is related in some way to the new gasket not being sufficiently compressed against the upper chamber. Simply screw the top of the moka onto the base as tightly as possible - far tighter than you might normally (taking care to not use the bakelite handle for leverage lest it snap off). This has, at least for our six cup model, consistently solved the problem.
 

FidoWilliams

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My experience exactly. As a Mechanical Engineer I am completely baffled by this, since the steam pressure inside the lower chamber is always extremely low (only slightly above ambient pressure outside the Moka pot), and there is no detectable leakage at the seal between the upper and lower chambers. Given this, it makes no sense that the behavior of the device should change so radically with a simple change to a new gasket. I solved the problem as you did by screwing the top on with extreme force. However, this made for an unhappy wife who could not then disassemble the pot. So I made a "Moka" wrench as shown in the photo. But then I re-purchased some new gaskets from Bialetti, and discovered they are fabricated from a different kind of rubber than the old ones---a softer, more compressible neoprene type, I believe. With these, our Moka works as it did before, with minimal force to tighten. The mis-behavior with the other gaskets is still a complete mystery to me.
0405210738_HDR.jpg
 

fademi

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Apr 3, 2021
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My experience exactly. As a Mechanical Engineer I am completely baffled by this, since the steam pressure inside the lower chamber is always extremely low (only slightly above ambient pressure outside the Moka pot), and there is no detectable leakage at the seal between the upper and lower chambers. Given this, it makes no sense that the behavior of the device should change so radically with a simple change to a new gasket. I solved the problem as you did by screwing the top on with extreme force. However, this made for an unhappy wife who could not then disassemble the pot. So I made a "Moka" wrench as shown in the photo. But then I re-purchased some new gaskets from Bialetti, and discovered they are fabricated from a different kind of rubber than the old ones---a softer, more compressible neoprene type, I believe. With these, our Moka works as it did before, with minimal force to tighten. The mis-behavior with the other gaskets is still a complete mystery to me.
View attachment 10922

Same issue here with my partner not being able to sufficiently tighten / unscrew the upper lid. She's very impressed by your elegant solution! Our latest gasket was the last of a multi pack of Bialetti replacements that may have been 3 - 5 years old - although the problem occurred with the then-new gaskets at the time of purchase and thus unlikely to be related to the rubber drying out. I will pick up some new ones and give it a go - although I'm loathe to futz with the pot now that it's back working. I'm hoping that after a couple of weeks of hyper-tightening the top that it will 'bed in' and no longer require such sheer brute force in order to produce a consistent even, slow brew.

I'm not a mechanical engineer, but I too could not understand why the new gasket produced the observed behavior. Leakage at the seal, sure, but the sputtering just didn't make sense as it seemed more like the result of a (non-existant) blockage than anything a mere gasket could cause.
 

!PAM!

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Oct 4, 2021
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Sweden
I am just surprised how this all works and how Bialetti thinks.
If I buy a new Bialetti I get one with a silicone gasket, which works fine (this was disclosed by a shop owner who shoved that a new brewer has a silicone gasket). Silicone is way softer than rubber and much easier gives a good seal. Basically, the silicone is more forgiving when it comes to small damages to your Bialetti or coffee grains that are in the wrong place. Also, silicone is much less reactive than rubber.
Nevertheless, if you want to buy replacement gaskets Bialetti only offers natural rubber gaskets that, as mentioned above, often leak (unless you use your superman powers and tighten it real hard).
My experience is that the pressure leaks out with the rubber gaskets and the behaviour of the Bialetti gets erratic, leading to no coffee, bad coffee in small amounts, sometimes something not definable... and irritation :-(
Still looking for silicone gaskets...
@FidoWilliams where did you buy the new gaskets that were softer? Directly from Bialetti?
 

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