Videos and Blogs I used to install a PID to my Gaggia Classic


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Oct 25, 2018
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This post is more mostly about installing a PID on my Gaggia classic,because when I was looking to do it I could not find a specific post, blog, or video that explained it step by step. Thank you for reading—I hope it helps you with your project.

Recently I took my Gaggia Classic out of storage and dusted it off. I put it up and nearly forgot about it when it completely stopped working. I pulled it out of the attic last week after I did a little work on my encore baratza grinder. It reminded me that I was never able to pull a good shot of espresso from my Classic due to the OPV (Over Pressure Valve) being set the the factory settings of 14 bars and the mechanical temperature control switch caused the water temperature to vary 20 degrees.

The OPV was super simple to adjust:

You can build the pressure tester or buy this kit ($28) on Amazon:

The temperature took a lot more research and was a lot more difficult to install. I learned a lot about PIDs, which are basically small computers that read the temperature inside the boiler and send a signal to the heating element to turn on. The advantage of the PID over the mechanical is that it is more sensitive to temperature change and also the PID can vary the amount of power sent to the heating element. The mechanical switch is either on or off (100% power or 0% power). The PID initially runs at 100%, but as it gets up to the desired temperature it ramps down. At the desired temperature it might only send 1% to 5% power in 1 second intervals to maintain the right temperature within a few degrees. That's a simple explanation of a PID, but this George explains it better than I ever could:

I had very little experience with electricity, so this video and this blog brought me up to speed:

I got really lucky that I bought the exact PID that George has a video wiring and programming, but its not super difficult to do either using any PID if you watch these videos and do a little research.Its the Inkbird ITC-106VH in case Amazon stops selling it. It will work in Europe and the USA.

The temperature sensor included the Inkbird kit does not fit into the Gaggia Classic, you will need to buy a thermocouple from Auber ($31.99 shipping included):

Programming the PID seems daunting, but after George walks you through the steps, it will be a lot easier:

One thing that took a little playing around with is under the sensor screen, you will need to change the character that looks like a “y” or “k” to the character that looks like “Pt.” This is only for Inkbird models—it will be different for other manufacturers.

Wiring you will need assorted gauges of wires, the blog above explains the wiring for the Gaggia Classic and has very helpful pictures. You'll need terminal, piggyback terminals, and wire. I did not have any luck finding piggyback terminals at Home Depot, Lowes, Autozone, or O'Reilly's. I bought them off of Amazon:

It was fun learning about PIDs and wiring them. All in all, I am happy that there wasn't a step by step tutorial for adding a PID to my Gaggia. I learned a lot more and I feel way more confident that I could install another PID on any semi-automatic espresso machine.

I'll post pictures later.