Portafilter Basket Stuck In Group Head (Breville) (Solved!)

Having a stuck portafilter basket can disrupt your coffee-making routine. This guide offers various strategies to remove it and tips to prevent this problem, ensuring a smoother coffee brewing experience.

This is a common problem with Breville espresso machines, but it can happen with every other brand too.

Here is the article in short:

  • If a portafilter basket is stuck, you can dislodge it by running water through it, locking and unlocking the portafilter, using non-slip fabric for grip, or gently using a flathead screwdriver.
  • Prevent sticking by not over-tightening, replacing worn-out springs, not unlocking immediately after brewing, and avoiding overfilling the basket.
  • If the dosing funnel gets stuck, use the specific removal techniques discussed below.
  • If the basket is stuck in the portafilter, pop it out with a screwdriver and adjust the spring clip’s bends for easier future removal.

Let’s get into some more detail.

Portafilter Basket Stuck In Group Head

How To Get A Stuck Portafilter Basket Out Of The Grouphead?

A stuck portafilter basket can be quite a hassle, but there are some techniques that you can try to dislodge it:

Run Some Water Through It

Every time my coffee basket gets jammed in the portafilter, I often resolve it by cycling water through it a few times. Usually, after two or three attempts the basket pops out of the group head.

Put The Portafilter Back In

If the water flow doesn’t fix the issue, you could try locking the portafilter in and then unlocking it once more.

Sometimes, this can nudge the basket back into the portafilter. When you then unlock the portafilter, you might just find the basket comes out with it.

Use Some Non-Slip Fabric

Non-slip cloths, usually used for opening jars, can also be handy for removing the basket. Wrap a non-slip cloth around the basket, then give it a twist and pull. It might just do the trick.

Use A Tool To Get The Basket Loose

Use this method only after multiple attempts with the first two methods, as it may risk damaging the basket or the machine.

This method involves using a flat screwdriver. Carefully insert it between the group head and the basket. Then gently wiggle it out. It’s crucial to not use too much force or you might harm the components.

Don’t smack it either. This could cause parts to bend, making it even harder to remove the basket.

How To Prevent The Portafilter Basket From Getting Stuck?

There are a few things you can do to prevent the basket from not sticking in the portafilter:

Don’t Tighten It Too Much

Over-tightening the portafilter can lead to the cracking of the inner diffuser disk. This may exert excessive pressure on the filter basket, causing it to get stuck.

That’s why, it’s essential to regularly check the condition of your diffuser disk and replace it if you find any cracks.

Although Breville usually sells this part on its website, it often runs out of stock. However, from my experience, if you contact Breville directly and request a replacement, they’re typically accommodating and will send you one.

Here is a video explaining this problem:

Replace The Portafilter Spring

Over time, the springs on the portafilter, which keep the coffee basket in place, may become less effective or wear out. This can lead to the basket getting stuck in the group head.

You can easily find a new spring to replace the old one on Amazon. For instance, here is a replacement spring for Breville coffee machine models.

Unlocking The Portafilter Too Soon

Immediately after pouring your espresso, there’s still pressure inside the portafilter. If you quickly detach the portafilter from the group head, this pressure can cause the basket to shift due to the release of air.

Pressure isn’t the sole reason why you should wait before unlocking the portafilter after brewing. The hot water also causes the steel of the basket and portafilter to expand slightly.

This expansion makes the portafilter fit more tightly into the group head than it would when it’s cooled down. Therefore, waiting for it to cool before removing ensures a smoother process.

Too Much Coffee In The Basket

Filling the coffee basket too much could cause the coffee puck to expand and stick to the shower screen. This may also result in the basket sticking to the puck.

Just like the pressure release and heat expansion, the sticking tends to happen when the portafilter is removed shortly after brewing.

Thats three reasons why you should leave the portafilter in the group head right after brewing. Leaving the portafilter in when it’s not in use is also a good idea.

During extraction, the puck swells up and touches the screen. Then, as the pressure and steam in the chamber above cool down, it creates a vacuum, which pulls the puck against the screen.

Over time, this vacuum slowly dissipates as air seeps back into the chamber, either around or through the puck, eventually releasing it.

So, you can either reduce the amount of coffee or let the portafilter sit in the group head for a bit after brewing.

The Dosing Funnel Is Stuck In The Group Head

If your dosing funnel is stuck in the group head, first try to remove the portafilter by twisting it clockwise, then reinsert it from around the four o’clock position and twist clockwise to remove the funnel.

If this doesn’t work, power off and unplug your unit, and remove the drip tray, water tank, and bean hopper. Lay the unit on its back and try the portafilter method again.

Here is a video explaining this problem:

The Basket Is Stuck In The Portafilter

It’s quite common, for the basket to get stuck in the portafilter, especially with new portafilters or when you’ve just replaced the internal spring. This happens because the spring is still strong and new.

To remove the basket, you can use a flathead screwdriver. Apply upward pressure at the small indent in the portafilter where it’s designed to be pushed out.

If you’re using a bottomless or ‘naked’ portafilter, instead of pushing it out from the side, it’s often easier to push it out from the bottom.

If you frequently change the basket and don’t want to use a screwdriver every time, consider adjusting the spring clip’s bends a bit. You can do this by gently applying pressure on the bends with pliers to make them a bit straighter. This will make it easier to remove the basket in the future.

Conclusion

In summary, dealing with a stuck portafilter basket may seem challenging, but with these practical tips and strategies, it doesn’t have to be.

By using techniques such as running water, using non-slip fabric, or gentle tool use, you can effectively dislodge a stubborn basket.

Furthermore, by implementing preventative measures like careful tightening, regular spring replacements, proper coffee dosing, and thoughtful basket removal, you can ensure a smoother, trouble-free coffee brewing experience.

Thanks for reading!