Water from brew head coming out in one stream
I have a machine I purchased used. Works pretty well. I tried descaling it for the first time recently. When I removed the brew screen, a brass insert, spring, and rubber ball came with. I reinstalled these for the descale. The screw had obvious been put back very tight and a little stripped; I had to use an impact driver to remove it. After ordering a new screw and reinstalling the brew screen, the water now comes out the brew screen primarily in the center with very little percolation through the screen. Seems incorrect and not working as well as previously. Any guidance on which part could be the issue? Perhaps the ball spring is not installed correctly? Or perhaps I did not torque in the brass insert tight ?
Love some ideas.
If water is constantly dripping from the brew head then you probably need to re-tension the spring and/or clean the silicone stopper, but if you're only getting water out when running the pump then everything's assembled correctly.
The water appearing as a single stream will have no effect on your espresso; when the portafilter is in place the space between the screen and coffee quickly fills with water and equalizes the pressure across the entire surface. Most of the Baristas I've worked on (probably 80-100 by now) behave in this fashion, or at best produce 3-4 smaller streams in random spots across the screen. Don't worry about it.