Home / The Little Guy - Maintenance and seals

Seals and general maintenance

The great news is that you can replace all the external seals and parts easily at home. There are 5 external seals on on TLG that you can change at home.

  • The little guy - Group Head Seal
  • The little guy - Boiler cap O-ring
  • The little guy - Steam Pin O-Ring
  • The little guy - Steam Tip O-ring
  • The little guy - Steam seat O-ring

How often should I replace the seals?

Depends on how often you use TLG and how careful you are. On average, we would expect the following:

Boiler Cap seal and the Group Head Seal are the two major seals in the machine. They make sure that the machine creates correct pressure. they need to be reguraly cleaned in the case of the Boiler Cap seal lubricated.

  • The Group Head seal should be replaced every 12 months to 24 months. 
  • The Boiler Cap seal should last 6 to 12 months and should be replaced regularly. Some customers have managed to keep the same boiler cap seal for between 2 to 5 years by being careful and not over-tighten when filling with water. Also, adding a little cooking oil to moisten it now and again will help. Hand tightening rather than using the group handle also helps. Caution, if the boiler ring rubber is old and is too hard it may not seal correctly.
  • All other external seals should last 3 to 5 years.

If you leave the machine on heat and it dry's out and damages all the internals, this is a major problem, and the machine will need to be fully rebuilt.

How do I clean TLG?

Cleaning The Little Guy's body — lock the group handle and boiler lid into place. Use a soft wet soapy cloth to wipe the Little Guy clean. Rinse under warm water and dry with a tea towel. Using a microfibre cloth also works well.

  • Cleaning the group handle — pull the basket from the handle and wash both separately in warm soapy water. Rinse, then dry with a tea towel or microfibre cloth.
  • Maintenance of the boiler — the boiler is solid stainless steel and has an electropolished surface. There is no need to empty the boiler when The Little Guy's in regular use.
  • If you're storing The Little Guy for any longer than a week we do recommend using a clean absorbent cloth or towel to soak residual water from the boiler and dry the inside surface.
  • Removing the shower screen (refer to our Hints & Tips video for removal) — fold a tea towel into a soft pad, take The Little Guy and turn upside down, resting the top of the head on the tea towel. Using the allen key from The Little Guy Kit, remove the screw in the shower screen in The Little Guy's head. Gently leave the black head-seal from the inside of the head and remove the seal and shower screen together. Wash the screen in warm soapy water, rinse, then dry with a tea towel. Replace the screen and seal back into the head and secure the screw, using the allen key to tighten.
  • Clearing the steam wand nozzle — the nozzle at the end of the steam wand will be finger/hand tightened. Simply unscrew the nozzle, wash in warm soapy water and use a small paperclip, with blunt end, to clear the hole (avoid using a pin or anything with a sharp end). Rinse the nozzle with clean water and refit to the steam wand using your fingers to tighten.
  • This is all the maintenance required at home. Any work required beyond these simple steps will need to be carried out by a Little Guy authorized service centre.
  • Refer to our Hints & Tips video. for cleaning instructions. Or access the instruction manual for The Little Guy cleaning tips.

What happens if I leave the machine on the stove?

Unfortunately, this is not covered under warranty. We get very few machines back like this, so it is good to know that people take care of their machines and don't do this. The cost of a full rebuild is high - so try not to forget your machine on the stove :).

Please note: A full rebuild requires Internal repairs and should only be attempted by qualified technicians. TLG requires special tools to open and service. After servicing, special equipment is required to pressure test the unit to make sure it is operating correctly.