Tip & How-To about Coffee Makers & Espresso Machines

Espresso machine will no steam, It purges when I press the steam but nothing happens

There are two most possible problems.

Fist the steam wand have clogged from dry milk. So you try soaking the wand in boiling water and after some minutes try the steam again. If you hear any steam out just keep it open and the steam will clean the rest. If you don't hear any steam you can help it by inserting a thing paper clip all the way in the wand and try again soaking and steam.

If you don't have any result then the steam valve is goggled from a scale deposit and you need to try a couple of times descaling and you have 85 % chances to open it. If not then you need to remove the steam valve and remove the scale deposit manually with the use of metal wire brush.

In any case give more emphasis in the first possibility with soaking.

Good luck

Usefull links

http://www.fixya.com/support/r4335301-descaling_espresso_machines_never_use
http://www.fixya.com/support/r5578817-fixing_traditional_home_espresso_coffee

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Milk Steamer/Frother


Take off the end bit; it unscrews. Poke a needle through the hole; I find it gets blocked quite regularly. While it's disconnected turn the knob on the right. Steam should come out. If it doesn't there is a blockage inside the machine and you need to get inside it to fix it. But the only blockage I've had is in the end bit.

Jan 07, 2014 | FrancisFrancis! X5 Espresso Machine

3 Answers

steam wand not working



The steam wand ejects steam in order to froth the milk. The steam wand should be cleaned after it is inserted into milk and at the end of each day. Do not allow the steam wands to soak in water overnight since some of the dirty water can be sucked into the boiling tank inside the machine this may cause the steam not to come out
Unplug the machine, take the case off, disconnect the switch wires and test it with a continuity meter. If you don't get any continuity, or if it is constantly closed and never open, the switch is bad.
this could have been prevented by regular maintenance and proper use. The usual suspect is a gummed up wand or brew line or user error. Here’s what to look for and how to avoid it.
First, notice what kind of wand you have. Most semi-automatic and porta-filter espresso units will have wands that resemble those on bottom or right, although the tips may be different. Some tips do not slide up and down to alter the aeration, as the one on the bottom does. If your wand is from an older (1990s) unit, it could have a more bulbous tip and a smaller hole in the tip. wandte1.jpg wandte2.jpgSome of the new wands give you a manual/automatic control.
wandte3.jpg Many of the new super automatics come with an automatic frothing unit, like this one from Jura-Capresso. The nice thing about the frothing wands on Jura-Capresso's new units is that they allow for even more control.
The "Dual Frother Plus" (top) works like the traditional frothing wand. The metal sleeve goes up for steam, down for foam.
The "Froth Xpress Plus" is a very handy device which can be used with the included sleek milk container or a distinct milk container, like a 1/2 gallon jug. The Froth Xpress has a tube (hard for using the included container, flexible for using a different container) that fits into the frothing tube behind the dial shown in the picture above. After selecting froth or steam, the milk is siphoned into a cup below the steam wand. We recommend steaming the milk first, then adding the espresso.

Whatever sort of wand you have, it is essential to keep it clear of solidified milk which can gum up the tip and even the wand shaft. Here are some symptoms of a clogged wand:
  • Little or no steam comes out of the wand
  • Hot water drips from the tip of the wand
  • A squeal or whistle comes out of the wand when the steam function is selected
  • A deep humming is heard when the steam function is selected*
*This is also a symptom of another more serious problem, particularly if you have a pump espresso machine; so if unclogging the wand does not solve it, you should contact a technician.
A good preventative measure against the clogging of a steam wand is regular rinsing in warm, soapy water of the tip and any other removable frothing part. This should be done after each steam wand use. If your machine has a Froth Xpress, it is important to clean all of the hoses, valve, and connectors (be very careful with the plug, however, because it is delicate). All wands should also have steam jetted through them after a frothing cycle is run.
Another preventative measure is to run a steam cycle for about twenty seconds before each new use. This will eject stray particles before they can build up and cause serious damage. There is also a cappuccino cleaner available which can be used in the automatic frothing devices. The solution is placed in a reservoir, and a full cycle is run until the reservoir is emptied. This can be done every few weeks or every few months, depending upon use.
Aside from prevention, there are treatments for a clogged wand. First, remove the tip, if the tip is removable. Usually they are, as in the case of the plastic tips above. The holes are usually big enough to run a pin or even a small paperclip through (emphasize small) to remove the gunk. If these items are too large, do not attempt to use them; instead try using a thin gauge wire from an electrical wire strand. Next, the metal wand itself can have a pipe cleaner run up into it. Start out by putting just about a half inch of the pipe cleaner up the wand, rubbing it around, then pulling it out. Gradually work more of the pipe cleaner up the wand, but never let the length of pipe cleaner in the wand exceed the wand length. We recommend the pipe cleaners with the stiff barbs attached, as opposed to the mostly soft ones. Do the same for all of the hard hoses and connectors. With respect to rubber or soft plastic parts, rinse them in soapy hot water. If flexible hoses form holes, replacements are available (give us a call) or we've even had some luck at aquarium supply stores.
PLEASE NOTE: if you own the Jura X7 or the Froth Xpress Plus, the diameter of the tiny holes is very important. We recommend trying not to put pins into these holes. However, if they must be cleaned and soaking won't work, a smaller gauge wire, a single strand, should do the trick. Always use a strand that is smaller than the diameter of the hole.
Frothing wand technology is advancing at a breakneck speed, but along with these advances come serious precautionary measures for dealing with these very delicate mechanisms. Follow the steps above, and your machine should be producing full-fledged froth for its entire life.

May 26, 2008 | DeLonghi Esclusivo Magnifica ESAM3300...

2 Answers

the milk frother is not sucking milk from the cup... it appears that the steamer is working as if it is steaming the milk. Any ideas on why the frother tube is not sucking any milk up?


it is clogged with dried milk. Remove the frothing wand from the machine. now press milk froth. you should get a ton of steam blowing out of the hole where the frother used to be. Your frother comes apart for cleaning. pull the chrome tip off, pull the 90 degree fitting and the black milk suction tube off, if it is really dirty you can soak the disassembled frother in hot water with a cleaning tablet. ( the small ones you drop in the brew unit, not the big descaling tab.) also, there is a clear tube with a point on the end of it sticking out of the frothing wand. this is an air admittance oriface. it allows air to enter the hot milk stream and make it frothy and bubbly. if it gets clogged, you will get hot milk but no froth. Your machine came with a spare one in the parts kit.

Jul 04, 2011 | Miele CVA 4062 Stainless Steel

1 Answer

My steamer wand has an awful odor everytime I try to steam something! I have cleaned it (even soaked in baking soda!) and the problem won't stop. Anyone else have this problem?


This is a common problem for the commercial espresso machines, Due to lack of cleaning of the steam wand after they finish frothing milk.
The milk flows back to the boiler and the water gets contaminated with milk.

Does the steam smells like rotten milk? If the answer is yes, you have contaminated water and or lines.
If not may be there is a lot of IRON in the water.

Run a descale cycle.

After you are done frothing milk, wipe the steam wand with a wet towel and open the steam valve for 2 seconds, close it and that's it.

Jan 15, 2011 | Saeco Starbucks Sirena Espresso Machine

1 Answer

Gaggia TS Espresso Machine although my machine seams to work OK, It does not seam to produce much steam any help would great


Their is a grait posibility that the steam want is blocked from dry milk that is why you have weaker steam out. So you can first try to boil only water for some minutes and then leave the steam want in for more than 30 minutes. Then try the steam again and posibly the dry milk will be spit out. You can even boil the water with some cooking soda in it which can help more.
One more think that can help to clean the steam wand is to use a thin flexible steel wire in the steam wand so it can clean it more.
This is the most posible solutions you can try.
Good Luck

Mar 22, 2010 | Gaggia TS Espresso Machine

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