I took out the brewing mechanism and now I can't get it back in, I made sure the arrows and the N in front lined up (that seemed to be the neutral position indicator) I still can not completly slide the unit back in.
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If the brew unit is in the wrong position when inserted you can knock the lever off the microswitch in the back. If the lever is knocked off you will never get the brw unit miss message to go away. You will have to take the machine apart and replace the lever on the microswitch. Sorry
We made a modification to the brew unit that would prevent this from happening. We modified all the brew units on the compact machines before sending them out so we would never get them back for this reason.
This is hard to picture. The only way water can come out the brew spout is if the brewing mechanism inside in the position to make coffee. The only way to get that mechanism into that position is to either select one of the three coffee buttons (you'd hear the grinder run, then you'd hear the motor putting the brew mechanism into place and then the pump start and water would then come out the brew spout. OR to select preground coffee and then select one of the three coffee sizes - in that case you wouldn't hear the grinder but you'd still hear the motor turn the brew mechanism into brewing position and then start the pump.
When you simply select hot water and then open the steam valve - I can't imagine any possible way for water to come out the brew spout.
Now if you mean that you don't see any water come out but water is leaking inside the cabinet and ending up in the drip tray - then that would mean a leak inside the machine. It could be the valve that the brew group locks into when it goes into brew position (you see this valve in a little recess behind the brew mechanism when you take the brew group out to clean it). Or it could be a leaking steam valve or hose inside.
You might try getting a flashlight and a cleaning brush - take out the brew mechanism and then clean around that little nozzle/valve that is in the recess just the left of center behind where the brew mechanism was. That valve should shut when you are not in brew position and not allow any water out - but it may be gummed up with coffee grounds.
If you are feeling brave - you would need a deep socket and a lot of patience with a small breaker bar (a ratchet head is too big to fit in there) and you can remove that nozzle/valve and then clean it or replace it. But it is very slow going to remove it (there must be some special tool they use at the factory). I had just the right size deep socket (like what you'd use for a spark plug in a car) but there wasn't room for a ratchet so I had to use a small breaker bar and I could only turn the valve about 1/4 turn at a time then I'd have to reposition the socket to do another 1/4 turn. It took 5-10 minutes to remove it - then it was easy to clean. I think you could clean it in place with a stiff bristle brush and some q-tips.
I don't know if that valve is the problem - but that's the only thing I can think of that would have your hot water and steam running into your drip tray instead of out the steam wand.
Have you ever cleaned and lubricated the brew group?
You remove the tray and set it aside - then push to the right the plastic bar that says "press" and pull out the brew group. It comes out as a complete unit. You can rinse it under the sink - turn it over and rinse off the filter disk and rinse off any coffee grinds that may be stuck all over in the mechanism. Do not use detergent, do not put in the dishwasher. Just rinse it off really well.
The mechanism should be lubricated with food safe lubricant after about 500 coffees. There are two sets of tracks that are the main thing to lubricate. You can get the food safe silicon grease at any of the espresso shops like wholelattelove or seatle coffee gear etc. etc.
If the brew group moves freely after you have cleaned it, you need to make sure it is the home position - the round well with the black plastic shower screen at the bottom should be centered under the funnel that the coffee grinds drop into - and on the front face, below the "press" bar there is a round bushing with two arrows that show be pointing at each other showing that it is lined up in home position ready to be reinserted into the machine.
If you can remove the brew group easily, it should go back in easily. Make sure the brew group is in neutral position(2 arrows pointed to each other) and the latch behind the unit is in the top position.
Take the brew unit out again, and try to twist the rotational mechanism so that the little arrows in the front of the axis align. This should allow you to insert the unit.
On insertion, you might also need to push the little handle on the front of the brew unit to allow the coffee trough to fit.
Problem: Brew group is out of sync. Brew group insertion. Brew group alignment.
Answer: Common to all Saeco superautomatics. After removing and cleaning the brew group, it will get onto the supports but will not lock into place as the gear is not aligned. With the brew group on a clean, well lit table, use a pair of chopsticks and a friend to assist. There is a small lever arm on each side that is accessible from the outside of the brew group. As the carriage slides down towards the correct position, the arms are seen 1" above the drive gear and towards the handle side of the brew group. Gently push in the lever so it slides inside of the locking bar. Both sides need to get pushed in at the same time so it helps to have a friend hold the brew group and push in one side while you pull down on the carriage and push in the other lever. The chopsticks insert into the half-moon on each side above the locking mechanism.
Try this, check brew unit on it you will see a small arrow, this has to be pointing at the letter N, whisch is near the handle. Remove the drain tray and dreg tray, check the rails for the brew unit make sure there is no coffee on it, then slide unit in place.