My husband threw ours away. So I inquired next time I ordered pods, and you can buy one online when you order. Just put it in the comments box on your order form (although it may be better to call and order it, as the first time I tried this they missed it). Anyway. It was like $3.50. Then my husband threw that one away too, so I gave up. ;)
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You need to use the single-serving size one-hole basket, not the double, with the diffuser valve seated beneath the basket. Then the Illy ese pod should be inserted with the decal facing up. Finally, and most importantly, when you lock the filter assembly into the machine, you need to close it firmly. Brown water can mean that the basket assembly is not sealed in tight enough.
I'm not sure if your saying it does not brew a cup of coffee at all or it is brewing but only cold water comes out. If it is just sitting there making a whinning noise and not delivering water it may just be dirty. To clean it you need to fill the resivior with a 50% white viniger and 50% water mixture. Run a brew cycle and let it sit for an hour. Then run several cycles through until it is out, refill the resivior with water only, run it completely through and continue with the water only until there is no more viniger smell or tatse. You will need to clean the brewer needle heads as well. Lift the handle to access the coffee pod compartment, remove the pod basket and use a paper clip to clean out the hole in the puncture needle. With the lever still raised, use the paper clip to clean out the three holes in the upper needle head. Replace the pod basket, close the handle and run a couple brew cycles through without a coffee pod.
There are two different handles made for this unit (I own an X1 and have both). Both of these handles have baskets.
First - The pod handle has a basket area that is very shallow, about 1/3 of an inch deep and the basket has very small holes.
Second - The handle for loose grounds came with two baskets, one for a single dose, and one for a double dose. Both removable baskets have the very small holes for the espresso to drip through.
You must have a basket in the handle in order to use the machine. If you try to make espresso without a basket, you'll just make a mess. Besides, the machine will never be able build enough pressure to extract espresso from the grounds.
Search the net (ebay?) for francis francis x1 handle.
hi m.fleshman! in answer to your question, i paid $25 for mine used...it's like a $25 paperweight. hold the coffee grinds basket up to a light-can you see light thru just one hole, or all of the holes? if just one, this passed quality control at the factory & shouldn't have passed. i imagine that details like this are rampant on this machine. if i had bought mine at the store instead of 2nd hand, i'd take it back for a full refund! otherwise, it may be that someone put the wrong filter in the package. it's also possible that you may need to take out the spring (if it's removable) from the bottom of the filter holder-i don't know b/c i bought mine used. hope this helps!
Mine is a red O-ring about 2 1/4" diameter, the same as some automotive brake calipers. A well equipped mechanic or parts store like NAPA should have a supply of O-rings with the proper size, best to take your strainer in to test fit.