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Re: Starbucks Estro Barista Athena pump will not prime
1) Detach all removable parts from the machine. Notes: • Removable parts are letters F and H-Q in the Description of Parts • To remove the water tank, remove the drip trays and swivel the steam wand out of the way, then pull the water tank out from the front of the machine being careful not to damage the intake hose. 2) Wash all the removable parts with warm water. 3) Reassemble the machine. 4) Check to be sure that the intake hose inside the water tank is free from kinks or other obstructions. 5) Open the water fill cover (A) and slowly fill the water tank with cold water so that the water level is between the top of the drip trays and the Maxline (F). Note: Only use cold water in the machine. 6) Close the water fill cover. 7) Check to be sure that all buttons are OFF (colored indicators are OFF)and that the steam valve knob (B) is closed. Note: If the steam valve is partially open, the pump will engage when you turn the machine on. 8) Plug the machine into the power outlet. 9) Place a cup under the brew head (D) and a cup or other container under the steam wand (E). 10) Press the ON/OFF button (C) to turn the machine on. Result: The color on the button changes to red. 11) Immediately turn the steam valve knob to open the steam valve. Note: Do NOT wait for the Ready light to come on. 12) Allow four 4oz. (120ml) of water to flow through the steam wand into the cup. 13) Turn the steam valve to closed. 14) Press the BREW button (T). Result: The color on the button changes to green.
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Mine had the same problem, and I was able to fix it. 1) Unplug the unit and allow it to cool. 2) Remove the 2 screws from the top of the unit, and take off the cover. There will be a ground wire attached to the top. You can set the cover off to the side with the ground wire still attached. 3) Rotate the steam valve until you see the hex screw that adjusts the location of the inner plastic stop relative to the outer valve knob. You will need to "tweak" the position of this inner stop relative to the outer knob to allow the steam valve to close a bit tighter. Be aware that there is limit switch that needs to be in off position or pump will come on as soon as you turn the unit on. There is also a hard stop on the inner plastic piece that prevents over-tightening of the valve. This is a bit of a touchy adjustment. I would suggest playing with the mechanism before you adjust it so that you understand how it works before attempting a fix.
My father gave me the machine as it was sitting in his basement and it was doing the same thing. If you are not handy, try and find a shop that repairs Serco expresso machines. I didn't want to pay the labor charges and it is out of waranty so when it didnt work I took the cover off to have a look. The pump obviously was the culprit. I took the pump out of the machine and took it to a shop that repairs Serco machines (they made these). The new pump cost me $CDN 65.00 and voila it was working again. The tech said the mechanism probably got dried out inside. You can find the pump on the internet (Ulka EX5). Just make sure you take off the right angle connector at the end of the pump that leads to the boiler, you will not get this piece. It also doesn't matter if you get the one that has a plastic part coming out of the pump instead of the copper one on the factory installed unit.
A good operating pump will fill the tubes in 2 seconds. Sometimes the spring loaded check ball in the pump assembly (brass tube) gets stuck. It can be unstuck by disasdsembly or high pressure air application.Unplug unit before opening the top or any inspection. The brass tube unscrews from the angle fitting, then release the rubber mount by depressing the white tab and slide it out. Note slowly and carefully the positions of springs, ball, plastic plunger and rubber washers.Look closely at the holder for the brass tube and you will see that it releases with a push and turn. The white plastic spring retainer in the brass tube unscrews with small forseps or two toothpicks. That spring should be weak and you should just be able to blow a little air by mouth (one way) through the tube if assembled correctly. I use a toothpick to push the stuck plastic valve out and scrape the calcified deposits off..
I have just had a similar problem. Water no longer moves through the steam wand when I try to prime it. Instead, water shoots through the shot handle (or screen if handle is not in).
One thing I did notice is that the dial for the steam wand unscrewed too far and basically popped out. I screwed it back in and the water did not ever come out of the wand again. I took the top lid plate off and unscrewed the wand dial and removed it. I put it back and noticed that there is a little metal spring switch underneath that I assume turns the wand pump on.
Attached to the dial is a plastic sleeve with a flat side. When the dial is turned, this sleeve should turn the switch on. I noticed though that the sleeve is creeping up the shaft towards the dial head which makes it miss the spring switch.
I don't know what kept the sleeve in place before. Probably a plastic stop that has been worn away from use. There is an allen screw in the sleeve, but tightening it doesn't seem to keep it in place. Perhaps inserting a spring in between the dial and the sleeve would work, but the sleeve cannot be taken off to do this. No other answers right now. My wife is not happy the lattes have dried up.
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.
I have had this machine for four years now, and it is FAB!!! it does have an extra step to it- after you put in coffee and add water to the reservoir, you DO need to prime the pump. So here's what you have to do:
-Fill the reservoir with MORE water then you think you will need, fill the coffee filter with the standard amount of finely ground bean. -Turn the machine to "on," making sure the "steam" switch and valve (knob) are off. -Wait till the green "ready" light comes on, then put an empty cup under the steam wand and turn the valve on (the steam switch is still in the off position). Hot water will come out of the steam wand, allow it to flow until the "ready" light blinks off. Discard this. -close the steam valve, stopping the flow of water. -turn the "steam" switch into the on position, wait for ready light to come on again. -put your milk container under the steam wand and froth to your heart's content (this machine makes GREAT frothed milk and you should use a large enough milk container to allow for that! *smile*) -when you have finished with the frothing, close the valve and flick the "steam" switch back into the off position. You are now ready to make your espresso. -push either of the two buttons, ie one or two cups, and the espresso will start to flow. There is a way to set the length of time for each of the two buttons, but I have had mine set perfectly for so long i don't know how to do it any more. Sorry!
This has been the best machine I've ever used, and has lasted me for years. I heartily recommend it!