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It sounds as if the water pump has gone bad. If the machine will not put water out of the hot water spout or the steam spout, and there is no water in the base of the machine (leaking from pump) then the pump is not putting out any pressure. The sound you hear is the pump running - but no pressure behind it.
There are numerous problems where you get little or not steam but you can hear the pump trying to do something, this is often a blockage or a venturi tube problem and you can find numerous posts about how to fix it. If you get no noise at all when requesting steam then it is likely that the steam pump has failed. You can find the instructions to remove the steam pump (and most other components) here: http://www.cagrimmett.com/justanswer/cva4075.pdf
and you will also find detailed schematics of each of the systems. I removed the back plates as described and found that my steam pump showed clear signs of having burned out while the coffee/hot water pump looked fine.
The following procedure works when you get the ventilate error:
The Ventilate sign can be due to one or more of the following reasons: Cause 1- Water leaking from the inlet valve below the water tank. The hose from the inlet valve to the pump can be air locked. When using the hand pump, do not thrust its nozzle too deep Cause 2- Blockage in the passage of water due to clogged passage anywhere between the pump and espresso delivery nozzle. Cause 3- Pump is not working. Open steam/water outlet knob and hear the pump work. If you do not hear any noise from the pump, this may be the main cause. Cause 4- Flow meter is faulty. This part is like the water meter for homes. It measures the flow of water and signals the electronic board. The malfunctioning flow meter will not send signals even when water is flowing through it. Cause 5- Hose is disconnected and water is not flowing in the system. Cause 6- O-rings at hose connection is leaking, reducing the water flow to be sensed by flow meter. Cause 7- Boiler gasket is leaking. Reduces flow of water through the system. Cause 9- Brew unit is blocked, blocking flow of water through the flow meter. This also causes pump to slow down and ultimately stop with muffled sound within 15 seconds. Cause 10- Brew unit not connecting brew valve, preventing flow of water. Same sign under cause 9. Cause 11- Steam is leaking. Registers reduced flow of water at the flow meter. Cause 12- Solenoid valve is blocked or solenoid coil is bad. Same observation as cause 9. Cause 13- Electronic Control board is bad. Though rare it can happen due to condensed water from leaking steam. When steam is leaking or boiler is leaking, machine should not be used any more to prevent steam shorting the Electronic board. Some of the above causes can be checked and corrected before seeking technical help. Do not assume anything without physically checking each of the following: 1- Make sure the water tank is full. If the water tank has water level float, make sure the float is in its housing and it floats as water is filled in the tank. If the level float does not rise with the level of water, then replace the float. 2- Water is not leaking from below the tank. The inlet valve is good. If leakage is present, replace the gasket in the water inlet valve. 3- Prime the machine by opening the hot water knob for 20 seconds or pressing the hot water button. Hot water flow shows the boiler is not blocked with minerals and pump is good. The solenoid valve is good. 4- Water & steam flowing normal, check the brew group for blockage. Determine when was the last time brew group was cleaned. Clean the brew group as explained elsewhere on these pages. If the machine has pre-ground function, try making a fake espresso (without coffee). Make regular espresso in other models to make sure that water goes through brew group and espresso is dispensed. 4- If hot water does not flow because the pump is not activated, then pump is bad. Replace pump. 5- Pump starts to work but within few seconds its sound is muffled and finally stop. This indicates there is serious blockage in the water line or the boiler is clogged with mineral deposits. If water is leaking and seen on the counter top, the chances are that water is leaking from hose connections(replace O-rings) or the boiler is leaking from seams (replace boiler). 6- Prime the machine by opening steam outlet for 20 seconds. Steam flow shows that steam boiler / steam outlet is not blocked. If the steam does not flow, then steam boiler or steam passage is blocked. Replace steam boiler or steam valve 7- Check the solenoid valves to make sure that they open & close as the coil is energized. Solenoid valve is located between the pump and boiler. The pump is activated simultaneously as the solenoid valve when espresso selection button is pressed. Some models may have a solenoid valve near the steam valve. In these models, the solenoid valve is activated to allow passage for steam/hot water. If the valve is not functioning, the ventilate sign will appear. 7- Hear the pump work when priming the machine. Louder noise from the pump can be due to ** air-locked water hose, or ** water is not sucked from the tank or the pump is sucking air instead of water or ** the diaphragm inside the pump has lost flexibility and not developing pressure to push water forward ** the hydraulic system is blocked at one or more locations due to mineral sediment. Find the location and cause of the block and correct it. ** Clean the brew unit (see cleaning instructions) and make sure that a- the ground coffee used is not powdery fine. b- The dose of coffee grounds is not in excess specification c- check if there is blockage. Find the cause and remove it. 8- If steam and hot water flow is normal, but the ventilate sign persists, then the flow meter or the electronic control board is bad. Replace flow meter or the control board, as necessary.
Try also the following:
Press hot water button once. Message on the screen will not change, this is normal.
Open the steam knob and allow the water to flow freely from steam wand into a cup. The screen should now read "Hot water,ventilate", you may need yo empty several cups of water before message changes. In some case it is necessary to refill the machine container without interrupting the operation.
As soon as the screen displays "hot water," turn the steam valve off .
If the machine warms up again, then problem is fixed.
Does the pump come on (do you hear it?) but no water comes out when you make coffee?
When you select Hot Water and open the steam valve, does the pump run and does water come out the steam valve?
If you hear the pump running but no water is coming out - then it could either be that the pump needs to be primed. In that case you would select Hot Water and open the steam valve all the way and let water run out the wand for a minute or two.
If the steam wand delivers water but you don't get any water when you brew coffee, then either the coffee is ground so fine that the water cannot go through the coffee grinds OR the filter disc may be plugged up. Try grinding coarser and try removing the filter disc and cleaning it with a toothbrush - hold the disc to the light and verify that you can see through all the tiny holes.
If it pumps water for coffee but you don't get water out the steam pipe, then the steam wand may be plugged with hardened milk - in that case remove the plastic frother and soak it and clean it. Also use a bent paperclip to clean the hole in the end of the chrome steam pipe.
If the pump doesn't run at all and you don't hear any pump noises ever - then either the pump has failed or has a loose wire.
You must press the hot water/steam button to make sure it is set on hot water. The chugging noise is the pump slowly putting water through the steam boiler for steaming. When you open the steam knob make sure it is all the way open, you will hear the microswitch click when you reach full open(test it out with the machine off). Red light also means heating and low on water, since you are using all the steam faster than it can make it hence the red light.