Question about DeLonghi EAM3400 Espresso Machine

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Delonghi EAM3400 water ends up in tray will not come out of spout

I have tried soaking the infuser. And cleaning nozzles and inside. The machine is only about 3 yrs old. And not used frequently. The inside and nozzles were not dirty, but cleaned anyhow.
The machine made and expresso shot. Tried to make second expresso shot and the problem started. Did not add water, or open door, or move anything.

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I had this problem, and have now finally figured it out and fixed it. the problem is that there is a solenoid valve sticking. i believe that the valve is used to relieve pressure after using the steam, and it vents the hot water directly to the tray. if you aren't diligent about descaling, or if there are water impurities, or if you use the machine infrequently, or for probably any number of other reasons, the valve can gum up and stick in the "open" position, continuously draining the water directly to the tray.

one easy way i've got my machine to work was to cycle steam on and off a few times, thereby signaling the valve to open/close, and unsticking the valve. you can see if it worked without wasting coffee by initiating a rinse cycle, and seeing if the water correctly comes out of the coffee nozzles.

if that doesn't work, you can disassemble the machine and tap on the valve. it has a square black solenoid ~1" square on top of a brass valve. it is mounted on the same bracket as the u-shaped heater. a few sharp raps on top may free up the valve.

if that doesn't work, remove the valve, and try to blow through it. if the valve is stuck open, air will go right through. hold the valve upright and tap it onto a hard surface (countertop, floor, etc.) try blowing through it again. when the valve is unstuck (and held in its normal operating position), you will not be able to blow through it.

once the valve is unstuck, run your machine through a descale process. that should take care of it.

Posted on Feb 13, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • Joe_Bauer Feb 13, 2010

    i can't seem to figure out how to edit the above post, but in case it isn't obvious:

    WARNING DO NOT DISASSEMBLE YOUR ESPRESSO MAKER WITHOUT UNPLUGGING IT FIRST! YOU COULD BE ELECTROCUTED!


  • carolann5 Dec 03, 2010

    Joe's solution worked brilliantly! Our Magnifica was having the same water problem as described above, but we followed joe's instructions and now it is working perfectly. The last time we took our machine in for repairs it cost $275 so we are very thankful that Joe posted these step by step instructions!

  • windygt Jul 29, 2011

    I had the same issue, but the solution was slightly different. My machine would not pump out enough steam to froth the milk and I assumed it was due to a leaking red O-Ring.

    I managed to source a similar replacement from a bearing shop, but similar was not good enough. It fit in the space provided, but the ring itself was too thick and did not allow the diffuser to lift high enough and therefore the water spout did not meet the outlet. This meant water would spilling down the back of the door and into the drop tray.

    Moral of the story, only use genuine parts....if you can find them!!

  • goodwinbrad Aug 29, 2011

    Joe - sorry for the ignorant question - but where exactly is the valve? is it part of the removable piece inside with the red tabs on the side? I dont see any brass valve or know where the u shaped heater is...thus my question......many thanks for any other tips as I try to solve this! Brad

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