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Maybe you inserted the pod with the wrong side up or you used a 2-cup pod in a single cup holder. If the clamping spring isn't working (the lid feels loose when you try to close it), that spring (that is nothing more than a straight piece of metal wire) needs to be replaced.
It seems to be caused by pressure build up (not a vacuum) when the outlet of the pod holder gets blocked. There are three plastic bolts that slide into place to lock the lid as the lever is operated. Pressure forces the lid up and increases the friction on the bolts to the point where they won't operate. Solutions 1 and 2: First disconnect Senseo from the electric supply. Solution 1 is to press down on the lid to overcome the pressure and then operate the lever to unlock. Didn't work for me. Solution 2 is to get a table knife, not sharp, no serrations but with a rounded end, not pointed. Insert under lid just to right of pod holder handle, at an upwards angle of about 20 degrees to the horizontal. Then aim for the opposite 11 o'clock position on the closed lid. With a few tries the knife blade should slide between the top of the pod holder and the rubber sealing gasket releasing the pressure. Beware hot steam/water as pressure is released - wear gloves. Open lid, unblock pod holder hole with a pin, fill and heat resevoir and then flush through without a coffee pod in place.
It may be the pod holder,there is a seal under the black disc at the bottom of the holder,the water will bypass the coffee under pressure,travel to the outside of the pod holder and exit the centre where the filter mesh is,if there is no foam also this is a sure sign,fill the empty pod holder with water and see how quick the water drips,I had this same issue and bought a new pod holder and compared,should be no more than 1 drop a second,you can knock the plastic out and re seat the O ring or buy a new holder,hope this is of use to you
The website for this product is here. Just under the top picture of the machine is a link to download the manual if you didn't get it when you bought the machine. There's a customer service number at the back of the manual. They should be able to tell you how to get any parts you need.
Looks like a pretty neat machine. I hope you get it brewing soon!
I don't know if you've tried this, but it works like gangbusters for me. I use non-senseo pods with the 2-pod holder, and they're too big for the 1-pod holder but not quite big enough for the 2-pod one.
I would frequently end up with a lousy, weak cup of coffee, and after a little investigation I deduced that water was flowing into the pod holder and AROUND the pod, without going THROUGH the pod directly. The name-brand senseo pods fit perfectly, and always produce a strong cup, even if I don't like their coffee, and it's because there's such a tight seal between where water flows in and where it flows out.
Simple solution: Put your pod in with the flat part facing up, and the bulgy part facing down. Press it down hard into the 2-cup holder. Run a little HOT tap water, and lightly wet the surface of the pod--not so much water that the pod starts floating in the holder, but enough to get it soggy. Then make your cup of coffee. The water will flow through the pod first, and kind of like siphoning gas through a hose, once it's started going through the pod it won't stop. Instant awesome cup.
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!
Some leaking from the group head of the machine is totally normal while the machine is heating. The reason for this is that the valve that sits above the shower screen is simply a spring and rubber ball. The spring expands, creating a seal with the rubber ball and the boiler, once the boiler reaches a specific temperature. Until the boiler temp is reached, leaking from the group head will occur.
The pod holder has an O ring to seal the black plastic disc in,if it is not sealed you will end up with more volume and a weaker coffee without the foam,either knock the disc out and try and seat the O ring and then knock it back in or buy a new pod holder,I had this same problem
The locks shut due to a pressure build up in the pod chamber usually caused by a blocked filter in the centre of the pod holder.
The only way to open the unit is to releive the pressure. The pressure will normally reduce over time, the duration being determined by the pressure build up, condition of pod seals and the strength of the blockage.
A quick DIY solution: (small cable tie and screwdriver required)
Un plug the unit from the mains:
Remove the water container and prise open the rear snap fit panel of the unit carefully using a screwdriver to expose the internal workings, the overflow pipe at the top of the cover must be disconnected to gain enough access to work on the unit.
.The small metal boiler in the centre of the unit is used to heat the water for the machine, if the boiler is still hot allow it to cool down sufficiently for work to commence.
The exit pipe at the top of the boiler feeds directly to the pod chamber, if you squeeze this pipe you will feel that it is under pressure. Cut the cable tie connecting the pipe to the boiler (be careful, dont cut the pipe) and remove the pipe to release the pressure, a small ammount of water will be released during the procedure. The lid should open.
Reconnect the pipe to the boiler replace the cable tie, refit the rear cover making sure to push the overflow pipe back on before you snap the cover shut.
Remove the pod holder and clear the blockage blow through the holder in the reverse direction to ensure the filter is clear.
Replace the pod holder and pour a small amount of water on to it. The water should exit through the delivery spouts if the path is clear.