Machine heats, makes steam, but no water flows through boiler
I have an Espressosi Si that I have not used for a year. The machine still heats. It still makes steam for froth. However, no water flows through the boiler. I have tried the "Starting Up" procedure in the manual and it does not solve this issue. All the buttons still light up. I have tried to descale the machine however since NOTHING flows through the boiler the descaling solution just sits in the water tank. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Re: machine heats, makes steam, but no water flows...
Hi If no water comes through and the machine just sits there choking on air, you may have to prime the pump first. This is typically done by opening the steam valve (on the steam wand) and letting it run for half a minute or so. Obviously, this won't affect pump less machines or machines with self-priming pumps.This may seem obvious, but if your machine has a removable water reservoir, check the valve on it. Then check if the reservoir itself is seated properly in the machine.It's possible the machine is clogged. The group head (the shower head) can clog easily. You need to consult your manual, but it's usually removed with a single screw. If it looks clogged, try running the pump without the group head. If water still isn't coming out, you may have a more serious problem. If the machine runs without the group head in place, simply soak the group head in hot water for half an hour or so and then wipe the loosened dirt off with a soft cotton rag. Or it may be a reason of blockage in the outlet valve. The outlet valve is behind the shower disc holding plate and can be removed with 13mm socket. A straightened paper clip needs to be inserted in the outlet to clear any internal blockage, and then pump water through. If the outlet valve splits in two ensure the rubber bung is inserted upwards. Once refitted all should be fine. Thanks for contacting fixya.com
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This means the water cannot flow through the machine. Normal fix is to
prime the machine (turn water dispenser on, fill a cup) or descale the
machine. Go through the menu, select descale, enter, then turn the steam knob fully anti-clockwise. You should put the descaling solution in the water tank first.
If you have the auto-descale in the menu then run it. Run the solution through the machine twice. Then rinse well.
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.
I have 2 also and I use good water but I set mine on the max (all the lights lite) I use to work on these machines and they are good but water is the culpret on most issues with this machine. sweet water has a lot of calcium in it and that can plug the tube going through the boiler. We replaced 3 boilers on these new type boilers because they will plug up with calcium and when they plug completely they have to be replaced. We fould that if you descale more often than needed you have less troubles with the boiler. I have a Digital Italia that has over 18,000 coffees on it and still has the same boiler. I descale all my machines at about 400 coffees.
If you can get water to flow from the wand, you can descale the machine. You might have a bad steam boiler. There is also a fuse on the boiler that might be bad. Set your water hardness to 4 to keep the machine working for a long time. Descale more often than not enough.
There is a design flaw with this machine - the flow-meter, made by AWECO, is erratic - you will get Error 06. Open the machine and look for a circular object in the bottom-rear-right corner as you look from the front - it has two small water-pipes attached to it. Unhook this flow-meter and rotate it so that it sits in the same orientation as a bike wheel and your problem will be solved -
If you cannot get hot water from machine(brew unit or steam valve), then there is something wrong with boiler elements. If water won't flow thru coffee(pump is not vibrating) and you've tried adjusting the grind to a coarser setting, then you will have to replace the pump($50). However, since no water is going thru machine and it does not heat up then the problem might be the board or the inline fuse on the machine.
You may have a restricted flow meter. If the flow meter does not spin when you open the steam knob the boiler won't heat. A chip of bean that got into the water receptacle and when the water tank was replaced the chip flowed to the flow meter and restricted it. Now it won't spin and the boiler won't heat.
Well, I have little exposure to Saeco, but a lot to commercial coffee machines.
Saeco have a lot of custom made components, although these can be purchased, nothing is cheap! Neither is their repair service!
First, is the boiler heating?? If so:
No hot water/ no steam suggests a blockage. Assuming you can hear the pump working when attempting to do a coffee, you will probably find the water flowing back into the water tank via the relief valve. Of course, this valve itself could be the problem, or the pump failing to work through a blocked inlet filter or other problem.
Look now at the group head. Ever cleaned it? The filter and spray block should be removable, do so and clean them carefully. While you have them out, see whether water reaches the head by "making a coffee" into a cup placed under the head. BE CAREFUL OF SCALDING. If water now flows, cleaning the screen and spray block should restore operation.
Beyond that, it's inside the machine! There is a 3- way valve that operates when making a coffee. This can become clogged with coffee. There is another valve to open the steam.
If, like Saecos I have worked on, the boiler does both the hot water and the steam one at a time, look for problems BEFORE the boiler.
Hoe this helps a little....