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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.
Hi I have seen all ways to descale espresso machines on this and other sites and most are wrong! Never leave the machine heating while the descaler is in the boiler. It's OK for a few seconds but never for minutes or hours. It will turn your seals hard as a rock and the machine will start leaking. If your machine is leaking you probably left your machine on while it was descaling. Factory programs, if used do not turn the boilers on in the descale mode for this very reason. If your machine has a factory descale mode, use it. All factory descaling programs use the flow meter to regulate the descaling. The flow meter tells the computer how much water has gone through the boiler. when the machine is out of water the flow meter will stop turning and the computer knows the machine has used up all the descaler, and it will want to be rinsed. Remember the pump has to stop on its own for the computer to know it's done! Again the flow meter will tell the computer it is rinsing and when it is again out of fresh water it will tell the computer it is done rinsing and the descaling message or light will disappear. Remember the pump has to stop on its own for the computer to know it's done! It may say descale on some computers and there is a program for resetting the descale. It's in your menu as "Reset Descale". Choose "Yes" and push the menu button to lock. It's all regulated by your water hardness. I have mine set on 4 and my water is very good. I have over 20,000 drinks, and the original boiler. Saeco(Starbucks) Barista Digital. This method can be used on any espresso machine. 1. Remove the water tank and fill half way with fresh water. 2. Mix your descaling powder (Citric Acid or Durgol Never use Vinegar) in a glass of warm water. When dissolved pour into water tank. 3. Open steam knob. Have a large bowl under the wand to catch the water expelled from wand. 4. Turn on machine (automatics will cycle then start pumping water) Regular espresso machines you will need to turn on the brew button. 5. When the pump has expelled about 8 ozs through the steam wand turn off only the power button. Leave the other buttons and knobs alone. 6. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes for the descaler to work, then turn the power button on and run another 8 ozs through the wand and turn off the power button. 7. Repeat step 6 until the water tank is empty. (machines that have magnets in the water tank will not let you pump the water tank dry but they have programs built in to use that will) 8. Once the tank of descaler is empty, rinse out and fill with fresh water. 9. Open steam knob and run the complete tank of fresh water through the boiler without stopping, and once its complete refill with fresh water and your ready to go.
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.
You gave a good description of the boiler-- now we need to hear the clues you have observed, as it fires (or fails to fire-- or what?)
Or as the water flow-- or doesn't flow? As the cold water enters-- what does the flame do? And does the flow rate reduce as the flow gets to the divert er valve?
How old is the boiler?-- and have we been using HARD water? (Any water softener in the circuit to remove calcium and magnesium, etc.?) Do you suspect a scaling problem in the interior parts? If so-- can you circuit an acid thru the innards, to clean up the scale?
Please comment on what happens when water and gas flow-- so we can help you get to the next step.
If you open the steam tap while the pump is running does water come out? if so then you might have a blockage in the coffee solenoid or the bottom of the boiler. Do you hear a 'click' sound when you hit the coffee switch? If not the coffee solenoid may not be operating. The most common cause of the problem you are having though, is scale flaking off the boiler walls causing a blockage where the coffee water comes out. Try hiting the coffee switch, opening the steamer and then if water starts pumping out, close the steamer and see if water starts flowing out the coffee group. Do this without the portafilter (coffee holder) in place.
If you do get water flowing trough the group, try backwashing the machine.
If these things dont help then you should take it to an authorised repairer or open up the boiler yourself if you are a handy person and have access spare parts. Good luck, these machines can make a great espresso when in the right hands and working order.
What is the temp at the boiler? there is a temp/ presure guage it should read 160-180F. If that is OK then check the circulating pump. When the thermostat is turned up you should hear a little water moving through the piping as you have adjusted the system. If you hear nithing circulating you may have a defective pump.