Question about DeLonghi EAM3500 Espresso Machine/Coffee Maker
We have a expresso/ capuchino machine Delonghi EAM 4500. we are receiving a message that reads generic alarm which according to the manual means that we have to clean the machine by removing the infuse and cleaning and replacing back. We tried this but now everytime we turn on the machine we still received the generic alarm message. we have cleaned the infuse several times one time the machine actually said ready and made one cup expresso but then went back to say generic alarm. Do you have any suggestion for us?
You need to reset it. Unplug machine, remove waste container and tray. Put the waste container back in without the tray and slide a knife under the waste container, close door. Plug in. It should reset. Turn off, replace tray and waste container and turn unit back on.
Easier, call their 800 number and they'll walk you thru it.
Posted on Mar 27, 2009
For Delonghi EAM / ECAM machines - 3400, 3500, 6600, 6700
Serious fire risk!
Don't just short a thermal fuse! They are rated to 318 degrees Celsius and usually blow for a reason. One would be very lucky if that is all that's wrong.
"Heating Up" indefinitely
If a TCO (Thermal CutOut, the white ceramic blocks on the horseshoe) is blown, the horseshoe (steam boiler) control triac (usually BTA24-600BW) on the main board is probably breaking down under voltage stress. If the hot water function now blows loads of scalding steam you will need to replace the main board (or just the triac if you are confident, can upgrade to a BTA24-800) as well as any TCOs that blew. The normal symptom for this is the machine remains in the "Heating Up" state indefinitely, often after having reported "General Alarm" during the event.
Persistent "General Alarm"
This means many things. If the transmission is not stuck, check the main boiler has not burnt out (open circuit). This happens when the thermoblock labyrinth runs dry and overheats, a common problem caused by leaks, limescale, milk blockages or water filter contamination.
"Grind Too Fine"
When the machine says the grind is too fine and use the hot water spout, this is because the flow counter is not ticking. Getting this message too often can mean the flow counter is sticking.
When this message turns up, always run the hot water through till it flows evenly to ensure the system is irrigated. This probably should also be done after the machine has been resting for any long period of time during first warm up. This will help prevent boiler over-temperature events.
If the transmission is getting stuck there may be obstructions, the lead screw may be worn or the limit switches could be faulty. If cleaning and grease on the screw/bearings don't help then replacement is a big pricy job only for confident hands. Approach with caution.
The transmission can wear out prematurely due to the brew unit becoming stiff. The piston in the brew unit should move smoothly and fairly easily. Keep the brew unit in good service by occasionally removing the piston to clean and re-grease the two big red o-rings using a food-safe grease. To pop the piston out the top, gently remove the plastic u-clip from the base of the shaft underneath, paying attention to which way up it goes for reassembly.
For milk frothing issues, soak the milk jug cover in hot water and rinse several times. If it has a froth control that can be removed by sliding in the direction of travel towards the edge whilst jiggling it gently up and down. Clean off the little o-ring with a toothpick, be gentle. The control should easily slide and click back in place when done.
Froth still no good? Examine the milk coupling to ensure the o-rings are in the right spot and are pliable and undamaged. There should be an o-ring (usually green) on the top spigot, a (black) o-ring at the front of the bottom spigot and a (red) oring at the rear. The groove halfway along the spigot should be clear. Now with the toothpick and a hot moist cloth clean all the crud from the milk coupling, especially inside the smaller spigot. Check the tiny hole at the back of the larger spigot is not blocked.
Check the flow from the hot water spout is good. If not, there are internal issues, try descaling. If it is, test the frothing jug, if it is still weak either the jug cover or the milk coupling needs to be replaced. Get them to try a known good test jug at your local coffee service center to find out which, most will be happy to do this at the counter.
To keep these machines running right clean them out properly a couple of times a week, keep the brew unit serviced and always use the clean button on the frothing jug until the water runs clear.
Be aware they are only designed for a few years of heavy service. Regular cleaning, descaling and water filters can extend this a lot but from what I have seen ten year old domestic coffee machines are rare.
Posted on Jan 28, 2012
Posting my comments again as I'm not sure they are getting through...
I had the same Generic Alarm problem and it turned out to be the thermal fuse associated with the frothing (i.e. the "U"-shaped) boiler. The part is available on-line here: http://www.ereplacementparts.com/tco-p-695163.html
As a proof that this is indeed the failure in my machine, I bypassed the fuse and confirmed that the machine works if the fuse were there. I've also confirmed that the old fuse is blown (i.e. open-circuit). I can't recommend my temporary fix (a nail as a fuse replacement) but I have enjoyed the coffee while I wait to put in the new fuse :)
If I can, I'll take pictures as I put in the new fuse and post them here.
Posted on Aug 15, 2011
I just started disassembling mine, after receiving the general error message. The brewing module would either stay up, or it would not go all the way down. I opened the machine and removed the back panel, and turned the motor axle myself -by hand (the very lowest part of the motor), than in turn lowered the brewer to the down end and after restarting it, the machine would "fire again" for a couple of times, before I would get the general error again.
I disassembled a little more and I found out that the small board that controls the motor was all black from smoke on it's back side. That's never a good sign, and it's the cause of all these similar problems. It is labeled as DeLonghi 5232104400 part number. It seems like an easy fix, but I'll have to check with my multimeter to see is something else fried the board, or got fried by it.
Unfortunately, I have not found any service manuals, just a part manual in Italian and as I am not a trained technician, it'll be a trial and error procedure.
Normally I would have thrown this away, but the bloody thing makes the best damned coffee I have tasted.
Posted on Jan 23, 2010
We have had 4 total of the 4500's all but the last two delonghi replaced. these last two we used for over the warranty period, so they tell us to send them to a service center. the latest is 'inset brewing unit' i replaced the defusser and cleaned everything, still get the message. I have one in the garage, due to a "general alarm" message. I really want both of these to work! I don't want to spend several hundred dollars to get them repaired. HELP
Posted on Aug 21, 2010
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
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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