I have a second-hand Saeco Via Veneto which worked a couple of times after I purchased it, then is started exploding meaning the pump explodes out, leaving coffee powder all over the machine, kitchen counter, floor etc. Can anyone tell me the reason for this? Is there a way to prevent this "explosion" from happening again?
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Have a close look around the outside of the cabinet for a small button or hole. Inside the hole, there may be a button that can be pressed to reset. Not sure about Saeco but I doubt if you have to take the cabinet off to get to a reset button.
There is a pin on top of the cappuccinator the will twist to create suction. Turn it slowly when steaming until it starts to draw milk up to foam. Then leave it. If you don't have the pin, thats your problem.
Yes, unfortunately the Via Veneto is a difficult machine to prime, however, I have a simple way to prime the pump if you run into this problem. Simply remove the water tank, fill a clean turkey baster with water, open the steam valve fully then mate the baster tip with the water tank flow valve on the espresso machine. Wrap a towel or paper towel around the flow valve/baster tip then inject the water (agressively, but not forcefully). It's works for me every time.
It sounds like you are short on water due to a blockage somewhere...either in the flowmeter or the group head. You might also have a faulty pump, and you're not getting enough pressure during the shot. If you're not getting crema, then it's most likely pressure related...shots will also have a burnt smell and very bitter taste.