Sometimes the steamwand on our Francis!Francis! X3 just stops working. The water is definitely hot enough and there is steam going through the machine, but it does not come out of the wand. Help please!
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First I'm not a Francis tech. But I have worked on similar table top machines. You should call your vendor for service as there is no customer serviceable parts in this machine. (To your question, Yes, it can be fixed but you may find it costs more to fix than to replace it with a new machine.)
*** the following is for information only. ***
* There are usually separate boilers for table top units. There is a pump and heater system for each section. (usually 2 for this type of machine. But there may be a third system if you have the Coco option.
* Since each system is separate then your Latte/cappucino system has a problem. I will list the most common but all require a qualified service tech to repair/replace. (lots of small parts crammed into a very small space.)
* Cap/Latte Membrane button not working. If it feels mushy (not like the other buttons) then the button panel needs to be replaced.
* There is a CPU/PC board malfunction. Replace
* There is air in the water line to the Cap/Latte system. Make sure the water tank is filled. Power down. Wait 10 seconds. Power back up. Press the Cap/latte button to start the pump. Watch the steam wand if water flows out. If it does, then wait 30 seconds and try again. should be steaming.
* No steam or at least hot water? Just cold water? Then the steam heater and/or thermo-fuse, thermo-disk, needs to be replaced.
* Got hot water but little to no steam? Then steam unit and/or thermo disk needs to be replaced. (best to replace both as a whole unit; tank, Heater, and Thermo-disk)
* Heats up very hot but sputters water and steam. Clean steam wand and/or tip (if removable) If it leaks steam at the top of the wand near the body of the machine then the whole wand needs to be replaced.
* Still sputtering? The steam system is clogging up. Call for service.
* Final; I'm not a fan of de-scaling as it causes more problems for the machine. I've always found that using filtered water (bottled ok) is best. Water softeners if available is okay. BUT stay away from HARD water and Ultra Pure (100%) water as it leaches out the metal ions from the machine.
Sounds like the steam wand is getting blocked some where either at the metal end or in the parnello wand if you machine has one at the end of the steam wand, if both of those are clean then try this push in on the steam knob if that works then tap rod assemble or steam valve needs to be replaced, make sure to ask about the stainless steel valve instead of the plastic one.
Check the end/nozzle of the steam wand, if you open the wand and while getting nothing it is hot, then the nozzle is blocked use a paperclip to clear the hole at the end of tip. If you have done this already and still no steam then it is clogged where the steam valve connects to the boiler.
For the grouphead check the basket there might be a slight bump around the edge that is preventing it from making a good seal when it contacts the gasket in the head. If the Double works fine then the gasket is not the problem. For the steam wand try flushing wand for 3 seconds just before steaming, if that does not help with the watery milk, then the boiler is not getting hot enough to produce steam.
Your thermostat has failed. The middle button is the pump. The bottom button is for the steam mode. If you are getting steam instead of hot water when using the pump, then the boiler is way too hot. Either adjust the thermostat or try descaling the boiler.
You're supposed to wait for the blinking light to go solid before attempting to steam your milk!
Until then, the water isn't hot enough (it's at coffee-brewing temp, not steaming temp) to produce steam.
Further, after steaming, the water is too hot for coffee's correct brewing temp, and the light again blinks until it has cooled down enough, if you care.
The steam wand has to be removed to be cleaned properly. Unfortunately, this procedure is not outlined in the manual. Just cleaning the wand on the outside or using a clip to clean the tip is not enough.
The other end of steam wand where it connects to the pressuring cabin actually swivels around a fitting. It is this fitting that you need to thoroughly clean. Years of using the machine can cause calcification around this fitting.
If you look under this end of hte steam wand, you should see a philllip-headed screw. Before you loosen this screw, you have to remove the grey trim so that the entire wand can be remove.
Once the entire wand is removed, what I just described will be much clearer.