Hi! I work at a busy coffee house in Honaunau Hawaii. We have a Astra Mega II espresso machine that we keep super clean and makes great espresso! We recently had our Repair guy leave the Island. And we are having some problems with our machine. The right group head leaks when a shot is pulled. and the Left side is not working at all. No water is coming out. Is it possibly a gasket?? Is this something I'll be able to fix on my own? Please help!!
The left grouphead sounds like a different problem than the right group head. For the left grouphead, I would start by replacing the group electro-valve. With hard water, this can cause the valve to remain in the closed position even though the water pump is running.
For the right group head, I would want to see this happen. Usually, if the gaskets haven't been replaced in a while (if you are busy, your 'while' may be quicker than others), I would evaluate the condition of the rubber gasket. I would also look at whether you are tamping too much espresso grounds into the portafilter. This can cause a similar symptom as a bad gasket.
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There is either 1 of 2 things going on: 1 - The machine does not need water or 2 - The inlet solenoid is damaged.
If the boiler is full the machine will not call for water, to test this you could remove the top panel and disconnect the level probe, then turn the machine on, if it calls for water then the boiler was full and it did not need anymore. If it does not call for water then the inlet solenoid is possible damaged. To Check the inlet solenoid which is on the bottom right of your machine, you can do a resistance check on the coil, to make sure it is working, and or loosen the output of the solenoid to see if water is flowing when it is calling for water.
Try Mr. Espresso in Oakland, CA www.mrespresso.com. While they don't typically supply Astra, I believe they are familiar with the brand and can refer you to a technician if they can't service it themselves. Astra will also service their own machines, but you would probably have to ship it to their shop in LA.
Hi, I'm new to the coffee business and justed purchased this machine and no manual as well.
I just called the astra manufacturer (1-877-340-1800 ) and they were going to e-mail me a manual free of charge. Hope this helps. J Howell
The Astras have a vacuum relief valve, usually located on the boiler top. It looks sort of like a cap, with a pin or rod sticking up out of the middle, possibly with a ring through the end. While the machine is cold, you might try working that back and forth to see if it is stuck or not. If it is stuck, get it replaced.
Go ahead and keep the sensor probe connected. Open up the steam wands before turning the machine on the let the air bleed off as it fills. The element should not turn on if the water level is too low and the circuit is working properly. As for the groups pumping water, try hitting the Brew Stop buttons. If that doesn't work, something may be wired wrong, or your group solenoids may be stuck.