How to Repair an Espresso Machine

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How to Repair an Espresso Machine

Consumers with an espresso machine enjoy indulging in the home barista experience, producing cups of dark, rich espresso, topped with tasty crema. However, if the espresso machine develops a problem, the espresso, if it appears at all, tastes less than pleasant. Rather than needing to purchase a new machine or take the machine to a professional, many simple faults are easy to fix at home, saving time and money. One simply needs to identify the exact problem and the most likely cause. This enables consumers to perform easy but effective fixes on an array of problems, from leaky seals to bitter coffee.

Leaking Water

If the espresso machine has water leaking from the pump the most likely cause is a poor seal on the o-ring or the shaft. To correct this problem, purchase a new seal that is the correct diameter for the shaft or o-ring. Check the instruction manual for the appropriate part size or number. Disconnect the machine from the power supply and access the pump, remove the offending seal, clean the area, and add a new seal.

Another common and often overlooked cause of leaks is too many coffee grounds remaining around the rim of the basket after tamping. Too many grounds on the rim of the basket disrupts the seal and causes water to leak from between the basket and the group head. To correct this issue simply wipe the rim of the basket after tamping with every use of the machine.

Loose connections, such as the inlet and outlet connections, or the hex nut on the pressure relief valve, cause leaking water. This is a quick, simple fix. With the machine disconnected from the power supply, when cool, consumers can simply use their fingers to tighten the loose elements, providing a watertight seal.

Espresso Tastes Bitter

A common issue with espresso machines is that the espresso tastes bitter or burnt. If this occurs, consumers can most likely notice the delivery is very slow. To correct this problem, grind the coffee coarser and try again. When the grounds are too fine, the water experiences more resistance and passes slower through the grounds, absorbing too much from the coffee and producing an unpleasant bitter taste. Another cause is over-tamping in the basket. This again causes excessive resistance. The key to solving this issue is to experiment with different grades ofgrinding and differing levels of tamping.

If these solutions do not work, the bitter taste and slow delivery may be a result of a buildup of coffee grinds or residue inside the group head. Repair this flaw by unscrewing the screws holding the screen inside the group head. Remove the screen and clean under hot water.

Water Tank Indicator Showing Empty

If the water tank is full yet the water tank indicator is showing as empty, this may be a result of the magnetic floater sitting in the tank being stuck in place, rather than correctly floating on the top of the water. Disconnect the power supply and remove the magnet from the tank. Clean it thoroughly and return it to the tank. If it is working correctly, it floats freely up and down according to how much water is in the tank. Another cause is a build up of limescale or coffee grounds around the edges of the tank, in which case a thorough cleaning should solve the issue.

The Cup Receives Splashback Before Filling

Among the most common failures is the espresso cup being marked by coffee splashes before filling. The most likely cause is steam pockets occurring during delivery. The repair involves reducing the water temperature by altering the maximum temperature on the temperature gauge.


An espresso machine, while not overly complicated, can still experience a range of issues that require repair. Each issue has a different cause and solution.




Leaking Water

Poor seal

Coffee grounds around portafilter

Loose connections

Replace seal

Clean rim regularly

Tighten loose elements

Bitter Tasting Coffee

Coffee too finely ground

Coffee tamped too strongly

Coffee residue build up inside group head

Grind a coarser coffee

Reduce tamping

Use screwdriver to remove screen and clean thoroughly

Empty Water Tank Light On

Magnetic float stuck

Loosen and clean magnetic floater

Splashback on Cup

Steam pockets

Reduce water temperature

To successfully repair an espresso machine and return it to optimal performance, producing steaming cups of dark rich espresso, topped with deliciously indulgent crema, users must first identify the exact issue they are facing, the possible causes, and the most likely solutions.

How to Buy Espresso Machines on eBay


sellers offer a wide variety of espresso machines, including


, fully automatic, and manual

stove top models

. Reputable eBay sellers offer new and used espresso machines at affordable prices, and some even offer free shipping. You may also find espresso machines,

coffee beans

, and ground coffee at bargain prices on

eBay Deals

. Espresso machines, when in optimal condition, produce delightfully decadent espresso coffee, complete with crema. However, like all appliances, espresso machines can experience a number of issues and faults, leaving you with a less than satisfactory home barista experience. Knowing how to perform simple repairs on your espresso machine saves you money and extends the lifespan of your machine.

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