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Steve
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No water from the brew head!

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I have seen a few posts on this, but looking for help to determine if this is a pump issue. I get water and steam from the wand, the unit heats the water fine, and buttons are all working ok. It primes fine, but no water comes through, even when I remove the portafilter or even if it in place but with no coffee. I removed the screw and checked the filter screen, all clear. I hear a faint pump sound when trying to brew, but not the signature sound that it usually gives when you know the water is on the way. Any help is appreciated.

Steve

Edited by: Henry H ( )

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Henry H
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When the pump is running, is water leaking from the steam wand even if the knob is closed? There is a spring-loaded valve in the brewhead that won't open unless there's enough pressure, so if your steam wand is leaking badly that could be the cause.

If your wand is not leaking then either 1) the above mentioned spring/valve is seized shut, 2) there is calcium buildup in the boiler blocking the water passage to the brew head, or 3) your pump is not producing enough pressure to open the valve.

1 and 2 can be verified by removing the brewhead screen again, removing the brass piece that it screws into (if you don't have a wide flat screwdriver then nickel should be the correct size) and examining the spring and valve (a small silicone nipple). With the spring and nipple out you should be able to shine a light into the hole and see into the boiler as well as poke a paperclip or dental pick into it. If you encounter any resistance or see a white chalky residue then it might be plugged with calcium and you should run a descaling cycle.

If the valve is functioning properly and the boiler is free of calcium but you still aren't getting any water from the brewhead then it most likely is your pump. You can purchase a replacement here: http://www.shop.partsguru.com/Barista-Ri...

Henry, thanks for your reply. That makes sense to me. My steam wand is leaking, in fact for a while I have had to hold the dial tight while trying to run a coffee to prevent it from dripping. I also felt there was water entering the steam when foaming milk. At that point I could still get water to flow from the brew head, but now nothing at all, sometimes a few drips. I will check the spring as you suggest as calcium is not out of the question. Is there an o-ring or seal leaking that is causing the wand to drip?

Steve,

I yarded on the hex nut and worked it free, likely jammed with calcium build-up over time. The 2 teflon seals appear in good shape. I did not remove the top one yet that seats the top of the wand ball as I do not want to damage it trying to remove it (it appears not easy to pull out without scoring it). The wand continues to drip when a brew cycle is started... would the black rubber wand gasket be the issue, thinking not as it likely seals water from working outside the wand, not down through it? If you have advice on my next step, it is appreciated. I will check the spring loaded valve you mentioned as well and see if maybe it is jammed closed.

Steve,

You'll actually need to remove the top of the machine to get at the part that controls water flow to the steam wand; the parts inside the wand itself won't contribute to it leaking. In step 8 of the Starbucks Barista Teardown, the second picture shows where you need to be working: loosen the 2mm hex screw on the top of the steam knob, turn the knob clockwise to further tighten it (and hopefully stop the leak) then re-tighten the 2mm hex screw. The contact point inside the steam manifold is metal-on-metal and over time it can wear down and let water past; this fix essentially resets the steam knob's zero/resting position. If that doesn't stop the leak, and you've tightened the knob as much as possible, then you'll probably have to replace the entire knob/manifold assembly.

Henry H,

Thanks. I will see if tightening the screw does the trick.

Steve,

Henry, Adjusting the knob for the steel to steel contact appears to be the fix. It is working now, water through the brew head. Of course I decided to remove the large rubber gasket up in the boiler above the brew head screen to clean it and as it was brittle, it split. I have ordered a new one and all should be back in order. Your help is very much appreciated, especially if the simple adjustment does the trick! Steve

Steve,

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