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Mark Allen
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Steam wand leaking. Not enough pressure for a good shot!

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I'm not able to fully close down the steam wand. So, when the machine builds pressure to steam milk - or to pull a shot - the steam wand leaks and releases pressure. My machine is only a couple of years old, but this problem has been getting worse to the point that it's nearly unusable. The espresso I can make with this problem ranges from so-so to undrinkable.

I have had the exact same problem and experience as Tanya - that is, leaking steam wand couple times over the years. Tech support walked me through the fix it in the past, but they no longer support. Henry H's brief response was enough to remind and motivate me, so I'm going to give it a try later this AM after machine cools down.

Victor,

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Henry H
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You may just need to adjust the stop on the steam valve; you need to take the top off of the machine to expose it, then loosen a hex-head bolt, tighten the valve then re-tighten the stopper. This may be preventing the valve from turning far enough to close. You may also have some calcium build-up on the face of the valve piston which is preventing it from sealing properly; a descaling (with citric acid) should help.

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Bob
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If the steam wand is leaking the valve o-rings are worn out. To replace the o-rings do the following:

1. Turn off the machine, unplug it, and allow any built up pressure to dissipate.

2. Remove the top cover by loosening the Phillips head screws.

3. Locate the steam handle hex screw on top of the black handle and loosen the screw, 5/64ths Allen wrench, I think. No need to completely remove it.

4. Rotate the handle and valve shaft out of the valve and out through the valve opening in the Barista. The valve shaft has two o-rings in grooves about 1/2 inch back from its end.

5. Take the valve shaft to your local hardware store and ask for replacement o-rings. They are 5/16x3/16x1/16. If you are nice the clerk might remove the old ones and replace them with the new ones. Allow them, removing and installing those o-rings is the hardest part of this job. Rub some hygenic silicon grease on the installed o-rings.

6. Reverse the above for assembly

7. Voila, you are ready to turn on your machine and have a coffee.

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Tracy
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This is one of the main problems with home espresso machines. They all literally only last a few years, five at best i've heard. The problem with yours is probably a blown seal, much like an o-ring, some where in the wand connection. If you can dis-assemble the device, voiding any remaining warranty by the way, you can try to just clean the o-ring area and it may become usable for another year at the most. Contact the vendor if possible for an OEM replacement o-ring so that it matches in size and thickness correctly.

If the o-rings on the steam valve were bad then he'd have steam/water leaking out near the knob; this would not prevent the valve from closing all the way.

Henry H,

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Edwin
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It could also be leaking because of limestone. Have you tried to decalcify?

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Tanya
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I have this same Starbucks Barista machine and have fixed the leaking steam wand problem twice over the ten years that my machine has been operating. At the time that I had my problems (3 and 7 years ago), Starbucks used to provide over-the-phone assistance (even beyond the warranty period) to adjust the machine. You would open up the machine from the back and they would wait on the line to tell you what to do next. There were no parts needed, just an adjustment to the steam wand valve. Unfortunately, Starbucks does not provide this service any longer, and I don't remember exactly what we did... Sorry!

I am now faced with a boiler problem on my machine. Perhaps it is time to get a new one!

Good luck!

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