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Pam Mullis
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Can't get my machine to prime

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I haven't used the machine that often, the last time I tried to prime it the motor goes but does not draw up the water, maybe an air pocket in the line?

Edited by: Miroslav Djuric ( )

Merged as duplicate by Miroslav Djuric

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Henry H
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You can use a turkey baster/ear bulb/etc to force-prime the pump; often they get airlocked when sitting for a long time. Fill the bulb with water and fit it into the water intake hose, then with the pump running squeeze the bulb to force the water in. As soon as the water starts to flow easily turn the pump off, put the hose back into the water tank and continue priming.

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Mine had been in storage for 3 years. I used the bulb filled with water to get my pump primed. Thanks Henry !

BillyBob99,

Eureeka! Everyone in the family tried in vain to fix this machine, with no luck. I had it boxed up last Christmas to send to Vancouver repair person and just yesterday 10/28/2013 I researched again - bought a $.99 suction bulb and it worked!! Thank you!!!

Cosette,

Opening the steam wand did not work for me; and I was not able to force water into the pump hoses from the exterior. I had to disassemble the bottom (in my case only 4 screws) to access the water tubes. Then using a basting syringe I forced water into both tubes and because I had heated the unit before I could hear the water hit the hot tank inside. I reassembled and made a great cappuccino!

Thelda Shearer,

the bulb worked! i forced water up the hose and now it's working again! thanks...one problem though...water isn't that hot :O(

Deborah Von Hausen,

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Dale
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My machine does the same thing. I found by turning the steam knob on and off a few times while the pump is running helps to prime the pump and get water flowing into the boiler.

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Merged as duplicate by Miroslav Djuric

The steam knob is the answer. The machine should be turned on, with the steam button "out." Turn the steam knob on, and allow steam to flow until water is discharged from the wand. Easy to do and works like a charm. Especially helpful when you run the tank dry.

AnEspressoFiend,

Yep, the steam knob worked for me as well! Glad it was such an easy fix :)

Jocelyn K,

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Steve
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The priming worked well. I did not have a small enough baster but, used a squeeze bulb. Once the pump turned and one firm squeeze, the pump primed and started moving water.

THank you.

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anami
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Guys and Gals, just follow the directions given by Starbucks: the approved and simple method for priming the pump dies not require turkey basters or ANY tools. Turn the machine on but leave brew and steam switches on right OFF. Place a cup under the steaming wand. Open t he steaming valve. Now, although we did not heat the boiler for steam, the wand has this second function, namely priming the pump. When the valve is opened but the boiler is not heated for steaming, the pump kicks on and primes the pump. When the water from the wand is flowing in a continuous stream (3-5 seconds), shut the steam valve. You may now heat the water to steam or brew.

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Merged as duplicate by Miroslav Djuric

Yes, this is the correct procedure to follow when the machine is new or has had it's boiler otherwise purposefully emptied. However, when the machine has sat unused for a long time the pump can become dry-locked and then it requires either water under pressure (via a turkey baster or similar tool) or compressed air to be forced through it to began working properly again.

Henry H,

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Barbara
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I didn't have a turkey baster. In fact, I all had was a tiny 1 ml. syringe. It worked. I squirted it up the tube with the knob in the open position. It took a couple of tries, but then I popped the tube back down into the water tank and, voila. It worked like magic.

This answer was originally to another question.

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