An easy to use home Espresso machine created by Saeco and rebranded for Starbucks. This machine is excellent for every day espresso drinkers and has an excellent build and product life.

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steam output is very weak

Suddenly (or so it seems) the steam coming out of the wand is so weak the milk never gets hot. Although I thought steam by definition was always the same temperature, I can put my finger in it with no scalding. Would descaling help or is there a bigger problem?

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If the tip of the steam wand isn't plugged descaling is definitely where you should start; make sure whatever product you're using actually says "descaler" or "decalcifier" on it. There are a lot of espresso/coffee machine "cleaners" on the market that will not work for this.

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I've ordered the Saeco descaler from Amazon. If that doesn't help, I'll try to find someone to fix it (I assume replace the heating element?), since I'm not as handy as many of the contributors to this site. Thanks for your suggestion and let me know if there's something else you think I should know.

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If the machine is heating at all then the element is most likely ok, but you can plug it into a GFCI outlet to be sure; if it trips, the element is cracked and should be replaced.

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More good information - thanks. It's always plugged into a GFCI outlet, so maybe the descaler will do the trick. I'll post after I try it.

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The descaler did the trick. I was astonished (and horrified/disgusted) at the appearance of the first several rounds of discharge from the machine - and this morning it worked better than it has in years. Thank you so much for your help.

I noticed the descaler is citric acid - would using lemon juice as a descaler periodically be helpful?

Last question: This problem is not that serious (i.e., it doesn't affect my making espresso). The steam wand "leaks" water even when I've turned the knob completely off. Is that something I can easily fix? And again, thank you for saving my machine. It's pretty old and I thought I wouldn't be able to save it - but it's also pretty small for today's machines and doesn't use pods, so I wasn't sure what I'd be able to get in its place.

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Stick with the commercial descaler and use it 3-4 times a year; Dezcal is cheaper then most and works very well. If your steam wand is dripping it just needs to be adjusted; there are several questions that have covered this already, and the teardown guide will show you how to get inside the machine.

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