Technique: Testing the Starbucks Barista Heating Element

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

This guide shows how to take apart the Barista to get to the boiler for either repair or maintenance.

The boiler heat the water to the needed temperature for both the steam wand and portafilter. If your machine isn't heating up, one possible cause is a failed heating element inside the boiler. This guide will show you how to test for this.

Edit Step 1 Testing the Starbucks Barista Heating Element  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Remove the back panel.

Edit Step 1 Testing the Starbucks Barista Heating Element  ¶ 

  • Remove the 6 Phillips #1 screws from the back panel.

  • Remove the back panel.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Set your voltmeter in continuity mode and place the leads on the two 90 degree prongs on the boiler's heating element.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Make sure the machine is turned off and unplugged.

  • Set your voltmeter in continuity mode and place the leads on the two 90 degree prongs on the boiler's heating element.

  • It does not matter which lead touches which prong as you're just testing for a break, or "open" in the heating element circuit.'''

  • If the voltmeter shows 0, or "open", then there is an issue with the heating element's continuity and it needs to be replaced.

  • If given a reading, then your heating element is fine.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Place a cup, to catch fluid, underneath the portafilter.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • In the water reservoir, place mixture of de-calcifying agent and water as directed on the product label.

  • Place a cup, to catch fluid, underneath the portafilter.

  • Run Barista, as if making coffee, for the amount of time directed by the de-calcifying product.

    • See the links section of the device page for further directions.

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Now that you've finished, share your repair story with others.

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2 Comments

Add a comment

I did this a few months ago and the boiler was full of rusty gunk. This guide sure did help me out.

oguitar200 - Reply

the same here - it was disgusting... was afraid to have damaged it while cleaning it. tested it yesterday already... just going through all the steps to validate function of the units.

Martin Zeitler -