I found this to be a faulty L 95C thermostat (in which the burnt plastic shield of cable that caused the smoke was connected to). Fixed for less than $20! Just looked up part in schematics online, found a local seller and repaired in 5 mins.
Whilst this is a couple of years too late, my recent repair of my via venezia taught me a few things thanks to reading through the support in this section so I’d thought Is’d reply to keep a record. I experienced similar issues with a faulty thermostat which is very cheap and easy to replace. There is a thermostat for coffee brewing temp and a higher temp one for steam (as well as a cutoff/safety I think it is). Check out schematics online of where to find it but the L 95C controls the lower temp trigger. After unplugging the power, and unscrewing case of machine you can wiggle out the thermostat after simply unplugging the cables to it. You can validate you have the right one with the imprint on the side of the silver cap (L 95C) and order /replace as desired.
I’ve had smoke come from my unit whilst brewing and a flickering brew light . Turned machine immediately off. After opening the machine i’ve found a blackened connector and melted plastic to one of the three pairs of terminals on to top of boiler. Would this be a heater malfunction?
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