Teardowns I've Worked On

Guides I've Contributed To

Completed Guides


  • Answer to: no water or steam coming out of steam wand, not clogged..

    Does any water come out of the machine at all? If the pump is running and there's water in the tank, water should come from the brewhead until you open the knob, at which point the water will come out of the wand instead. If no water is flowing at all you may need to force-prime the pump; that procedure is covered in several other questions here. If I've misunderstood your issue please clarify.
  • Answer to: Portafilter loosens during brewing, rotates to left and leaks!

    Up inside the brew head are two little plastic ramps; as you rotate the portafilter it's "ears" ride up these ramps and seal it against the brew head gasket. If one or both of these ramps are damaged or missing the portafilter won't lock into place and the pressure in the brew head will cause it to back out. The ramps aren't available separately so you would need to replace the entire "polished filterholder locking ring" (part #220290300) if they are damaged.
  • Answer to: Water dispenses even when not on brew?

    If the pump is running then either the brew button is depressed, the steam knob is not closed far enough or some wires have gotten crossed or reconnected wrong. I would start with the steam knob; with the top of the case removed it should be obvious if it's closing far enough to deactivate the pump switch; if not, you'll need to adjust the stopper to correct this behavior. Leaking from around the lip of the portafilter might indicate that your brew head gasket needs to be changed; it should be clean and slightly springy when prodded. If it's hard or has a groove worn in it then it can't provide a good seal.
  • Answer to: Leaks after pump is turned off, and portafilter is removed

    If you have leaking from the brew head you'll probably need to re-tension the brew head spring. This is the only thing keeping the water in, and over the years they tend to weaken. Simply removing and stretching the spring slightly should do the trick, provided the silicone nipple seal is in good shape.
  • Answer to: Is there someone who could answer a troubleshooting question?

    If water is coming through the steam wand then either the valve isn't closed all the way or there's something preventing it from forming a tight seal. You may need to remove the top of the machine and adjust the steam knob stopper so that the valve will close far enough to stop the flow of water. This should redirect all of the pressure to the brew head. If you still have leaking you may have a piece of scale or other debris on the steam valve seal preventing it from closing all the way, in which case you would need to remove the steam knob/shaft assembly so you can clean off the teflon seal.
  • Answer to: Not working after attempted refurbish

    Without knowing exactly what you did it's difficult to guess at the issue, but for starters I would make sure you've got the spring/nipple correctly installed in the brew head. The nipple should face up towards the boiler; if it's upside down it will instead seal the boiler and not let water out.
  • Answer to: Can I replacie the heating element?

    It is replaceable, yes, and the Barista teardown guide shows you the majority of the process. You'll need a few tools and maybe an hour or two, depending on your proficiency.
  • Answer to: How do I store it for a long time

    Unless there's risk of freezing it's fine to store the machine with water in the boiler. By storing it completely empty you run the risk of it being turned on and heated up while empty, and this could damage or destroy the heating element.
  • Answer to: Where do I buy parts for my barista

    partsguru.com also has parts and part diagrams, and once you locate the part number you can often google that and find many other sources for the part at varying prices.
  • Answer to: Why does water leak from the brewhead?

    If the brew head is dripping the spring in it will need to be re-tensioned, and perhaps the silicone stopper replaced. Access to these components is detailed in step 9 of the Barista Teardown. If the pump were failing you'd have less water pressure, and that usually doesn't produce more leaking.


  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    If the screw head is completely stripped out, as a last resort you can pry up one side of the brew screen with a flat blade screwdriver and turn the screen itself with a pair of pliers. This will usually turn the screw as well, and once it's out you can either re-flatten the screen or just replace it with a new one.

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    Edie, that part should unscrew from the bottom of the boiler; taking the boiler apart won't gain you any more access to it then you already have. It's designed to come out so you won't mess anything up removing and replacing it, but make sure you don't lose the spring and nipple that are inside it. They are vital to keep the brew head from dripping.

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    They do not, they only control the heating element and what temperature it's at. The one thermal breaker in the machine is a fusible-link type, so when that trips it has to be replaced. Any chance you have the machine plugged into a GFCI outlet and is that is what's clicking off and back on again?

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    Actually, the link is not working at all, which isn't surprising given that the comment is nearly 4 years old. Here's an updated link to the wiring schematic:


    If and when that link stops working, you should be able to find all the Barista diagrams and manuals here:


  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    The pump in this machine is actually not a common failure point, but it is the first thing many people assume is the problem due to their lack of troubleshooting experience and general operational knowledge of espresso machines. Given that a new pump can be had for as little as $30 and they often last 10-15 years we've found it isn't worth the time trying to repair a failed pump, especially since if one part has deteriorated to the point of failure then others are sure to follow. I can certainly understand the desire to fix what you've got rather then replace it though, it's what got me into this business in the first place.

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    www.partsguru.com has most of not all of the parts needed for the Barista.

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    The Barista does have a 15 bar pump but it is regulated down to around 9 bar, just like almost every other consumer machine on the market. More bars does not equal a better beverage.

    No matter what machine you look at there will be people eager to share their opinion about how it's the best machine ever or that it doesn't make "real" espresso". Unless you're planning on making coffee for them their opinions aren't really relevant. I would instead try to figure out what you don't like about your Barista and then select a machine that would improve on those qualities. Some examples might be: recovery time after pulling a shot (solution: larger boiler and/or heating element), time spent switching between coffee and steam modes (solution: separate steam boiler or thermoblock), inconsistent shot quality due to temperature variations (solution: electronic temp control / PID), incompatibility with commercial accessories (solution: 58mm brew head), etc. If you can't think of any then keep enjoying your Barista.

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    Try unhooking the pump from the boiler (the outlet side) and then see if it will draw water. If so, then the issue isn't the pump but rather something blocking the flow of water from reaching or passing through the brew head or steam wand. If this is the case then it's likely your original pump was just fine.

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    If neither the knob or coffee button will activate the pump, I would double-check that all the wires are in the right places and that your switches are working (check them with a multi-meter).

  • Starbucks Barista Teardown

    Chase, that points to a ruptured or otherwise compromised heating element. Luckily, it's replaceable and the part isn't very expensive.