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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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Pump seems to be working, but no shot coming through portafilter.

We've had our Starbucks Barista for years and have used it regularly. Awesome machine. Recently though, we can't get a shot to pull. The pump sounds normal, so, we hear the pump push water into the portafilter, but then, the "swoosh" sound of when the pressure pushes the shot out never comes. Sometimes, water leaks around the portafilter, but most of the time, nothing comes out. When I release the portafilter, it either splats everywhere, but most of the time it is just water and grounds, or just wet grounds. I cleaned the portafilter as recommended on your site and reassembled, but this did not help. I also descaled the machine, and when I did this, I pulled a lot of water & solution through both the wand and the shower head, so I think the pump is ok. But, this did not help either. Any ideas?

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A bit late to the party, but here goes: I recently acquired a Barista machine in what seems to be excellent condition, just shy of pristine. The pump seemed to work - meaning it would buzz and a little water would come out, and the unit got hot. But, I assumed the problem was some sort of blockage in or to the pump, so I took it apart and cleaned what little calcification I found, which was in fact slight. The machine pumps water into the boiler, and both steam and water flow through the steamer tube. Some water - properly hot, runs through the brewhead, but not at pressure high enough to go through the portafilter, with a good deal of regurgitation through the outlet tube. Thinking the portafilter might be an issue, I tried it with a portafilter from another Barista I own. It didn't work. Clearly there is some blockage from the boiler to the brewhead, though I can't figure out what that might be. I ran a decalcifiying solution through the machine with not apparent improvement. Ideas, anyone?

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J AR

I suggest that you try disassembly of the part that holds the port filter, there is a small hole spring loaded, before it goes out to the coffee cup, Be careful in disassembly as there is only one way to put it together, you can also try to push a very small blunt needle to see if it will open up and see if water will drip through. I had experienced similar problems.

one problem was that spring loaded one opening under the port filter, I had forgotten to put the basket filter in it and pushed grounds in it so that fixed that.

second problem was by steam part never shut all the way so I had to disassemble that part and soak it in citric acid, now it all works perfect again. as a preventative measure I drain the water from the steam thing and leave it open between uses.

Incidentally I have a spare unit, all but the accessories so I was able to narrow things down to the parts..

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First thing to check is the coffee basket that sits in the portafilter. Remove it and hold it up to a light; you should be able to see through all the little holes in the bottom; if most of them are clogged this is most likely your problem. If the basket is clean and water comes through the portafliter just fine when there's no coffee in it, try a coarser grind as well as little to no tamping. If coffee still won't flow then your pump may be failing and will need to be replaced.

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Henry H - Thanks so much for taking the time to answer. Both the single shot & double shot baskets are clean. I took your advice and got some coarser coffee. I tried pulling shots thru both the single and double baskets. On the single, there was leakage around the portafilter -- it also didn't feel as tight as it usually has when I lock the portafilter in place before pulling shots (we use only the double basket when using the machine). On the double, I heard the machine pressurize - no leakage around portafilter....a beautiful shot *began* to pull....then stopped. So....am guessing pump.....shoot. Will have to look at the page describing replacement and see if I think we can do it. Thanks again.

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Henry H - we successfully replaced the pump and she is back in business. Thanks for your help.

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when the filter holes are all clogged - we hold ours over our gas stove flame and burn out the clogged pores. if you don't like that try soaking then poking out each hole with a pin (but I recommend the flame treatment).

ps my husband keeps buying these at thrift stores too! Maybe I'll get a project going where he refurbishes and regifts them (I think we have 4 or 5 now...). My original from 1996 is still going strong though!

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the proposed flame treatment is probably the best idea I've heard for a long time - esp. for a double wall basket

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If you have clogged little holes in the 1or 2 filter I have a great tip. Instead of sitting with a pin unblocking them just turn the filter over and blow through the 1 small hole really hard. It does the same job in seconds x Anne, Manchester

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I use a toothbrush to clean the holes on the filter. Works great. The hairs are finer and they get into the actual holes. Try it! Better than fire and pins!

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The Breville tool is made to stick in the little clogged holes of the Portafilter. Also, regularly remove the tip of the steam wand which gets plugged with milk if you don't purge it after every use. NOTE: Good luck if you LOSE this tool. Breville is apparently not interested in selling them. SO back order seems to satisfy their corporate conscience for leaving loyal customers without such a basic cleaning tool. I tried another source and have been waiting 2 months for the order. REMEMBER, the tool has TWO PINS for cleaning. One is for the wand tip. But you have to pull the tool apart to find the one for the filter.

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Just wanted to add my $.02 I have bought a few of these cheap at thrift shops, And cleaned and rebuilt the pumps very easy to do and the parts have never needed to be replaced just cleaned well. I have brought these machines back with a thorough cleaning replaces some gaskets good to go

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Has anybody had a problem like this my Breville will not do a full shot. pump shuts off halfway through. As soon as the pressure starts building up

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Several possibilities if you haven’t found a solution. I eventually had to send mine in for repairs from Breville in Chicago. It was actually clogged up and draining into the back of the machine and out on to my drain pad. They took it apart and got it cleaned out properly. $253 Before you ask them to do anything that drastic, get in touch with their team. I requested a phone contact and my guy was fabulous. A retired lobbyist from DC who retired in CAli. He walked me through every step, got it running for a couple of days but the leaking was too serious. BUT THE MOST SERIOUS mistake I had made was FAILURE TO descalify the machine every few weeks. The mineral build up is HUGE PROBLEM for us slobs. Then, here are at least 3 steps that. you should be doing EVERY TIME you run a shot or double.

  1. 1. Let the Barista Express warm up for 20 minutes, running the hot water and the wand.
  2. Check your portafilter for clogging. Starbucks Dark Espresso clogs the heck out of them. I have to soak it in Dawn, blast it with steam and hot water, even purse my lips and blow to get the last holdouts, threaten it and pout.

# 2. Purge and wipe clean the portafilter head after each shot. Especially if you use different Espresso.

  1. Detach the tip of the steam wand and look through it to see how clogged it is. Use Breville tool or something else to blow that sucker out.

Don’t use a dishwasher for these parts. It may seem like the easy way. But think about running a nice car through the ROBO Car Wash. If you don’t rub it dry, there’s always a residual film all over the car. Same same with dish washers and Breville’s stainless steel components. I clean mine by hand every day. The taste is clean and yummy.

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Mine slowed pushing water through to the point nothing was coming through… I ran citric acid through it and all is well now, but I’d like to know how fine my coffee should be for these machines, I’m used to grinding it to nearly a powder…

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I don’t think the problem is the porta filter unless it’s completely clogged something should come through, the part below the ports filter is spring loaded and has a small one hole that the coffee comes through, that might be stuck…

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