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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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Steam wand leaking, no water from brew head, odd brew button behavior

I picked up a secondhand machine that I'm trying to get working again, but I'm having some issues. Initially, the steam wand worked fine but nothing came out of the brew head so I did a full disassembly and cleaned everything, including soaking parts in citric acid to remove calcium buildup (there was a lot). When I reassembled everything and ran the machine, I noticed the steam wand began leaking as the machine heated up, until the ready light came on then it stopped. When I pressed the coffee button, however, water came out of the steam wand instead of the brew head, as if I had activated the steam wand despite the knob being in the off position. I ran a cycle of Dezcal, thinking there might still be some buildup preventing water from flowing to the brew head, but nothing changed.

After reading some answers to other questions here, it seems like my problem is that the steam wand leaking is preventing enough pressure to activate the mechanism that allows water to flow through the brew head. I've taken out the little hex screw and tightened the knob as much as possible but that didn't fix the issue either. Is there something else that might be causing the steam wand to leak? I'm also concerned about the coffee button behavior; is that just a result of the steam wand issue or is something else wrong?

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When the pump is running the water is going to always take the path of least resistance, so if your steam wand is leaking then all the pressure will be redirected there and there won't be enough to open the brew valve. Pushing the coffee button simply turns the pump on, and if your wand is leaking this has the same effect as turning the steam knob and engaging it's pump switch.

If you've already tightened the knob as much as possible and the wand is still leaking, it's possible the valve seal is damaged or missing. You'll need to remove the steam knob and shaft assembly and then inspect the valve seal; it is a small white teflon washer, part #9 on the second page of this diagram:

If the washer has a deep groove worn in it, try flipping it over as this may buy you a few more years out of it. If it's broken or missing entirely then the valve will not seal and the wand will continue to leak until it's replaced.

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Whoa, after inspecting the steam knob and shaft assembly compared to the diagram, it looks like I'm actually missing both parts #8 and #9! I don't know how that could have happened because I'm 90% sure I didn't lose any parts (and couldn't find any hiding on the floor anywhere), but I think that certainly explains things. Luckily it looks like there are steam valve repair kits available online, so I'll have to order one and hope that takes care of it.

Anyways, thanks for pointing that out to me! I don't think I'd have realized there was a part missing otherwise. I'll update once I get the new parts in and hopefully have things working.


Just posting to confirm that everything works now that I've got the parts back in. Thanks again for your help!


Glad to hear it Nick, enjoy your espresso :)


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Henry where did you find your steam repair kit? I bought one from goodwill and it just leaks out of the wand on all settings.

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Holly, try adjusting the steam valve stopper before replacing any parts. Loosen the set screw, close the knob a little further than tighten the set screw again. It's rare that the teflon seals actually need to be replaced.


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Nick será eternamente grato(a).
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