How to Troubleshoot a Saeco Espresso Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Small vacuuming device or brush

  • Needle

  • Descaling solution

Saeco espresso machine

Saeco, one of the pioneers in manufacturing espresso machines for home use, now markets its products in about 60 countries. Though touted for their ease of use, neglecting the cleaning, misplacing a part or missing a simple function instruction can snag coffee lovers trying to make their favorite beverage. If the machine isn't working at all, or if the espresso isn't coming out to your liking, follow these steps to see if the problem is something you can easily repair.

Step 1

Check to make sure the main power switch is on and the electrical outlet is functioning. Make sure the service door is closed, as the machine will not display a message when it's open.

Step 2

Unplug the machine and remove the coffee container by loosening its two fastening screws. Pull up on the adjustment lever and turn the grinding adjustment ring until its two blue marks line up, which will let you remove the ring. Vacuum or brush out the machine's gear box and grind-ring support, and reassemble the machine.

Step 3

Use a thin needle to check the steam/hot water spout hole for clogs. Steam and hot water will not be dispensed when the hole is clogged.

Step 4

Adjust grinder levels if there's a problem with the speed of the coffee dispensation. Move the level lower if coffee is dispensed too quickly, and move it higher if coffee is dispensed too slowly.

Step 5

Descale the machine by pouring a descaling solution into the water tank (the solution package will specify the amount), selecting the automatic descaling mode and placing a large container under the water spout. Allow the machine to descale, which takes about 45 minutes, and remove and rinse the water tank with fresh water. Then, fill the water tank with water and allow the machine to automatically rinse itself.

Step 6

If none of these steps corrects the problem, contact a professional for repairs.


Do not use vinegar in the descaling process. Always unplug and allow the machine to cool before cleaning or removing any parts.

references & resources

Michael Baker

Michael Baker has worked as a full-time journalist since 2002 and currently serves as editor for several travel-industry trade publications in New York. He previously was a business reporter for "The Press of Atlantic City" in New Jersey and "The [Brazoria County] Facts" in Freeport, Texas. Baker holds a Master of Science in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.