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How to repair your espresso machine if you didn't add product protection

Woman sitting in the kitchen with an espresso maker in the foreground

If you rely on that jolt of caffeine to get your day started, you likely keep a good coffee or espresso machine around. So, if your machine suddenly starts to malfunction, it can quickly put a damper on your daily routine. Before you go and waste money on a new one, there are a few things you can try to get it working normally again.

Of course, the best place to start when it comes to buying household appliances is to get a product protection plan. With Mulberry Unlimited, you can get coverage for all your household appliances under the same protection plan. For an affordable monthly price, you can get unlimited claims and coverage, without any deductibles or hidden fees.

Appliance aficionado? Protect unlimited purchases with Mulberry Unlimited. You'll need it.

The basics of espresso machine repair and maintenance

Make sure your machine is unplugged before you try any DIY repairs, and take the following tips into consideration before you decide to replace yours.

How to clean an espresso machine

Cleaning your espresso machine is essential to keep it running properly and make it last for years to come. Since these appliances don’t usually come cheap, it’s important that you do everything you can to prevent premature wear and tear.

To clean your espresso machine:

  • Remove leftover coffee grounds from the filter and surrounding components.
  • Use a cleaning solution designed for espresso machines and run a full cleaning cycle to remove buildup and residue inside the machine.
  • After the cleaning cycle is complete, run another cycle of just water to ensure the solution is completely rinsed out. You can do this more than once if you want to be sure.
  • Using a damp cloth, wipe down the entire exterior of the machine.

Try to make a habit of running a cleaning cycle and add it to your regular kitchen cleaning routine. Some machines are smart enough to let you know when they need a clean cycle. If you’re wondering if branding affects cleaning methods, there’s typically no difference between how to clean a Breville espresso machine and how to clean a Delonghi espresso machine.

If you have unique components on your machine, it might be worth referencing your product manual, but most of the time the cleaning cycles are similar, if not exactly the same.

Troubleshooting your espresso machine

If water isn’t running properly through your machine, it might be vapor-locked, which means the heated air is putting pressure on the pump, preventing water from flowing freely. If this happens, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Let the machine cool off—turn it off and give it 15-30 minutes.
  • Ensure that the group head screen is clean and has the smooth side facing down.
  • Fill up the water reservoir with cold, fresh, filtered water. 
  • Place empty cups under the steam wand and brew head.
  • Turn on the machine and open the steam wand knob, allow it to run for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Turn on the brew button and allow it to back flush while the steam wand remains on. Then turn it off and let the stream continue to run for two minutes.
  • After this process, you should see water running through the machine again. If not, repeat the process a couple more time.

If you notice that your machine isn’t producing a nice “crema” you might be using burnt beans or grinding them too coarsely. Espresso always brews better with a very fine grind.

If your steam wand is acting up, check it with a pressure gauge. If it’s between 1-1.7, then it isn’t broken, and you might have a more complicated issue on your hands.

Always consult your product manual for common troubleshooting tips so you know you’ve tried everything before you buy a new appliance.


If nothing seems to work, it might be time to invest in a new espresso machine. To put your mind at ease, subscribe to Mulberry Unlimited, which lets you cover all your household appliances under the same product protection plan. You won't have to worry about repair or replacement costs, and will be able to get a new machine without the hassle.

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Justin Smith

About the author

Justin Smith is the SEO Content Marketing Specialist at Mulberry. He has written about everything from stock market investing to electric vehicles, most recently for SuperMoney. Apart from optimizing the latest blog content and hunting for the perfect keywords, he also enjoys going on long runs.

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