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Troubleshooting Fully Automatic Home Models

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Please Note: PulyCaf, Cafiza and CleanCaf are only for cleaning coffee and backflushing commercial machines. If you are using any of these as descaling chemicals,  it can harm the machine.

The first part of troubleshooting to review how the machine was maintained. Machines malfunction if they are not operated as recommended or not maintained as required. Before proceeding to the trouble shooting table, please answer the following questions and review the statements below:

1. What is the hardness of water in your area? Find out and determine the frequency for descaling.  Filtered water is not free from mineral salts. Water softener systems are necessary to eliminate minerals from water. Reverse Osmosis or use of distilled water is OK if one can afford it.

2. How frequently has the machine been descaled?

     a. Over one year ago (very poor attention) 

     b.  Every six months (not enough)  

     c.  Every three months (fair maintenance)

     d.  Every two months (good maintenance)

     e.  You are descaling the machine as recommended but using the wrong chemicals - Purchase descaling chemicals from reliable sources 

3. What roast of coffee beans are you using? Oily beans are not recommended for use in fully automatic espresso makers. Manufacturer's warranty will be void. Oily beans are like a slow poison for the following models: Charisma, Italia, Italia Digital, Divina Deluxe, Syncrony Compact, Syncrony Compact Digital, Incanto Sirius & Incanto Easy. These models have a longer tunnel through which ground coffee moves from grinder to the doser; oily coffee grounds jams the tunnel and cause malfunction.

4. How frequently has the grinder been cleaned? If oily beans are used, the grinder and doser parts should be cleaned once every month.

5. Fully automatic machines do not need powdery grind. Check fineness of coffee grounds frequently and feel the coffee pucks for the fineness. The finesness of the coffee grounds should be like table salt grain. Powdery coffee results in over extraction and as a result, espresso will be bitter and without crema. The load of pumping water increases tremendously on the pump and life of the pump will be shortened.

6. The extraction time with pre-infusion in fully automatic home models is much shorter (12 to 14 seconds for 2 oz.) than in traditional machines (do not pay attention to exchange of information on various forums, those discussions are for commercial machines).

7. If you like Cafe Americana, increase the quantity by adding hot water instead from the machine. Avoid extended extraction time as it will burn the coffee grounds and coffee will be bitter. 

8. For stronger espresso, reduce the amount of water per shot instead of increasing the dose of coffee grounds. If one shot of 2 oz. espresso is not enough, use two or three shots. Careless increase of coffee in automatic machines can damage the brew drive gears. 

9. Do not leave the home espresso machine "ON" when not in use. The commercial traditional machines are left on 24 hours for different reasons that do not apply for home models. Always turn the machine off using the power switch (not by the sleep mode switch). 

Now check the following additional trouble shooting steps:

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Maintenance of Espresso Machines | Services Unlimited, Inc./Parts Guru | Charisma Grinder Adjustment | Vienna Trevi Grinder Adjustment | Fixing a Vienna | Magic Deluxe Repairs | Magic Royal Grinder Adjustment | Fixing Traditional Home Models | Troubleshooting Commercial Espresso | Troubleshooting Ventilate Sign | Italia Grinder Cleaning