One of the joys of being an engineer is fixing things. Espresso coffee machines are a socially acceptable form of steam engineering which you can operate without ever knowing of the mathematic horrors which the phrase “Steam Tables” evokes in an engineering undergraduate’s mind.
I have inherited a non-working bean-to-cup espresso machine, stated to be intermittent although I only ever had one coffee from it before taking the covers off. Beautiful miniature engineering from Italy, satisfyingly visual, even the steam pipes are transparent. But broken.
Simpler than rocket science, it seemed to me that the water pump was making the noise but not pushing the liquid through. No obvious obstructions. A replacement pump was an available spare. The water circuit was a bit fiddly to dismantle but I was encouraged to find the old water pump was jammed solid. I’m guessing that the previous owner had been ignoring the message to descale.
Substitution of a new motor worked a treat but hot pumped steam was almost immediately followed by messages requiring descaling. Once the descaling cycle was completed I was able to enjoy with satisfaction the best coffee yet here. Now for some experimenting to find which blends and beans taste best with Cumbrian water.