How do You solve Poor Flowing Espresso Shots Or No Flow From Steam Wand on Gaggia Brera?

Flow Issues

In this article, you'll find instructions and tips for resolving flow issues in your Gaggia Brera. If your Brera is having difficulty producing coffee or steam, review the instructions below.

Poor Flow, No Flow, or Alarm Light On

If only the alarm light is on steady, and no other lights are lit up, then the machine is requesting that you turn the steam knob to the closed position.

If you are not able to get water to flow through the machine at all, none of the functions flow well, or the alarm and hot water lights are on steady, then there is something blocking the flow of water through the machine. The alarm light and hot water light error in particular mean that the machine is recognizing poor flow conditions and is requesting to be primed. This error typically indicates the machine is not being cleaned on a regular basis. Review the Cleaning and Maintenance instructions for this machine, and make sure the cleanings are being done at the suggested interval with the recommended product.

  • First, try priming the machine.
    • To prime the machine, simply use the same procedure as activating the hot water dispensing. The pump should begin vibrating and water should come through. The water light will clear when the machine senses water flow. Set the knob to the closed position. If the priming signal comes on again, proceed to the next step. Attempt priming again after each step.
  • If the water tank is not seating properly, please remove the tank and reinsert it firmly.
    • Make sure there are no beans or debris in the water tank chamber preventing the tank from sitting flush with the machine.
  • If you are using an Intenza water filter in the machine, it might be blocking the flow of water.
    • Try removing the water filter and using the machine without it. If the machine works without the water filter, then the filter was blocking the flow of water. Keep the filter out of the machine for the remaining steps.
  • If the machine needs to be descaled:
    • Descaling should be done every 2-3 months with either Gaggia Decalcifier or Durgol Descaler. Scale buildup inside the machine can be very damaging and cause serious flow issues.
  • If a foreign body, such as coffee grounds, has gotten drawn into the system from the water tank:
    • This kind of debris can get lodged in valves/water circuits and cause flow issues. Try cleaning the brew unit check valve by following the directions listed in the document attached at the end of this article.
  • If your machine features an e-plus dial, it may be clogged with scale or coffee grinds.
    • Restart the machine. When you hear the pump start vibrating, start turning the dial back and forth over and over again. The e-plus dial is the knob located right above the coffee dispensing spout that controls how quickly coffee flows out of the spouts.

The video below shows how to deep clean and lubricate your Gaggia Brera brew unit.


How to Deep Clean the Gaggia Brera Brew Unit

No Flow From Steam Wand

Once the flow issue has been resolved, the machine should be immediately descaled with the recommended product. Flow issues and blockages are typically due to lack of maintenance or excessive scale buildup.

  1. First remove any attachments on the wand and set the machine to hot water mode.
  2. Once the pump is activated turn the steam knob to the steaming position. The pump will start to vibrate and hot water should begin to flow through the wand.
      • If hot water does flow through the wand, stop the machine from dispensing hot water and switch the wand to steam mode to test for flow. There may have been a piece of debris in the steam wand blocking the flow of water.
      • If water does not flow through the wand then there may be a more severe blockage. Proceed to the next step.
  3. Soak the wand in a mixture of descaler and hot water. Test flow using the hot water function again.
  4. Use a pipe cleaner to manually clean the inside of the wand.
      • Only use a pipe cleaner with synthetic or plastic bristles; do not use one with metal bristles as it can damage the wand. Test the flow again.
  5. If none of these cleanings have resolved the behavior then there is an internal blockage, or the steam thermostat has failed. The machine will require a repair.
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