My machine is leaking
If your Expobar Brewtus IV is leaking, there are a number of things that could be causing it. Our comprehensive guide below covers how to diagnose and resolve leaking issues with your espresso machine.
Is coffee coming up and over the portafilter?
Replace the group gasket.
Should I use the 8 mm gasket?
Older machines would take the 8 mm group gasket, and continue taking the gasket throughout it’s life.
Should I use the 8.5mm gasket?
Newer machines of any model Expobar will use an 8.5 mm gasket. If it does not seem to fit, there is a possible obstructions, coffee, etc, preventing it from sitting all the way in to the group head. Try a thorough cleaning if the 8.5 mm doesn’t seem to fit.
Is the leak coming from the lever arm of the machine?
There are 2 o rings in the lever of the machine. One or both of them may have blown out. They can wear, tear or twist onto each other. You can take apart the lever, and check to see if they are worn. If they seem to be ok, you can lubricate them and see if that resolves the leak. If they are destroyed, they are also easy to replace and very cheap.
Is it steaming from above the machine through the vents on top?
Take apart the vacuum breaker and inspect the components, clean all components and remove any buildup or small pieces of debris. Make sure the small o-ring is not broken or too dried out.
If cleaning it does not resolve the steam leak, replace the vacuum relief valve.
Is steam pressure too high?
The safety valve will vent when steam pressure exceeds a certain point. Try turning down pressure stat. If this doesn’t work, replace the pressure stat.
- If the safety valve is still leaking, replace the safety valve. Do not take it apart and clean it. Safety valves contain a teflon diaphragm. On older machines, debris and buildup can form here, this will allow steam to escape when steam pressure is built. We strongly advise against removing the copper plug and opening the safety valve. Don't do it. This could result in incorrectly adjusting the safety, which will then prevent it from blowing off excess steam like it should. The safety should just be replaced.
Is the leak or drip coming from the large pipe that comes from behind the group head? (The E61)
- There is one valve above the group head, and two below the group head. One of the two valves may be clogged.
- Backflush the machine.
- If backflushing shows no improvement, try doing a group head teardown, and replace any valves or o rings in the valves, as needed.
Is the leak coming from where the two pipes join in the E61?
- If leaking around the fitting or behind the fitting (where the two pipes join), either under pressure or sitting idle, may require tightening. You do not want to use sealant, as these pipes go into the back of the group head and would be in direct contact with consumable water/ coffee. This could also lock the pipes into the back of the group causing damage to the group which would require replacement of the group. Also contacts with metals is what makes the sealant harden, With how direct tightening is with those pipes you could end up cross threading into the group head thinking it's just the sealant getting hard.
- After tightening the leak still continues, Pipe may need to be replaced, or the fitting is cross threaded and the E61 group needs replacement. Under this circumstance, both parts may require replacement.
- The first is that one of the plumb lines connected to the back of the E-61 is not secure resulting in a leak. This will need to be tightened from the inside of the machine. You may see leaking from the bottom of the machine as well if this is the case. Remove the top of the machine and look towards the front of the machine. These lines will be located on the back of the faceplate, opposite to where the grouphead is seated. They are listed as parts 19 and 11 on p.9 of the machine's parts diagram. Use an open ended wrench or adjustable wrench to tighten these down.
- If you have recently done any group head maintenance on the machine, you may just not have tightened the nut down all the way. Try just turning the nut with a wrench and see if it moves.
Is the leak coming from around the nut where the steam or hot water wand attaches?
- There is an o ring in there. You can try to tighten the nut first. If that doesn’t stop the leak, take it off, and check on the o ring that sits in there. The O ring should be placed at the bottom of the nut, not necessarily around the ball of the wand.The o ring will have some play to it. It gets tightened in to place when the nut is tightened to the valve.
- Removing, cleaning and lubricating your valves can be a quick fix for a leaky or sticky valve, and is good for keeping them up and working properly. You will be required to remove the housing from your machine. Watch this video to learn how to rebuild the steam and hot water taps (valves) of the Expobar Brewtus and Lever espresso machines.
Is it dripping or leaking out of the tip of the steam wand?
- Yes. It should leak or drip a little bit after use, and when the machine is first started up. This is normal, and due to condensation in the pipe. It should subside after a few minutes of non use.
- A leak can either be caused by debris in the valve, that is preventing the teflon tape to seal, or the teflon tape itself is worn, been tightened down too much, and will no longer seal and needs to be replaced.
Is the leak coming from between the steam tip and the wand?
- There is a rubber o ring or teflon gasket in between them that may need to be replaced.
Is the leak coming from the safety valve?
- What kind of water are you using?
- If you are using distilled water, or reverse osmosis, there will not be enough mineral content in the water for the water level probe to send a ground signal, telling the pump to shut off.If pump is still running and water comes out of the safety valve, check that the connector did not come off of the level probe, if it did, reconnect.
- Make sure that the green and yellow ground wire did not come loose from the control board. This usually results in the safety valve spraying like a sprinkler, not just a “leak”.
- Make sure that the wire coming from the autofill going to the board, right next to the ground wire, did not come loose.
- If the safety is still leaking, replace the safety valve. Do not take it apart and clean it. Safety valves contain a teflon diaphragm. On older machines, debris and buildup can form here, this will allow steam to escape when steam pressure is built. We strongly advise against removing the copper plug and opening the safety valve. Don't do it. This could result in incorrectly adjusting the safety which will then prevent it from blowing off excess steam like it should. The safety should just be replaced.
Is the leak coming from the elbow and teflon tubes that run from the pump to the OPV? There are 2 elbows and a teflon tube that runs between them.
Remove the elbow and correct with teflon tape or thread sealant. If leak continues replace elbow. Refer to instructions attached at the bottom of this article for additional informaiton on how to remove the elbows that are attached to this machine.
- There are two styles of elbows. The only one used now, is a compression fitting elbow. If the elbow is ALREADY the spring loaded compression fitting, you can replace just the elbow. If you have the older style that did not have the compression elbow, you need the entire upgrade kit. The new teflon tubing is thinner, and will not fit the old elbow on the other end. You will need two elbows, the reducer and the new teflon.
- If elbow is receiving a teflon line and is leaking, inspect teflon line for cracks, or breaks.
- Trim back the teflon and reinsert it in to the elbow.
- If trimming it back does not resolve the leak, replace the teflon.
- Trim back the teflon and reinsert it in to the elbow.
Is the leak coming from the boiler itself?
- Is it leaking from where a valve screws in to the boiler?
- Remove the valve, and clean any remnants of sealant. You can use teflon tape, Permabond, or locktite to reseal the valve back into the boiler.
- Is the leak coming from a weld point on the boiler?
- The boiler must be replaced.
I cannot find the source of the leak.
- Run the machine to allow it to heat. Some leaks may only be apparent under heat and pressure.
- You can open the machine and send us any photos or videos, so we can determine if we can find the source of the leak.
- Send the machine in for service.
Is the leak coming from the top nut on the group head?
- There is an o-ring that is loose, dirty, or worn out. Take out this mushroom valve, clean any scale or debris, and reseat the valve. All of these parts are separated by teflon rings. It could just be loose and slightly tightening could stop the leak, but with heat and age its possible the teflon is no good. Tightening the bit down more will only further deform the teflon allowing a leak to still continue, these should be replaced.If it is still leaking, replace the gasket that separates it from the top of the group head. To access these parts use an open ended wrench or adjustable wrench to remove the smaller top bolt of the E-61. This will give you access to the first o-ring and spring assembly. To access further down into this part of the grouphead use a wrench to remove the large bolt. This will let you access the other o-ring, another spring assembly, and the valve assembly. Inspect all of these components for integrity. Clean any dirty parts and replace any broken parts. Reassemble the grouphead and see if the leaking is resolved.
- If you’ve recently serviced the group head, It’s possible the nut is just loose. Try tightening it.