Learn what to do when a Bezzera Magica PID espresso machine is leaking.
Leaking Between Portafilter and Group Head
If the machine is leaking from between the group head and the portafilter then the group head gasket is either pushed out of place and needs to be reinserted properly, or the gasket is worn out. Typically, group head gaskets will wear out in approximately 6 months to a year depending on how heavily the machine is used. Premature wear to this gasket can be caused by using excessive force when attaching the portafilter. It is important to distinguish where the leaking is occurring.
If the leaking is coming from between the portafilter and group head where you twist the handle on, then the gasket will need to be replaced.
- To clean the group head first unplug the machine and remove the water reservoir.
- Place down a soft cloth or towel and tilt the machine on its back.
- Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw on the bottom of the group head. Once the screw is removed the shower screen and the diffuser plate can be removed.
- Soak the parts that were just removed in a solution of hot water and backflushing powder.
- Next the group gasket needs to be removed. The gasket will have a few grooves around the perimeter. Use an awl or a small flathead screwdriver to pry the gasket out; the grooves on the gasket are an easy access point to help leverage the gasket out. Gaskets that are particularly old or worn out may get stuck into the group head. One trick is to partially screw some self-tapping screw into the gasket; be careful not to go too far or the screws will puncture the other side of the gasket and possibly damage the group head. Then use a pair of needle-nose pliers to pull on the screws. The gasket will come out with the screws.
- Once the gasket is removed use a group head brush or old toothbrush to scrub down the group head really well. Make sure to remove any built-up coffee residues or coffee grinds.
- When the group head is clean the new gasket can be installed. The gasket will have a tapered edge and a flat edge. The flat edge needs to fat the top of the group head, and the tapered edge needs to be exposed so that it can seal with the portafilter. Press firmly all along the edges of the gasket until it is fully in place and is not sticking up anywhere along the circumference.
- Reinstall the diffuser, screen, and screw. Once everything is back together firmly attach the portafilter a few times to help the gasket seat properly, but do not over tighten. You can try using the instructions to clean and reseat the current gasket. If that does not resolve the leak then the gasket will need to be replaced.
The gasket can get stuck in the group head from wear or excessive heat exposure. To remove the gasket take some self-tapping screws and partially screw them into the group gasket. Make sure not to go all the way through the gasket because you can scratch/dent the group head if you go too far. Then use a pair of pliers to pull on the screws and the gasket will pull out with them.
Leaking From Bottom Of Machine
- Check the water tank and drip tray to make sure there are no cracks or breaks where water can escape. Make sure they are properly positioned on the machine.
- The machine should have both an inlet line and a return line. Make sure the return line is inside of the water tank. If you do not see the return line it may have fallen inside of the machine and will need to be retrieved and put back into the water tank.
- Open the machine and check all of the connections to make sure they are securely attached.
- Examine the pump and boiler assemblies to see if there are any cracks in them. If the machine was exposed to sub-freezing conditions without being properly drained it can cause these components to crack. These parts will need to be replaced if they are cracked.
- Make sure both the inlet line and the outlet line on the pump are securely connected.
- Check the various valves located on top of the boiler assembly.
- If water is leaking from the relief valves, then the boiler may be overfilling. Distilled, reverse osmosis, and zero water are not compatible with this style of machine as the water level probe depends on minerals in the water to detect its presence. These water types do not contain minerals, and so the machine will continuously fill until it overflows, usually resulting in water leaking from the relief valves.
- If water is leaking from the relief valves even though you are using water that contains minerals, then you may need to clean the water level probe.
- If the valves are leaking directly from where they screw into the boiler, then they may have a broken seal. Try resealing the valves by using white Teflon plumbers tape or food safe Permabond and screwing them back into the boiler.
- If there are any broken or cracked hoses, or hoses with pinhole leaks, they will need to be replaced.
- If you cannot find the source of the leak, it's possible the water you are seeing is from water spilled when refilling the machine, or from the drip tray being out of position. It is also possible to run the unit with the casing off to help identify the source of the leak; precautions should be taken to protect yourself from any exposed wiring or hot water or steam that comes from the machine if you attempt this.
Leaking From Steam Wand Or Hot Water Tap
- If either wand is leaking from the end of the wand, it means the steam/hot water valve is not fully closed.
- Make sure the knob is securely in the closed position.
- If the knob feels loose, or doesn't appear to be properly engaging, then there may be a loose or broken part in the knob assembly.
- Descale the machine. Scale buildup inside of the steam/hot water valves will prevent the valves from closing fully.
- If the leaking persists, then the corresponding valve may need to be replaced.
- If the wand is leaking between the tip and the arm of the wand during use, there is an O-ring that is broken, missing, or out of position. Remove the tip on the wand that is leaking. Both the steam wand and hot water wand will have an O-ring between the tip and the wand. Inspect the O-ring to make sure it is clean. Replace the O-ring if it is damaged or broken. The hot water tip disassembles further. The top and bottom halves of the tip can be unscrewed. If leaking is coming from between these two halves, then the O-ring between them may need to be cleaned/replaced. A blowout of the hot water tip can be found on pg.13 of your machine's parts diagram.
- If the wand is leaking from the ball joint, then there may be an O-ring that is worn out or out of position.