Saeco troubleshooting

When we refer to Saeco coffee machines, we are talking about one of the most experienced and prestigious manufacturers in the coffee machine sector. The Italian brand Saeco distinguishes itself by making robust machines, partly thanks to the experience gained in the coffee vending machine sector.

We are amidst the capsule coffee machine revolution, but it is relatively young. Before capsules, the most popular coffee machines were manual espresso machines or bean-to-cup machines, where Saeco shines.

As manual espresso machines, the bestseller Saeco Poemia from Philips stands out. At the same time, in the bean-to-cup area, we find coffee machines such as the Incanto, Exprelia, Aulika and the GranBaristo. After a few years of using these coffee machines, it is not uncommon to see increased maintenance inquiries and breakdowns.

We will solve the most common doubts and issues with Saeco coffee machines on this page. But before continuing, we recommend you check your coffee machine’s user manual here.

Saeco machines: Common issues and their solution

We have collected information from different sources for over two years, mainly from Saeco coffee machine users. With all this data, we have created a guide to solving a dozen doubts and issues related to the Saeco coffee machines.

Many doubts you will see are solved with little effort, while others require dismantling the coffee machine or taking it to the technical service. In any case, we will always try to explain everything as simple as possible, with the help of videos and photos.

My Saeco machine is leaking

Water leakage in a coffee machine is one of the most common breakdowns, regardless of coffee extraction’s brand, model, or type. And Saeco coffee machines are no exception.

We have created another article about water leaks in coffee machines to make this article too long. Please, click here if this is the problem with your Saeco.

My Saeco machine has no pressure

We want to tell you that the lack of pressure in your coffee machine has a quick and easy solution. However, it is one of the most significant problems with coffee machines. The coffee machine must pass hot water under high pressure through the ground coffee to extract the coffee. Without pressure, the coffee you get will be more like coffee from a drip coffee machine than an espresso.

There are two different scenarios when the water is not pumped at pressure. On the one hand, the pump may not work and need to be replaced, but on the other hand, it could be that the pump is fine but loses pressure because it is clogged or leaking.

Nespresso Ulka vibratory pump
Nespresso Ulka vibratory pump

The vibratory ULKA pump is easy to find and still affordable. You can google it or search for them on Amazon and eBay. And this links directly to the next section:

How to repair the pump of a Saeco machine

These are the recommended steps to detect and solve the problem of a Saeco coffee machine with low pressure:

  • First, disassemble your Saeco coffee maker, and make sure there are no water leaks (broken or poorly connected pipes). To rule out clogging, you should check the entire water circuit inside the machine, from the first to the last pipe.
  • Next, you should check the pump separately. In many cases, what happens is that a valve in the pump is blocked, usually due to excessive limescale.
  • Finally, if you rule out clogs and leaks as the cause of the lack of pressure, the pressure pump is probably damaged and needs to be replaced.

If you haven’t disassembled a coffee machine before, you probably don’t know how to do it, so we recommend you watch this video first:

My Saeco machine does not heat

Most Saeco coffee machines use the Thermoblock as a water heating system. And when it comes to issues with a Philips Saeco coffee machine, the temperature problem is one of the most recurrent.

If over time, you notice that the coffee is not as hot as it used to be or that the water does not heat up at all, we recommend that you check two things:

  • First: If the temperature of the drinks has been dropping over time, it is possible that the thermoblock is clogged by limescale and is not doing its job properly. The solution is (as many times) to descale the machine.
  • Second: If your coffee machine brews coffees at a low temperature from one day to the next, it is a more delicate situation and implies a complete breakdown of the heating element of your machine. Moreover, the solution is more expensive: the thermoblock has to be replaced. You can either take it to a repair service to have it done or buy it yourself and replace it:

NOTE: if the machine is very old or cheap, it may be more cost-effective to buy a new machine than to replace the thermoblock of your coffee machine completely.

My Saeco machine does not work

This fault in a Saeco coffee machine can have several causes and manifest differently in each case. If your Saeco coffee maker is not working, two things can be happening:

  • The Saeco coffee maker turns on but then stops and does nothing, neither heats water nor serves coffee.
  • The Saeco coffee machine does not switch on (the lights do not even come on).

If your fault is the first point, we advise you to read the previous section of this Saeco troubleshooting guide. If you find yourself in the second case (your Saeco coffee machine does not turn on), the most common cause may be malfunctioning the control board, specifically the capacitors.

How to solve it? By doing the following:

  • Opening the machine.
  • Accessing the electrical panel.
  • Checking that the capacitors are damaged.
  • Replacing the damaged capacitors with new ones.

In this case, the solution to the issue with Saeco is very economical (you can see the price of the capacitors in the following image) and relatively simple as long as you know how to identify the board and the capacitors inside the machine.

No coffee is coming out from my Saeco maker

If, when you start your machine, you notice that it switches on correctly but then fails to extract the coffee, follow the steps below:

  • First, thoroughly check the entire structure to rule out any assembly fault, incorrectly fitted part, etc. This mistake is more common, although it may seem obvious.
  • Once the previous circumstance has been ruled out, and it has been checked that the coffee maker is structurally in perfect condition, the first thing to do is to descale it. The Saeco coffee maker often does not dispense water because the boiler is completely clogged due to poor maintenance.
  • If necessary, perform several decalcifications until the circuit is free and the water can circulate again.
  • If none of this works, then the problem is even more serious: the boiler is most likely completely clogged (if there is not a single water leak), and it is, therefore, impossible to decalcify it. The only solution is to replace it.

This is not a problem unique to the Philips Saeco coffee machine; it can happen to any poorly maintained coffee machine. It would help if you descaled your coffee machine while it is working properly, not when it breaks down.

Where to repair your Saeco machine?

If this is the first time you have had troubles with your Saeco coffee machine, the first thing you should look at is whether the machine is still under warranty or not.

  • If it is under warranty, don’t hesitate to send it to the official technical service (keep in mind that the warranty does not cover certain types of breakdowns, so check beforehand just in case).
  • If it is not under warranty, you can fix it yourself or take it to a trusted service centre. We only recommend that you repair your Saeco coffee machine at home if you know about electronics and mechanics, although if the machine is already very old, you don’t have much to lose by messing up.

*Check here the warranty conditions from Saeco

How to repair the portafilter of your Saeco machine

Repairing a Saeco coffee machine also involves the filter holder or filter holder. In this case, the process can be somewhat complex to explain in writing, so it is one of those occasions when we resort to providing the information in video format:

Find these parts on eBay, Amazon and others.

How to clean the portafilter of your Saeco machine

As well as repairing it if you notice it is malfunctioning, the filter holder needs to be cleaned from time to time to ensure it remains in perfect condition. It is not the fault of the Saeco coffee machines but should be applied to any espresso machine.

Again, this solution for Saeco coffee machines has some technical complexity, so we prefer to use a video to show it:

How to disassemble your Saeco machine

When the fault in your Saeco coffee machine cannot be solved immediately, you will most likely have to open the machine and check the inside. You may even want to open it for a thorough cleaning.

But be very clear that if you decide to open your Saeco coffee machine to repair it, you will lose all the warranty on it, so we recommend you to do it only in two cases:

  • If your machine is already old and is not under warranty.
  • If you have full knowledge of what you are going to do and some experience handling small household appliances.

Unfortunately, disassembling a Saeco coffee machine depends on the specific model and its parts. It is not the same to have problems with a Saeco Syntia coffee machine as with a basic espresso machine. When it comes to opening it, there are very different difficulties and scenarios.

To dismantle a Saeco coffee machine, you will need the user manual for the specific model and a set of screwdrivers, pliers, clean cloth and a nearby drain. This video shows the disassembly process of a Saeco Incanto coffee machine:

We hope that these lines have helped you, or if you have not been able to solve the situation with your Saeco coffee machine, at least you have ruled out some cause.

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Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

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