Bialetti Troubleshooting

With over 100 years of experience manufacturing its products, Bialetti is now part of Italian popular culture. It is the preferred brand of coffee machines in many Italian households, even over coffee machines manufactured by other larger brands.

Bialetti has expanded its product portfolio, now offering classic Moka coffee makers, drip coffee machines, and espresso machines.

Innovation and quality characterise this Italian brand. However, this does not mean that these coffee machines cannot have problems, so here are the solutions to the most common problems with Bialetti coffee machines.

Bear in mind that some faults and breakdowns in your coffee maker may result from not knowing how to use the machine correctly, so if you have any doubts about this, you can check the user manual of your Bialetti here.

The coffee doesn’t come out of the top upper chamber spout

When you place your Moka Bialetti on the hob to prepare coffee, you notice that steam starts to come out of the coffee spout, you hear noises, but the coffee does not come out. This is because the steam pressure is not generated correctly in the water tank, as the coffee should come out steadily and silently.

There are several reasons why the Bialetti coffee machine’s steam pressure is incorrect. Here are some guidelines to help you find and solve this problem:

  • Check that the rubber seal is in good condition and clean; it should not be dry or worn. If the rubber gasket is in bad condition, steam pressure will escape through it without passing through the ground coffee. It is advisable to replace the silicone gasket regularly as routine maintenance.
  • Check that the flat filter is clean and free of debris. If there is coffee residue, it will not allow the filter to seal properly when placed on the boiler, causing pressure leakage. The rubber gasket will not seal well, either.
  • Check that the coffee funnel fits perfectly into the lower chamber and is not deformed or worn at the edges. If there are any dented edges, steam may be escaping from them.
  • The ground coffee should not be compacted but only filled to the rim when placed in the funnel. If the coffee is compacted or the funnel is filled with too much coffee, the water vapour will not pass through the coffee and reach the upper chamber.
  • Too fine a coffee grind can clog the central tube, while too coarse a grind can clog the filter and prevent the water from moving upwards, causing the Moka coffee maker to stop brewing.
  • Moka pots are designed to be used with full amounts of water and coffee and will not work properly if the funnel is filled with less coffee or the reservoir with less water. Fill the kettle below the valve and fill the uncompacted filter with coffee.
  • Close and tighten the Moka before each use. It could cause pressure leakage through the thread if it is not tightly closed.

The safety valve of the Bialetti Moka releases steam

The valve is an important safety feature of your Bialetti; it will tell you when something is wrong. If the safety valve releases steam or pressure regularly, do not ignore it, as your machine may be clogged or have a faulty safety valve. To check for a blockage, follow the steps below:

  1. Disassemble the coffee maker by removing the rubber gasket and the flat filter. If you look through the filter towards a light source, you should be able to see the light through the holes. If it is dirty, clean it thoroughly.
  2. Clean the inside of the coffee spout located on the top of your Moka coffee machine. To do this, you can use the handle of a coffee spoon wrapped in a cloth or kitchen paper.
  3. Next, check that the funnel is not bent or restricting the water flow.
  4. Finally, there is a small piston in the centre of the safety valve; move it in a circular motion to remove any obstruction inside the valve, potentially caused by limescale or other sediments.

If, after these actions, the safety valve is still activated, stop using your machine immediately and take it to a repair centre. If still under warranty, ask for a replacement.

My Moka Bialetti is leaking from the side

When your Bialetti starts leaking from the side, it’s time to replace the rubber gasket due to wear, excessive dirt or a fault. Here are the instructions for replacing the gasket, which will work for almost any coffee maker of this type.

Replace rubber gasket
Replace rubber gasket
  1. Disassemble the Moka pot.
  2. Locate the rubber gasket on the filter at the top of the Moka pot.
  3. Buy the replacement gasket with the precise size you need.
  4. With the help of a tool, such as a butter knife or something similar, remove the rubber gasket bit by prying upwards around the edges until the gasket and the filter can be completely removed (see image above).
  5. When you remove these parts, you will probably find coffee residue that accumulates inside the filter after each use. Wash the filter thoroughly with water and a sponge until all dirt is removed.
  6. Now put the filter back in place and put the new rubber gasket around it, using a little pressure with your fingers to make it firm.
  7. Reassemble the coffee machine.

Coffee brewed by the Moka Bialetti tastes bad

There’s nothing worse than wanting to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee prepared with your Moka, waiting for it to brew, only to discover that it tastes bad when you taste it.

Several factors can influence the final bad taste of coffee brewed in a Moka pot. If you follow the recommendations below, the taste of your coffee will certainly improve:

  • The coffee you use for your preparations should not be ground too finely as for espresso machines; it should be a little coarser.
  • Fill the lower chamber with water below the valve; the filling limit should not be exceeded.
  • Fill the funnel with ground coffee without pressing it so it is porous and the water can easily penetrate through it.
  • The top of the brewer must be tight enough to prevent leaks.
  • When you put the kettle on to heat, do not set the heat to maximum. Putting hot water in the tank instead of cold water will reduce brewing time, and steam will be created more quickly.
  • Do not leave the Moka coffee maker on the stove for longer than adequate time, as this will cause over-boiling and a bitter taste that you will not like.
  • When the coffee becomes pale and bubbly, you should immediately remove the machine from the heat to stop the brewing process.

You can now enjoy delicious coffee without the bitter and annoying taste of before.

How to clean my Moka pot Bialetti

Proper and regular cleaning will prolong the life of your Moka pot and be a very important factor in the final taste of your coffee. It is advisable to wash it immediately after each use to avoid residue build-up. If you don’t know how to clean it, here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure the Moka pot is completely cold.
  2. Disassemble all the parts.
  3. Remove the rubber gasket and flat filter from the coffee maker.
  4. Wash each part thoroughly using tap water and a soft cloth, including the rubber gasket and the filter. It would help if you also washed the coffee spout, as this is where a lot of dirt and debris accumulates.
  5. The valve should also be washed after each use to avoid blockages due to residues.
  6. It is advisable to periodically clean the filter plate with a brush to prevent it from clogging with coffee particles (approximately every 30 uses).
  7. Allow all parts to dry thoroughly inside and out.
  8. Reassemble your coffee machine.

Water remains in the boiler after brewing coffee

As we have already mentioned, Bialetti Moka pots work with the pressure generated by the steam created in the water boiler. This steam circulates from the bottom upwards to prepare the coffee. However, inside the boiler, vortexes of steam are created before rising towards the coffee until it reaches the correct pressure.

This is because the flat filter is not in direct contact with the steam, but there is a funnel in between, designed NOT to touch the bottom of the brewer.

For this reason, some water is always left in the Moka pot after brewing. What usually remains is water mixed with coffee that has dripped out of the funnel. This water that remains in the lower chamber is perfectly normal and should be discarded once the Moka has cooled down.

Note: If the amount of water remaining is too much, this is one of the abovementioned problems.

My Bialetti espresso machine won’t turn on

If you have already checked that the machine is properly connected to the power supply and pressed the power button correctly, but your machine still won’t turn on, it may be due to an internal electrical fault. Below you will find the steps to follow to solve this problem:

  1. Disassemble the coffee machine.
  2. Locate the parts that make up the electrical circuit, such as the power cable, the on/off switch, the control board, the boiler and the water pump.
  3. With the help of a multimeter, check that there is continuity in the circuit in each of the components described until you identify which one is faulty. Bialetti espresso machines usually have three main components that fail; the thermal fuse in the boiler, the switch and the control board. If neither of the first two fails, the problem is with the control board.
  4. Once the damaged part has been identified, replace it with a good one.
  5. Reassemble the brewer.