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 in their operation, 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 consult our article on all the user manuals for Bialetti coffee makers.

The coffee in the Bialetti Moka coffee maker doesn’t reach the top

When you start to make coffee in your Bialetti Moka coffee maker, you notice that steam starts to come out of the coffee spout, and you hear noises, but the coffee is not coming out. This is because the pressure is not generated correctly, as the coffee should flow constantly and quietly.

There are several reasons why the pressure generated by the coffee maker may not be adequate. Here are some guidelines that will help you to eradicate this problem:

  1. Check that the rubber gasket is in good condition and clean but not dry or worn. It will not generate the necessary pressure to force the water through the ground coffee if it is in bad condition. Replace the silicone gasket regularly is advisable as routine maintenance.
  2. Check that the filter plate is clean and free of debris. If there is coffee residue, it will not allow you to seal the filter well when you put it over the boiler, which often leads to pressure leaks. Replace the filter if it is worn.
  3. Check that the coffee funnel fits snugly into the lower chamber and is not deformed or worn around the edges. If it is in bad condition, replace it.
  4. Under no circumstances should you compact the ground coffee in the funnel. Compacting and overfilling with coffee increases the pressure required for the brew to travel upwards. Fill the funnel with the appropriate amount of coffee, allowing it to pile up slightly and remove the excess.
  5. Use only ground coffee compatible with Moka coffee makers. Too fine grind can clog the centre tube, while too coarse grind can clog the filter and prevent water from travelling upwards, causing the Moka coffee maker to stop brewing.
  6. Moka coffee makers are designed to be used with full amounts of water and coffee and will not work properly if the funnel is filled with too much or too little coffee. Fill the boiler with cold water below the fill level, never above the safety valve.
  7. Close and tighten the Moka before each use.

The safety valve of the Bialetti Moka is releasing steam

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

  1. Disassemble your coffee maker by removing the rubber gasket and filter.
  2. Clean the inside of the coffee spout located on the top of your Moka coffee machine.
  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.
  5. If, after these actions, the safety valve is still activated, stop using your coffee maker immediately and have it checked and repaired by a professional service technician.

Bialetti Moka coffee maker leaking from the side

When your Bialetti Moka coffee maker 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 coffee machine.
  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.
  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 Bialetti Moka coffee machine tastes bad

Nothing is worse than wanting to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, waiting for it to brew, only to find that it tastes terrible when you put it in your mouth. Several factors can influence the final taste of your coffee prepared in a Bialetti Moka coffee machine. If you follow the recommendations below, the taste of your coffee will undoubtedly 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 up to where the valve starts; you will find the filling limit that you must not exceed.
  • 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 should be tight enough to have no leaks.
  • When you put the coffee maker on to heat, do not turn the heat to maximum. These brewers work similarly to a siphon brewing system, where you bring some water to a boil so that the steam pressure pushes the water up into the kettle.
  • Do not leave the Moka pot on the heat for longer than the appropriate amount of time, as this will result in over-boiling and a bitter taste that you will not like.
  • When your coffee turns pale and bubbly, you should immediately remove the coffee maker from the heat to stop the brewing process.
  • You can now enjoy a delicious coffee without the bitter and annoying taste of before.

How to clean my Bialetti Moka coffee machine

Proper and regular cleaning will prolong the life of your coffee maker 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 coffee maker is completely cold.
  2. Disassemble the coffee maker.
  3. Remove the rubber gasket and filter from the coffee maker.
  4. Wash each part of your coffee maker 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 with the Bialetti Moka coffee maker

As we have already mentioned, Bialetti Moka coffee machines work with pressure generated by steam that makes the water go from the bottom to the top to prepare the coffee. Still, not all the water deposited in the boiler goes in this same direction, which is impossible.

This is because the funnel is designed NOT to touch the bottom of the brewer. Otherwise, it is difficult for the water to flow under pressure from the lower chamber and up the funnel to the upper chamber.

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

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.