One of the best espresso machines on the market is the Delonghi La Specialista. A high-end coffee maker with a one-year warranty plus a second if you register the product on the Delonghi website. However, it is very rare (although not impossible) that coffee makers of such high-quality present malfunctions. This guide will discuss all those faults that can be found and their possible causes and solutions.
The decalcification light of the La Specialista does not turn off after the process is finished
There is no more frustrating situation than doing a decalcification correctly. Our Delonghi La Specialista still has the decalcification light on. We must say that it is a more common problem than desired. However, it has an easy answer and solution.
Problem: The descaling warning light does not turn off after the descaling process has been carried out correctly.
Cause: The water flow meter is not working correctly and is sending the wrong signal to the control board of the coffee maker,
Solution: Disassemble the coffee maker and access the flowmeters. Carefully access the inside of the flowmeters, clean them and reassemble them. If the problem is not solved, buy a new water flow meter.
The steamer of the Delonghi La Specialista does not work
A very common problem with these coffee makers is located in the steamer. One day, suddenly and without warning, the steamer does not work. There may be two different cases but related to the same cause; on the one hand, it may not make steam, and only water comes out, and on the other hand, the steam comes out so hot that it cannot be frothed.
Problem: When we turn on the steamer, we only get cold water or nothing at all.
Cause: The steamer’s thermostat has broken down and does not allow steam to come out. In most cases, the heater itself is defective and causes the thermostat failure.
Solution: Check the thermostat for continuity. If there is continuity with the machine off, everything is OK. But if you do not get continuity, the thermostat is faulty and must be replaced along with the boiler.
Delonghi La Specialista pressure is too low (or too high)
When we observe that our coffee makers lose pressure, we think that the water pump is not working. However, the cause and solution to this problem are simpler than we think.
Most of the internal components of coffee makers, such as La Specialista, are high quality. They are designed and assembled to last for many years without failure, as long as proper maintenance is carried out.
Before disassembling the machine, perform one or two decalcifications with the official liquid. If you still notice pressure problems after this, you can consider other causes.
- Normally the lack of pressure is linked to water leaks or valves that do not allow the water to pass through properly. You should disassemble your coffee maker, disconnect and check valve by valve and pipe by pipe.
- There is a clog somewhere when we find very high pressure because the smaller the section through which the water circulates, the higher the pressure.
The pressure gauge of the Delonghi La Specialista does not work
This problem covers several situations, from the needle going up too little, to the needle going up too much, to the needle not moving at all. Each problem has a different cause and, therefore, a different solution.
Problem 1: The pressure gauge needle does not move at all when brewing coffee.
Cause 1: When the pressure gauge needle does not move, the pressure gauge is most likely broken. This is not common, but it may be due to a blow, excessive dirt, or a manufacturing defect.
Solution 1: Disassemble the pressure gauge and find a different cause for the failure. This pressure gauge has a small pipe with an O-ring at the joint. If the water does not reach the gauge for some reason, the needle will not move.
Problems 2 and 3: The needle rises too little or too much when brewing coffee.
Cause 2 and 3: If the needle rises too little or too much, we can rule out that the pressure gauge is broken or that the pressure does not reach the gauge. If the lack or excess of pressure is observed in the coffee group, the problem is general to the coffee maker and not to the pressure gauge.
Solutions 2 and 3: Descale the coffee maker because the accumulation of lime in the internal circuits usually causes this failure in coffee makers such as La Specialista.
The Delonghi La Specialista leaks water from the base
The worst nightmare for any user of any coffee maker is trying to brew a coffee and finding water everywhere. I am afraid that Delonghi coffee makers are no exception. Most of the brand’s automatic coffee makers suffer from water leaks.
Problem: When preparing a coffee, we notice how the coffee maker leaks water from the base. The more we use the coffee maker, the more water we find on our countertop.
Cause 1: A plastic connector located at the boiler outlet tends to break after heating and cooling many times. Sometimes there are cracks, and sometimes total breakage.
Cause 2: If this connector is not the problem, check all the internal connectors since they have O-rings inside that, if broken or deformed, would cause leaks.
Solution: Disassemble the coffee maker, access this connector, and replace it with a new one.
Delonghi La Specialista dripping from under the coffee group
Dripping from the coffee group can be very easy or difficult to solve, depending on the cause of the dripping in your coffee maker. This dripping is very uncomfortable because it splashes everything and because part of the pressure escapes through the edges of the filter holder, and the coffee does not come out with the quality it should.
Problem: All the problems related to dripping from the coffee group have in common that when trying to prepare a coffee, the water comes out, in addition to the filter holder, through the sides of the filter holder.
Cause 1: The most critical cause is the breakage of one of the three tabs that hold the filter holder against the coffee group. If not enough pressure is exerted, the coffee comes out through the edges of the filter holder.
Solution 1: We said that this problem was the most critical because the tabs belong to the chassis of the coffee maker, and to fix it, you have to replace the chassis completely. Yes! Buy a new chassis and move all the internal components to the new one. We are talking about several hours of work by someone with experience in these machines.
Cause 2: The whitish rubber gasket shown in the picture above may have been damaged and is causing the leakage.
Solution 2: Buy a replacement gasket and replace the old one. To do this, you do not need to disassemble the whole machine. Just remove the centre screw and pull out the gasket with your hands.
Cause 3: A second flat black gasket might have broken behind the white gasket. This could be the source of the leakage if the first gasket is in good condition.
Solution 3: Disassemble the unit until you reach this black gasket and replace it with a new one.
Problem with the grinder. Can’t hear the clicks of the adjustment ring
Sometimes you stop hearing the clicks when turning the grinding adjustment ring, and the coffee produced is too thick, preventing you from obtaining good espresso coffees. It seems as if moving the ring does not affect the degree of grinding.
Problem: This is because the ring is not connected to the grinder and therefore is not adjusting the degree of grinding. No matter how much you turn the ring, the degree of grind does not change, as there is no physical connection between the two.
Cause: This can be caused by improper disassembly or handling. It could even be that some part has broken, preventing the connection between the grinder and the grinding adjustment ring.
- Disconnect the coffee maker from the socket.
- Remove the hopper from the grinder by turning it to the “open lock” position and pulling it upwards.
- Remove the grinding wheels from the grinder by turning the grinder’s base to the “remove” position (on the opposite side of the grinding degrees). Reach in and pull the grinding wheels upwards by a small metal handle.
- Remove the water tank.
- Remove the two screws at the back (top).
- Lift the top cover of the coffee maker by hand. There are a series of clips on the edges that pop out when you pull it up.
- Rotate the grinder base to the “remove” position with the lid up.
- Move the plastic pillar in a counterclockwise direction to the end of the stroke, as shown in the picture below.
- Push this pillar two clicks in a clockwise direction.
- Place the cover.
- Install the screws and the reservoir.
Problem with the grinder, the light of the coffee container flashes and does not turn off
There are times when the coffee container light flashes, which means that the hopper is not correctly positioned. However, despite adjusting the hopper correctly, it continues to flash without us being able to do anything.
Problem: The coffee maker detects that the hopper is not correctly positioned and does not allow us to prepare coffee, even though we have positioned and rotated it correctly.
Cause: Inside the grinder, a small switch is activated by the hopper’s plastic tabs. When one of these is broken, the switch does not operate, and the machine does not allow us to prepare coffee.
Solution: Buy a replacement hopper; it should not cost more than £10.
Very little or no ground coffee comes out of the grinder
In those situations in which an inadequate coffee bean is used, that is to say, roasted coffees or other roasts that add sugar to the coffee, we can find that the grinding wheels of the grinder or other parts become obstructed. Remember that only natural roasted coffee beans should be used with automatic coffee makers like La Specialista.
Problem: We place our filter holder in the grinding coffee group, but hardly any coffee comes out.
Cause: The coffee grinders or the ducts to the grinding group are clogged with coffee residue. This problem is classic when using roasted coffees and cleaning the grinder with water.
Solution 1: On the one hand, disassemble the grinder wheels as mentioned in one of the previous sections and clean them well. On the other hand, try to clean all the ducts through which the ground coffee circulates; use the cleaning rod that comes with the coffee maker.
Solution 2: There are occasions when cleaning with the wand is not enough. The coffee maker has to be disassembled to access the channel through which the coffee falls. It is most likely that it has become clogged with a coffee “tablet”. Disassemble the part and try to extract the clogged coffee.
The grinder of the La Specialista coffee maker does not work
There are times when the grinder does not work at all; it does not move or make any sound; it is as if the grinder is completely dead.
Problem: The grinder is not getting any power, so it won’t start.
Cause: The grinder control board has a problem with a separate board. Normally, the capacitors are damaged and do not allow the grinder’s current.
Solution: Disassemble the coffee maker and check the capacitance of the capacitors; if they are damaged, replace them. There are cases where the problem is more serious, and the entire control board must be replaced.
La Specialista coffee maker does not turn on
When the coffee maker does not turn on at all, where no light on the front panel comes on, and no sound is heard, this is a case where there is no voltage reaching the coffee maker. And although it is not a probable cause, it is usually related to the on/off button.
Problem: Absolutely no light comes on, and no sound comes out of the coffee maker when it is turned on.
Cause: The switch on the back of the machine is broken.
Solution 1: With the machine disconnected from the power, check with a multimeter to ensure continuity when the switch is turned on. If not, you can buy a replacement or fix the one you have.
Solution 2: If the switch works, you must follow the wire path to the circuit breaker.
Solution 3: In the worst case, a capacitor on the control board is damaged and replaced.
How to descale the Delonghi La Specialista coffee machine
Whenever the light for descaling our Delonghi La Specialista coffee maker comes on, we will proceed to descale our machine. The steps to follow are very simple, which we detail below:
Steps to follow in the decalcification of La Specialista:
- Add the decalcifying liquid to the water tank until level A.
- Add clean water to the water tank up to level B.
- Place the water tank in the machine.
- Place a large container under the coffee group, the water faucet and the frother.
- Turn the coffee selection knob to the descaling position with the machine on.
- Press the “OK” button.
- The process will start, and you will see water coming out alternately from the coffee group, the water faucet and the frother (the frother knob can be in the closed position).
- The tank empties after approximately 30 minutes, and the empty tank light and rinse light will come on.
- Empty the water with descaler from the container used to collect the water.
- Rinse the tank well and fill it with clean water up to the maximum.
- Move the coffee selection knob to the espresso position.
- Place the container back under the three outlets and press the rinse button.
- Once the water tank has been emptied, the descaling light will disappear.
- Remove the container and empty the drip tray.
- Refill the water tank.
Meaning of the Delonghi La Specialista’s lights
There are times when the lights of our Delonghi La Specialista coffee maker will turn on for no apparent reason, although in reality, there will be a reason, and they will have a certain meaning. As it is difficult to understand the warning lights, we will deal with them in this section one by one.
Water tank light on steady
- Not enough water in the tank.
- The water tank is incorrectly positioned.
The tamper light is flashing
- The filter holder has been removed without using the intelligent pressing station. To remedy this, turn the knob to the pre-ground coffee position to bypass the grinder, replace the filter holder and press the coffee.
The light in the coffee reservoir comes on steady
- The coffee reservoir is almost empty.
The coffee tank light is flashing
- The coffee reservoir is not properly adjusted
The heater light is on steady
- The coffee maker is too hot to make coffee.
The emergency light is on steady
- The coffee maker has an internal fault that must be dealt with by technical service.
The general alarm light and heater flash simultaneously
- The drip tray was not inserted correctly.
The decalcification light is on steady
- It is time to descale the coffee maker.
The emergency light is on steady, and the light of the reservoir and tamper are flashing
- The filter holder has been removed before the end of the grinding process. Throw away the coffee in the filter holder and start the process again.
Rinsing light and water tank light flashing simultaneously
- You need to circulate water through the coffee maker, for which you must press the rinse button without a filter holder.
- Another possibility is that the grind is too fine, and the water cannot pass through the coffee during preparation. Adjust to a coarser grind.