Delonghi: Problem-Solving

When we talk about problems with the Delonghi coffee machines, the first thing we have to figure out is what kind of coffee machine we’re talking about. Delonghi is one of the generalist brands with the largest market share in Europe, and the variety of its catalogue is immense. Most of them are espresso and superautomatic coffee machines. Therefore we will stick to these two segments in this compilation of problems, unless we explicitly refer to a specific model.

Before you start, we suggest you take a look at our repository of Delonghi coffee machine user manuals, in case you find the exact brochure for the model you have at home.

And then we’ll go through the list of questions, problems and breakdowns for the most common Delonghi coffee machines in our audience:

My Delonghi coffee maker doesn’t pierce the capsules.

We got off to a bad start. It is a very common query among inexperienced users, who confuse the manufacturer with the marketer and look for the solution to their problem in the wrong way. In reality, what they have at home is a Nespresso coffee maker (even though Delonghi made it) and therefore they must direct their research towards that brand.

Fortunately, we cover these cases extensively on our website in our problem and solution guide for Nespresso: Nespresso problem-solving.

My Delonghi coffee maker doesn’t work (it won’t even turn on)

Well, this is a more typical question, and of course, it is not specific to this manufacturer. When a Delonghi coffee maker doesn’t work for you, to the point of not even turning on, the problem is usually in the electrical board, and more specifically in the thermal fuses or capacitors. Any of these elements are easy to buy and replace, as they are quite cheap.

Even so, if you are not experienced in opening, dismantling and reassembling electrical appliances, we recommend that you take it to a specialised technical service.

And, of course, if it is a relatively new machine and you still have it under warranty, don’t think about it: ask for a new one.

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The Delonghi coffee machine loses water underneath

It, unfortunately, is not a problem of Delonghi alone, but affects many machines (and not only express).

We’ll deal with it in depth in this article: My coffee maker is losing water, but we’ll summarize here the most likely causes:

  • If water is leaking from the bottom, it’s usually necessary to dismantle the coffee maker and see if there are any poorly sealed joints or leaking sleeves. The boiler and the water tank are the items you should check first.
  • If your Delonghi brewer is leaking water from the ladle, then the problem is almost certainly caused by a defective seal in the coffee group. This component will be easier to access if you have an automatic coffee maker (many have a removable one so that it can be cleaned easily). At the same time, with espressos, there will be no choice but to open it and check the inside.

My Delonghi coffee maker lacks pressure

Most of the time, a Delonghi coffee maker has a lack of pressure; it is due to a malfunction of the pressure pump.

Sometimes it’s a leak (and then the repair is more straightforward), but other times it’s that the pump has become clogged or broken. In the event of a blockage, a descaling or thorough cleaning of the internal circuits of the machine should be sufficient. In case of damage, it is necessary to change the part.

If you finally have to change the pressure pump (ULKA pump) of your Delonghi coffee machine, we have good and bad news for you. The good news is that this type of pump for home coffee machines is quite cheap. It’s not a rare or prohibitive piece, as you can see down here. The bad news is that to replace it; you’ll have to completely dismantle your Delonghi, do the operation, and reassemble it. If it’s under warranty, it’s much better to take it to the technical service and have it changed or fixed by them.

To alleviate the problem of lack of pressure when taking out the coffee, sometimes it is also convenient to change the filter we use, in case it is already obstructed by use.

My Delonghi Coffee maker does not heat

For the problem of the temperature in the Delonghi coffee machines we will give two tips.

First, decalcification. The residues may prevent the correct flow and operation of the thermoblocks. Therefore the water does not flow through them at the right speed, resulting in an insufficient temperature, warmer than usual.

Secondly, change the thermoblock. The thermoblock is the most common water heating system in-home coffee machines, including Delonghi, and if it breaks down, the water cannot be heated. The coffee maker works as usual, but the coffee comes out at room temperature and is super unpleasant.

Finally, even if your machine does not have any specific fault or breakdown, here are some tips that you can put into practice to make your Delonghi hotter:

  • Before putting coffee in the filter, place your cup under the spout and press the key to make coffee. Only hot water will come out, and your mug will be hot enough not to cool down as soon as it comes out. Allow the cup to warm up a little, and then discard the water.
  • Use the cup-warmer tray properly – it serves just enough to enjoy the hottest espressos!
  • If your machine allows it, select a higher temperature level in the relevant settings menu.

My Delonghi coffee maker doesn’t pour water

When a Delonghi coffee maker doesn’t serve water, the causes can be multiple. We are going to go over them one by one, from lesser to higher severity, according to their ease of resolution.

  • Bad water tank connection. We start with a truism, but sometimes we leave the tank poorly fitted, so that it does not close the connection with the machine’s circuit. Make sure that the water tank of your Delonghi coffee machine is installed correctly and connected to the base.
  • Obstructions in the internal pipes. We have already mentioned this in several cases, and you should already be able to guess the solution: decalcification. Problems with blockages and clogging often result from ineffective or infrequent cleaning.
  • Leaks. The effect is similar to that of the previous section. Still, the solution is more complicated because it generally involves damaged sleeves or circuits that have to be replaced (which means having to assemble and disassemble the coffee machine).
  • Technical failure. The most severe and most complex case to repair. Some parts have stopped working correctly and have to be replaced.

NOTE: Expert users will be able to diagnose better the cause of the water problem in their Delonghi coffee machine if they take a few seconds to “listen” to it when it starts up. Depending on the noise generated, you can tell where the fault is coming from.

Delonghi coffee machines and the orange button

It is one of those minor doubts that is usually installed among users for not reading the instruction manuals (or throwing them away too quickly). Many Delonghi coffee machines include an orange light, as a light indicator, which is nothing more than a decalcification warning.

What happens at first? The coffee maker doesn’t present any problems; we trust it and get rid of the manual within a few weeks or months. And of course, the decalcification notice appears for the first time after a long time. On the Dedica model, for example, it looks like this:

orange light delonghi

When decalcifying your Delonghi coffee maker, you must do it when that orange light goes off. That is, with the decalcification notice active. Otherwise, even if you have done the process correctly and the machine is clean inside, the warning will still come out because the coffee machine will have no way of knowing whether you have decalcified it or not.

It is why many users will complain or ask later “...I’ve decalcified my Delonghi coffee machine, but I keep getting the orange light…”.

The yellow light on Delonghi coffee machines

Same as the previous section. In some models, the decalcification warning comes from an orange light, and in others, it is more yellow. It is the same type of warning.

A common question with Delonghi coffee machines: the lights flash

If your Delonghi coffee maker blinks, we must follow some essential advice, although the final result will have nuances that will depend on the model in question. The fact is that not all machines have the same lights or the same behaviour.

For example, on the Dedica EC-685, some lights flash to indicate that the coffee maker is heating up, and you have to wait until they go out to make a coffee. Of course, this does not mean that there is a fault.

Other lights on the Delonghi coffee machines flash when you are setting them up to memorize an option, for example.

Flashing is also used for resets. When you go to reset your Delonghi machine, all the lights on the indicator lamps flash for 3 seconds to indicate that you are going to restore the factory settings.

On manual (arm) Delonghi espresso machines, the two coffee-making buttons (the 1-cup and 2-cup buttons) usually blink simultaneously to warn of one of the following circumstances:

  • The water in the tank has run out.
  • The tank is not connected to the coffee machine (or is disconnected).
  • Clogging of the coffee filter.
  • Obstruction in the coffee spout.
  • The spray nozzle is open.
  • The boiler is too hot and should be cooled down before making the next coffee.
  • Need for decalcification.

Problems with the Delonghi Dedica EC-685 coffee machine

The Delonghi Dedica EC-685 is one of the most sold coffee machines in Spain, and today is one of the models that has more units active in Spanish households. Of course, it is also Delonghi’s most popular coffee maker, and it is not surprising, therefore that we dedicate a special section to the doubts that readers have about this particular model.

You can read the whole list of recommendations in the review of the machine itself: Review of the Delonghi Dedica EC-685.

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A Delonghi coffee maker that makes a lot of noise

If this is your case, you don’t have much else to do but try to isolate it from the bottom with some rubber, non-slip feet or mats suitable for this use. When a Delonghi coffee maker makes a lot of noise, it’s almost always because of vibrations against the surface it’s standing on.

You should also bear in mind that some coffee makers are noisier than others, so sometimes this is a problem that has no direct solution and does not necessarily indicate any failure or malfunction of your Delonghi.

Finally, another detail that has a crucial influence on the noise of Delonghi coffee makers: those with a built-in grinder will always emit more decibels (for obvious reasons).

My Delonghi coffee maker doesn’t froth.

On this occasion, we are going to turn our attention to the milk froth system. As we already know, in the espresso machines it will be a tube or steamer lance. In contrast, in the super-automatic ones, it can be more complex systems (cappuccinators, or milk tanks integrated in the machine).

We will now go through different steps that we can follow or check if our Delonghi coffee maker does not froth the milk correctly. We will distinguish two cases depending on the type of machine we have at home:

If it’s a super-automatic Delonghi machine:

  • Check that the milk tank is correctly connected to the stand, that the lid is closed successfully, and that it has enough milk to froth (sometimes it has a little, but it’s not enough to start the process).
  • If the machine takes the milk from an external container, check the two ends of the sleeve in charge of the process.
  • Set the dial on the steamer to a higher setting. Sometimes it is very low, and although the process works correctly, it does not inject enough air to give density to the emulsion.

If it is a manual Delonghi express:

  • Make sure the machine is decalcified. A lousy cleaning can cause the remains of milk to solidify and prevent the correct functioning of these systems. As a preventive measure, always remember to let a jet of steam come out of the nozzle after emulsifying milk.

The filter holder does not fit appropriately into the coffee machine

It is not a problem exclusive to Delonghi. If the filter holder doesn’t fit in the coffee maker, it’s usually because the filter is too loaded with coffee. Lower it a bit, and try again.

Another common problem with a Delonghi coffee maker: not enough coffee comes out

When little coffee comes out of your Delonghi machine (or directly, no coffee comes out), you have to distinguish what kind of coffee machine we are talking about.

If it’s a manual espresso machine, the problem usually comes from a blockage in the pipes, and the first thing we’d do would be to decalcify the machine. It is the same cause that causes the pressure problems mentioned above. We should also check the holes of the pressurised filters, in case we don’t clean them often.

However, if we are talking about a Delonghi super-automatic, we can add a few more reasons. Sometimes, in these automatic machines (which we should not forget to have an integrated grinder), it has an additional input for ground coffee. When we use it, we usually drop some remains of ground coffee that end up inside the machine, in the coffee group in different places. And over time, they solidify and cause blockages.

If you notice that little coffee is coming out of your Delonghi coffee maker, try checking this conduit with a thin, pointed object that allows you to push any coffee grounds that may have been left inside.

How do you decalcify a Delonghi coffee maker?

Time needed: 20 minutes.

If you need to do a decalcification on your Delonghi coffee maker, the good news is that it won’t take long to complete the process, although if you are already experienced, you will do it almost by heart. The steps are similar whether it’s a manual Delonghi express or an automatic, but we’ve summarized them here just in case:

1- Fill up the water tank.

It is always advisable to do the decalcification (in Delonghi and any brand) with a full water tank.

2- Add the anti-lime liquid.

We recommend the official Delonghi Ecodecalk decalcifiers, but you can look for the ones you need in our decalcifying liquids section.

3- Run a complete water cycle

I mean, like you’re making coffee, but without putting coffee in the filter. Remember to place a container under the spout, to collect the dirty water.

4- Repeat the previous step 2-3 times

It is their job to use up the capacity of the tank, or until we see that the water no longer comes out as dirty as the first time.

5- Clean the tank thoroughly and rinse

Don’t forget that water softeners are chemicals, so make sure that no residue is left in the tank. Wash it thoroughly inside, and dry it carefully. Pay special attention to the corners, where sediment can accumulate most easily.

6- Finally, discard the first coffee.

It is not a bad idea to make a coffee or an additional water cycle, after having done a complete decalcification in our Delonghi coffee machine. In this way we will avoid possible strange aromas and nuances in our espresso.

As you have seen, many of these breakdowns in Delonghi coffee machines are not failures or problems as such, but merely a lack of knowledge or experience on the part of the users.

For our part, since we have such a broad audience, we will continue to expose on this page the most frequent doubts that readers have with these Delonghi machines. Of course, if any question has been left out, do not hesitate to share it with the whole community through the comments.

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