Saeco: Problem-Solving

It is no secret that the Italian manufacturer Saeco is one of the most prestigious brands on the market, especially when it comes to manual espresso and espresso machines. We are also very used to seeing Saeco vending machines everywhere, and in general, the presence of Saeco in the commercial coffee industry is quite wide.

To give you an example: The Philips Saeco Poemia coffee machine has been one of the best-selling machines in the manual espresso segment for many years.

As a result, it is not uncommon to see increasing user demand maintenance issues, breakdowns and problems with a Saeco coffee maker.

In general, a fault in a Saeco coffee machine, or a simple malfunction in its operation, can be easily solved, just as in any other type of espresso machine.

What happens is that Saeco has a lot of models on the market, both manual and automatic, and the questions of the consumers do not always have a simple or immediate answer. From the problems with a Saeco Incanto coffee maker, which is an automatic of medium-high range, to the problems with a Saeco Poemia coffee maker (a very simple manual espresso machine).

A good starting point for solving problems on a Saeco coffee machine is to consult the user manual of our machine. You can find them all below in downloadable PDF format.

Interesting Resources:

Saeco Coffee Machines: Common Problem Solving and Tips

We like to get to the point, so we will sort out all the queries that our readers send us (the list can be extended over time) with the breakdowns of Saeco coffee machines or the most common doubts, and we will try to give clues or recommendations about what to do in each case and how to repair a Saeco coffee machine without any headaches (but always with caution, of course).

When repairing a Saeco espresso machine, these are the main problems you will encounter:

My Saeco Coffeemaker Loses Water

This is one of the most common breakdowns of coffee makers historically. It does not matter the brand or type of coffee maker. And at Saeco, of course, there are no exceptions.

To find out more about the solution to this problem at Saeco, we advise you to consult our guide: what to do if my coffee machine loses water.

My Saeco Coffee Machine has no Pressure

When you try to fix a Philips Saeco coffee machine, not all repairs are equally easy. A major problem in these cases is when your Philips Saeco coffee machine is not under pressure. Without pressure, there is no decent espresso, and if you can’t enjoy your espresso, why do you want the machine?

When an espresso machine has no pressure, the reason is that the pump does not work properly. Either it has broken down (and it’s your turn to replace it), or it’s leaking (the pressure is generated correctly, but it leaks where it shouldn’t), or the other way around: the pump is clogged.

Ulka EX 5 Water Pump for Saeco Coffee Machines – 230 V/50 Hz/48 W – 
Ulka EX 5 Water Pump for Saeco Coffee Machines – 230 V/50 Hz/48 W – 
Water Pump; Ulka EX 5; 230 V/50 Hz/48 W; For Automatic Coffee Makers
Ulka EP5 Water Pump 48 W (German Import)
Ulka EP5 Water Pump 48 W (German Import)
Pump; Fully automatic machines; 48 W; Ulka EP5; Universal

And this links directly to the next section:

How to Repair the Pump of a Saeco Coffee Machine

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

  • First of all, dismantle your Saeco coffee maker, and make sure there are no leaks anywhere (broken or badly connected sleeves).
  • Then you should check the pump separately. In many cases, what happens is that a valve in the pump is blocked, usually by calcification.
  • Ultimately, if the pump is OK, you should check the entire water circuit inside the coffee maker, from the first to the last valve.

If you have never done this before, we advise you to watch this video (in Spanish) first before you start repairing your Saeco coffee machine without knowledge:

My Saeco Coffee Machine does not Heat

Most Saeco machines use the Thermoblock as a water heating system.  And when we talk about problems in 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 the water is not heated at all, then we recommend that you check two scenarios:

  • First: it is possible that the thermoblock is obstructed by lime and does not do its job properly. The solution is (as many times) to decalcify the machine.
  • Second: the other possibility is more delicate, and involves a complete breakdown of your machine’s heating system. The solution is more expensive: you have to replace the thermoblock. 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 very cheap, it may be more profitable to buy a new machine than to change the Thermoblock of your coffee maker completely.

My Saeco Coffee Machine does not Work

This breakdown in a Saeco coffee maker can have several manifestations and several interpretations. If your Saeco coffee maker is not working, two things may be happening:

  • That the Saeco coffee maker turns on, but then stands still and does nothing, neither heats water nor serves coffee.
  • The Saeco coffee machine does not even turn on (it does not even start).

If your fault is the first point, then we advise you to read the previous section of this Saeco troubleshooting guide.

If you are in the second case (your Saeco coffee maker does not switch on), then the most common cause may be a malfunction of the electric board, and more specifically, of the capacitors.

How to solve it? Well, by doing the following:

  • By opening the machine.
  • By accessing the electrical board.
  • Replacing the damaged capacitors with new ones.

In this case, the solution to your problem 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 plate and the capacitors inside the machine.

Breakdown in Saeco Coffee Machine: No Coffee is Coming Out

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

  • First, thoroughly check the whole structure to rule out any kind of assembly fault, misplaced part, etc. This is a more common mistake than it seems.
  • Once we have ruled out the previous circumstance, and checked that the coffee maker is structurally in perfect condition, the first thing we must do is decalcify it. In many cases, the Saeco coffee maker does not throw water away because the boiler is totally obstructed, due to poor maintenance.
  • If necessary, practice several decalcifications until the circuit is released and the water can circulate again.
  • If none of this works, then the problem is even more serious: most probably the boiler is completely blocked (not a single water leak) and therefore it is impossible to decalcify it. The only solution is to replace it.

This is not a problem of the Philips Saeco coffee machine alone but can happen to any coffee machine that is not properly maintained.

Coffee machines should be decalcified periodically while they are working well, not when they stop working.

Where to Repair your Saeco Coffee Machine?

If this is the first time you have had problems with your Saeco espresso machine, you have probably asked yourself this question before looking for information on the Internet.

Well, the first question you should look at is whether the machine is still under warranty or not.

If it is under warranty, don’t hesitate: send it to the official technical service (be aware that there are certain types of breakdowns that are not covered by the warranty, so check first just in case).

If it is not under warranty, then you can choose any repair service that you can trust, and if possible, that is close to your home (so that you can bring the coffee maker back and forth comfortably).

Ultimately, we only recommend that you repair your Saeco coffee maker at home if you have a knowledge of electronics and some experience in gaming (and of course, if the coffee maker is already old and you don’t have much to lose by screwing up).

How to Repair the Arm of your Saeco Coffee Machine

The repair of a Saeco coffee machine also passes through the arm 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 the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words“.

NOTE: This repair is for advanced users only.

How to Clean the Filter Holder of Your Saeco Coffee 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. This is not a fault of the Saeco coffee machines in particular but should be applied to any espresso machine (or arm coffee machine) we have in the house.

What’s going on here? To clean the arm of your Saeco coffee machine, it has to be dismantled first (and then reassembled, of course, and it has to be perfect for your espressos to come out right).

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 Coffee Machine

When the failure of your Saeco coffee maker has no immediate solution, you will most likely have to open it and check the inside.

What for? Well, to be able to access the electric board, to replace capacitors if your Saeco coffee machine does not turn on, to check for broken or leaking sleeves or circuits, for many things.

The point is that, if you decide to open your Saeco coffee machine to repair it, you will lose all guarantee of it, so we recommend you to do this only in two cases:

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

Unfortunately, the process of dismantling a Saeco coffee machine depends largely on the particular model and the parts it includes. Having problems with a Saeco Syntia coffee machine is not the same as having problems with a simple basic espresso machine. When opening it, we encounter very different difficulties and scenarios.

In general, to open a Saeco coffee machine, you will need

  • The user manual of your Saeco coffee machine, or at least a plan of the machine.
  • A screwdriver.

This is just an example but serves as a reference. This is the process of dismantling a Saeco Incanto coffee machine (Spanish):

We hope that these lines have been helpful to you, or if you have not been able to solve your problem with your Saeco coffee machine, unless you have been able to rule out some cause.