Breville 870xl steaming mad issue

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.

#1: Post by Sampal »

Hi all,

I've run into what seems to be a peculiar issue.
My barista express stopped building pressure and ran completely dry when trying to pull a shot. I thought it would be an easy pump swap, after that. Same issue. Next step was a solenoid replacement, while doing that I noticed a blow out from the solenoid and the lines were pretty calcified. I decided to change out both solenoids. I also took all the lines out for a de-scale bath and then a rinse. After putting the unit back together I was able to pull a shot again! Great!

Butttt then when I tried the steam wand, chaos ensued. Steam was coming from the group head and only little spurts of water from the wand tip. I've retraced my steps several times and even taken the solenoids out and back in.. But I'm perplexed as to what this issue could be. This a tuff is sort of new to me so hence the dramatic language but any help would be very much appreciated! Hope it's an easy fix.

Thanks for taking a look

After a few part replacements (solenoid and pump). Steam comes from the group head instead of the wand.



Video of the issue.


#2: Post by ianhurley »

I have the same issue. I've replaced the solenoid manifold... with a brand new Breville part... I had a stuck solenoid before this issue... this was a direct swap and now... steam and hot water come out of the espresso area when selected.

Now here is something interesting... while running, if I pull the orange or blue wire from the right solenoid (looking at it from behind)... the steam and hot water come out of the wand and hot water spigot as they should.

Right now, when the machine is plugged in that solenoid is powered on immediately and from what I can tell... never powers off... I don't remember if before the swap that solenoid was always on when the machine is plugged in or if it should be off and only on when activated? But it obviously shouldn't be on when steam or hot water are selected.

Does anyone know what the native/resting states of the solenoids should be at different settings. Should they be receiving power from the moment the machine is plugged in? Which ones are on/off for each setting?

Nonetheless, this seems to be an electrical issue... anyone know what causes this or how to fix it.

Sampal (original poster)

#3: Post by Sampal (original poster) »

Hmmm interesting. I'm starting to think that the culprit is the replacement solenoid and I should have just been the bullet and purchased the entire manifold. Anyone know the best spot to get these parts. I live in Canada.


#4: Post by WWWired »

Hi, can both Sampal and Ianhurly post pictures of:
  1. The original solenoids showing writing on sides
  2. The replacement solenoids, also showing labels and
  3. The new solenoids installed from front and back angles
Please and thank you :)


#5: Post by canatto »

Sampal wrote:Hi all,

Video of the issue.

Machine sounds like a percussion ensemble in that video, quite a comic. :D

Machine should've sounded like a solo drum playing a steady beat, no other instruments or foot drums playing the complicated dotted notes....wait, I'm speaking from BES840XL (The Infuser) experience, perhaps BES870XL is different?

The dotted notes in the video sounds much like the three-way solenoid quickly engage/release. That should not have happened (solenoid engagement during steaming). If it does happen, you get steam out of brew-head when you steam, like you did in the video.

Maybe try pulling the connection on the three-way solenoid, then see if the steam still come out of the wrong outlet? If it still does, the three-way valve does not seal well in its released position. On the other hand, if it stops doing that, there may be problems with the control board.

I realized I don't see a sign that you were surprised by the percussion passage..... so, if it's just the way 870XL performs, may be check up the baffle box for blockage?

To answer ianhurley's question about the solenoids engagement,
Brewing: engaged
Steaming: released

Brewing: released (block)
Done Brew: engaged for approx 1 minute then release (to discharge the brew head to drip tray)
Steaming: ??unknown to me (don't have my 840 anymore), but if engaged (within a minute of Done Brew), a choked baffle box can send steam to brew head.