Breville Barista Express BE870 blockage

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

#1: Post by HSz »

Hi Everyone, I have a Breville Barista Express BE870 that is only a few years old, and there appears to be a blockage in the group head as only minimal or intermittent water comes through - the steam wand and hot water work fine however. It is however using a lot of water so there must be a blockage somewhere. I would appreciate your suggestions on how to fix this. Thank you. Regards Helen


#2: Post by luvmy40 »

I don't have a BE870 to look at, but I would start by looking at the solenoid for scale blockage and also at any removeable line connections.

Assuming the internals are similar to the 900 series, there may be o-rings seals that could be replaed at the same time.

Am I correct in that this is a thermo coil system with no actual boiler? At any rate, that fact that the steam and water dispensing works as normal indicates the thermo coil and/or water pick up is not blocked.

My best guess would be the solenoid is blocked or not working properly.

HSz (original poster)

#3: Post by HSz (original poster) »

Hi Luvmy40

Thank you so much for your response - it is greatly appreciated!

I am a complete novice when it comes to this, however in the research I have done, the solenoid was mentioned, however wouldn't that affect the hot water and steam function also?

I am not sure if it does have a thermo coil system with no actual boiler, but you seem to think this is unlikely to be the issue.

Thank you.

Regards Helen


#4: Post by luvmy40 »

After looking into the Barista Express a bit, I found it is indeed a thermo coil/block system with a 3 way solenoid at the brew group.
As your water dispensing and steam functions are working properly, this definitely points to the solenoid or water lines into or after the solenoid.

Is there any water flow from the brew group with no portafilter in place? It is posible that the pump is bad and not building any pressure, or that the OPV is bypassing at too low a pressure.

HSz (original poster)

#5: Post by HSz (original poster) »

Thank you so much for your valued comments. What is the 'OPV' please?
The flow and therefore pressure is inconsistent - on occasions it appears to be fine - especially if I don't warm-up the portfolio with a preliminary 'shot'.
It doesn't make sense.
Thank you.
Regards Helen


#6: Post by luvmy40 »

OPV, Over Pressure Valve. It's what limits the pressure to the brew head. The pump will drive well past 9-10 bar so the OPV shunts anything higher off to the reservoir or drip tray, depending on the machine. If it's faulty or got turned down, it could cause low pressure/no pressure symptoms.

Does the pressure ever build to "Espresso Range" with the cleaning disc installed?

HSz (original poster)

#7: Post by HSz (original poster) »

Thank you for your much valued comments. It appears to be working OK as long as I don't heat up the brew head before hand - the pressure is actually going up to the high end of the "espresso Range" under normal circumstances. It didn't go as high previously, so it's really weird. The machine still seems to be using more water however. I really don't know what to do - it's weird. Thanks again.