Breville Dual Boiler 900XL no flow thru group head

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

#1: Post by park_ridge_dave »


newbie here. I have a BDB 900XL that I have owned since Nov. of 2012. Long story short, down-sizing to a condo in Naples so unit ended up in storage for 2 years. Now I fire it up and no water comes thru the group head. I changed the solenoid and that didn't fix the problem. I don't have a shop space here so I can't tear it down on a bench. I only have the island in the kitchen. So I am a little limited on what I can do. I can't leave it in "pieces" while I track down parts (e.g.).

Here are the symptoms:

1.) Hot water and steam wand function normally.
2.) Pump makes normal sounds (but does not seem to be loading).
3.) Tried backflush via clean cycle but no flow.
4.) Visually inspected for blocking "crud". Nothing found.

I ran some cycles with the top off looking to see if the PRV (pressure relief valve) was "shorting out" the water back to the reservoir but results were inconclusive (I have very old eyes).

I guess I have 2 questions:

1.) Does anyone have a piping diagram for this puppy?
2.) Does anyone know of a detailed trouble-shooting procedure?

I will keep researching this forum as it seems to have a lot of useful info.

Thanks in advance,



#2: Post by WWWired »

Hi park_ridge_dave :)

yep. . . storage will do that . . . it is possible that as the unit was stored and not passing water through regularly, the water that was inside the machine slowly evaporated or dried in certain components.

There are two pumps on your BES900XL. One for the Brew Boiler Hydraulic Pathway and one for the Steam Hydraulic Pathway.

The indication is he pump "does not seem to be loading." Before removing the pump for inspection and cleaning, a few other thoughts.

The original post's fault list is interesting and may offer some clues . . .
Point "1.)" The indication in point 1 "Hot water and steam wand function normally" would indicate the Brew Pump (which supplies the Brew Boiler followed by the 3-way solenoid) is pushing water into the Brew Boiler Hydraulic Pathway. The Hot Water Line exits the Group Head block at the back on the underside of where the 3-way solenoid is mounted. In the photo it is the white water line coming out from under the metal block labeled "GROUPHEAD SHOWERSCREEN ASSEMBLY" and below the 3-way solenoid.

Point "3.)" . . . As well, if there is no water to the portafilter area, then a backflush will likely not be successful.

Because there is flow to the hot water line, a blockage somewhere from your 3-way solenoid, through the GroupHead Block Assembly, or at the showerscreen itself might be the culprit . . . remove your showscreen (theres a single screw that holds it in place) and inspect the area for any build up coffee organics etc. If this doesn't clear the blockage or any obstruction, we'll begin narrowing any fault causing this further. Storage will cause organics and mineral scale in these areas harden to the consistency of diamonds lol, and result in blockages more complete than a Boston Bruin Defenceman in the 1970's. Not a terrible issue but just one foot in front of the other and your amazing espresso machine will be up and running in no time! BES900/920 models are fantastic and with proper regular cleaning and maintenance will remain fantastic sources for caffeine for decades! :)

Below isn't exactly a "piping diagram" but hopefully will offer a little insight to help light the way a bit . . .

. . . and here's Breville's description for removing the shower screen etc. (a wee bit modified but all credit to Breville for original) . . .

. . . and finally a short video by a YouTuber named "Robby C" (all Credit to Youtube and "Robby C") showing how to remove the components (it's for a BES870 model but same principle possibly) . . .