Sunday, October 12, 2008

The original website page

I ended up with a free Starbuck's Barista espresso machine with a broken pump. It still made noise, but no water pumped. I quickly discovered that a replacement pump can cost as much as $100 online. I figured that I was mechanically inclined and I couldn't break a broken pump any worse than it already was. I've since seen that others have ended up with non-working pumps too. I suspect that a good cleaning will get many pumps working again.


Here's a picture of the business section of the machine after you remove the sheet metal cover. Remove the screws I've got arrows pointing to and the entire lower plastic parts will slide out so you can get to the screws to remove the pump.



I found it was easier to undo the high pressure fitting at the boiler. It did not want to come apart at the pump. I needed to remove one of the electrical connectors connected to one of the witches to get to the fitting easier.

In the picture below, I've removed the pump rubber mounting brackets and fittings along with the electrical connections The red wire goes in the middle connector.



OK, now the pump is out. The main pump mechanism is held into the pump body with two screws. The top fittings will unscrew. Now, it's time to get serious about the teardown.


Here's the totally disassembled pump. There's not that many parts, and they are all pretty sturdy. The main white nylon/plastic section will rotate and come apart. The parts all come apart easily. They can be cleaned with a mixture of distilled vinegar with a little water if necessary. The most likely area to have problems is in the brass section that is exploded in the inset, or in the two pieces marked with number #1. These two pieces should come out pretty easily after the hose is disconnected. When you go to insert the pieces back in, put
the two pieces together like #4 in the inset. This will make sure everything seats properly. In my case the problem area was the brass fixture that I've blown apart in the inset. Click on the picture to see a large version.

The rubber gasket, nylon ball and spring labeled at #2 above all came apart easily. The problem was parts #3 and #4. I couldn't figure out how to get them out. Part #3 can be unscrewed from the brass section. I used a pair of tweezers. A very small pair of needle nose pliers could also work. It can be unscrewed. If the spring doesn't pull out easily, don't pull too hard. You can take a paper clip and push it through the brass fixture to break loose the rubber piece and spring from the brass fixture. That was the problem with my pump. Somehow the rubber piece got stuck. Take all the pieces and soak them in the vinegar and water mixture. Make sure the the rubber and spring are put back together as shown in the inset before reassembling everything. Part #3 does not have to be screwed back in. It can be pushed back in place without screwing it in. It's a one way connector. It has to be unscrewed to take it out, but it can be pushed n.


At this point it's just a matter of trying out the pump. In the picture below I'm showing a setup I'd never recommend. I've connected up the power, put the intake for the pump into a Tupperware container and set the output of the pump into a cup. I'm careful to hold the plastic pieces of the pump with gloves while I test the pump. After I tested it, the pump was pumping lot's of water into the cup. Yea.


At this point, it was just a matter of putting everything back together, trying it out and pumping most of the water reservoir through the portafilter to clean out the vinegar. At this point, I put the sheet metal back on and started the process of becoming a reasonable coffee geek.

If you have questions or issues with this, contact me at "rod (at) myschiffman.org".

97 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Never figured that the little valve (part #3) was there and could be the issue of my pressure problem. When I took it out I found that material (tiny balls) from the anti scale unit I put in actually caused the issue. The tiny balls got stuck in this area and prevented the valve closing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this. I was searching online for a source for a new pump and I stumbled upon your site.

Your tutorial saved me $100 (or whatever a new pump costs).

One tip I would add is that the little plastic piece that you removed with a pair of tweezers came out very easily with a set of forceps.

Thanks again, you ROCK!

Buzz
Ripon, CA

Rudyard said...

Hi Ron,

amazing job. I am trying to get the metal case off (removed 6 screws, the plsatic water funnel, the cord clamp) but it's hung up a the top front seam and I don't want to force it, cause I don't know how it's being held there.

Once I get to the pump I can use you diagrams for cleanup. The steamwand works fine for steam and hot water delivery but the espresso side just dribbles, even after multiple descaling.

Very excited about this repair, good DIY!

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

Rudyard, The front of the sheet metal is bent and slides into a channel in the front. It should just lift straight up. It not, use a knife or something thin to slide under and lift up. You can sort of see it in the first picture. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

trying to find an ULKA model 2 pump any ideas on suppliers. It's a CS M6338 220v, 50Hz, 48w, 2/1 min. Actually is for a fake snow machine.

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

I wish I could help on finding that model. I did a little Googling too. I didn't find anything.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate you checking. Any ideas on the rebuild components?

Rick

Steve Fox said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I had just replaced the electric motor on my Mum's old carpet cleaning machine and when I reassembled it I discovered that the pump was not working Oh NO! I priced a new pump at a ridiculous $340 NZD. Time to pull it apart. I couldn't see where the problem was at first but thanks to your tutorial and the tweezers trick I was able to repair the pump in twenty minutes. Awesome. You ROCK.

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

@Steve: Who would guess that this would apply to a cleaner? Thanks for the response.

Jana and Orline said...

Hi,
Googleling for the pump brand "Ulka mode E Type EP5" I found your page and I'm very, very surprised! Alone, I did disassemble the whole cafee machine, I have Breville brand, but it uses the same pump. I've been trying the pump with similar means (no gloves), but with an old cable for computer, that I opened to connect to the pump, and a bottle of water. Only some noise, no jet, nothing. So tomorrow I will open the pump and clean it, will give you a feed-back. But your blog saved me!! Thanks a lot, even if I will have other problem there, you really rock! Thanks for all guys who will find your site!
Orline

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

All the best cleaning the pump. Let me know what happens.

Jana and Orline said...

OK, I dismanteled the pump. All parts are there and i did rinse them with vinegar. I think my problem is the small plastic ball in part 2,, - it is too small it goes inside the spring. Is it normal? I think it should stay on the top of the spring so it serve as a kind of valve, right? Is it possible to be "eaten" (used)? Except water, I did rinse once my machine with a standard solution(kind of white vinegar I think) bought especially for that on the market.

Jana and Orline said...

One more thing - I did measure the small plastic ball, it is about 2.5 mm in diameter, to stay on the "left" side of the spring (on the picture), it should be really bigger.
Orline

Jana and Orline said...

...and there is a photograph of the ball - spring ratio of opening ...

http://opopov.info/images/cafee_pump_ball.jpg

Orline

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

You are correct, the ball should set on top of the spring. Can you tell if the spring top has opened over time? I would think the ball should be pretty inert.
Can you tighten the top of the spring so the ball won't drop through? That should work too.

Jana and Orline said...

That was my point too, I have to try to tighten the spring's top slightly ...
BTW, when unscrewing connections there was some red material inside, I think it would be kind of "Loctite", if you know what I mean - to make connection pressure-proof ..
O.

Jana and Orline said...

OK, job finished !!!!!!
Thanks Schiffman!!
IT WORKS !!!!!!!!!!
I did apply some Loctite 242 (blue) to the threads (there was red, but red is forever, blue is re-screwable), and - miracle - NO srew left after work is done.
And espresso is buuuuuuuuuutiful!!
Thanks man, you did help me, and probably helped to other paople. This is the dorce of Internet, the real one, and people like you!

Thanks once more,
Orline

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

This is great. Glad you were able to get it to work.

Jana and Orline said...

Hi once more,

I'm totally disappointed ... It worked for 3 cups of coffee, then it makes noise, some pressure but not the whole one needed to extract the magic brown liquid ... Trying to switch to vapor then back to the main coffee exhaust with water and vinegar .. it leaks but not the whole power.. Do you think that the heating head could be filled with anything (scales) or is it impossible?
Orline

Jana and Orline said...

... one more thing, I've read somewhere here that the plastic #3 could be reversed as side, I think I did it as it was, but ... you never know... What is the right position, please, do you have a shot of it? Somebody was talking about reversing to keep some 8 mm of place, or to strengthen the spring.
Thanks a lot,
Orline

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

The #3 part in the inset has little feet on the bottom that fit in the threads of the main pump. I used needle nose pliers to hold it and push it in. Push it in such that the little feet that stick out on one end are on the bottom.

Susan said...

My spouse and I (neither terribly mechanically inclined) took apart our Starbucks Barista machine, cleaned the parts and put it back together. Though we found nothing obviously wrong, the cleaning and reassembling fixed the problem. You saved another machine from the landfill. Thank you!!

Leslie said...

I was having this problem exactly; in fact, after following your great tutorial, I determined my problem was also with the little insert as well. When I opened it up, it was the first time I saw water, and the little black thing was also stuck in my valve. Anyway, got it all fixed, assembled back together.

Now I have a strange problem that I'm desperately hoping you can help me with.

Uh... got it all assembled back, plugged it in, turned it on, and.... nothing. It's honestly like no power is even going to the machine. I double checked everything to make sure it was all connected, and it was. So I figured I must have done something wrong with the pump, so I disassembled it again, but no... everything was back in correctly.

Any idea?

Sad,
Leslie

Eugenie said...

Leslie-

i don't know if you still have your machine but try changing the thermo fuse. You can call Saeco directly and get this part. On the parts list it is #31 or 183402262. Mine did the same thing as yours, however now I have another problem - pump runs but no water is going through the machine. I'm about to take apart the machine as described and I'll let you know what happens next.

Anonymous said...

I pulled the Ulka EP5 out of my Breville becaaue it wasn't creating any suction. I used the exploded view of the pump mechanism which prompted me to examine the inner plastic valve and seat (the seat is on the shaft end of the piston). The plastic valve had worn down to what looked like a small ball which was able to pass through the center of the tapered spring winding. I examined the ball under magnification and was able to see that as I had suspected, it had originally been mushroom shaped, similar to the black output valve referred to in the other postings. I replaced the worn out plastic intake valve with the tail end of a small engine caburator float valve. Once cut off the rest of the valve, the little stem fit right into the spring and had a nice domed surface which fit the seat nicely. It's more quiet than before and works great. Cost %0.00

Anonymous said...

Further to my last anonymous posting, in general, ensure that your intake line from the tank to the pump is sealed properly or no vacuum will be created to draw the water into the pump.

Thanks for your posting of the exploded view of the pump assembly. Don't you hate it when you can't get parts for parts?

Rut

Anonymous said...

For Leslie,

The polarity of the connections to the pump matter. If your lights and display work but no pump activity is detected, this may be the issue. Discomnnect and change the polarity before trying it again. This is a common mistake made upon re-assembly. If the problem persists, try the thermo switch which can be bypassed. If the pump starts with the thermo switch bypassed, replace the switch and you should be in business. DO NOT RUN IT WITHOUT THE THERMOSWITCH or you could create a fire hazard. and ensure that the thermo switch is in its position against the pump solonoid.

P.Leon said...

Hi, Thank you for your detailed post!! I purchased a Starbucks barista for $8.00 and seemingly new! but not working, after reading your post I am able to enjoy at least brewing coffee I do have a few questions if you would be so kind and helping me out, the Steam valve area I need to figure out how to fix the little metal part that pushes the little button inside to I guess activate the steam does not seem to work properly, what happens is that when the green light turns on after I push the steam button does not do anything but if I depress the steam button and turn the steam knob to "on" it makes a brewing sound and water comes out of valve. I don't think I am using it properly or maybe I did something wrong? please help

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures, just what I needed.

I found one of these at Goodwill for $10...cleaned up nicely, boiler works, solenoid works, but you guessed it, pump won't prime, or pump.

Tore it down and found the nylon ball missing, off to the good hardware store now.

BTW, unscrewing the nylon screen in the pump #3 was trivially accomplished using a spanner wrench for a lens.

(Two curved, sharp points, with adjustable spacing between them, down to nil.)

Jana and Orline said...

"the nylon ball missing, off to the good hardware store now " - anybody knows where to find this small ball, please ???

Anonymous said...

Rod,

I am having alot of trouble getting the piece that attaches to the boiler off. In fact, I am stripping the metal. I have it loose, but it won't turn because the plastic tubing won't turn with it. How do I get this unscrwed?

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

The reason I unscrewed from the boiler was because the connection closer to the pump was stuck.
My little experience in unsticking nuts is:
Put penetrating oil on the threads. Tap the nut solidly several times. Wait several hours. Tap again. Try to unscrew. It usually works, but I have no special knowledge beyond that.

Anonymous said...

Rod, it's not that it's stuck. I got it unstuck. It's just that when you unscrew it, the hardware/tube keeps it from turning. I cannot grab the nut only, I can only grab the nut and the hardware/tube and the tube doesn't move around like a nut. If I could just grab the nut it would work. It's so thin, it's impossible. I tried holding the hardware/tube with a pliers and then twisting the nut but there's not enough rooom. Am I supposed to pull and not twist?

Anonymous said...

Rod, can you take a peek at my last comment? It's the last one. Thanks!

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

I don't really have anything. The reason I disconnected the hose at the boiler instead of the pump was that I couldn't get the nut to break lose at the pump, but I could at the boiler.
I've got no secret answer here. Sorry.

Finding Joy After 50 said...

Thanks so much for this post. Everything is in soaking and I'll put it back together tonight. If it doesn't work then I'll spring for a new pump (the machine is 12 years old so if I have to spend $50 to keep it running it seems worth it to me.) You're right, there is a need for everything, the challenge is simply finding a great page and someone like you who took the time to set it up. Thanks Again. Joy

Anonymous said...

Rod is definitely a saint, but I've got to warn people that the following sentences are easier said than done. It is impossible. Someone needs to post more detailed instructions on how to do this:

"I found it was easier to undo the high pressure fitting at the boiler. It did not want to come apart at the pump. I needed to remove one of the electrical connectors connected to one of the witches to get to the fitting easier."

Anonymous said...

Hi Rod,

I am back. I got the parts off! I might suggest some new verbiage to make things a little easier. But before I do that, I have to figure out my wire dilemma. I have un-hooked many of the wires to get all pieces off. I now can't recall where they go. There are two black wires coming out from the on buttons. One is connected to a gray (I don't think i touched that). What does the other black wire go to? Also, there is a grey wire in the same area. Actually bellow the one buttons. Where does that grey go? Lastly, there is a red wire that is wrapped around a grey wire that begins right around the on switch. Where does the red wire go? Thanks!!! If you have a good picture of all this, that would help. I can send you my email address.

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

I'll dig up the pictures I have and post full resolution versions. Should you get it back together, I expect you'll remember to take pictures, and, or, mark things with masking tape in future projects.

Anonymous said...

You are saint! Anxiously awaiting.

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

New post with links to the original pictures, hopefully they will help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rod, I don't see the pictures. Did they upload?

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

http://ulkapumprepair.blogspot.com/2011/02/links-to-full-res-pictures.html

Anonymous said...

Hi Rod,

The picture unfortunately aren't helping. Do you, or does anyone know the following:

-There is a tube that is connected to the light in the front. I have one black wire connected to grey single. I don't think I ever touched that. However, the other black wire in that tube is free. Does anyone know where that connects? I have a brown and grey wire open. It has to be one of those.

-on the other side of the steam switch, there are two slots. There is a grey wire on the bottom. In the same fitting is another grey wire. Where does that grey wire go? Is it in the slot above the other grey wire? Or somewhere else/

Anonymous said...

Hi, if anyone knows the answer to the above post, I'd greatly appreciate it. My wires are all mixed up and I'm afraid I'm going to electrocute myself or burn the thing out.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! Mine's back working again. Amazing what a little vinegar can do.

Anonymous said...

Hello my friends. recently i found in my father´s garage a big box with tons ok ulka pumps EP5 120v and Ek 220v t
Im interested to sell them all for a very special price. if you are interested please email-me to brito761@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

my pump was starting to become unreliable (stalling during delivery with just a faint vibration noise and slight drip only of coffee. So I dismantled and cleaned - worked again for a day or so and then seized in same way. The pump internals are in great condition - no corrosion, but the piston assy. was stuck - and this was because of a deformed small silicone o-ring around the thin part of the piston shaft. This o-ring is seated in the plastic case. A complete service of this pump would involve obtaining a new o-ring kit - I can't find anywhere the specs for these o-rings (internal / external diameter, type of silicone material etc.

Its easy to free the piston and get it going again but in my view this is a temporary repair as the o-ring does seem to get permanently deformed through use, and only a matter of time before it starts 'catching' again.

I bought a replacement off ebay for 10 pounds but it doesn't deliver the full pressure of the original one either, as it was clearly reclaimed from a used machine itself! But it is working and if I am careful not to pack the coffee into the basket too tightly it doesn't stall. Be nice not to have to worry about that though!

Steve said...

Looking for parts for my ULKA EAX5 pump.
It need the smaller of the two springs. Can't be any more that a couple of bucks. rather than $50 for a whole pump.
Any Ideas on sources?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron,

I'm in the process of trying to fix a invensys CP4SP-C2 pump that is now obsolete and stumbled upon your site but unfortunately I can't see any of the pictures in your tutorial, they just appear empty.
Great site and some of your schematics, on othger links, have really helped me understand how the internals of the pump work. The invensys pumps are pressed to together during manufacture so although I have got it apart and hopefully should get it working it is going to be a real challenge getting it back together so that it doesn't leak!!!
Some other links have implied that there is a ULKA pump that is a direct replacement for the invensys CP4SP-C2 model, any thoughts?
Thanks again, Kevin (London)

dan said...

I'm a guy with a working espresso machine, thanks to you!

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

I can't believe the staying power this has. If I had any idea I would have done a better job with the pictures in the beginning. Thanks for the post.

John H said...

Just adding my voice to the many. Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. I bought a Krups at a flea market for $5. It didn't have water to test, but it got warm and made pumping noises and I thought it was OK. Alas, when I got home nothing came out. I figured out how to get everything apart and made sure all the pathways were clear, so it was down to the pump. I googled the pump model and yours was the first hit./ Followed your directions and it works! Thanks again.

Dragan said...

Hi Rod,
and I gotta to thank you for helping me with my own efforts - as someone said similarly, I'm pretty 'challenged' around doing any repairs, in house or otherwise - but have a Vibiemme (with this pump) and wasn't working.
I followed your post to the word - and actually managed to descale, assemble it all again and it's now WORKING!
great thanks - and don't be surprised, posts like this are timeless - as long as there're ulka-s, Vibiemme-s and similar machines,
Many thanks
Dragan

R Schiffman (Brownbag) said...

John. Dragan. Thanks for the response. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Great Post but I tried it all and no success. Maybe sometimes the pump just needs to be replaced. Unfortunately I bought this on Kijjiji and figured it was a great deal. We had it working before I left the sellers house but within a few days....no more! oh well...better luck next time! if you have any other suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.! Monique

Randy Harward said...

R,

I've got an old, 18+ years Starbucks Barista,and while searching for a new pump found your post. Tried it and was unsuccessful at first, no flow, so I disassembled again and tried mounting the small plastic ball on the shaft before reasembly to make sure it was centered. Worked like a charm. Not sure I've got all the pressure I had when it was new, but a lot of it is back. Many, many thanks.

old-2-new said...

Thanks for your time. Followed your directions and fully dismantled and rebuilt several times but still no luck. Pump just won't kick in and send out any water. One last thing was the ceramic housing had some white residue on the metal casing where the two touched but not much else noticable. Washed it all of but still no water. Thermo switch is final option. Do I just cut it off and splice the lead without it?

Unknown said...

Great description on how to fix the pump. And as was expected my problem was the same as yours--obviously the main defect of that product. Mine resulted from leaving the unit dry for too long and the built-up gunk on that little valve-piston forcing it to stick to the side-wall.

Thanks again. That saved me the $100 on a pump replacement.

Salem said...

Thanks for posting this article. It gave me the confidence to rip into mine. My machine always sounded like it was working but sometimes would not push any water through it. Then one day it stopped moving water all together.

After looking at your dissected pump I took mine apart, soaked everything in vinegar and put it back together. The motor is now consistently pumping water!

Thanks again!

Jim said...

The nylon ball is actually made of a material called Delrin. You can buy them in quite a few places and in lots of very precise sizes. Ebay seems ok for smallish (i.e. non-industrial) quantities.

ZotDitzMyo said...

Another thank you for posting, then keeping on-line that marvelous article!

I just rebuilt my Ulka EAX5 52W from a LaPavoni Eurobar and everything works!

Thank you!

Unknown said...

Hi Rod;
thanks for this web site and the word and pictures, very helpful to tackle my Breville 800ES which is having pump pressure problems.
Hopefully a good clean and reassemble will do the job,

Cheers

Peter B.

kjell72 said...

Thank you for great help :)
I have some problems and would like to ask you and the readers to help.

I have a Breville with a ulka pump and have taken it apart and cleaned it but no help :( It looks just like the pic. (with the white ball and the black mushroom.

the problem is, after the first cup of the day it suddenly dont want to work any more. It huffs and puffs but nothing comes through. If i turn it to steam or coffe and turn the switch on and off it spits water for a sec. then nothing, this leads me to think that maybe one of the balls if stuck open so there is no build up of pressure.
what do you all think?

Anonymous said...

So...I took my hamilton beach espresso machine apart and performed this repair/cleaning and the pump seems to be working at least partially now. Now I have another problem, I've had the machine apart for three weeks since I haven't had time to work on it. My machine has the pump inlet line, the steamer connection line (threaded) and TWO push-on lines. I know one goes to the brew head but I am not sure where the second one goes. I'm also not sure WHICH one goes to the brew head. Can anyone post a picture of the inside of their Hamilton Beach 40729 espresso machine? Or at least post a description of where each line goes? Thanks to anyone who can help! You can also email me at japazo88(at)hotmail(dot)com

Barkdust said...

I just replaced a plastic version of the pump with the same one as in your pictures. And then I had to repair the new pump.

In the original pump, the little white ball had worn down so that it slid inside the spring. I noticed that the ball in the new pump was a good 50% greater in diameter.

The little black "mushroom" piece was stuck in the new pump.

Anonymous said...

Just repaired the espressom/c of my Dad using your 'manual' and the comments given: a ball that to small for the spring. Tried to change the shape and it works fine formnow. Otherwise I'll try to find some bigger diameter alternatives.

DKdane said...

First of all, a big thank you Rod!

I just repaired an Elektra R2 espresso machine with a defective Ulka ex5 pump using your instructions. You were spot on, it was part 4 on your overview picture that had gotten itself stuck, a few minutes in a vinegar bath and it was as good as new.

At first it didn't seemed to have worked. It was making the pumping sound but not drawing water. I disconnected the macine and opened it up. I found that removing the inlet plastic tube, and filling it with water, reattaching it and then shaking it a bit to let water inside the pump (you see small air bubbles coming back out the tube) worked. The pump has a hard time starting with just air it seems.

Please add that tip as it may be why some people can't get theirs to work even after trying your methods.

Danish dane from Denmark.

Anonymous said...

Im gonna use your tutorial to attempt to fix the pump on the smoke machine we have at the fire department. I have 3 options either fix the current pump, buy a new pump for 60 bucks or purchase a new smoke machine for almost $3000...I hope your tutorial solves my problem but with smoke machines one never really knows whats actually wrong

vas said...

Thank you so much, tried on Delonghi Ec155.It works great now !!!!


Removed all the pump parts and clean in citric acid(lime juice) and then reassembled..

works cool now :)

Thanka

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this article. It just saved me from ordering a new pump for my Barista. I just followed the step by step instructions and behold ... I'm back in espresso land again! My issue was also valve #3 stuck inside the brass housing.

Thanks again !!!

Anonymous said...

Rod thank you so much for generously creating and sharing this great resource.
I pulled my pump apart with your guidance. you made it easy for me.

Unfortunately the black mushroom valve is visibly deformed under magnification and I am convinced that this is the reason the pump failed. I will have to buy a replacement pump for 25 UK Pounds because I can't easily find that part. BUT your instruction is awesome.
Richard, London UK

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm trying to find any help on how to repair an ULKA 80F1G model that came in a Baby Gaggia bought in the early 80s !

If anyone has any ideas...much appreciated

Jeff Copeland said...

Rod,

Simple, clear, and to the point! Your teaching fixed my machine! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod, thanks for your work! You saved my Starbucks Barista!
Glen

wannabesaint said...

Thanks! Took it apart. No idea what the prb was, but once it was back together it worked.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rod!
My Barista has been sitting in my shop for about 4 or 5 years. I finally decided it might be nice to have a homemade latte again so I attempted to fix it. This being the first time I was dissembling this machine it was all a new experience. I cleaned everything and made sure all the parts were freed up and moving. No luck! The pump still made the same noise but no water and no steam. Then my wife found your post. I had the same problem you did! I saw that little black rubber stopper thingy and realized it didn't look familiar from my first time through. So, the second time through I went right to the part, popped it out, cleaned it and all related parts, reassembled and tested. Success! Water and steam! Now I'm doing another descaling and cleaning for good measure.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your guidance has saved me money and sanity! I now hope it will last forever . . . Bon apetite! (hope I spelled that right . . .)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for these instructions. I purchased a used Breville 800ESXL on Craigslist for $75. The seller said it had been a gift, had only been used twice and had been sitting unused for a few years. I was very disappointed to find that, although it sounded like it was going through the correct sequence of operations, no water came through the steam wand or the shower head.
I followed your instructions and found the exact same pump problem you describe. The outer of the two tiny ball balls was stuck to the surrounding housing. I guess it had become "glued" there as the water in the unused machine dried up.
The only difference is that the pump in the Breville has a plastic housing rather than brass. Also, after completing the easy part of the disassembly, I was able to dislodge the stuck ball by gently inserting a paper clip into the ousing instead of removing part number 3.
Thanks again for this great post.

Anonymous said...

I purchased a new Ulka ex5 and after 3 days it failed. Apparently there is no warranty on these pumps. Lucky I stumbled across your post which has gotten me out of some trouble. The issue with the pump was that the valve (No 4 in diagram) was stuck in the seat. I followed your instructions and re seated it. The next day again the pump failed. This time when I dismantled it the valve was entangled in the spring on the side where No 2 is on diagram. It passed through the seat to the other side of the brass stem. I rebuilt the unit and made sure everything was properly inserted and tested the unit all evening and this morning. All seems ok. Could this have been caused but improper assembly from the manufacturer or do you think there is more to it?
As I said the pump has passed through several litres now and is still ok. But I'm damed why it would have sucked through the seat to other side.

Oz Niko said...

Thanks for making the post Rod!

Anyone know how long you let the parts sit in vinigar to clean?

Also i noticed on mine i have taken it all apart like the intructions but what was really wierd was that the red wire was not in the middle of the pump i took a picture of it before i removed it. It was on the opposite end??? i looked at many pictures and all of them show the red wire being attactched in the middle i have no idea why mine is on the opposite end when i opened it.... any ideas?

Rob Rutjens said...

Thanks for the picture with the parts. I found the nylon ball worn out being the problem. I did cut of the steel part of a pin, used the round part to replace the nylon ball. After putting the pump together and assembling the espresso machine, espresso is brewing again! Hope it will last, but saved me e 40 for a replacement pump for the Gaggia Titanium

Rob
The Netherlands

Joel said...

hI, Im trying to find a replacement for my pump EFP4 ULKA. it was installed in a Lavazza coffe machine, i just can find another similar models but not the same one, do you know where i could find a new pump? Thanks

Rod Schiffman said...

Sorry Joel. I don't have any additional information.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe I have a coffee and no water, the continuous and without leaving descale the coffee, so I opened it and clean the pump ulka but still the same, as I can measure with a voltmeter to see if you pump up the precione of 9 bar?

I write from Argentina, very good your blog I served much
Greetings Diego

Anonymous said...

thanks you so much.I got a second hand machine for 20$ and it did not brew at all. I though it was defected and nearly truck it away. Your post did save me hundred buck. Once again, thanks alot

Anonymous said...

Sincere thanks for authoring and maintaining this web page. i was able to successfully service my starbucks barista pump based on all info provided here.

Note there are 3 parts not shown in your pictures... 2 metal pole pieces and a plastic spacer. these fit inside the coil. i found out the spacer is needed for sure... not an extraneous part.

The output fittings really have to be tight on final assembly due to the pressure generated.

cheers and thanks

Anonymous said...

Removed my pump per your instructions (wonderful by the way). Before I tore the pump down I, tried the pump with direct power and an inlet hose in water. It pumped just fine so I never had to tear it apart.

I then removed the short hard plastic tube that connects the pump/valve to the boiler head. It was clogged, hard, scaled, could not blow through it. I cleaned it with a wire coat hanger, re-assembled, and it works great!

Thanks for your post

Anonymous said...

The small rubber o-ring that forms a seal against the metal piston tends to swell over time. It eventually chokes the piston into not moving. You can replace this o-ring or use a drill bit by hand and make a larger opening on the o-ring to free up the piston.

DukeV said...

Great instructions, Thanks! I have my motor out, direct wired it with a inlet hose in cup and nothing, not any sound or vibration, just dead. My question is should I continue to disassemble the pump or is it fools errand? Seems if I had a problem similar to the the ones posted the pump would still hum or vibrate or do something.

Rod Schiffman said...

@DukeV: You are correct. If you don't hear it trying to pump, it won't help to take it apart.

Anonymous said...

Mine had the little-ball-through-the-spring problem. Tweeked the spring and works!

Thanks for the OP and commenters!

Anonymous said...

This post was great - I followed your advice and was never without a picture to refer back upon.
My Breville 800ESXL is now back in working order!

Can't thank you enough for making this page.

Joveri said...

Hi Rod, does a green rubber object suppose to be in the pressure release valve shown in your picture #1?

GrrrArggh said...

This article certainly has stood the test of time (it's 2014). Thank you for posting it.

My Ulka EP5 suddenly was unable to build any pressure (similar to your EX5 but uses a nylon sleeve instead of brass). So I dismantled it...and parts #3 and #4 were fused together.

Part #3 appears to have melted into an irregular shape and the spring (#4) was embedded and actually poked through the other side. This pump was installed in a Rancilio Silvia. My PID failed and I think the temperatures must have skyrocketed due to faulty sensor feedback.

I finally managed to get some tools fine enough to remove the part and confirmed that the spring was indeed melted through #3 (and bent up as a result. Ironically the little black rubber "mushroom" was in perfect condition. I guess I'll hold on to that in case my new pump (an EAX5) fails in the future.

iphonedaddy said...

Thank you! Please never delete this page from the internet. This just saved my little Barista Athena that was in storage for the past three years. All parts of the pump were gunked up, and it wouldn't draw water anymore. I thought I was going to have to spend $50+ bot a new Ulka pump, but found your site. Thank you! I was able to clean out the parts, and now the machine is working better than new! THANK YOU!

thevmax said...

One thing that has not been mentioned: If you have let the machine run out of water, you may have the same clues; i.e. not pumping any water. I have had my Silvia since 2001. The only problem I had in the past, was the thermostat going out, and I replaced it. However, the thermostat is 100 degrees and the original was 110. It doesn't produce the same rich creama that it used to. So I will typically turn on the steam switch for about a minute to warm the water up. Recently, within the last month or so, I forgot that I had left the machine on and of course the water boiled. From then on it wouldn't pull water through the pump. I pulled it apart and nothing was wrong with the pump. I had forgotten about priming the boiler by pushing some water through the steam wand! Now it works great. And since I was on a repair kick, I tore apart my Rocky Grinder and cleaned it out. Wow, what mess inside! Hunks of ground coffee that I had to clean off with a brush. All good now...

Anonymous said...

I already bought and installed a new EP5 for a Saeco Royal Coffe bar, but I decided to disassemble the old one to see what was wrong. It was the ball-through-the-spring problem. This pump had made in the area of 75k coffees so I'm not surprised it was worn out. FYI, the machine itself was still pumping some water but was displaying VENTILATE on the display. Took a while for me to figure out what the problem was. Thanks for the great blog.