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Thread: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

  1. #1
    lordterrin
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    Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have spent a lot of time online researching this, reading over the Breville manual, and I cannot seem to figure out what is going wrong.

    In short, when I place the filter holder onto the machine and set the machine to brew, some water brews over the edges of the holder - sometimes its a small amount, sometimes its a ton.* I have descaled the machine, I have run it without any coffee in it, I have run it with coffee in it that is pressed lightly, or pressed (tamped) hard.* I would have assumed that running it with no coffee in it would be fine, but no, it still leaks all over the place.* Im not sure what to do, and I really do not want to buy a new machine since this one was about $200, (which I consider a lot for something that makes coffee,) and Ive only brewed about 100 cups of coffee total with it.* I have cleaned the filter coffee holder thingy, its not backed up, whether I use the two cup thingy or the one cup thingy it does it, and other than throwing the whole machine out the window, I thought I would come here to my favorite coffee site and ask.

    Thanks in advance for any tips!

    I am not well-versed in the terminology of this website - although I read several topics, there are always lots of vocabulary words that I dont understand, so if Im leaving out some integral thing that I should have mentioned, please let me know; I will provide whatever information I can to try and get some answers to this :)

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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    Have you made sure that the handle is locked in firmly (but not too firmly as to make it difficult to remove) you may need to twist it a bit further then most pictures show (sometimes to the five o clock position rather then the six...)

    Do you regularly clean up underneath the machine to make sure that there are no grounds trapped up underneath on the rubber gasket?

    As a espresso machine ages, the gasket that seals the basket to the machine sometimes wears and gets brittle, or it starts to compress in weird ways, it might be that you need to replace that part due to a faulty gasket.

    hth

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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    Having too much coffee in the filter basket can also cause leaking, however if it leaks without coffee it looks like a worn or damaged group head gasket or seal above the filter basket.

    Contact Breville for a seal. They cost little and can be replaced with little skill.

    Barry.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Thirteen13's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    Undo the screw where the dispersion filter is and you can drop the seal out too. Give them both a REALLY good clean, get some hot soapy water onto them and clean all the old coffee out. Clean out where they both seat.

    Reseat seal and filter and try again. I had the same issue, did the above and all good after that.

  5. #5
    lordterrin
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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    Undo the screw where the dispersion filter is and you can drop the seal out too. Give them both a REALLY good clean, get some hot soapy water onto them and clean all the old coffee out. Clean out where they both seat.

    Reseat seal and filter and try again. I had the same issue, did the above and all good after that.
    I did a google search for dispersion filter, and actually this post was the only thing I found. :) Are you talking about the screw that is in the middle of the hole thing that the coffee holder goes into? and what about the seal, where do I find that?

    I will be trying this right when I get home :)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Thirteen13's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    How did you go with it ?

    Yes that screw..

    Where you lock the portafilter in, there is a screen there. That screen is held in place with that screw u see there.

    Undo that screw. You will need something to persuade it to come out. I usually use a fork prong or a fine screw driver. Once you pull that out the rubber seal will drop out with it.

    Clean both exetremely well, as most people with cheaper machines dont put so much emphasis on cleaning cause they think... Ah cheap machine and i only drink a coffee once or twice a day/week.
    Cleaning on these machines is still VERY important.

    To clean them, i used to get a pyrex jug with very hot tap water, put in some dish cleaning soap and get the brush and scrub that filter plate till its shiny and clean. Same with the rubber seal.

    Replace.. And hopefully should see success. This hopefully shows that you need to keep the machine clean, even if you use it infrequently. As the oils and mess builds up quickly.

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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    After 12 months of faithful service (and 3 years at my sisters house before that) my Cafe Roma is also leaking pressurised coffee from the side of the basket. It has been operating with no issues prior to this.

    On inspection I found a small cut in the group seal. Ive now replaced this seal, though Im still having the issue as previously described - though one difference compared to the thread starter is that it does not happen with an empty basket, only when making actual coffee.

    Id be interested in any other ideas, or places to look. Since this has been happening, (about a week now) the machine has been making a slightly different sound also.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Thirteen13's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    is the seal seated correctly... The seal is what creates ... funnily enough, the seal!

    If its even out by a tad will still leak, espcially under high pressure.
    Also another thing to consider is, are you overdosing the basket.

    Also are you using a double wall basket.. If your unsure look at the bottom of the basket, does it have 1 tiny little pin sized hole for water to come out of... if YES then YES double basket.
    Also how hard do you tamp ?

    Try with 25% less coffee in the basket, then go down to 50%, so you will make weaker coffee, but run it as a trial to see if the leaks still happen.

    I get the impression 2 things could be happening, 1 is your seal isnt seated correctly BUT you have the right amount of coffee which will mean leaks regardless, HOWEVER you said it doesnt leak with an empty basket
    which leads me onto point 2

    Seal is correctly seated, but your overdosing the basket and the water trying to be pushed down through the coffee isnt strong enough because your basket is too full or too tightly packed from herculean strength tamping so it goes sideways rather than down.

    So try 25% less coffee and a light tamp to just flatten it off, see if same thing happens, then try 50% less coffee and still a light tamp. See what happens

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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    Good info 13.* I took it apart again, and re-assembled to check everything was done up tight.* As far as I can tell, the seal is seated correcly in the group head, and the filter handle seems nice and tight when I plug it in.* Funnily enough, after this second re-assembly, the unit will now leak water with an empty basket attached.* *

    Im using unpressurised single shot baskets, which I have been using now for several months without issue.* I normally fill the basket until approx 1-2mm from the top and tamp with moderate force.* I have been using this same dosing and tamping technique since before the leaking started.*

    I agree it could only be a poor seal between the portafilter and group head, or a leak in the group assembly itself (doesnt seem to be the issue), or that for some reason now (age?) the poor little Beville cant handle the pressure thats building up through the coffee basket and this pressure is overcoming the seal - an explosive decompression!

    All very strange, one day it was making decent coffee no worries, the next, not so!


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    Senior Member Thirteen13's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    did u try like i suggested above ? 1/2 filed basket, then 1/4 filled basket ? Then empty basket ?

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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    Not yet, I am sick of wasting good coffee, so I tried several times with an empty basket after the re-assembly. As it now leaks with an empty basket, I havent bothered to try with coffee.






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    Senior Member Thirteen13's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    yeah that makes sense, id put it at seal then.

    If you look where the portafilter locks in, is it leaking from besides there ?

    Logically thats the only place from that area it could leak.

    The seal is a gasket which takes up the last bit of space between the top of the porta and the machine, so if that seal is not creating a good pressure tight chamber between the porta and the top of the machine/shower screen then its incorrectly operating. Because its been replaced then its possible its not seated correctly.

    I assume you have fitted it the correct way up and its flush ?

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    Re: Breville Cafe Roma water leaking over the edge and driving me crazy

    I also think its the seal. I had it apart again last night and played with it some more. If I place the empty basket against the seal, it sticks to it fairly well (almost like suction). Not sure exactly where you mean by your first question, but yes it is dribbling/shooting out from the top of the portafilter, so I guess the pressure is leaking from the basket seal. It normally runs ok for the first few seconds of the shot before it catastrophically fails with a pop! I ran it last night without a basket attached, and there was no water other than what flowed through the shower screen.

    To answer the second question, to the best of my skills it is flush and installed the same way as the old one it replaced. I dont think its easy to install it the wrong way around. It seems to be seated quite flush, and Ive screwed it in at the centre of the shower screen as tight as I can. There doesnt seem to be any photos or youtube videos that I could find detailing this procedure anywhere, but as far as I can tell, its installed the same way as the original.

    I can tell you this is giving me a serious case of upgrade-itis.

  14. #14
    dub
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    This is obviously an old thread where the problem seems to have remained unresolved, but I'm getting the exact same problem now...machine worked fine for about a year; you could choke it with too much/too fine coffee and it wouldn't leak, but suddenly it started to. I replaced the seal, but still, as darrend wrote in the last post " It normally runs ok for the first few seconds of the shot before it catastrophically fails with a pop! " So I replaced the seal again, made sure everything was clean etc, and the first couple of shots were OK - nice slow pour with no leakage - then, bam, same thing started happening again!! Very frustrating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dub View Post
    This is obviously an old thread where the problem seems to have remained unresolved, but I'm getting the exact same problem now...machine worked fine for about a year; you could choke it with too much/too fine coffee and it wouldn't leak, but suddenly it started to. I replaced the seal, but still, as darrend wrote in the last post " It normally runs ok for the first few seconds of the shot before it catastrophically fails with a pop! " So I replaced the seal again, made sure everything was clean etc, and the first couple of shots were OK - nice slow pour with no leakage - then, bam, same thing started happening again!! Very frustrating.
    I recently repaired a cafe roma with similar symptoms. The guy i bought it from said he replaced the group seal with no luck. Being that there's only really two variables, or things that can perish/wear when the group handle is locked in it has to be one of them.
    One is the group seal, the other is the locking collar. Below is a photo of the damage that the machine i had sustained:



    As you can see, the collar itself has developed a split. When pressure is built up behind it, the split widens and as a result the group handle loses firm contact with the group seal. A replacement collar was available from ebay however the listing isn't active anymore. You can get it from BigWarehouse Spares, part number 1649847. It's about $25.

    Check first and see if you can find some damage to the collar on your machine, i imagine there will be a weakness in it somewhere. If it doesn't look like its damaged then the plastic guides that push the group handle up onto the seal may be worn and not supplying enough pressure. If so, the collar will need to be replaced anyway.

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    dub
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    thanks for the advice. It makes sense that it's the collar because it's not the seal, and it was OK until quite recently. It doesn't look cracked so I assume the guides are worn, and I've ordered a new one from BigWarehouse. Will post update after I've replaced it.

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    dub
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    installed a new collar this morning. Started pouring OK and suddenly, pop!, started spurting out past the seal again, just like before. I've replaced the seal (twice) and the collar, so there's obviously a third variable. With seals and collars I've thrown away about a third of the price of a new machine, so I'm going to cut my losses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dub View Post
    installed a new collar this morning. Started pouring OK and suddenly, pop!, started spurting out past the seal again, just like before. I've replaced the seal (twice) and the collar, so there's obviously a third variable. With seals and collars I've thrown away about a third of the price of a new machine, so I'm going to cut my losses.
    That's weird, I would've thought it'd work. I would think the only other possibilities is your group handle has worn or been damaged or the thermoblock itself has warped and as a result has weak points around the seal.
    But yes, either way both those options would be too expensive. You might be able to sell it for parts I guess.

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    dub
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    It never required a lot of force to lock the filter in place, which I guess means it wasn't a particularly tight seal, and with time things wore down or warped and shifted just enough so it failed under pressure. Anyway, since I now own two brew head locks, I decided to play around with one. Around each of the 4 screw holes there is a 1cm diameter circle that is raised by about 1mm. I guess its role is to keep the collar body slightly apart from the brew head, and maybe there's a reason for that, but since the machine wasn't working properly, and I was on the verge of disposing of it, I thought I'd grind those lugs down. It now takes slightly more force to lock the filter and, touch wood, it's working without spurting water past the seal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dub View Post
    It never required a lot of force to lock the filter in place, which I guess means it wasn't a particularly tight seal, and with time things wore down or warped and shifted just enough so it failed under pressure. Anyway, since I now own two brew head locks, I decided to play around with one. Around each of the 4 screw holes there is a 1cm diameter circle that is raised by about 1mm. I guess its role is to keep the collar body slightly apart from the brew head, and maybe there's a reason for that, but since the machine wasn't working properly, and I was on the verge of disposing of it, I thought I'd grind those lugs down. It now takes slightly more force to lock the filter and, touch wood, it's working without spurting water past the seal.
    I had a similar issue in that it would "pop" the seal about half way though a pour, spraying grind and water all over the place. I was on the verge of throwing the machine away when I read this post and thought I had nothing to lose. I dismantled the base and ground away the spacing lugs in question. The portafilter lock now requires *significantly* more force than before. I've done quite a few shots with not a single pressure issue. So, I thank you. You have saved my Cafe Roma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dub View Post
    thanks for the advice. It makes sense that it's the collar because it's not the seal, and it was OK until quite recently. It doesn't look cracked so I assume the guides are worn, and I've ordered a new one from BigWarehouse. Will post update after I've replaced it.
    I have been looking for the group head seal (steam ring) for my Cafe Roma and note that Big Warehouse sell it for $17.35 (well over over 10% of the price for a new machine!) . It can be bought direct from Breville delivered for $15.00, and I can buy it locally for $12.00, but wait for it, the same part is available from USA for $1.67!! Of course the postage renders it uneconomical, but it just illustrates how blatantly we as Australians get ripped off. Shame on Big Warehouse!

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    Quote Originally Posted by avidonline View Post
    I have been looking for the group head seal (steam ring) for my Cafe Roma and note that Big Warehouse sell it for $17.35 (well over over 10% of the price for a new machine!) . It can be bought direct from Breville delivered for $15.00, and I can buy it locally for $12.00, but wait for it, the same part is available from USA for $1.67!! Of course the postage renders it uneconomical, but it just illustrates how blatantly we as Australians get ripped off. Shame on Big Warehouse!
    I have owned a Breville and Sunbeam, and I get my replacement seals from a guy on ebay: eBay link removed per site posting policy

    While still more expensive than the US parts, they do the trick. But recently I've been having the same spurting issues with my Breville ESP8XL. I usually use a single wall basket, but the one I have doesn't have a little ridge around the top (like the Breville double walled ones that come with the machine) which I think could add to the problem of poor contact pressure with the seal. Also I'm thinking that once these replacement seals heat up with the head, they may soften up a bit which could add to the chance of water forcing it's way through. My issue usually comes with the second coffee I do (5 mins after the first, which works fine) so that could have something to do with it. I tried turning the machine off between shots, putting a towel soaked in cold water on the seal, half filling the basket, and I managed to get the second shot out with only a drip of water down the side of the basket holder which is better than the 'POP...SPRAY' that I've been getting! Now to figure out what action helped.

    I'm thinking there could be some way to add some 'spacers' to the three arms on the filter holder, so to make them thicker and push up harder against the seal.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 10th July 2014 at 10:48 AM. Reason: eBay link(s) removed

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    Replacement Parts

    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    I recently repaired a cafe roma with similar symptoms. The guy i bought it from said he replaced the group seal with no luck. Being that there's only really two variables, or things that can perish/wear when the group handle is locked in it has to be one of them.
    One is the group seal, the other is the locking collar. Below is a photo of the damage that the machine i had sustained:




    I realize this thread is old, but I came across it, and I had the same issue, after 6 years of flawless coffee. I was mortified at having to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a new machine when this one was so good. I found that ereplacementparts.com has a lot of parts for these machines, and they are very reasonably priced. $5.60 for this piece, and the seals were under $2. They shipped within a business day, (actually they sent me the tracking number on a Saturday), and the seal fit perfectly. I'm waiting for the "Carafe Fixing Seat" to get here so I can start making good coffee again.



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