Breville 860xl advice needed for steam problem
I have a Breville 860xl that I purchased secondhand for 300$, and we immediately loved it at my house. I quickly got the hang of it, and began learning to make some amazing espresso. After about 5 or 6 months though, something didnt seem right anymore with the steam wand. The problem became worse and worse, and I now consider it almost non functional. The steam shoots out good steam only intermittently, mostly when the steam first starts actually coming, and then tapers off more and more. Its as if 80 percent of the times its just blasting hot air with a little bit of steam, and then for half a second here and there it will shoot good solid stream of steam. Now when I try to steam milk, it will create tons of bubbles, no matter how hard I try to keep the wand tip in the milk. No matter how careful I am, it no longer makes that ticking sound, but gulps air into the milk violently.
I am not an experienced espresso person, but I prided myself on making an excellent cup of espresso here at home. I have tried several things to fix this. I followed the cleaning procedure to a "T" that Breville recommends for cleaning the unit. I also just tried their descaling procedure, using half vinegar and half water. I have also taken the machine apart, and pulled out some of the hose lines to check inside them for calcification (didnt find any calc). I also pushed a needle into the steam wand to make sure it wasnt clogged, and it wasnt. I am really missing my machine, and the great coffee that I used to make ~4 times a day for me and my family.
Can anyone give me advice here on how I can fix this issue? I am not afraid to take it apart if there is something that may fix my machine. I dont have any sort of warranty on it, and Im not sending it to Breville for them to fix at some enormous fee. I spoke with them on the phone, and they have no other solutions for me (and their advice was very very limited). Thanks in advance, I hope there is someone here that can help!!