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Saeco Via Venezia reduced pressure

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  • Saeco Via Venezia reduced pressure

    I have a two year old Saeco Via Venezia that I use with a bottomless portafilter. The machine has recently started to struggle pulling shots to the point where I have had to adjust the grind size up. I should point out that I use a Baratza Encore. Thinking it might be a faulty ball valve, I changed it (as well as the spring and gasket). No change. I have also descaled and cleaned with Puro. The reason I suspect the problem is a lack of pressure is that when I start the shot the pump noise is regular for a few seconds and then it changes to almost the sound it makes if it chokes on too fine a grind; at that point if I open the steam valve for a fraction of a second it seems to give the pump a little more power (upon closing the steam valve). Sometimes one or two short burst like that seem to do it and the flow returns.

    Other important elements:
    • I have used this grinder since getting the VV
    • I use the same coffee 80% of the time. The issue is the same with my alternate coffee
    • I recently adjusted the steam wand grub screw as recommended by Scooter in these forums (fora?)


    Thank you for taking the time to read about my issue.

  • #2
    You could try cleaning the shower screen. How about tamping pressure? Could it have been creeping up?

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    • #3
      thank you for the reply kbilleter. The screen is sparkling clean (none of the holes are obstructed). The tamp was a good idea, alas I just tried with a light tamp with the same result. I also spoke to a technician at Seattle Coffee Gear where I had purchased the VV. They don't think it's possible for the machine to loose some pressure. It would either be all on or off completely. I find that doubtful. The research continues!

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      • #4
        Has the pump been primed before you pull the shot? I mean is it possible that there is no water, or only a little, in the boiler when you start the shot?

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        • #5
          well, this is embarrassing. Turns out I hadn't cleaned the grinder in a long time. I had run a packet of Grindz through once, but I had never taken it apart and really cleaned out the burrs. I don't use oily beans, but still! In any case the VV is back in business and I am satisfactorily caffeinated.

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          • #6
            Good work!
            At least the embarrassment was cheap.

            Greg

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