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DIY Refurbishing Your Own Espresso Machine



Refurbishing a traditional espresso equipment is simple. For years, service companies have used refurbishment as a training tool for a technician’s development. There are several benefits for a newer technician in refurbishing equipment. Technicians develop familiarity with an operating system, learn fundamental skills in handling tools, component identification, as well as proficiency in disassembly, and reassembly of equipment. 


Refurbishment is Time Consuming

Refurbishing a traditional espresso machine is labor intensive and can take weeks to complete. This is another reason why less experienced technicians are assigned refurbishment projects. Much of a technician’s labor that goes into refurbishing equipment is written off to help make the machine more affordable for resale. Most service providers are selective in the espresso machines they choose to refurbish for reselling.


Do Not Refurbish Just any Machine

Before a project begins, an evaluation is completed to determine if the equipment is a viable candidate for refurbishment. For example, if electronics or cosmetic pieces need to be replaced, sometimes the cost of refurbishment can exceed the cost of a new machine. If you already have a machine for your refurbishment project, your first step will be to make certain the replacement parts you will need are available to you. 


Step 1: Make Sure You Can Find and Purchase Parts

Many espresso machine parts are not offered to the public. If you plan to take on a DIY refurbishment project, you will need to find resources to purchase needed parts. If you cannot easily secure parts for your project, you may want to consider searching for another machine. Once you know your machine is a good candidate for refurbishment and parts are accessible, below you will find the basic steps technicians take during the refurbishment process and some tips to overcome common roadblocks.

TIP: Choose a work area with plenty of space to organize and keep parts and tools. 


Step 2: Disassemble and Sanitize

The machine is dismantled, and the boiler removed. It is not recommended to leave the boiler attached to the frame because of the difficulty in maneuvering it for descaling. Boiler is power washed and every part of the machine is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. At this point, the machine can be covered with a custom color, but again, cosmetic parts and services drive up the cost of a machine’s refurbishment.  

TIP: Before disassembly, it is beneficial to take images especially of wiring for reference during reassembly. 


Step 3: Clean the Boiler(s)

Descale: Boiler and all tubing are submerged in an appropriate descaling agent. Depending on the amount of scale and the strength of the agent, this process can take weeks. It is difficult to descale tubing and tubing is often replaced. Cleaning and clearing tubing are another aspect of refurbishment that can be time consuming. Replacing tubing that is beyond its life is necessary to prevent materials within from breaking free only to clog new valves and components. Original equipment manufactur (OEM) tubing can sometimes be hard to find as well as expensive.

TIP: Do not mix metals in your descaling bath. Make sure each metal you will be working wiith has its own bath.


Step 4: Reassemble

It is time to take out those images and videos you took at the beginning of your project. Reassembly is the opposite of disassembly. Again, this is where technicians learn a very basic skill of their profession. If things are not assembled in the correct order, the machine will need to be dismantled to the necessary point and the technician will restart the reassembly process. Once the boiler is cleaned and reattached to the frame. All parts including gaskets, heating elements, probes, relays, screws, and switches are visually evaluated for functionality and replaced as needed.  If a valve is viable and can be rebuilt, this is often done to again keep costs down. 


Step 5: Test

Once assembled, the espresso machine is tested for operation, temperatures, temperature stability and that all components and programming are confirmed as functioning appropriately. 


Congratulations!  if you have successfully folowed the above 5 steps, your espresso machine should now be functioning as if new from the factory if not better.

We hope you found this article helpful. The mission of the Espresso Service Network is to help empower both service companies and espresso businesses. If we can assist you further, please direct questions or comments to We would be happy to hear from you. 


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