Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Pablo Barrantes
DeLonghi’s Magnifica series stands out for its distinctive 15-bar pumping pressure, a departure from the traditional 9-bar standard for espresso machines. This higher pressure is necessary to propel the water through the thermoblock and the infuser cylinder, resulting in optimal extraction within the brewing group.
A comprehensive understanding of how your Magnifica’s hydraulic system operates will aid in diagnosing water pumping issues and addressing slow flow rates that are frequently encountered in these brewers
How does the pumping system of a Delonghi Magnifica work?
Starting from the water tank. The water path through the pumping system starts at the water tank, a common starting point for all coffee machines.
Particulate filtration. The water passes through a compact filter designed to capture larger solid particles. This small filter ensures the purity of the water before it continues on its way.
Flow meter control. Water flow is controlled by the flow meter, a critical sensor responsible for monitoring the amount of water flowing through the circuit. It ensures optimal water movement and triggers alarm signals in case of flow obstruction.
Pump actuation. The pump takes centre stage, pressurizing the water to an impressive 15 bar. With this impressive pressure, the water is pushed vigorously into the thermoblock.
Temperature increase in the thermoblock. The inner workings of the thermoblock witness a significant rise in water temperature. This temperature rise is essential for the precise extraction of the coffee essence.
Infusion through the infuser cylinder. Water makes its way into the infuser cylinder, an element that not only compacts the coffee but also introduces the water into the brewing group. The pressure of this infusion is usually around 9 bar, which guarantees a controlled and optimal extraction.
The exit of the brewing group. The culmination of the brewing process is produced with the coffee already extracted coming out through a small valve located above the internal piston of the brewing group towards the nozzles of the coffee maker and from there to the cup.
My Delonghi Magnifica coffee maker has low water pressure
To achieve proper coffee extraction, the water pressure should exit 15 bars from the pump and reach the coffee puck with around 9 bars. If there’s any obstruction anywhere in the circuit, this pressure will drop, and the coffee won’t be extracted correctly if it manages to be extracted.
The problem: Gradually, the quality of the coffee has been deteriorating, and the coffee flow has significantly diminished, as if the coffee maker lacks sufficient force, causing a decrease in water pressure and even longer coffee preparation times.
The cause: There’s an obstruction in the hydraulic circuit, causing the pump to be incapable of propelling water with the necessary pressure. This obstruction might be found in any of the components discussed in the previous section.
The solution: You must disassemble the coffee maker and clean each component until you locate the site of the obstruction. In cases like the infuser cylinder or the brew group, patience will be required, and you should be prepared to find some damaged components.
The main components that become obstructed
Without a doubt, there are two components very prone to becoming obstructed with coffee residue; these are the infuser cylinder and the brew group. Since these two parts are in direct contact with the coffee, it’s normal for obstructions to appear. Here, I will show you how to clean the infuser cylinder; I already explained the process for the brew group in this other article.
How to disassemble the Infuser cylinder
The first step is to remove the infuser cylinder in order to proceed with its cleaning:
- On one side, you need to disconnect the pipe from the thermoblock and the one that goes out to the steam wand (green arrows).
- On the other side, release the screws that attach it to the coffee maker’s chassis (red circles)
- Finally, detach the wires from the sensors and ground (blue arrows)
How to clean the Infuser cylinder
Once we have removed the infuser cylinder from our DeLonghi Magnifica, we need to separate its components to proceed with their cleaning and replace worn or broken O-rings.
First, you should remove the top cover by unscrewing the two Philips head screws. Then, beneath this cover, there is another screw of the same type that you should remove. Lastly, at the back, there is another screw, in this case, Torx, that, upon removal, will allow you to separate both parts as shown in the image below:
After this, you should remove the tube from which the water flows to the coffee. This tube is likely to be highly obstructed, similar to what you see in the image below.
To remove it, you only need to remove an O-ring from the tip and push with the palm of your hand until it comes out. This is pulled out towards the end, where the dark gray cover was.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned all the parts, reconnect everything as it was, and your DeLonghi Magnifica should be as good as new.
Descale your Delonghi Magnifica
There are occasions when disassembling the parts, we cannot reach the limescale obstructions, so it is advisable to perform a descaling.
- Descaling product recommended by the manufacturer (it’s suggested to use the DeLonghi brand during the warranty period).
- Clean water.
- Container with a capacity of at least 1.5 liters of water.
Steps to follow:
- Ensure you have the descaling product that DeLonghi (EcoDecalk) recommends, especially during the warranty period, to avoid voiding it using another product. After the warranty period, you can even use white vinegar.
- You’ll find instructions behind the label on the descaling product bottle. Read the instructions and precautions before starting. The half-liter bottle is enough for 5 descalings.
- Remove the water reservoir from the coffee machine and pour “a portion” of the descaling product into the reservoir (use the lines on the label as a guide).
- Fill the reservoir with clean water up to the usual level you use for making coffee. Remember that the descaling product can stain, so handle the liquid cautiously.
- Hold the descaling button for about 5 seconds until it lights up in red. Also, the 3 lights at the top should illuminate, and they will start blinking slowly.
- Place a container under the steam wand and turn the knob to the left. This will start the process, and the 3 lights at the top will turn off.
- Once the process has started, the machine will begin dispensing the descaling liquid through the steam wand. This may take around 15 minutes, during which the machine will make various noises and stops.
- Once the reservoir is emptied, the water shortage light will come on, and the 3 lights at the top will start blinking again progressively.
- Close the steam wand knob, and the 3 lights will stop blinking.
- Remove the water reservoir, rinse it thoroughly, and fill it with clean water.
- Place the water reservoir with clean water back in its place and turn the steam wand knob again to flush the internal circuit.
- The machine will dispense clean water through the steam wand. This will help eliminate any descaling residue that might remain in the system.
- Once the reservoir is completely empty, the reservoir light will come on again, and the 3 lights at the top will start blinking. However, this time, when you turn the steam wand knob again, the process will have finished.
Remember to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer in the user manual and on the descaling product label. This process is essential to maintain the quality of your coffee and extend the lifespan of your coffee machine.
The water pump of my Delonghi Magnifica coffee maker does not work
The core of a coffee maker is its water pump. Its role is to make water move through all the pipes and channels until it eventually ends up in our cup, transformed into delightful coffee. However, when the pump stays quiet, troubles arise.
The Issue: The DeLonghi Magnifica isn’t brewing coffee anymore. When an attempt is made to brew, no water comes out, and the familiar buzzing noise from inside is absent. Nonetheless, all the machine’s indicator lights appear to be functioning.
Cause 1: After several years of pumping water, the pump might abruptly cease functioning due to wear and tear. Upon turning on the coffee maker, a buzzing sound might emanate from the pump, yet there’s no vibration.
Cause 2: A vulnerable point in the design of the DeLonghi Magnifica’s pump is its outlet valve. A small drip from this valve might lead to moisture reaching the pump, causing it to malfunction.
Solution: Note down the pump’s specifications and purchase a replacement. Below are some purchase links to spare you from an exhaustive internet search.
Delonghi Magnifica water pump spare parts
Once you confirm that the pump is the cause of your Magnifica no longer brewing coffee, you must purchase a replacement pump.
Delonghi Magnifica water pump spare part in the US:
- Amazon.com: Delonghi Dedica Ulka pump = $23.90
- Ebay.com: Water pump for Delonghi machines = $56.00
- Fruugo.us: Delonghi ECOV310AZ = $34.95
- Delonghi US: encompass.com
Delonghi Magnifica water pump spare part in the UK:
- eSpares.co.uk: Coffee Maker Pump – 48w = £27.99
- Buyspares.co.uk: Delonghi MAGNIFICA EP5 Pump : ULKA Model E Type EP5 48W = £26.03
- Amazon.co.uk: Delonghi 5113211281 Pump = £17.87
If you are outside the US or UK, type in Google “Delonghi Dedica water pump” and find many online options.
Air in the hydraulic system
The presence of air within the hydraulic system is a far more common problem than we typically realize. While our initial assumption might be that a faulty water pump is causing the issue, there are other potential causes that we can eliminate, and their solutions are relatively simpler.
The problem: The coffee maker has ceased brewing coffee. Upon startup, the machine operates normally, emitting a distinct and loud buzzing sound. However, despite these initial signs of functionality, no coffee is dispensed, and water fails to flow. The water tank light and the three lights adjacent to the power button blink sequentially.
The cause: When air infiltrates the water system, it obstructs the flow of liquid, leading to the machine’s inability to brew coffee. This typically occurs when the reservoir runs dry while the coffee maker operates.
The solution: To address the issue of air in the water system, follow these steps to prime the pump:
- Turn on the coffee maker.
- Ensure the water tank is filled to an adequate level.
- Position a container beneath the steamer nozzle.
- Gradually turn the steam knob; water should be released instead of steam. This process expels the trapped air within the water system.
- Allow a few seconds for this process, then close the knob.
The coffee maker will be ready to brew coffee again after these steps.