How To Fix A Breville Steam Wand Not Working

If you’re an avid coffee lover, you know how important it is to have a perfectly functioning steam wand on your espresso machine. It’s what creates that creamy, velvety texture in your milk-based drinks.

However, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and your Breville steam wand may stop working. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re in the mood for a delicious latte or cappuccino.

The most likely culprit is a faulty or dirty steam wand. This component is responsible for adding pressurized steam to the milk, creating a smooth and frothy texture.

If the wand is clogged or damaged, it won’t produce the necessary steam jet and your drinks will suffer. To fix the issue, you’ll need to clean the steam wand thoroughly and ensure it’s working properly.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some common reasons why your Breville steam wand may not be working and provide you with some troubleshooting tips to help you get it up and running again.

So, whether you’re a seasoned barista or just starting, keep reading to learn more!

Perform Basic Checks for Your Breville Steam Wand

If you’re experiencing issues with your Breville steam wand, there are a few basic checks you should perform before diving into more complex troubleshooting.

Here are some things to check first:

Ensure the Machine is Turned On

The first thing to check is whether the Breville espresso machine is powered on and properly plugged in.

Check that the machine is receiving power and that all cables and connections are secure.

Verify the Steam Wand is Turned On

Next, check that the steam wand switch on the back of the machine is in the “on” position.

Without this switch turned on, the steam wand won’t work even if everything else is properly set up.

Check if the Steam Valve is Open

The Breville espresso machine has a steam valve that controls the flow of steam from the machine.

You can find this valve located on the front of the machine. Make sure it’s in the “open” position. If it’s closed, the steam wand won’t work even if it’s turned on.

Inspect the Steam Wand for Visible Blockages

If the machine is on, the steam wand switch is on, and the steam valve is open, but the steam wand is still not working, the issue may be with the wand itself.

Check the tip of the wand for any visible blockages, such as milk residue or limescale buildup.

If you see any, try cleaning the wand before using it again.

By performing these basic checks, you can rule out simple issues and determine if further troubleshooting or maintenance is required.

If none of these basic checks solve the issue, it may be necessary to perform more advanced troubleshooting by moving on to the next steps discussed in this article.

The Steam Wand Is Clogged

One of the most common reasons for a Breville steam wand to stop working is due to a clog.

When the steam wand is clogged, it can prevent the milk from being properly frothed and affect the taste of your coffee.

Therefore, it is crucial to have a clean steam wand to achieve the desired quality of your coffee.

Here are some steps you can take to unclog your Breville steam wand:

Run hot water through the wand

If you suspect your steam wand is clogged, try running hot water through it first. Fill a small container with hot water and dip the wand in it.

Turn on the steam function to let the water flow through the wand.

This method may be enough to clear out any blockages caused by milk residue or limescale.

Use a needle or other sharp object

If running hot water doesn’t work, try using a needle or other sharp object to clear the opening.

Insert the needle into the tip of the wand and gently move it around to dislodge any blockages.

Be careful not to damage the wand or block the holes in the tip.

Disassemble the wand and clean it

If all else fails, disassemble the steam wand and clean it with a brush or other cleaning tool.

First, make sure to turn off the machine and let it cool down.

Next, use a steam wand cleaning tool to unscrew the tip of the wand.

Soak the tip in hot water for a few minutes, then use the cleaning tool to unclog the wand.

After cleaning, reassemble the wand and test it to make sure it’s working correctly.

Regularly clean your steam wand

To prevent future clogs, make sure to clean your steam wand regularly.

After each use, wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth and purge it for a few seconds to remove any milk residue.

Using the steam wand cleaning tool that came with your Breville machine, unscrew the tip of the wand and soak it in hot water to remove any buildup.

Then, reassemble the wand and test it to ensure it’s working correctly.

By following these steps, you can maintain a clean steam wand and enjoy perfectly frothed milk for your coffee.

Steam Wand Being Used Incorrectly

Using the correct technique when operating the steam wand is crucial to achieving the best results for milk frothing.

Improper use of the steam wand can result in clogs or insufficient frothing, affecting the quality of your coffee.

Purge the Steam Wand

Before using the steam wand, it’s essential to purge it of any residual water or milk.

Position the wand over the drip tray and turn the dial to “Steam” to purge the wand.

This ensures that the steam wand is clean and ready for use.

Use Higher Fat Milk

Whole milk has a higher fat content than skim milk and tends to froth better, resulting in a creamier texture.

Using higher-fat milk can also make it easier to achieve a consistent froth.

Tip Position

The position of the tip of the steam wand is crucial in creating the right amount of froth.

Place the tip of the wand just under the surface of the milk, about 1/4th of an inch deep.

This will help create the desired froth consistency.

Monitor Temperature

The ideal temperature for frothing milk is between 140°F and 160°F.

Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the milk to ensure it doesn’t overheat, as this can affect the quality of the froth.

Purge the Steam Wand Again

After frothing the milk, it’s important to purge the steam wand again.

Position the wand over the drip tray and turn the dial back to “Steam” to clean out any milk residue.

This helps prevent clogs and ensures the steam wand is ready for the next use.

By following these techniques, you can ensure proper usage of the steam wand and achieve perfect milk frothing for your espresso beverages.

With a clean and properly used steam wand, you can enjoy the full flavor and richness of your coffee.

Issue With The Solenoid Valve

The solenoid valve is a critical component in an espresso machine, responsible for regulating the water flow during the brewing process.

If you are experiencing issues with your espresso machine, the solenoid valve may be the problem.

Here are a few steps to troubleshoot and fix the issue:

Check for noise or leaks

If you hear buzzing or chattering noises or notice leaks, it may be a sign that the solenoid valve is malfunctioning.

Check for any visible damage to the valve or the connections to ensure there are no leaks.

Test the solenoid valve

To test the solenoid valve, you can crack the supply to ensure the valve has a good supply.

After confirming the supply, you’ll need to confirm there is output from the valve.

If there is output, the solenoid is not the problem.

If not, you’ll need to do further troubleshooting.

Replace the solenoid valve

If you have confirmed that the solenoid valve is the problem, it is suggested to replace the complete solenoid valve with the coil.

This will ensure that you have parts that fit the first time, as the coil and valve guide must be from the same manufacturer to work together.

It is essential to ensure that your espresso machine is functioning correctly, and the solenoid valve is a crucial component in ensuring a consistent and quality shot of espresso.

By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and fix any issues with the solenoid valve in your espresso machine.

Thermostat or Thermometer Issues

The steam wand in your espresso machine may stop working due to issues with the thermostat or thermometer.

These two components play a crucial role in regulating the temperature of the steam and ensuring that it reaches the necessary 115 degrees Celsius for frothing milk.

Thermostat Issue

If there is an issue with the thermostat, the temperature of the steam may not be regulated properly, resulting in a dysfunctional steam wand.

You may need to replace the thermostat or seek the help of a professional to fix the issue.

Thermometer Issue

The thermometer, on the other hand, is responsible for monitoring the temperature of the steam and turning it off once it reaches 115 degrees Celsius.

If the thermometer malfunctions, the machine’s circuit may not know when to let the steam through, rendering the steam wand dysfunctional.

Unfortunately, if there is a problem with the thermometer, it cannot be repaired and must be replaced.

To prevent these issues from occurring, it is important to maintain and regularly service your espresso machine.

This can help ensure that all components are functioning properly and prolong the life of your machine.

Water Heating Issue

One of the crucial components of the Breville espresso machine is the water heater.

It’s responsible for heating and maintaining the temperature of the water used for the steam function.

Unfortunately, this part can sometimes malfunction, which can result in a lack of steam from the wand.

To fix this issue, the easiest and quickest solution is to descale your machine.

Descaling helps remove any build-up or residue in the heater, which can cause the issue.

However, if descaling does not solve the problem, you may need to take out the heater and clean it manually from both inside and outside to restore its functionality.

It’s important to note that attempting to clean the heater on your own can be challenging and may require professional help.

If you’re unsure of how to proceed, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced technician.

The Correct Way To Descale A Breville Espresso Machine

Follow these steps when running a descaling cycle on a Breville espresso machine:

Use a descaling solution

Do not use white vinegar, as it can damage your Breville espresso machine. Instead, use a descaling solution.

It is recommended to use a non-branded solution, as they are cheaper than the branded Breville solution.

Dissolve the solution in the water tank following the instructions on the bottle, usually at a one-to-one ratio of solution to water.

Enter descaling mode

Turn off your machine and hold the two-cup button and power button for five seconds.

The machine will enter descaling mode, indicated by flashing lights.

Run descaling cycle

Hold the one-cup button for 25 seconds, allowing the water to run through the portafilter.

Then turn on the hot water for 10 seconds, and the steamer for 15 seconds.

Repeat this cycle until the water tank is empty.

Once the tank is empty, turn off the machine.

Clean the rest of the machine

If you want to clean the rest of your Breville espresso machine, check out an article that explains how to clean the Breville Barista Express.

Enjoy a clean steam wand

After running the descaling cycle, your steam wand should be completely clean and working again.

Descaling your Breville espresso machine is an essential maintenance step that ensures the steam wand and the rest of the machine get cleaned.

Using a descaling solution and following the instructions carefully is crucial for the proper functioning of your machine.

The descaling process removes any residue in the machine, ensuring that the steam wand and other components function properly.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy a clean and functional steam wand that produces high-quality espresso shots.

Seeking Professional Help for Breville Espresso Machine Issues

If you’ve tried all of the troubleshooting methods we’ve mentioned, but your Breville espresso machine is still not working, it might be time to consider seeking professional help.

Here are some scenarios in which it’s best to reach out to a technician or Breville customer support:

  • If you suspect that the issue is caused by complex electrical problems, such as faulty wiring or a blown fuse, it’s best to leave the diagnosis and repair to a qualified technician. Attempting to fix these problems yourself could be dangerous and might result in further damage to the machine.
  • If you’re not comfortable with opening up the machine to inspect or replace components, it’s best to call in a professional. The inner workings of an espresso machine can be complicated and require specialized tools and knowledge.
  • If you’ve tried all of the DIY methods, but the machine is still not working, Breville customer support is always available to provide assistance. They can help troubleshoot the issue over the phone or online and may be able to provide a solution or recommend a technician in your area.

Remember, if your Breville espresso machine is still under warranty, it’s best to contact Breville customer support first, as attempting repairs yourself could void the warranty.

By seeking professional help, you can ensure that your machine is repaired correctly and that you can continue to enjoy delicious espresso drinks for years to come.


A Breville steam wand not working can be frustrating, especially when you want to make a perfect cup of coffee.

However, with the troubleshooting tips provided in this article, you can quickly identify and fix the problem without necessarily having to spend a lot of money on professional help.

Always remember to check for simple issues such as clogged steam wand holes, steam tip blockages, and water heater issues before you move to more complex problems such as solenoid valve malfunctions or thermostat issues.

With the right tools, a little patience, and some persistence, you can get your Breville espresso machine’s steam wand working perfectly again.


Why is my Breville steam wand not working?

There could be several reasons why your Breville steam wand is not working.

Some of the common reasons include clogging, a faulty thermostat, or a problem with the water heater.

It is also possible that there is an issue with the electrical system or some other complex problem that requires professional diagnosis and repair.

How do you unblock the Breville steam wand?

To unblock the Breville steam wand, you can use a needle or a toothpick to carefully remove any debris or milk residue that may be clogging the wand.

You can also try running hot water through the wand to flush out any blockages.

If the blockage is severe, you may need to disassemble the wand and clean it thoroughly.

Why is my Breville steam wand not frothing milk?

If your Breville steam wand is not frothing milk, it could be due to low steam pressure, a clogged wand, or a problem with the milk frother itself.

It could also be due to using the wrong type of milk, such as skim or low-fat milk, which does not froth well.

How do you purge a steam wand?

To purge a steam wand, turn on the steam function and let it run for a few seconds to clear out any remaining water.

Then, turn off the steam and wipe the wand with a damp cloth to remove any milk residue.

Repeat this process a few times until the wand is fully purged and ready

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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