Coffee Yacht is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Why Your Espresso Machine Is Not Pumping Water And How To Fix It

Sometimes espresso machines tend to do strange things, one of them is when they either don’t pump water if they’re brand new or haven’t been used in a while. Luckily there are easy fixes for this problem and so you shouldn’t be worried.

Let’s get started.

Reasons Why Your Espresso Machine Is Not Pumping Water

There are a few reasons why your brand-new espresso machine might not pump water. In most cases, it has to do with an air pocket in the hose of the espresso machine that draws water from the water reservoir.

The following reasons are listed from most common to least common occurrences:

Air Pocket: You’ll have to manually prime the espresso machine to get rid of it, this is the issue in most cases.

Check The Wiring: On the inside, you’ll have 2 wires that are connected to the pump, either one or the other, or in some cases both wires could be loose.

Frozen Rotary Vane Pump: This pump may freeze or could have an air pocket in it as well.

It’s quite common to have this issue when you either have a brand new espresso machine or you haven’t used yours in a long time, so let’s fix them!

How To Fix Your Espresso Machine When It Does Not Pump Water

Manually Priming The Espresso Machine

If you can hear the pump running but there’s no water coming out of your machine then this is probably the issue.

If a small machine doesn’t pump water after 20 – 30 seconds, or a big machine with a boiler after 60 – 90 seconds then shut it off immediately to prevent heating damage.

Priming the espresso machine manually is to get rid of air pockets in the hose that sucks water from the water reservoir. The only thing you need is a turkey baster or something like a ketchup bottle, which fits in the hose and can draw & push water into it. 

  1. Make sure your water reservoir is filled up.
  2. Open the valve.
  3. Turn off the machine.
  4. If your hose to the water reservoir has a filter or water softener at the start, then I recommend removing it as this can prevent water from going through the tube.
  5. Keep the hose upside down and fill it with water using the turkey baster till it’s full.
  6. Turn on your espresso machine.
  7. Turn on the hot water switch (or coffee switch in some cases).
  8. If you see the water in the hose move up, then this is a good sign!
  9. Put the hose in the water reservoir again and make sure the opening of the tube isn’t against the wall.
  10. Your espresso machine’s pump is now primed! Just make sure there’s a steady stream of water coming out of the wand.
Priming the espresso machine’s hose with a turkey baster or ketchup bottle

Hopefully, this was the issue for you, if not then keep on reading!

Checking The Wires To The Pump

If you’re not getting any noise from the pump when you’re hitting the hot water switch then you have 2 wires that became loose on the pump, one or the other, or both in some cases.

This won’t allow the pump to gage, so you will hear NO noise at all. It’s also possible that the wire to the hot water switch came off. Open up the machine and check both of the wires, and connect them again if necessary.

Frozen or Air Pocket Rotary Vane Pump

If you’ve tried all of the above then there’s most likely an air pocket in your rotary vane pump or it’s kind of frozen.

Luckily this is very simple to fix, the rotary vane pump should look like a cylinder that lies down and has a bolt/screw on the flat surface.

Simply turn the bolt/screw with a screwdriver twice clockwise and twice anti-clockwise, this should fix the issue.


Why does this happen to new espresso machines?

Usually, the cause is just from an air pocket, which can be caused if the machine is drained before shipping, or after testing from the factory.

The manufacturer has to drain the machine before shipping because the water can either freeze and damage the machine or the hose, this can create an air pocket in some cases.

What if I don’t have a turkey baster or ketchup bottle?

You can use anything that can squirt water into the tube of the espresso machine. But a turkey baster would be ideal as it won’t let air get out of the tube.

The Bottom Line

If your brand-new espresso machine doesn’t pump water then it’s not the end of the world and should be fairly easy to fix. I hope this article helped you and that your espresso machine lasts many more years.

Happy caffeinating!

how to clean rancilio featured imagine


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.