You’re probably grumpy because your Delonghi La Specialista is broken or isn’t working properly, and so you have no coffee. But there’s good news! I personally work with this machine on a weekly basis and am very familiar with it so I can help guide you through any one of the most common problems this machine goes through.
Here’s a compiled list of the most common issues I’ve come across since this machine was launched. I’ll also include the causes of some of the common problems and some guidance for you to troubleshoot and prevent these issues from coming up again.
Sometimes the message will come on to indicate there is not beans in the hopper or the hopper is not installed correctly. The hopper has an eyeball sensor that will see beans in the hopper so even if there looks to have beans in there.
To fix this problem is quite simple; simply fill the hopper with more beans and it should work like normal again.
This message is referring to the incorrect installation of the bean hopper located at the top of your Delonghi La Specialista.
Here’s the first fix for this problem that might help you out:
Still saying the hopper isn’t installed?
Take out your hopper from the La Specialista and inspect the two opposite tabs at the bottom of the hopper. Do they look complete and not chipped or broken? If this is the case, you will need to order a new hopper for your La Specialista.
There is a small switch where the hopper sits that the hopper turns onto that tells your La Specialista the hopper is in place. The part number for the hopper is 5513271249. Be sure to keep your lid, as the new hopper does not come with one.
Start by pushing on the left side of the tab and it will come off, exposing the chute. Then stick your long brush inside the hole (supplied with your machine) to clean out any clogging or excess grind.
If it is not clogged in any way you might want to check my other article on how to fix your machines grinder, as that may help fix your problem.
The last item would be that the grinder is deflective, and I strongly suggest you see if your La Specialista is under warranty. Delonghi Warranty is one of the best in this segment and if you feel the need to have the machine serviced please contact Delonghi. Please do not think the grinder is repairable it is replaced as a complete component. If you want to do this yourself, check out my step-by-step La Specialista disassembly video.
Your Delonghi La Specialista is leaking because there was a design issue early in its production. This leaking problem has been rectified by Delonghi replacing the insert part of the drip tray. The issue was the hole on the tray was too small to have the liquid released into the tray and causing some internal flooding.
This is an easy fix that’s covered under your warranty. If you want to fix this yourself you have to buy the cheap part off the official website and install the new tray yourself.
This is either an amazingly easy fix, or a serious issue.
The problem with the easy solution is the steam ring gasket will need to be replaced. They do wear out and if you find your portafilter turns in place to 5 o’clock it is a good sign you’ll need to change this ring gasket.
It’s very easy to do with a Philips screwdriver. Just lower the shower screen and you can lightly pick the rubber ring out of place. Don’t forget to clean your shower screen while it is out!
The gasket is quite cheap on amazon, and getting it might be all you need to fix your leak.
The problem with the more serious issue is that one of the 3 flanges on the body of the frame that holds the portafilter in place has broken off and water is flowing over when you make espresso.
In this case, id first recommend you call Delonghi right away to find out if you are under warranty. Unfortunately, there is no fix for this issue and the framework is not a replaceable part. A warranty could get you a replacement machine once verified by a technician. If you are out of warranty, it’s time to look for a new machine.
However, if you are dedicated you can find a replacement frame body and use my La Specialista disassembly video to show you exactly how to replace it. This could save you alot of money, but would take of your time to do the fix yourself.
This is most likely a result of calcium-rich water or not descaling your La Specialista when the machine is asking you to do so. Please run the descaling program right away to see if this clears it up. I personally descale twice in a row before just to clear up a build-up of calcium in the machine components.
The pumps in the La Specialista are well built. In my experience, I haven’t seen any problems with the pumps acting up. I would explore the regular maintenance procedures before blaming the pump for loss of pressure.
What you might see in this case is the delivery is just dripping out or not delivering at all. Believe it or not, I have seen a simple fix to this issue more times than I can count on my hands and feet. What happens is the calcium in the water plugs the small outlet in the single or double shot cups.
You can clean and decalcify them and sometimes I stick a pin into the bottom hole to free any debris that is clogging the delivery. The single and double shot are very inexpensive so you can purchase new ones to replace or as backup.
To solve this problem be sure to check out our full post on specifically grinder issues to fix your problem, or refer to our video below for a possible solution to your problem.
This is a pretty involved fix and suggests you find out if your Delonghi is under warranty. The machine uses small fuses called TCO (thermal cut-outs) and what has happened is the steamer has overheated and caused the TCO to fail as it should by design. This will have to be replaced by a service Coffee Grump like me.
Alternatively, if you want to save some money and try to fix this one yourself this is an issue I cover in my step-by-step La Specialista disassembly video.
Again, another involved fix and a result of overheating and a second TCO have failed as it should by design. In this case, the machine does not work at all. It goes into fault about 20 seconds in and will not function. This service should be performed by a technician, it is incredibly involved and can cause a list of other problems if it is not done correctly.
If you have no water being dispensed out of your La Specialista, you are unfortunately looking at a more serious issue.
The heating circuit has several fusible wires and electrical cut-outs that will most likely be the issue.
If your machine is under warranty, please contact Delonghi. Alternatively, If you like to repair the unit yourself (would be faster and cheaper), you will need to disassemble the unit to get to the components that will need to be replaced.
The good news I made an in-depth disassembly video that you can check out if want to fix the issue yourself. Here is the short, free version of the disassembly:
Temperature is a personal reference some like it hot and some like it just a bit hotter. Espresso is based on a lot of factors coming together consistently.
With that in mind, you can set the La Specialista to one of three settings and is easily programmed. With the temperature set at Normal – If the temperature set point is changed to High, the value is increased by approx. 2°.
The factory settings are:
To change the temperature of the water used to make the coffee,
Another contributor that can decrease the temperature in the cup is the lack of descaling on a regular basis. Some other tips to keep your coffee as hot as possible include:
This could be several reasons your grinder is not working but you need to start with cleaning, focus on the following 4 areas:
Here are some other reasons the grinder may not be working:
If your machine is under warranty, please contact Delonghi before attempting an investigation on your own.
This is most likely because there are blockages in your machine causing the pressure to be too high. Here are a few tricks to keep the filters clean and free from coffee residues and blockages:
If you are experiencing trouble frothing or low steam pressure issues, try these easy checkpoints first:
If you have covered these basics you can start to look at the technical issues that can occur. If you don’t have any production of steam and the steam light just blinks, then what has happened is the electrical circuit of the steam system has an issue. Most of the time the small TCO (Thermal Cut-out) has failed and will need to be replaced. Here are the links to the exact replacement part:
Delonghi also suggests replacing the steam vaporizer at the same time. What happened is the steam boiler heated past its set point and caused the TCO to fail.
To replace these components, you will need to open the machine up pretty far. If you need some guidance on how to exactly take it apart check out our disassembly video.
Firstly, you must perform the descaling procedure. Once the process is done this clears the warning light. No shortcuts here. If you are performing the descaling procedure and it seems like it never ends and continues to ask for water this can be an internal issue with the flow meters sticking.
I have come across this issue several times where the message does not reset after a descaling and is a result of the flowmeters.
The machine counts how much water is used through flow meters to gauge when the descale warning light comes on and is used to clear the descaling process. Unfortunately, this is not an easy fix, the Flowmeters are in the middle of the machine and require the complete breakdown of the La Specialista to get at.
If you want you can get it serviced by a professional to fix it, but if you want to save money and do it yourself – you can check out my step-by-step La Specialista disassembly video.
Important note about descaling your machine:
If you set your machine to accommodate hard water, then the descale will be required sooner. Soft water you can operate longer before a descale is required. The machine counts how much water is used through flow meters to gauge when the to descale warning appears. DO NOT USE VINEGAR. Use the Delonghi Ecodecalk Descaler made for this unit.
These have been the issues I have come across servicing the Delonghi La Specialista, so always check to see if your machine is under warranty. If you try to open your machine, it will void the warranty if it is found you opened the machine or if you used the unit in a commercial setting. The warranty is usually 2 years for this unit and some promotions have extended to a 3rd year when you registered your Delonghi
Lost your manual? No Problem, here is the page where you can find the manual on the official website. It does not take a lot of time to learn the basics of your coffee machine. But when things go wrong you might not know what to ask or what to do, just read your manuals. Be patient.
If you want to dig deeper and fix most problems yourself, check out our Delonghi La Specialista disassembly video.
If you have done this correctly you are no longer a coffee grump!
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I’m the Coffee Grump. I’m a tech guy, not a sales guy. I love coffee, and I service the equipment that grinds and brews it for you. I have more than 25 years of experience in technical and customer service in coffee machinery, and I hope to share some of that experience with you with this website!
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