This error codes guide is made for the person who might want to try and fix their Saeco espresso machine on their own. Most of my explanations will assume you will have the top off and in some cases, the side panels were taken off the unit. Parts for Saeco / Philips are available to purchase to complete repairs yourself as you will see I will reference some of these parts to avoid unnecessary services fees for taking it in to get fixed.
I wanted to list the Saeco / Philips errors with some guidance on what the possible underlying issues could be to make these errors appear. There have been many times I have seen an error present itself, but the cause of this error is not necessarily what it shows. I will try and give you the best possible diagnosis and a description of what you can do to cure the error.
Keep in mind these error codes will only apply to the machines with digital displays, Let’s start!
Here is the List of possible errors what can cause them and including possible solutions.
This occurs if the grinder has the mills (burs) blocked. In this case, the machine stops the instant the user asks for the machine to dispense an espresso or coffee. There can be three scenarios to this issue and here are some things to check.
If your grinder hums like it wants to grind but is not turning, then you’ll want to unjam the grinder.
To unjam the grinder start by empting the grinder area of all beans. Use a vacuum to make the area visible and inspect the grinder for any hard material caught between the burrs. I have unjammed a lot of weird items from a grinder in the past some being a nail, stones, glass, plastics and even the porcelain burr that has broken and jammed the grinder.
If you cannot see anything visible, turn the grinder all the way coarse until you can separate the top burr from the grinder and finish cleaning out the area. Once it’s clear, reassemble it back together and try making a product and see if the grinder runs and runs on (looking for beans)
You will get the error to add beans. In this case it is a good sign that you cleared the jam, and you can test the unit with product and make an espresso to test before you fully reassemble. At this point it should be clear what the grinder had jammed (keep in mind in this scenario your grinder hums before going into fault)
In this case and being that I have seen it, but rarely. Your grinder starts but stops within about 2-3 seconds of grinding with beans in the hopper. Your machine will go into E01.
I won’t write much about this fix here as it will be replacing the grinder motor itself which also applies and explained in the next scenario.
In this case, this machine starts up normally in ready mode and everything appears perfect but when you press for espresso the machine goes into E01 right away. Without any delay, it just goes into fault. I want you to reset the machine (unplug and plug back in) move to the pre-ground option as you would insert your pre-ground coffee yourself and brew espresso. If the machine makes the espresso this will be confirmation you need a new grinder motor, and there likely aren’t any other issues.
The grinder motor isn’t hard to replace if you take it apart slowly and methodically. You don’t need to buy a complete grinder but can purchase the motor itself. The motor is available on the ECS Coffee website for $90 CAD.
One issue you can have is with the grinder. The bottom burr is the one that turns and grinds against the top burr. The holder that secures the bottom burr has known to shear off from the drive gear. You might find the grinder runs with beans in the hopper, but coffee doesn’t come out and faults to “add beans” If you clean the hopper out and run another espresso and the grinder visibly turns (never stick fingers in there while plugged in)
It is possible this shaft that holds and turns the grinding mills has sheared off but without beans, it is tight enough to turn without the resistance of the beans. With the machine unplugged you can clamp the spiral that draws the beans in and see if it turns easily to detect if it is broken.
This part can be found on the ECS Coffee website for $30 CAD. Keep in mind this involves taking the grinder apart as well.
This is the same error as above but for a specific model of Saeco called Primea. You can use the above information in E01 to help fix this error.
This error code means the brew unit is blocked or stuck in the working position – in all cases, you cannot remove the brewer.
I have seen this many times and usually, the cause is the brewer is not maintained and goes dry from not lubricating the rails and struggles to make the movements from working to the home position. Lubricate the rails to enable the moving parts to function properly. You’ll want to use the official Saeco grease lubricant to achieve the best and safest lubrication.
However, there may be other causes for this error. Here are some of them:
Remove and clean the brewer and the area it sits. Warm light dish soapy water will do the trick.
Not too common but your brewer could just be broken. Inspect it while it’s out and reinstall it if it’s okay. If you need a replacement, always check with your parts seller to make sure you are buying the correct one.
To access the microswitch you will need to take your unit apart to expose the gears that drive the brew motor. I would usually test the switches with a multimeter testing for continuity you are looking for 00.0 when the switch is pressed. Disconnected from its resting spot.
If the gears have been stripped, they will need to be replaced. Saeco does sell replacement gears, always check your parts supplier for the right part number.
There are some repairs where the leaky machine has leaked into and on the motor that drives the gears and seized it. Here is the specific part for that on ECS Coffee.
This occurs when the brew unit can not move from the home position to the work position. This will be the same that was written above under the Error 03 fixes.
Saeco says this error: “Occurs when the flow meter is faulty, disconnected or does not occur passage of water. In these cases, since the machine fails to correctly read the pulses of water, enters alarm condition.”
This error is tricky as I found in most instances, the flow meter is not the issue.
The flowmeter (turbine) is doing its job. It reports the revolutions of the wheel inside the flowmeter. Keep in mind if you have a plug into any area of the water system the flow meter will read the error E05. So in most cases, the flow meter is reporting and not faulty.
I have a long list possible causes and cures for this error E05, I’ll start with the Flowmeter.
Twist the flow meter to open it up and clean it up. Sometimes as small as a coffee grind can cause it not to turn.
Inspect the 3 wire connection for corrosion- if it is corroding then replace this part. Here is the specific part on ECS Coffee for $30 CAD.
Neglecting to descale your machine periodically may also be a possible solution to this error code, not to mention descaling can save yourself a lot of money in the future in repairs/replacements. If water cannot smoothly move through the system because the scale is built up, you will get this error. However it’s important to know, DO NOT USE VINEGAR! I’ve touched on why Vinegar is bad before, so long story short stick to using the trusted brand-name descaler.
On the topic of using the right tool for the right job, you’ll want to use the official Seaco maintenance kit found on Amazon which includes the descaler solution, or just the Saeco Descaler solution on Amazon. It’s important to note the kit also comes with all the other things you will need to avoid this issue again like the cleaning brush.
As a helpful little reminder, don’t go more than 3 months without a descale. This will ensure your machine will always be clean and smoothly working. If you’ve been behind on the maintenance of your machine, you should also consider the Saeco filters on Amazon as your filters should be replaced about every 5000 cups.
Take the screen off the tamp as it can be plugged with oils not letting the water flow. You can use a capful of bleach and soak the metal screen in it until it breaks up the oils then rinse it off well. The small valve that is on the tamp should also be cleaned. Be careful when you take it apart as one version will have a small glass ball at the end of the long spring. This valve regulates the crème of the espresso. You can soak it in the bleach.
Many times I had this being the cause of the water not getting through. I am referring to the disassembly of the spout. To do this on a Saeco you will need to disassemble the unit to gain access to the spout. Saeco suggests using a pipe cleaner to clean the spouts and run the rinse cycle.
Not often but I had an issue that the pin that connects to the brewer is clogged. This is the pin attached to the machine that engages the brewer in a working position.
Your pump could be compromised or weak from years of use. If you use an oily bean, you can wear out your pump faster. I have seen a pump last 16 years or 3 years just depends on oily coffee and frequent descaling.
This funny valve is connected to the pump end. Its job is to regulate the flow. There are some that have a blow-off hose in case the pressure goes beyond the manufactures specs. The valves are well built, and I have only seen 2-3 fail. You can disconnect a hose down the line and press for a brew or rinse and see if the water moves ( I usually like to do this after the boiler to see if it is flowing. If you don’t have any flow just keep testing your way back.
Before taking things apart, when the message comes up reset your machine and try to run a cup of hot water. If the water flows, it is a good indication it can be a weak pump or something in the brewer and delivery spout may be clogged.
Hopefully one of these possible fixes has fixed the Error 05.
This occurs when one of the valves of the flute is short-circuited. This problem may occur during the delivery of a milk-based product. Not a common issue to see, but it can happen. The Milk itself is the interesting thing here, as it can creep back and compromise the solenoid valve possibly causing it to fail.
When it comes to fixing this error, its not worth trying to rebuild. I would just replace the valve to fix this.
This error is because the microswitch is faulty (short-circuited) and in most cases will need to be replaced. Not a common issue, but it’s one I have seen. This can be common on the Saeco Royale series of machines.
The capuccinatore has failed to reset because it can’t engage the microswitch
The communication is interrupted for more than 2 seconds. This repair could exceed the value of the unit as you could need replacement boards if they are available.
This error occurs when the temperature of the coffee boiler sensor has short-circuited. I would use the Multimeter for checking continuity on the temp sensor. Unplug it from the board and test at this end. This error causes a total shutdown of the machine to start up.
This would manifest as you turning on your machine, and it suddenly stops.
This occurs when the temperature of the coffee boiler sensor is not detected. The problem is due to the absence of the signal of the sensor and does not allow the machine to establish the actual temperature of the coffee boiler.
This can be the sensor failure, or it can be TCO (Thermal cut out) Check this with a multimeter to confirm its a sensor failure. If it is, the sensor will need to be replaced.
This means the steam boiler temperature sensor has been short circuited and will no longer function; this sensor will need to be replaced.
The steam boiler temperature sensor is in open circuit resulting in this sensor requiring replacement.
When there is no power coming to the coffee boiler and it has not reached the pre-set temperature within a time of 2 minutes. At startup the machine will say the message “Warming up …”, and after the 2 minutes, the machine locks up.
This has multiple possibilities, but the cause will be in the electrical circuit.
Use a multimeter to check the boiler element, TCO (Thermal cut out), and any wire that might have a fusible link inline.
I usually check everything in the circuit before I consider the power board being the issue. If all checks out it can be the board and may need to be replaced.
Various temperatures, Steam boiler temperatures are out of control.
You may need to first replace the temperature sensor as this controls the temperature and it is failing. Second to this, it could also be a bad power board. I always find CPUs and power boards are hard to diagnose. You also may need to replace the board to confirm it was causing the fault.
The brewer unit microswitch is faulty and will need to be replaced. In most cases you will need to go deep into dismantling the machine to replace this microswitch. It rests inside the wall behind were the brewer sits in place.
The error states “impossible to read or write to Eprom
Wow, Once more this repair could exceed the value of the unit as you will need replacement boards if they are available.
The “memory fault impossible to reset” Honestly, I have no explanation for this error. I can only guess it refers to a corrupt CPU, though this is unconfirmed and just an educated guess.
This occurs when the machine does not detect the signal zero crossing. I have personally never seen this issue come up, so I cant provide any helpful advice on it. I would contact a local machine repair place to fix this issue.
This occurs when the temperature of the coffee boiler and exceeds 170°C.
The temperature sensor is most likely faulty for this fault. So this will need to be replaced.
I know this seems confusing to have 2 errors for E20 but its simple. If your cup lift isn’t working then it is this error for your machine
This happens when the machine is not correctly detecting the signal of the encoder.
Some errors are incorrectly seen more than others and can be common in older machines. Keep in mind the fault that is showing does not necessarily mean the error is stating. I find this all the time, including just recently I had an Error 04 on a repair machine. The fix was a Microswitch had burnt out and failed. I replaced the microswitch and the machine tested back to normal.
I hope this gives you some guidance, and hopefully can save you a few bucks from getting it inspected by a technician.
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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