Troubleshooting Guide: Espresso Does Not Come Out When the Pump is On

There’s nothing more frustrating for coffee lovers than eagerly waiting for their espresso shot, only to find that no coffee is flowing even though the pump is on. If you’re experiencing this problem, fear not. In this article, we’ll examine the most common causes of a lack of espresso flow and provide troubleshooting tips to help you fix the problem and get back to enjoying your favorite espresso.

Check the water reservoir

The first step is to make sure there is enough water in the water reservoir. Sometimes a lack of water can prevent the espresso machine from pumping properly. Check the water level indicator carefully and refill the reservoir if necessary.

Check the portafilter

A clogged or improperly inserted portafilter can impede the flow of espresso. Remove the portafilter and inspect for coffee grounds or debris that may be blocking the filter basket. Thoroughly clean the portafilter and reinsert it, making sure it is securely locked in place.

Checking the grind size

An incorrect grind size can affect the extraction process and impede the flow of the espresso. If the grind is too fine, it can cause excessive resistance and result in no espresso coming out. Adjust the grinder settings to a slightly coarser setting and try a shot again.

Tamp pressure

Insufficient or uneven tamping can also affect the flow of the espresso. Be sure to apply even and firm pressure when tamping the grounds into the filter. An uneven tamp can create areas of high resistance that prevent water from passing through.

Blocked or dirty brew head

The brew head, where the water comes into contact with the coffee grounds, can accumulate coffee residue or oils over time, causing a blockage. Carefully remove the brew head and clean it with a brush specifically designed for espresso machines. Make sure there are no obstructions before reattaching.

Descaling the machine

A build-up of mineral deposits, known as scale, can restrict the flow of water through the espresso machine. Regular descaling is essential to maintain optimal performance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for descaling your machine with a suitable descaling solution.

Check the pump

If none of the steps above solve the problem, there may be a problem with the pump itself. Malfunctioning pumps can block the flow of water. In such cases, it is advisable to contact a professional technician or the manufacturer’s customer service for further assistance.


It can be frustrating to encounter a situation where espresso is not flowing even though the pump is on. By following these troubleshooting tips, you can identify and resolve common issues that may be causing the problem. Remember to check the water reservoir, inspect the portafilter, adjust the grind size, ensure proper tamping, clean the brew head, and descale the machine if necessary. If the problem persists, seek professional help. You’ll soon be back to enjoying a delicious and satisfying espresso experience.


Why does no espresso come out when the pump is turned on?

There could be several reasons for this problem. Some possible causes are a lack of water in the reservoir, a clogged or incorrectly inserted portafilter, an incorrect grind size, insufficient tamping pressure, a clogged or dirty brew head, or a malfunctioning pump.

What should I do if no espresso comes out even though the pump is on?

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:

  1. Check the water reservoir to make sure there is enough water.
  2. Check the portafilter for clogs or debris and clean it thoroughly before reinserting.
  3. Adjust the grind size to a slightly coarser setting if it is too fine.
  4. Be sure to apply even and firm pressure when tamping the grounds.
  5. Clean the brew head to remove any clogs or residue.
  6. If necessary, descale the machine to remove mineral deposits.
  7. If the problem persists, consider contacting a professional technician or the manufacturer’s customer service for further assistance.

How can I determine if the pump is causing the lack of espresso flow?

If you have checked all other possible causes and the problem persists, there may be a problem with the pump. In this case, it is recommended that you seek professional help or contact the manufacturer’s customer service for troubleshooting or repair of the pump.

Can a lack of water in the reservoir prevent espresso from coming out?

Yes, if the water reservoir is not filled with sufficient water, the espresso machine may not be able to pump properly, resulting in no espresso flow. Make sure there is enough water in the reservoir and refill if necessary.

Why is there no water coming out of my Delonghi espresso machine?

If you notice the De’Longhi Coffee Maker not pumping water, make sure the tank is placed correctly. If the water tank is not positioned correctly, an air bubble can form in the system and block the water supply. If the tank is not correctly set, you need to remove the water reservoir and empty it.

How do you fix a clogged espresso machine?

One of the most powerful tools when it comes to fighting a clog in an espresso machine is steam. To make this work for you, fill a cup with water and immerse the steam wand into the frother. Turn the Steam Selector knob to the “Steam” setting and let the water froth for several seconds.

How do you clear a blocked espresso filter?

If the clogging is a result of mineral deposits, soak the “basket” in vinegar for a few hours. Then use a wooden toothpick to gently dislodge any deposits.

Why is espresso not working?

Espresso Machine Stops Running

When your coffee machine stops working cold turkey, any of the following could be the cause: The machine’s on/off switch, or power cord has gone bad. The valve could have been closed due to clogging. Clogged tubes.

How do you prime an espresso pump?

re-prime your machine.

  1. Turn your machine off. Put your steam wand over your drip tray.
  2. You have two options now. Either put the pipe into a container, that is above the machine OR use a turkey baster or a ketchup bottle to force water down the tube.
  3. Turn the machine on. Open the steam wand and hit the brew button!

How do I reset my Delonghi espresso machine?

    1. Unplug the unit.
    2. Hold 1 short and 1 long coffee buttons and while holding plug the unit.
    3. Unplug and plug back; the unit now it is asking to select the language.

Why is my espresso machine not building pressure?

The most common causes for an espresso machine not building enough pressure have to do with the coffee. Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew.

How do you Decalcify an espresso machine?

Descaling A Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

    1. Dissolve the descaling agent into a full reservoir.
    2. Pull the solution into your boiler by running about a cup of water out of your steam wand.
    3. Turn off the machine and let sit for 20 minutes.
    4. After 20 minutes, run about 1/2 of the reservoir out of the steam wand.