In the morning I hear tired shuffling of steps moving towards the coffeemaker. I hear button pushing, then some strange sounds, and finally a voice "Oh no, the coffee maker does not work!". Again, we are left in the morning without coffee. That is not acceptable.

After recovering from the shock, I took a closer look at our machine. It is a SAECO incanto, subtype SUP 21, that we have had for five years now, and that has miserably failed us before. We do drink a lot of coffee though, and so it is fair to say that this (comparatively affordable) machine has done it's job well. Also, it is wonderfully designed and very easy to troubleshoot. Still, fixing things takes time and effort, and neither one is something one has available at 7 a.m.

After poking around on the saeco-support-forum and on I took the machine apart, removed the flow sensor and disassembled water pump and safety valve. All parts looked pretty clean to me, but I soaked them in hot (diluted) citric acid anyway, rinsed them thouroughly, wiped them dry, and put everything back together. And guess what: There was coffee!

Still, the machine sounds weird. In my assessment, the water pump just doesn't build up enough pressure any more to reliably push the water through the boiler and the coffee. Looks like I'll have to purchase a replacement ULKA EX 5 water pump. Maybe, while I am at it, I'll get a new safety valve  Part No 229452100 as well. We'll see.

Update: The fixed water pump lasted for about 2 weeks. By that time I had ordered a replacement part (no new safety valve, though) for about EUR 20. By now I am a pro taking the machine apart and putting it back together, so I changed the waterpump within half an hour. And guess what? Nice coffee!