Why Your Breville Espresso Machine is Not Reaching Pressure

Wondering why your Breville espresso machine is not reaching pressure? These are the most likely causes (and solutions).

Front panel of a Breville espresso machine

Last Updated on December 3, 2023

If your Breville espresso machine is not reaching pressure, you are not alone.

How do we know this? Well, the post you are reading gets more traffic than any other on our site.

Even the best Breville espresso machines occasionally have issues with this. There are a few common explanations for why your Breville espresso machine is not reaching pressure, and most of these have simple solutions.

In this post, we’ll tell you which parts of your coffee maker you need to check in order to pinpoint exactly why your coffee machine isn’t reaching pressure.

We’ll also tell you how to fix the issue once you’ve identified the cause, so you can get back to enjoying an excellent shot of espresso.

Breville espresso machine not reaching pressure
Angela CoffeeRank | Creative Commons)

Why Does Pressure Matter for an Espresso Machine?

There are two reasons why you should pay attention to the pressure level of your Breville espresso machine.

First, the higher the brew pressure, the faster you can brew your coffee.

That said, many coffee enthusiasts understand that faster coffee isn’t always a good thing. Just because you can whip up a shot of espresso in 10 seconds doesn’t mean you should. Extraction time is an important factor in the coffee extraction process. The coffee grounds need to spend time in contact with hot water to deliver good coffee flavors and a smoother cup of coffee.

The second reason pressure matters is that it helps the machine filter the coffee grounds more efficiently. Since espresso uses a finer grind, you need a high-pressure machine to deliver the best results.

Either way, if your pressure drops or doesn’t reach the right setting, you’ll notice potential issues immediately.

Why Is My Breville Espresso Machine Not Reaching Pressure?

If your Breville espresso machine is not reaching pressure, it might be due to a broken or malfunctioning part. A broken pressure gauge, a broken seal or gasket, or a clogged water line are the most likely causes.

Here’s how these pieces can contribute to incorrect pressure when brewing espresso.

Broken Pressure Gauge

Breville espresso machine not reaching pressure
Angela CoffeeRank | Creative Commons)

The pressure gauge can stop working if the mechanics inside wear out or break. Coffee lovers who use these machines often discover that this piece is the problem.

If your pressure gauge is broken, you should take your espresso machine to a licensed repair shop.

Since it’s easier to replace a bad gauge than it is to put in a new seal or gasket, confirm whether or not the gauge is the primary cause of the pressure problem before you agree to a seal or gasket replacement.

Broken Seal or Gasket

Your espresso machine has several gaskets that help keep the internal components working. Over time, these seals can wear down due to various factors, such as limescale buildup and coffee oils that eat the rubber away.

Once a seal is broken, it’s much harder for the machine to reach proper pressure. You may also notice leaking from the bottom of your machine, especially after brewing a cup of coffee. 

Unfortunately, the only way to replace a seal is to take the entire machine to a licensed repair shop. Taking the coffee maker apart and trying to repair it yourself could void any active warranty.

Make sure you check all the seals, just in case more than one is cracked or leaking. 

Clogged Water Line

Many coffee enthusiasts prefer to put filtered water in their machines, because filtered water doesn’t contain as many minerals as tap water.

If you use tap water, you’ll need to address potential limescale and calcium buildup over time. These minerals collect and clump inside the water pipe, and can potentially block water flow and affect the pressure level. If this happens, you’ll notice the pressure not reaching the correct number and less coffee coming out of the machine.

The best way to prevent this problem is to descale your coffee maker with a descaling solution once a month (depending on how often you use the machine).

If you use filtered water, you can usually clean your coffee machine less frequently. 

Bottom Line for Coffee Lovers: Take Care of Your Espresso Maker

Now that you know the possible reasons why your Breville espresso machine won’t get up to pressure during the brew process, you can identify and fix the issue.

When treated well, a Breville espresso machine can last years. Your coffee machine requires a regular cleaning cycle and maintenance to avoid potential issues and to make the best possible espresso shots. Check out our article about how often to clean a Breville espresso machine.

Happy brewing!

Thumbnail image: © Angela CoffeeRank | Creative Commons

Pressure gauge asleep,
Espresso whispers in vain,
Seals and lines betray,
Each part in quiet discord,
Brew's heart lost in silent fight.

About the Author