The Essential Spare Parts List: Maintaining Your Espresso Machine's Functionality & Integrity

Crafting the perfect espresso is a delightful pursuit, and maintaining your espresso machine's top-notch condition is essential. Like a finely tuned instrument, regular care and attention are needed to keep the machine performing at its peak. The good news is that maintenance is not as daunting as it may sound; a little weekly TLC is sufficient to keep your beloved machine in optimal condition. From group gaskets to steam wands, each component plays an integral role in delivering that velvety, aromatic shot of espresso. Let’s explore the parts you need to watch to avoid any hiccups.


Exact Extraction and Steam Standards



Group Gaskets:

If you notice a loose portafilter handle or leaking during extraction, you most likely need to replace a gasket. It’s best to stay ahead of any issues and replace gaskets once every quarter. Pro tip: When replacing a gasket, make sure to use a Half Moon Cleaning Brush to clear all excess debris from the group head. This affordable tool was designed specifically for this task. A gasket’s other best friend is a little food safe grease to protect the rubber and extend its life.


Group Screens:

Over time, coffee oils and mineral deposits can accumulate on the shower screen, affecting water distribution during extraction. Regularly clean the shower screen and replace it every 3 months or so to maintain even water distribution. Pro tip: Keep some of these on hand for quick replacement.



Portafilters are the vessels that hold the coffee grounds during the brewing process. Consider replacing portafilters and handles if you notice cracks, and ensure a snug fit for the filter basket.


Portafilter Baskets:

These sieves determine the quality of your brew as they affect the pressure and extraction of your espresso. If you notice clogs, dents or other signs of wear, you may experience uneven filtering or unwanted grounds slipping through.


Steam Wands & Steam Wand Tips:

For a perfect froth, consider replacing steam wands if they show signs of damage or just don’t feel as clean as they used to. If you think you need a change, you probably do. Pro tip: Keep an eye on the smaller wand parts like o-rings, nuts and springs.


Steam & Water Valves:

Valves work like little traffic controllers, regulating steam and water flow. Precision is required for both brewing and frothing milk. Valves may need replacing if you detect leaks, unusual noises, or stiffness in operation, as these could be precursors to issues. Valve rebuild kits are available as an economical alternative to replacing valves entirely. This is recommended once a year for steam valves.


Grinders Are Important, Too 


The most important player on your grinder team. Carefully consider your desired methods of brewing and make sure you have the correct burrs. Pro tip: These guys are worn down just a little bit every time you use them, so watch them closely. Learn more about burr maintenance here



Clean and fresh is always better. Clean frequently but don’t be afraid to replace if your bean flow is off or there’s a little too much wear and tear.


Clean Water and Peace of Mind

Water Filtration: 

Water is the most important organic ingredient in an espresso besides the coffee! A proper filter ensures consistent and pure taste, as well as better extraction. It may even help extend the life of your machine by minimizing accumulation of scale buildup. 


We recommend looking into the Vivreau lineup of filters. All Vivreau filters are designed to provide multiple benefits, most importantly, protecting taste and aroma, as well as ease of installation and operation. You will find a filter that matches with your needs in terms of size and your exact filtration needs based on the results of testing.


Water Testing: 

In order to understand the characteristics of your water, regular testing is recommended. Vivreau offers three test kits everybody should use, starting with the Vivreau Water Test Kit, which will give you an initial look at levels of chloride, chlorine, pH and alkalinity. This will determine how you proceed with the Temporary Hardness and Total Hardness kits. 


We recommend downloading the Water Test Training guide from Vivreau for a detailed understanding of testing and how to find your optimal filter.


Don’t You Forget About Me!

Switches & Capacitors:

Test switches for responsiveness, and replace capacitors if you notice bulging or leakage.

European (BSP) Thread Components:

Because so many espresso machines are made in Europe, it is very important to note exact sizes because National Pipe Thread (NPT) components are not compatible. Replace fittings that are loose or show signs of wear to prevent leaks.

Washers and Clips:

The unsung heroes holding it all together. Regularly check for wear and tear, and replace any components showing signs of damage, as they contribute to the overall stability of your machine.

We Have Rebuild Kits!

Save time and money with these life savers because why wait for something to go wrong? Be prepared with gaskets, screens, nuts and more.



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