Espresso Machine Repair
Specialty coffee professionals depend HEAVILY on two things -- staffing and equipment. Without either one a cafe manager finds herself in hot water searching desperately for help (pun intended). Staffing issues we can't help with but broken coffee equipment we can.
As a famous Dutch philosopher once said, “prevention is better than cure.” We tend to agree. After you experience a catastrophic equipment failure while busting the morning rush you’ll agree, too.
When routine service is conducted it ensures equipment longevity and reduces costly down time. Ensure your equipment is ready with regular preventative maintenance done by a dependable service company.
A good coffee technician will remind you when it's time for your next service appointment and will pre-order the parts for your machine and have them ready when you are. This is an added benefit of building a relationship with your local coffee technician and committing to a preventative maintenance program.
If you have a good relationship with your local technician hopefully he or she has the most common problem parts in inventory. Some common failure parts are solenoids, flow meters and flow restrictors. Each are relatively inexpensive but will stop your bar flow right now if they fail. If you're like most other independent cafes you probably expect your shop to make $500-1000 per day. A failure like this during the morning rush will be an expensive mishap in lost revenue. Plan ahead and make friends with a local technician.
As members of the Specialty Coffee Association we've been fortunate to learn from some of the best coffee technicians in the industry. And as members of the Coffee Technician's Guild we have an abundance of connections to other seasoned coffee techs whom we can collaborate with when something has us scratching our heads.
We would be happy to repair any coffee equipment or perform any espresso machine maintenance throughout Southern California and Central California. Being based in Ventura County we do have some boundaries that we loosely adhere to but we understand that coffee techs are hard to come by and we'd hate for you to go without. We’re here to help. If you're ready to tackle some maintenance issues you've been putting off, click HERE to schedule a service appointment. Keep reading if you want to learn more about what we do and how much it's going to cost.
What We Do
- Espresso Machine Repair
- Coffee Machine Repair
- Coffee Grinder Repair
- Espresso Grinder Repair
- Grinder Burr Replacement
- Water Filtration Systems
$75 per hour for service calls during normal business hours, including travel time.
$95 per hour for service calls after business hours, including travel time -- Normal business hours are 7AM until 3PM M - F.
All service calls are charged a minimum one hour regardless of duration.
Espresso Machine = $150 per day
Coffee Brewer = $75 per day
Coffee Grinder = $75 per day
What's It Going To Cost?
You're probably wondering what this is all going to cost, so let's break down some common service calls.
A quarterly (3 month) service should take about 1.5 hours. You'll need $25 in parts per group head. That should complete the costs for parts, if all goes well. $175 is the minimum you should expect for a quarterly visit.
During your next quarterly (6 month) service expect the same routine, however at this visit your reverse osmosis carbon filters need to be replaced. These costs will vary by manufacture. Expect and prepare for these costs to creep into your budget twice a year. Expect this visit to cost $300 or more depending on the cost and number of carbon filters in your water filtration system.
The annual service should take about 2.5 hours. There's a bit more that goes into this service. Every 12 months your espresso machine needs to have the boiler safety valves replaced, steam valves rebuilt, all quarterly service parts replaced, and in certain circumstances the manual paddles on models such as the La Marzocco Strada will need to be rebuilt. If the later is your case plan on another 1-1.5 hours to rebuild the top-end of the manual paddle. On a two-group espresso machine expect the annual service to start at $500. Remember, this visit should also include replacing the filters on your water filtration system, possibly all of them including the pre and post sediment filters.
While we're on the subject of water filters, if none of these issues apply to you because you don't have that complex of a water system, then you need to address this immediately. Nobody in Southern California is immune to the devastating affects that the deplorable water in So Cal has on their coffee equipment. You need filtration now! And likely a full descale of your boiler.
Let's move on and discuss catastrophic failures. Imagine coming into the shop for an opening shift to find the counter and floor covered in water. What likely happened there is the chlorides in your improperly filtered water ate a hole in your espresso machine boiler. Right away this is going to cost at minimum $2,000 -- $1200 for a boiler and a whole lot of wrench time. Be aware that a repair like this is likely to uncover another couple hundred dollars in collateral damage along the way. Aside from an explosion or fire, this is really about as bad as it gets.
If your luck leads you to a failed control board expect to pay around $1,000 for this repair. The computer will be $300-500 and the labor to trace the electrical system and rule out other causes will be the other significant portion of the repair. Don't expect your technician to have your control board in stock so be prepared to figure out an alternative espresso machine solution. Fortunately we have a loaner but it's often out on loan more than it is not.
This in nowhere near an exhaustive list of all the things that could go wrong but it hopefully paints a picture of what to expect when things go really wrong.
The central points are:
- Establish a relationship with a local, dependable coffee technician
- Make sure your water is up to SCA water quality specs
- Plan and execute a preventative maintenance schedule with your tech
- Prepare yourself and plan a budget to address a catastrophic failure