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Why Did My Espresso Machine Explode?

Machines are our close friends in this century of swift technology and there is no doubt about that. But they can be just as dangerous and life-threatening if they don’t function the way they are supposed to. One such very commonly used machine is the espresso maker. There have been espresso machine explosions that have injured people.

Have you had such an accident happen in your kitchen or your workplace and you’re wondering what could’ve caused it? Here is some information that could increase your knowledge base on this one.

Why Do Espresso Machines Explode Sometimes?

There have been horrifying incidents of espresso machines exploding. And it makes it important for us to be aware of the reasons behind it.

Your espresso machine is essentially a pressure system. The failure of the pressure system or any of its individual parts can let out the stored energy in the boiler. This energy has the potential to cause a hazardous explosion. So, here are a couple of common things that can go wrong with your machine.

The Steam Boiler

Espresso machines contain a copper or stainless-steel steam boiler installed in them. This boiler works to heat up the water between 110-125 degrees centigrade in order to produce steam. The steam remains held in the boiler, under high pressure. And it is released only when you open the machine’s tap or use the steam for frothing milk.

Coffee makers in commercial places are generally used way more often than they should be. Any espresso machine that is at least 14 months old and uses pressurized steam can be at risk of explosion.

The Pressure Relief Valve

Another very significant component in an espresso machine is the pressure relief valve. A faulty pressure relief valve can be a cause of over-pressurization in the machine. This is caused because the heat keeps getting supplied to the machine. A valve that is not working properly can give rise to major malfunction and even explosion of the machine.

How to Prevent it

Since an espresso machine is a “pressure system”, its regulation is controlled by the Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR). Under the legal requirements of the PSSR, you are required to get your machine’s boiler safety evaluated. This check happens before the first use and then on an annual basis by personnel in accordance with a Written Scheme of Examination (WSE).

This is not a choice but a statutory obligation that you have to meet. You will be held in contravention with the PSSR. The PSSR, in this case, has the right to invalidate any insurance claim made regarding any accident on your machine.

It is pretty scary to realize that your espresso can explode anytime. Therefore, being well informed can be a great way to prevent any such incident. It is advisable that you go by the rule of the law to keep away from facing any hazards. This little guide is put together by us to help you keep you and your coffee machine safe.

1 thought on “Why Did My Espresso Machine Explode?”

  1. Im still looking for my “perfect” espresso machine, and have startred to buy a good coppe-bean grinder – while I in the meantime uses my old Krups espresso machine. Simple but okay for now.
    BUT its old – and was second hand even, when i got it.

    It cannot handle coffe beans pressured to hard in the handle – then the steam goes up thru the security-pressure mechanism screw-lid.

    Can a rather old espresso machine – inside boiler made of some alu (not steel) metallic – be dangerous? I’m not to happy about it.

    And then – you prescribe that “proff” commercial machines should be tested every year – how about home espressos?

    Kindly regards
    Torben Jensen, Denmark

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