Technical Service: Steam Wand Tip + Nut Service
Today, we will show you how to service your steam wand tip. If it is leaking or sticky where the ball-end meets the nut, we will show you how to get this apart and do a rebuild on that as well.
The steam tip is easily removed with an adjustable wrench, and you will want to inspect the holes in the steam tip for potential blockage with milk. Push a pin through each hole and double check inside the tip that each hole is clean. You may need to run it under water or brush it out then pin it again to make sure the holes are nice and clear (you should be able to see right through them).
If you are experiencing some boil over or leakage around your steam wand nut, or if the steam wand is getting stiff and does not move nice and freely, then that is an easy rebuild as well. The steam wand and nut in the top can be removed with a wrench (be careful not to scratch your machine’s upper front panel) and you should see a spring in the top of the steam valve. Look inside the valve and make sure it is clean inside. If there is anything in the valve, brush around inside and get it out.
TIP: If your machine is under pressure at this time, do not pull on your steam wand handle as you will have water going straight up out of the valve!
Now that you have removed the steam wand and nut, remove the old Teflon gasket, and place the nut down against the counter; press down on the wand and pull up the nut to separate them from each other. The small Teflon O-ring deforms against the ball and will look different when compared to a new round one (this deformation will happen to new replacements as well). Next, we will clean all the grease off the ball, making sure it is smooth and shiny and does not have any issues on it. Reapply a thin layer of food grade lubricant all over the ball, then inspect the inside of the steam wand nut for debris before putting the nut back on the wand (followed by putting a new Teflon O-ring inside the nut against the ball). Clean up the steam wand spool and apply another thin layer of lubricant then put it inside the wand nut as well. Install a new Teflon gasket around the steam wand nut with the rounded edge facing up towards the steam wand. The final step is to reinstall the steam wand and nut!
TIP: In the factory, we use a synthetic grease made by SuperLube which is NSF approved and rated for 232° Celsius.
To reinstall, make sure the spring is back in the top of the valve, then push down on the steam wand nut while tightening against the spring to catch the first thread. Once the first thread catches you can run it in with the wrench. (It should not be any stiffer than what it takes to compress the spring.) You want to avoid cross-threading this in, but there will be a little bit of force required to get the spring to compress as you tighten the nut down. Once again: be careful not to scratch the panels on your machine. The nut should be tight when installed correctly; you want to get a good squeeze on the Teflon gasket while also ensuring the wand rotates easily and stays where you put it. Screw the steam tip back on and tighten just past finger-tight, then engage the steam wand handle to release steam. Make sure all steam wand holes are blowing even and clear and no water is coming out of the top of the valve, and you are all set!