Coffee machine repair or replace?

Coffee people:
I have a 12 year old Gime Ambra that probably needs $2-300 worth of repairs (assuming we can source the parts).
For anyone with experience with these (or similar- there are the same machines with different badges out there), are they worth holding on to or should we replace it? And if we replace it, what should we be looking at?
Cheers!

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Budget for replacement machine?

    •  

      Haven’t worked out budget yet! I haven’t looked at coffee machines for 12 years, but I want the same features- boiler not thermoblock, E61 group, capable of good steaming without waiting!

  • +5 votes

    Why would you want to replace it?

    $200-300 for that machine is a pretty normal every-few-years service cost. This would largely be labour.

    Given it's an E61 grouphead, and depending on how handy you are with tools, you can quite easily replace all of the seals and internal grouphead parts yourself. There are a tonne of guides and videos online on how to do this.

    I would service and not replace. It's a beautiful stainless steel machine that will last for many more years if you service it.

    Equivalent replacement is in the $2000-$4000 range.

    • +1 vote

      Thanks- that was the kind of reassurance I was looking for! (And the estimated repair cost was just for parts, leaving the labour to the husbo 😜)

  • +3 votes

    I have owned a couple of expensive coffee machines in the past and the repair bills (usually $400 a time) started to annoy me, so I went to pods. The cost of the pods started to annoy me, so I tried a cheap machine (Magnifica S ) for around $700. Has lasted for maybe 4 years now without a single repair required, and we are more than happy with the quality of the brew.

    •  

      How does the Magnifica go for steaming milk?

      •  

        It does ok and my 13yo makes hot chocolate herself. The nozzle is not the easiest to clean. The milk steaming is not automatic, but it is still the best value machine I have owned in 15 years.

    • +1 vote

      When work closed the office last year for covid, I went and bought a $69 kmart coffee machine. I figured it would do for a few months until things got sorted. Nearly 18 months later that machine has done at least two coffees per day, ever day, and never had a problem. When it breaks I might consider getting a better, second hand, machine - but this machine has paid itself off every week compared to buying coffee (which I wouldn't have done, but for comparison).

    • +1 vote

      Got a dirt cheap Smith + Nobel (about $200) 3 in one that can take Nespresso, Cafe Italy and ground coffee. Got it for the Ground Coffee. My local coffee place even grinds it for me. 250g of ground coffee can do 30 shots at least. Half the price of Aldi pods at 37c each and much more environmentally friendly.

  • +1 vote

    Repair it… That is not that bad for parts.. Just had a big service on my San Marino, and yes was the price of a cheap domestic machine, but now feels brand new again…

  • +1 vote

    You can easily service it. This looks like a standard E61 group head and all parts are interchangeable with any E61 group head. Inside as well the water pumps and tubes generally all found online for a good price.

  •  

    What is wrong with it?

    •  

      A few things: It turns on, heats up, and turns off when reaching pressure of 1.5 barr . When we first got the machine, the pressure usually waived around .8 to 1.2, but it has been creeping up over time.
      The steam boiler does not always heat up. We suspect a failure of the pressure stat.
      And there is a water leak that we haven’t been able to fix yet!

      • +3 votes

        Sounds like the pressurestat is stuck, and isn't switching as the pressure builds. Eventually the boiler temp safety switch cuts off the element. Change the pressurestat. They are cheap and easy to replace. That might also solve issue with boiler not heating. I wouldn't use the machine anymore til the pressurestat is changed.

        For the leak, take off the case and run the machine (after changing pressurestat). If the leak is anything significant it should be obvious where it's coming from. It may just be the boiler over-pressure valve opening up given the high pressure.

        Repair the machine, don't replace it.

  • +1 vote

    Repair

  • +2 votes

    Repair. Is that even a question?

  • -2 votes

    replace, it's an old machine. its not if it will break again, but when will it break again. sell it and get a new machine.