You would not run you vehicle without regular maintenance checks and making sure everything was in good working condition.  The same goes for your coffee machine.

There are three kinds of coffee machine service.

There is the Frontend coffee machine service which involves basic maintenance including changing the group head seals, the group head gaskets, and the group head shower plates.   Back flushing the grouphead and adjusting or resetting the drink settings if that is necessary.  This coffee machine service could also involve retraining staff or training new staff if it was felt appropriate.

The Frontend coffee machine service should be carried out regularly at least once per year.

 
Probably a little more if the cleaning regime is not as vigorously implemented as recommended on our other page.

Next comes the Full Coffee Machine Service which involves a more thorough inspection but incorporates the Front end coffee machine inspection as a base.   Along with the group head seals, the group head gaskets, the grouphead shower plates and the back flushing of the grouphead, the steam arm wands, and water valve seals need to be replaced.   The adjustment of the settings as before and also the removal of minor scale build upon the water ports and internal filters while cleaning.  Any worn valve rubbers should be replaced and the drink settings recalibrated.  This time a report and advice on the general condition of the machine and any future replacements should be forthcoming.   Once again, training or retraining for staff would be included.   Both these coffee machine services would be carried out on site at a mutually convenient time.   The time frame for this operation should be around 18 months – 2 years from installation or last service.

The third one is the Espresso Machine major overhaul service.

The general opinion on this is that it should be carried out if a machine has never been serviced or is bought second hand with no coffee machine service record available or if perhaps a machine has been left for a considerable time without any kind of service being carried out.   The difficulty with this service is that it is completed off site and could take up to 10 days depending on the condition of the machine.
The Major coffee machine service process consists of a Boiler inspection and a full internal descale (including the boiler), replacement of group head seals, gaskets seals, steam arm seals, water valve seals, anti vac valves, and group head shower plates.   Back flushing the grouphead as previously outlined, adjustments to grinder and drinks settings as appropriate. Cleaning and descaling the water ports and internal filters, certifying the boiler pressure safety valve, replacing the worn valve rubbers and not forgetting the drinks setting recalibration. Training as previously advised on alternative coffee machine services.

A good tip for the prevention of lime scale in your machine is to always have a water filter fitted.   We would recommend this for all installations regardless of the type of water in your area.