Important Note! This article is relevant to anyone who owns a Bezzera Hobby so make sure you read it. I believe there is a design flaw in the drip tray and if you are not aware of it you will have issues.

The Bezzera Hobby is a pretty solid home espresso machine. Apart from a few incidents of the temperature protection cut out triggering I hadn't had any problems.

The Hobby has a 3-way solenoid valve whose job is to shunt pressure from the pump into the drip tray when you switch off the pump. This means that at the end of espressing a drink remaining pressure is immediately diverted away from the group head so that it doesn't drip, even if you remove the portafilter.

The relief pressure hose is routed to a receiver under the drip tray. The drip tray has a fixing that connects to the receiver and has a one way valve that stops waste water travelling back up to the pump.

I had an issue with the one way valve in the drip tray: it seized. I found out when I ran a back flush during cleaning using a blank portafilter basket - the pressure caused a sillicone pipe to jump off a connector inside the machine resulting in water spraying the internals and the circuit breaker tripping.

A quick tip about fuses: when fuses blow or circuit breakers trip you should try to understand what caused it to happen rather than blindly replacing the fuse or resetting the breaker: the fuse blew to protect you or something more expensive from damage so simply replacing it means you could be making it easy for the fault to cause you more problems, or even serious problems.

I believe this design is flawed because 1. there is always water in the tube to the drip tray receiver and in the receiver itself so the one way valve can continuously be full of water, and 2. the one way valve can easily be under water for extended durations unless you are diligent about emptying the drip tray.

The user manual does not mention disassembling the valve as part of a cleaning and maintenance schedule. I recommend that every time you clean the drip tray you should blow any remaining water out of the valve so that it can dry properly and that during your regular deep clean you should disassemble the valve and remove any deposits.

How I Fixed my Drip Tray

This is how I replaced the seized valve. I tried unsuccessfully to clean it and I couldn't remove it with conventional tools as the metal was too soft, so my only option was to completely replace it.

I contacted Bezzera because I couldn't find anyone offering service help and spare parts information was very unclear. They suggested I contact Casa Barista in the Netherlands.

I found the closest thing to a maintenance manual online and identified the parts that I needed. Casa Barista were very easy to deal with and ordered the parts for me. The only wrinkle in the plan was that they don't ship to the UK - I understand the reasons why, so please don't bother them trying to change their minds. I arranged through Eurosender for the parts to be shipped to me; this added to the cost and for customs purposes I become both importer and receiver.

Using a Dremel I carefully removed the old valve and assembled the replacement. The total parts cost was €11 and the shipping about €30.

The old drip tray valve

Valve Parts
Mangled during removal and covered in scale.

The parts I needed and the best matching harmonisation code (needed for shipping internationally) are listed in the following table:

DescriptionPart NumberHS Code
Valve body519100384813099
OR Gasket74960354016935010
OR Gasket74960764016935010
OR Gasket74960184016935010
Valve fitting530208084813099
The new drip tray valve

New Valve Parts
Ready to assemble.

How This Could Have Been Better

Firstly, I don't think this is a good design for the valve/system. Even if it was filtered water that the valve was sitting in, it would eventually corrode and the o-rings perish. Secondly, the valve parts do not have any flat edges for spanners/other tools to engage so removal is too difficult. A hex rim on the top and bottom parts of the valve that a spanner could grip would have helped considerably.

In retrospect, I should have ordered a new drip tray part along with the other parts because without it I had to be very careful not to damage the old one while cutting the valve off. Also, given the time, money and effort to sort out the shipping, I should have simply flown over for a weekend to pick up the parts in person. Flights from the UK are not too expensive and I would have enjoyed the experience of meeting new people and seeing more of the Netherlands.