Breville “valv” error during descaling

I will only quickly go into this issue as I struck it the other day (before I knew the reset procedure) and it wasted some time, so this may help somebody. All the tips on the forums did not solve it but this method and explanation did.
On some models of the Breville, in my case the BES920, in order to complete the descale the boilers must be emptied. This is achieved by undoing the screws which drain both the steam and coffee boilers. This allows the boilers to be filled with descaling agent. However during the descaling procedure the machine sometimes fails to detect that the boiler has been emptied (usually steam boiler). It then throws up the “vALv” error. You can not complete the descale, very annoying.

Please note, I am now telling my customers to manually descale and flush the steam boiler, remove the probes and clean them and replace all the hot orings. Then re-set the descale flag. DON’T EVEN ATTEMPT THE BREVILLE DESCALE.
If you are stuck in the descale just reset the error and do a manual descale.
I’ll cover flushing the steam boiler and descaling later.

The Breville steam boilers have three probes, one is a ground, the other is a long one for detecting low water level, the third is a short one for detecting upper water level. The upper and lower water probes have a voltage on them (usually 5v logic level), when water flows between the positive and the negative probes, a circuit is made. The micro can detect this so we have a switch that allows the micro to know the upper and lower water level status.

Sometimes when there is excess scale and crap or even descaling agent in the boiler, the low level probe will make a connection to the ground probe, even when the boiler is empty or excess scale may have stopped the boiler emptying completely. The forums tell you to flush the boiler repeatedly until it clears. In my case this did not work.

Ok you want to know how to reset the descale flag on a Breville BES 920.
Basically you have to do the reset, so this will reset all of your error codes.
With the machine powered at the wall but turned off.
1. Press the “1cup” and “2cup” buttons for 4 seconds, then “power button”.

I’ve mentioned it before but here it is again, above.
Later I will go into detail on descaling the steam boiler. I run a small hose into it and flush all the scale and debris out.

Now a warning the machine is hot with 230V to the elements, 3 way valve and they (probes) are located very near to the elements on the coffee boiler. You will get a shock if you touch the element and to prove it I did it, I describe the experience as “shocking”. Be very careful. I wear rubber shoes and don’t seem to ever die.


breville coffee machine steam boiler

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