Introduction: Illy Y5 IperEspresso Machine Leak Repair

This instructable is about repairing a leak in an illy Francis Francis Y5 iperEspresso Espresso & Coffee Machine. The leak is due to a defective plastic connector inside the machine and not due to a faulty reservoir.

Sadly, I had to do this because, even though the machine was less than a month old, I had lost the receipt and illy won't honor any warranty without a receipt. Fortunately, I'm handy enough and it's not a really difficult tear-down. The major annoyance with this repair is the tight quarters you are working in.

I show you how to disassemble the machine to reach the connector attaching the water feed tube to the heater/pump and create a box to keep the parts together. If you have a similar problem but the connector is too badly broken, you will need to replace the entire connector instead of just holding the two pieces together.

Step 1: Remove Capsule Storage and Water Repository

Remove the capsule storage assembly and the water repository because if you don't, and there's water still in it, it will get all over your counter top -- don't ask me how I know this.

Step 2: Remove Bottom

Flip the maker over. Be careful of the lid because it will want to open. Also be careful about the power cord because you don't want to put pressure on it.

Remove the seven screws holding the bottom on. They are different sizes so keep them organized so you can replace them in the correct holes.

Step 3: Remove Backstop

Sliding the bottom down about ½ inch, you can spread the sides apart gently and the backstop can be removed. It is held in place by two grooves on both the left and right sides and tabs on the top and bottom.
Note the cutout which anchors the water intake (which is also held in place by two protrusions that fit into two small holes in the bottom).

Step 4: Identify the Leak

There are many reports of this machine leaking due to the water reservoir but in my case it was a failure of the plastic connector attaching the water feed tube to the heater pump.

I determined this by placing the machine right-side up and connecting the water reservoir and running the minimum cup. It was easy to see where the water was leaking out. I had done this before doing any disassembly and noticed water flowing through the vent in the bottom and not the water reservoir so I knew it was an internal problem.

If your machine is leaking anywhere else -- I'm sorry for you. These instructions are for fixing my specific problem and hopefully will provide assistance and/or guidance with your repair.

As you can see when I twist the connector, the end has broken.

Use a pair of long-nose pliers to grab the clip and pull it forward to remove it. It shouldn't take any effort.

Step 5: Broken Connector

As you can see, the plastic has broken off the connector. What you don't see (because I forgot to take a picture), is the end of the plastic input tube contains an o-ring and a metal clip in a mating fixture that fits into the now broken end. That's where the water is leaking from.

Originall I thought I'd have to 3D print an entire replacement for the connector but after thinking about it, I realized that the input fits snugly with the fixture and the problem is that once the water is under pressure, the force of the water pushes the input away from the connector because it is no longer held in place by the tabs of the input.

This is a really poor design/implementation for a $300 machine. If they used a better plastic, or more plastic, or maybe a metal connector, this wouldn't have failed.

So once I realized that I didn't need to replace the entire connector -- I just needed to keep the two pieces from being pushed apart, I decided to 3D print a holder.

Note: As you may notice from the photos, I've slid the lower part of the machine down about ¾" to give me enough room to fish the tube and connector out the back of the machine to make it easier to examine it and work on it. The interior is tight and awkward. Just take care when doing this.

Step 6: 3D Print Connector Holder

I designed and printed a box with a slot for the input tube that was exactly the size to hold the two pieces together. Amazingly, it fit like a glove on the first attempt.

I used Fusion 360 to model the box and Cura to slice it. I've attached the STL file.

Step 7: Put the Box Around the Connector and the Tube

I made the design thick enough that it should stand up to the pressure but not too big that it wouldn't fit where the connector was close to the edge of the case.

I can't remember if I pushed the box through the back of the machine or pushed the tube back first and then fitted the box around it.

Step 8: Reassemble

I re-attached the connector using the clip and reassembled the rest of the machine.

Make sure you get the backstop back in both sets of grooves and the tabs on the top and bottom. Make sure the water inlet fits in the backstop slot and the two holes in the bottom.

That completes the repair. I expect my repair will last a lot longer than the original connection.