Low Pressure Steam Wand Rocket: Troubleshoot Guide

Rocket Espresso is one of the leading espresso machine brands with a reputation for building advanced espresso machines. But there are often complaints about the steam wand of Rocket Espresso having low-pressure frothing.

And if you own one, it might pinch your nerve a little to have such an issue. 

Why do you experience low pressure steam wand Rocket?

A regular build-up of milk and other mineral residues mainly results in the low pressure of the steam wand. Having a clogged anti-vacuum valve, a faulty heating element, and a faulty water pump also can initiate the problem. Low water levels and low boiler pressure are sometimes responsible for this issue. You can get rid of this just by regular cleaning, and adjusting the water and pressure levels. 

There are many more reasons for low-pressure steam wands which you’ll find in the article. Also, the article incorporates a proper troubleshooting guide. So, hang tight to learn everything.     

Why Does My Rocket Espresso Steam Wand Have Low Pressure? 

Here’re some of the reasons why you might experience low-pressure frothing from your Rocket Espresso machine’s steam wand.     

Reason 1:  Buildup of Milk Residues

Buildup of milk residue in the machine happens to be the most common culprit for creating a low-pressure steam wand on the Rocket. Dried-up milk can adhere to the walls of the steam wand and the boiler after every steaming process. This buildup can obstruct steam flow, reducing pressure and affecting froth quality over time.

If the steam wand is not cleaned regularly, the milk residue can accumulate and harden, making it even more difficult to remove. The steam wand’s pressure may gradually decrease and affect the machine’s performance.    

Reason 2: Clogged Steam Wand’s Tip 

A clogged steam wand tip is another significant cause to have low-pressure. A clogged steam wand tip can restrict the flow of steam and cause low pressure in the steam wand.

Clogged Steam Wand’s Tip
Source: craftcoffeespot.com

When steam travels through the wand, it passes through small holes at the tip. Steam cannot flow freely through these holes if they become clogged with mineral deposits or other debris.

Moreover, clogged steam wand tips can also cause the steam to be dispersed unevenly, resulting in poor-quality frothing and steaming.

Reason 3: Water Pump Malfunction

Low steam wand pressure can be caused by a faulty water pump in your rocket espresso machine. A failing water pump may not be able to generate sufficient steam pressure to power the steam wand, which is used to froth milk or heat water.

Reason 4: Low Water Level 

Low water level can also be responsible for creating low steam wand pressure in an espresso machine. When there is not enough water in the machine, it can cause the boiler to overheat, which can affect the steam pressure.

Furthermore, the low water levels can cause the steam wand to produce less pressure because there is not enough water to create the necessary steam.

Reason 5: Low Boiler Pressure

Steam boilers have a direct relationship with pressure and temperature. Pressure drops in the boiler when the temperature of the water decreases, and as a result, the pressure of the steam produced by the boiler also decreases.

Low Boiler Pressure
Source: sugarandcinnamon.com

Steam wands on rocket espresso machines are usually connected to the boiler, and they use steam pressure to froth milk and create other drinks. Creating the desired texture and consistency of milk will be more difficult if the boiler pressure is too low. Good frothing always comes to the rescue when your espresso is too acidic.

Reason 6: Dysfunctional Heating Element

The heating element may not be able to produce sufficient steam if it’s not functioning properly. The water in the boiler may not reach the required temperature to create enough pressure to push steam through the wand without sufficient heat.

Moreover, the faulty heating element can lead to a build-up of mineral deposits in the boiler. The steam wand’s pressure may be reduced if these deposits clog it later. 

Reason 7: Clogged Anti-Vaccum Valve

Anti-vacuum valve functions to prevent the buildup of a vacuum within the steam wand. It can cause the steam wand to create lower pressure. If this valve is clogged, it can lead to a decrease in steam wand pressure. 

As a result, a clogged valve may not be able to release excess pressure in the steam wand to prevent vacuum buildup. Thus, the pressure inside the steam wand may decrease, and the steam produced may not be as strong or consistent.

Reason 8: Steam Leakage

When steam leaks out of the system, it reduces the overall pressure within the system. Lower steam wand pressure can result from a decrease in pressure available at the steam wand. 

Then, if there is a significant leak in the system, the amount of steam reaching the wand will be reduced, resulting in lower steam wand pressure.

How to Diagnosis Rocket Steam Wand

If you’re struggling with low pressure in your steam, follow these procedures for a thorough diagnosis.

  • If you don’t want to experience this issue, you must check the water level from the sight glass of the machine frequently. Make sure it’s above the minimum mark.
  • Then, you need to inspect the steam wand tip. If you find the tip is dirty you need to remove that and clean it properly. By keeping your steam wand clean and free of debris, you can ensure that it performs optimally and produces high pressure. 
  • After that make sure you inspect the wand valve properly. If the valve is partially closed, it can reduce the pressure of the steam wand.
  • Check the steam boiler pressure by checking the pressure gauge. If the pressure is lower than 1.0 bar, you have to adjust it. It should be between 1.0 and 1.2 bar for optimal performance.
  • Inspect the anti-vacuum valve to find out if it’s clogged or not. If you found it clogged, you have to clean it.
  • Heating elements can be dysfunctional too. So at this point, it’s recommended to check the heating element with a multimeter.
  • Check the water pump at the end if the problem still persists.

Troubleshooting Guide for Low-Pressure Steam Wand

Here’s how you can troubleshoot the Rocket Espresso low-pressure steam wand issue:

Reasons  Solutions 
Buildup of milk residues  Clean the steam wand and whole machine 
Clogged steam wand tip Clean the steam wand 
Malfunctional pump  Replace the water pump 
Low water level  Adjust water level 
Low boiler pressure  Adjust boiler pressure (between 1.0 bar to1.2 bar)
Dysfunctional heating element  Test the heating element if found faulty, replace it
Clogged anti vacuum valve  Clean the anti vacuum valve
Steam leaks  Repair the steam leakage 

Now, let’s get to know the troubleshooting steps one by one. 

Step 1: Adjusting water level 

At first refill the water level at least to the minimal mark. Then you have to adjust the water level to the required level of the machine.  

Step 2: Cleaning Steam Wand

Now, you need to clean the steam wand tip. You should clean the steam wand after every use if you want to avoid a clogged steam wand. You can do this by purging any remaining steam from the wand and wiping it down with a damp cloth.

Cleaning Steam Wand
Source: youtube.com

However if the clogging already happened, you must remove contamination buildup. You can soak the tip in a hot water with a descaling solution

Alternatively, if you are a DIY person like me, you can make a water and vinegar solution. To clean with vinegar, follow the instructions below.

  • Take vinegar, if you want to mix it with water you can. But remember ratio should be 1:1. 
  • Then, run the vinegar through the machine properly a couple of times. 
  • This should help eliminate any calcium buildup, which may be causing the problem, and restore the machine’s functionality.
  • You can always buy an extra set of wand tips if you find the performance is still poor.     

Step 3: Adjust the Valve and Boiler Pressure

You have to make sure that the valve is fully open. Then, you have to adjust it between 1.0 bar to 1.2 bar. You may need to take the help of a pressure adjustment screw. 

Step 4:  Clean Anti-Vacuum Valve

Then, you have to clean the anti-vacuum valve to make the valve totally functional. 

Required tools: Wrench, vinegar, soft cloth, and water. 

Procedures: Follow the guidelines below to clean the anti-vacuum valve. 

  • Carefully open the anti-vacuum valve with the help of a wrench. It is normally located near the steam wand. 
  • Now, soak the valve in the solution of water and vinegar. Then rinse the valve with clean water properly and dry it with a clean cloth.  
  • Finally, reattach the anti-vacuum valve to the machine and tighten it securely with the wrench. 

If you find any wear and tear in the valve, you should change the valve without further ado. If you want to replace it yourself you can watch this video to make your job easier.

Step 5: Testing Heating Element 

Now check the dysfunctionality of the heating element with a multimeter. Follow the guidelines below to do that.

Testing Heating Element
Source: home-barista.com
  • Locate the heating element in the coffee machine. It’s typically a cylindrical component that is connected to the machine’s wiring.
  • Remove the wires from the heating element using a pair of pliers or a screwdriver, depending on the type of connectors used.
  • Check for corrosion on the terminals. You need to know how to clean corroded contacts before testing.
  • Set the multimeter to the resistance (ohms) setting. Touch the multimeter leads to the two terminals on the heating element. The reading should be steady and within the range specified by the manufacturer. If the reading is outside this range, the heating element may be faulty and in need of replacement.

Step 6: Repairing Steam Leakage

Now, it’s time to stop any steam leakage if it persists. To resolve that, consider adjusting the steam valve stop. This requires removing the top of the machine to access the valve, loosening a hexhead bolt, tightening the valve, and re-tightening the stopper. You can take help from the following guideline or call for a professional mechanic.

Step 7: Replacing Water Pump

After performing all these steps, if the steam wand still creates low pressure, it’s time to replace the water pump in order to restore proper function to the machine. You will also face this issue while Breville duo temp troubleshooting.

Professional assistance is available from the company as the whole process is challenging. They can help diagnose the problem and determine if the water pump is to blame.  

Steam Wand Maintenance 

If you don’t want to mess up with the pressure of the Rocket steam wand, follow the adjusting and maintenance guidelines to run the machine properly. 

  • You should purge the steam wand to remove any existing residual before using it each time. 
  • At least once a week, you must remove the steam wand tip and soak it in hot water to get rid of the clogging. 
  • You should clean your coffee maker by using a good commercial descaler periodically to remove mineral buildup. 
  • Always ensure to adjust the steam pressure to the recommended level. You should follow the manual to know the exact pressure.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What pressure should the steam wand be?

To achieve good quality milk steaming, it’s recommended to have a steam pressure of at least 1.2 bars. However, it’s ideal to aim for a slightly higher pressure of around 1.24 bars. 

Can I use high-pressure Steam?

It’s not recommended to use high-pressure steam. Choosing steam pressure that exceeds the necessary level for a given process application can lead to a range of adverse outcomes. Although higher steam pressures come with increased steam temperatures, there is a drawback of lower usable energy (latent energy).

What PSI is low-pressure steam?

Low-pressure steam systems are designed to operate below 15 pounds per square inch (psi), which means that the water in these systems cannot be heated above 250ºF. Conversely, high-pressure systems generate steam above 15 psi. 


Finally we’ve come to an end of the delicate discussion of the low-pressure steam wand rocket. I hope you’ll be able to sort out the issue just by going through the article since it contains a fulfilled troubleshooting guide for solving low steam wand pressure. 

Also, you can prevent the low pressure from happening if you focus on the reasons given above. After trying everything, if the issue persists, you need to go for professional assistance.