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My Stovetop Espresso Maker is Not Working

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated August 29, 2022

Even if you have the best coffee maker, you may need to repair your device at some point. The same is true if you bought a stovetop Moka pot to escape the potential issues with an electric espresso machine, you still may experience issues.


  • A stovetop espresso maker needs enough vapor pressure for the brewing cycle to work.
  • A bad rubber gasket between the filter basket and water reservoir causes leaks and reduced brew sizes.
  • Keep your espresso maker clean because old coffee grinds will cause clogs in the brew system and safety valve.

No matter what size Moka pot you have, your stovetop espresso maker can leak, clog, and or develop a lack of steam pressure. So, if you’d like to fix one that’s not working, read on.

Why Isn’t My Stovetop Coffee Maker Working?

While we don’t have to replace a thermal fuse, stainless steel pots can still have issues. While there are other problems your coffee maker might face, these are the most common ones and how to fix them. So read on, and get back to your delicious coffee.

Insider Tip

You may have a worn rubber seal if you see leaking between the upper chamber and the water chamber.

And then, if you’d like to get creative, see what else you can make with a coffee maker.

Issue 1: Steam is Shooting Out of the Safety Valve

If you notice a jet of steam coming from the safety release valve, your Italian coffee maker is likely clogged. You may also have overfilled the base with water. Lastly, your filter basket might be blocked or dirty with stuck-on coffee grounds, thus stopping the flow of water.

Take the machine apart and clean it. Pour out the leftover water and scrub stuck coffee grounds away from the filter and rubber gasket.

Issue 2: Coffee is Spilling Out of the Pot

If your classic Italian-style espresso pot keeps overflowing and spilling from the top, you need less heat. Coffee lovers will tell you that you shouldn’t boil your stove-pot coffee. So, turn down the heat on your stove, and that should fix the issue. If you’re using a regular coffee maker to make espresso, you’ll want to read our info guide that will help you make a cup successfully.

Issue 3: It’s Producing a Low Volume of Coffee

Stray and built-up coffee grounds can clog the filter, preventing the coffee chamber from filling. It’s also possible that your stove coffee maker isn’t completely sealed. You can fix these issues by cleaning the Moka coffee pot and checking the rubber gaskets.

Issue 4: It’s Leaking from the Sides

Ensure your morning coffee grounds aren’t stuck to the rubber gasket, preventing a seal. Without a functioning rubber seal, your machine cannot build sufficient pressure to brew your coffee.


To avoid burns, use a baking mitt or damp towel when you adjust your aluminum pot. The boiling water will make the metal too hot for bare hands.


Why does my coffee taste too weak?

If your cup of coffee tastes like hot water, you probably didn’t use enough coffee grounds. That said, you may consider switching to a darker type of coffee bean for a rich flavor.

Why does my coffee taste odd?

If you’re getting a metallic taste from your Moka pot, you may have cleaned away the seasoning from the metal. A coffee pot in unused condition needs to be put through a brewing cycle or two before your morning brew tastes normal.

What do I do when I get a new Moka pot?

Before enjoying your new coffee pot, make a few test brews with cheap coffee grounds and throw them out. This is called seasoning or conditioning, and it coats your pot in natural coffee oils. This leads to enhanced flavor from your freshly-brewed coffee.

STAT: According to a survey from Gallup, Americans aged 55 and over reported drinking 72% more coffee than people in the 18-34 demographic. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image