Hey Im working on a San Marco 85-16m-3 and my left steam wand isnt pulling anywhere the same amount of pressure as my right wand.  Any suggestions as to what could be the culprit? 

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Is the left side used more? If so, maybe there's milk buildup inside the wand itself from so much use. Inversely, milk could have not been properly cleaned out of the wand if it's the less frequented of the two wands. If it is milk buildup, I'd suggest soaking it in Rinza overnight and purging it a LOT afterwards. Some other baristas on the site can probably explain how to do this better than I can, as I've never had to do it on our machines yet.


Good luck!
Remove the tip and make sure it is clean. Remove the other tip on the good side and do the same. After you know both wands are equally clean then test the pressure again.
Joe
I've run across this before, and there's a variety of causes. Basically, your left wand is probably slightly more restricted somewhere in the steam path. I'd start with the PP's advice, then...

Are the tips the same? Sometimes people replace one with an aftermarket or with different generations of factory tip. Look at hole diameter and number.

The wand could be plugged with buildup. Best is to remove and clean it thoroughly, but you could also try the soak or a quick ream with Steamy Wanda.

Your valve could have an issue, perhaps not opening fully due to wear or failure of the valve's sealing surface.

Your tubing could have an obstruction, thought that's less likely. It might be kinked or crimped from an improperly serviced valve.

Hope this helps. Check it out and let us know what you find.

This may sound silly, but if you are unable to identify the root cause and everything is nice, clean, and mechanically sound you might consider this a feature? Use the right side for steaming larger pitchers, the left for capps and maccs?
Do you know of any other stores that might carry a wand cleaner, I dont mind ordering one but if thats the problem Id like to get on it right now...
Wand Cleaner? Should be able to use JoeGlow or the same cleaner you use to backflush your espresso machine. If I'm off here please bring me up to speed BX listers.
Joe

Jonathan Morrison said:
Do you know of any other stores that might carry a wand cleaner, I dont mind ordering one but if thats the problem Id like to get on it right now...
Forgive me if I'm coming late to the ball game. I don't think I have read all your follow ups Jonathan, on this wand question.
Joe

Jonathan Morrison said:
Do you know of any other stores that might carry a wand cleaner, I dont mind ordering one but if thats the problem Id like to get on it right now...
Your average store won't have a product like this readily on hand. Your best bet would be to order a bottle of Rinza or JoeGlow from your coffee roaster/supplier..or just find some online. The Barista Pro Shop has some great pricing on the majority of their items, so I'd recommend them.

Cheers, and good luck!
I think he's talking about that Steamy Wanda steamwand brush I linked to. Yes, some roasters and techs carry them, so check around.
Don't use the same stuff that you backflush your machine with. One type of cleaner is for coffee, another type of cleaner is for milk, try not to mix the two. Other than that, Brady, as usaul, is spot on.

If the tip is blocked up, I use an unfolded paper clip to clean out the holes. Works wonderfully.

Joseph Robertson said:
Wand Cleaner? Should be able to use JoeGlow or the same cleaner you use to backflush your espresso machine. If I'm off here please bring me up to speed BX listers.
Joe

Jonathan Morrison said:
Do you know of any other stores that might carry a wand cleaner, I dont mind ordering one but if thats the problem Id like to get on it right now...
This might sound like a stupid question but what are the consequences of using the coffee cleaner for the steams wands? haha dont worry I havent tried just wondering.
Beware of the Wand security service or WSS. ;^)
I wonder the same thing Jonathan,
Joe

Jonathan Morrison said:
This might sound like a stupid question but what are the consequences of using the coffee cleaner for the steams wands? haha dont worry I havent tried just wondering.
Your steam wand won't get all the milk residue off. We were using coffee cleaner (unwittingly) to clean our milk pitchers, and the build up on the milk pitchers got out of control. I guess they are just using different/attacking different enzymes? or polymers? or colloidal whodads? I'm not sure, but one won't do the job of the other.

I don't think anything super bad will happen, aside from the usual "create-a-paradox-that-cannot-be-resolved-causing-a-huge-tear-in-the-spacetime-continuum-and-ending-all-life-and-existence-as-we-know-it"...

Jonathan Morrison said:
This might sound like a stupid question but what are the consequences of using the coffee cleaner for the steams wands? haha dont worry I havent tried just wondering.

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