There is not much on the web so here is a short article about repairing this marvellous machine. It already served 22.000 cups of coffee so it has a good excuse to fail.
In general, many parts of your machine are similar. So if you don't have a ESAM 4500, but a model ESAM 3500, changes are that what is written applies to you as well and parts of ESAM 5500 or ESAM 4200, 2600, 2800, 3200 may be used. Just check details of part very well. DeLonghi does not create every model from scratch - and that is a proven development model.
First of all, I found this of interest: http://chris-eigenheer.blogspot.nl/2013/07/final-cappucino-maker-fix-hopefully.html
However, it did not resolve my problem despite the same error on the display:
Heating up (after long...) Generic error
After checking the points in mentioned post it was time to check resistor values. The first heater on the back:
53 Ohm I=U/R=230/53=4.34Amp P=I*R=4.34*230=1000W
Good news so far. Then the heating element on top was measured:
Bummer: 100 Euro's in The Netherlands. Good news: 27 Pounds in the UK, 40 Euro's, stamps included.
Regular Test Mode: hold "small cup" and "large cup" buttons while plugging in the machine. Now press buttons to see results. Not all buttons have a function. Display Module, Button Test Mode: hold "medium cup" and "large cup" while plugging in the machine. Now press buttons to see results. Coffee Count Screen: hold "menu" and "change" buttons while plugging in the machine. Yes, this is always a surprise!
Now you can press buttons for testing. One thing: There are different models of ESAM 4500 and button behaviour is also different.
Remarks about parts
This heater does have a 5 mm connection, the original is 6 mm.
Two(!) additional connectors are needed: 775332239200
Heater part 5513227941 is bought at http://www.4delonghi.co.uk
After ordering I found parts based on 6 mm connectors in Germany, with a better price than in the Netherlands.
Searching for "Heizer", "Thermoblock", "ESAM" gives plenty of hits.
If I had to do it again, I would probably buy the assembly of 6 mm, despite it is a bit more money.
- Put aside and disconnect all wires and hoses that are in the way
- Bolds and nuts. Use your fingers to hold the nuts while loosening the bolts.
- These four bolts hold the heater.
- Four holes with bushes, they are loose.
- Two nuts at the back are a bit hard to position during assembly. A wrench may help.
- Heater is attached to plate by these two screws.
- 5 mm connector set. Use only shown parts plus the old metal clips.
- To remove heater, disconnect this hose too.
- Reuse old clips, don't reuse old beige ring.
- Do not use beige ring with 5 mm connectors.
- Use some cooling paste for CPU's.
- Assembly of thermal switches.