VBM Domobar Super HX Vibration Pump Tank Espresso Machine

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VBM Domobar Super HX Vibration Pump Tank Espresso Machine

Sold at 1st-line since 2006, this particular model has consistently outperformed many competitive models (sold by us and not sold by us) in terms of reliability and performance. With the least defects on a percentage of machines sold, we knew at that time there were several reasons for this!

In fact, other manufacturers started to utilize a similar restrictor in the thermosyphon tubes (2 tubes running from grouphead to boiler) to better regulate overheating of their E61 groupheads. VBM did this from the start to enhanced their espresso extraction performance!

VBM still uses 10mm inside diameter/12mm outside diameter thermosyphon tubes, whereas most other manufacturers are using smaller tubes (which tend to create greater overheating of the grouphead). Also, more metal means more cost here. Less metal means less cost for a manufacturer. No skimping by VBM!

Another reason for reliability is the position of the electronics. Down in the bottom rear of the machine – away from the heat of the boiler! Couple the large boiler with high output steam wands, and this machine froths milk in a jiffy. In fact, VBM has refused to place the so-called no-burn steam wands for 2 reasons: they slow down performance to froth milk AND they have silicone inside the pipe which sometimes tends to create foul odors.

VBM has the most robust grouphead in the industry. Hands down. Customers who see these E61 espresso machines in person tend to gravitate towards the VBM grouphead due to its robustness and structure.

All in all, the high quality construction makes the next step up a commercial machine. ALL STAINLESS BODY AND CHASSIS – NO BLACK ENAMEL PAINTED FRAME THAT CAN CHIP OR RUST! If you can fit this machine in your home and office, you will not regret purchasing this unit! We don’t as we use the VBM Super HX machines for catering events up to 250 people! Now, that’s performance!

Features particular to the VBM Domobar Super Manual Stainless

  • Gorgeous polished stainless steel body panels.
  • Small lever on side of grouphead allows user to engage/disengage pump and three-way manual solenoid valve to start/stop espresso extraction.
  • Manual three way valve below grouphead allows removal of portafilter handle from grouphead immediately after espresso extraction has terminated.
  • Insulation on inner wall between water reservoir and internal boiler.
  • The electronic brain unit is located on the bottom rear – away from heat that rises from a hot boiler and that can damage electronics.
  • Easy self-repairable (some skill needed) as this machine is one of the easiest to diagnose and self-repair (saves on shipping!)

Common features across all VBM Domobar Super Espresso Machines

  • Heavy duty VBM ‘true’ E61 grouphead maintains active flow of water from the grouphead to the heat exchanger in the boiler.
  • The heat exchanger allows you to make espresso after espresso until water reservoir is emptied – plus with the larger boiler, you can steam milk at the same time.
  • Professional grade brass portafilters – one portafilter with single spout and single filter basket and one portafilter with dual spout and double filter basket.
  • Boiler pressure gauge to indicate boiler pressure (reading will vary between .8 and 1.2 bar pressure). The setting can be varied by adjusting the full size pressure-stat through the access port under the cup warmer tray on top of machine.
  • Pump pressure gauge to indicate brew pressure during espresso extraction (reading will vary while not extracting – this is normal).
  • Multi-directional stainless steel steam wand on left side can be moved in different directions.
  • Multi-directional stainless steel hot water tap on right side can be moved in different directions.
  • Power indicator light on right side indicates when the machine is powered on.
  • Heating light on left side indicates when espresso machine is heating.
  • Low water level light in middle indicates when water level in water reservoir in rear is low.
  • Three stage power switch allows user to fill internal boiler without sending power to the heating element (prevents damage upon initial start up).
  • Full size pressure-stat (rated as one of the best boiler pressure regulators) monitors boiler pressure.
  • Extremely large stainless steel drip tray which can be easily (slides out with pull of handle) removed for cleaning. Grate stays on machine when pulling out drip tray so that it is one step to empty.
  • GICAR branded electronic water level control for internal boiler is located in lower right rear corner of machine where there is least heat build up.
  • 41 watt vibratory pump (“vibe” pump) rated up to 15 bar with air valve bypass – please note that only 9 bar is needed to make espresso. Do not be fooled for machines with higher pump pressure as one is only creating too much UN-needed pressure on the internal system.
  • Largest OPV (over pressure valve opens when too much pump pressure exists) located in rear of machine with easy access when body panel and six (6) associated screws are removed.
  • Accessories: Single spout portafilter, single dose filter basket, double spout portafilter, double dose filter basket, blind filter basket for backflushing, plastic coffee scoop, and a common useless plastic tamper (please make sure to order a good tamper).

Additional information



Height (inches)

16.5, approximate

Width (inches)

11, approximate

Depth (inches)

20, approximate

Weight (pounds)


Wattage (watts)


Voltage (volts)


Boiler capacity (liters)


Portafilter size (mm)


Tank capacity (liters)


Country of manufacture

Milan, Italy




  1. No burn wands: We have decided to NOT offer no-burn steam wands because the typical internal diameter is about 50% less than a normal steam wand, and this usually affects performance times in steaming. In addition, the grouphead has a much greater area to get burned.
  2. Some assembly required: Feet are not attached to the machine.
  3. 220 volt: Sorry, 220-240 volt units are not available for ordering.
  4. Service notes:
    1. Backflushing: This machine should be backflushed minimum once every 50 espresso extractions using Ascaso Detergent (our instructions included with purchase). This is only for cleaning the oils from the grouphead.
    2. Water Usage: We prefer one uses softened (not just filtered) water to prevent limescale build up. Descaling really is for internally cleaning of the machine.

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    Questions and Answers - Please ask follow up questions as a new question. Thank you

    1. 0 votes

      Please purchase a SCACE device to properly diagnose temperature. Sorry, Instaread thermometers capture ambient temperature and there is no restriction of water flow when tested in this fashion. Unfortunately, without a SCACE device, increased water flow increases the drop in temperature. Without the SCACE, we have seen temperature drops as low as 160 d F.

    2. 0 votes

      Sorry, what is a pd? The machine did not come with any accessories for double espresso pods, unless you were using one of the baskets that came with the machine.

    3. 0 votes

      Please unplug the machine from the outlet and let the machine fully cool.

      Remove the top cover and reservoir, remove the 3 screws on each side of the body panel, remove the 2 screws found on the top and bottom of the reservoir platform. Remove the tank spring platform. Take pictures of the 3 wires on the switch under the reservoir. Loosen the nut on top of the reservoir platform holding the switch. Usually 2-3 revolutions. Tighten the nut under neath closest to the platform. 

      Re-assemble. Test. Repeat if necessary. The tank should shut off with a minimum water level of 25%. The reason is that if there is an optional water softener attached, the pump can suck in air and other damage can occur.

    4. 0 votes

      Please find the correct diagram. After finding the switch, please search it on our web site and then match the description and picture of the part you need.

      Sorry, we can not offer a direct link because there can be one of three switches under the platform over the years. The above procedure will help you order the correct switch.


    5. 0 votes

      Thanks for the inquiry. Although great to hear that your machine has had some great use, we are sorry to hear about the current issue. First, as the call center advised, technical support inquiries for equipment outside of warranty need to be asked here as a machine purchase years ago, nor a parts purchase, can no longer support a technician on staff today, We also want to build a knowledge base because today's issues may happen tomorrow or in the future.

      Second, as far as your issue, do you really mean the power switch in position 2? The lever on the group is not numbered. If the power switch, yes there can be a delay or even normal is no pump action at all. It all depends how much water your boiler lost when it cooled down.

      If you are referring to the lever on the grouphead, then there should be no delay on the pump. This can be a pump, brain unit, or lever switch issue. A mulimeter would be needed. However, considering the age of the machine, a professional may be needed to evaluate it. The brain would need to be replaced to see if it was the brain.

      When referring to the brew pressure changes, this is usually a coffee grinder issue on a newer machine. On an older espresso machine, it can be the coffee grind, the pump, or the OPV. To test the pump, put a blind filter in the portafilter and see if it goes to 8-9 bar. If it does not, then there is prolly an issue with the pump as long as no water is coming out of the OPV. If the OPV has water coming out before 8-9 bar, then it may be leaking. 

      As you can see, you may have compounded issues, and this is why we recommend a service professional to evaluate the machine.

    6. 0 votes

      (1) The Brew Pressure gauge shows the result of the grind in your puck and the OPV seems to be set at 12.5. The pressurstat needs to be adjusted for the steam as it is too high.

      (2) Normal on some years.

      (3) The brew pressure should only be read during extraction. Outside f extraction, it should not go past 12 br. This means you have underlying issues from too much scale, a damaged heating element, or a damaged pressurstat. The machine should be evaluated by a professional when this many potential issues.

      4) Part number F15 and F277 should be puchased on our web site

      I guess the group head would need to be rebuilt?? I would like to know if you can suggest a parts "package" with all of the typical parts needed for this?

      ***Please use the appropriate diagram under the parts link on the top of our web site.

    7. 0 votes

      The coil's resistance should be in an acceptable range of 8 to 16 ohms. We have seen some operate correctly as low as 6 ohms and high as 20 ohms.

      For the part, it is always best to check the Vibiemme parts diagram, back out to a page with a search field, and then search by part number on the diagram. Please note we try to update our diagrams when the manufacturers alert us, but sometimes they do not alert us in a change of the part (look, description, or picture), the part numbers, or other stuff. Hence it is best to look at the pictures of the part on our web site to confirm it is exactly what is in your machine. For example, sometimes a manufacturer may change the posts of the heating element and not say anything.

      It is best to use a socket wrench with an extension to remove the heating element.

    8. 0 votes

      Inside the top nut (mushroom) on top of the grouphead, there is a gicleur (with a pinhole) that is probably clogged and needs clearance. Witht he machine cold, remove the mushroom and check inside for the gliclear (usually 8mm socket wrench with extension bar needed to remove) for deep descaling and cleaning.

    9. 0 votes
    10. 0 votes

      We are sorry to hear this. The problem could be bad wiring, a bad heating element, a bad power switch, a bad brain unit, or a bad safety thermostat. Most of these parts (exception brain unit) will need to be checked with a multi-meter for continuity without the wires connected. Of course, the machine needs to be unplugged from the electrical power outlet before any testing.

    11. 0 votes

      Unplug the machine. Check your water level. Check the switch under the water tank platform for any burned wires. Press down on the platform for the reservoir and listen for the click of the switch. Check wires by heating element and throughout the machine for any burned wires.

      If you know how to use a multimeter, check the ohms on the heating element with the wires unplugged. It should be between 8 and 20. If you are very experienced and assume all responsibility for any and all damages as well as personal injury to any person, you can check voltage to the element. If you do not have knowledge on how to do this, we advise to never check voltage.

      Other than this, the board or power switch may need to be replaced. Sorry, these are more complicated procedures and out of the scope of our good will and free support.

    12. 0 votes

      Thanks for letting us know how long your Vibiemme espresso machine is lasting. We always see very good track records with the Super HX models.

      As for your issue, there may be scale build up at the hot water valve pipe connection at the boiler. With the machine unplugged from the outlet and the water reservoir removed, take off the 6 screws to remove the body, then tilt the machine so the left side (facing front) is laying down on a towel.

      Follow the pipe from the hot water valve, and loosen the holding nut at the boiler. Then with a crescent wrench holding the outside of the valve by the knob, loosen the inner pipe connection on the inside wall of the valve. Do hot allow the pipe to twist. Inspect the pipe for clear pass through. Next check the inside of the boiler through the open port hole - changes you have some crud or limescale that needs to be cleared.

      At this point, you 'can' pour some descaling solution into the boiler through the port hole and re-connect the pipe in reverse of removal. Check for leaks. We would suggest removing the tip on the hot water wand when descaling in this scenario as we want to avoid big chunks of limescale damaging the screen inside the tip.

    13. 0 votes

      This is a single boiler unit with a heat exchanger inside. The heat exchanger does allow on demand steam.

      The Vibiemme double boiler is a different espresso machine model.


    14. 0 votes

      We suggest running a descaler through the grouphead without the blind filter and then with the blind filter to see if the problem resolves. 3 cycles of 30 seconds for each above, then 3 cycles of same for rinse.

      When a pump reaches over 10 bar, we usually consider this normal operating condition, and it is normal for a vibration pump to hum when the pressure gets high. Typically, when pumps fail, they have no pressure at all. Hence, it can be the OPV. Try the descaling and see if there is an improvement. If still an issue after, please email us the purchase information.

    15. 0 votes
    16. 0 votes
    17. 0 votes

      Sorry, it can be any of those parts, and the machine, at this point would need to be evaluated by a profession, or you can start  with a pump replacement first, then OPV.

      Since you seem to have the electronic model with the 5 push buttons (as this one has the green light) you may also have a bad flowmeter, as well. The only way to determine a correction is by parts replacement as there is no test for the flow meter or the wire or this one.

    18. 0 votes

      The average lifespan of a vibration pump is about 5 years. To test, put in the blind filter into the portafilter, lock the portafilter into the grouphead, and engage the pump by lifting the lever up.

      If it reaches over 8 bar consistently after the initial 10 seconds, then the pump is ok. If not, it could be a bad pump, or the OPV is blocked in the open position, or the grouphead has a blockage. Once these are clear, you can test the pump again with the blind to confirm it is defective.

      AT this point, with the blind, run a descaler with the blind for 30 seconds, then let sit for 20 minutes, then repeat twice. This descaling

    19. 0 votes

      Thank you for selecting 1st-line for your machine. This sounds like the gicleur in the mushroom located in the top of the grouphead is clogged - usually clogs on any E61 grouphead that sits for more than 2 weeks or the water is hardened with magesium or calcium.

      Steam boiler turn off. We suggest running a descaler only for 3 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes and try again twice. If it clears, then rinse for 3 minutes on and 3 minutes off.

      If this does not work, please review grouphead diagram and then the mushroom needs to be removed and the gicleur needs to be removed and cleaned manually.

    20. 0 votes

      We are sorry to hear about this. Usually, a surge in the electrical current or water can cause this. Sometimes, if the machine is older, this can happen.

      We are sorry to hear about this. The machine would need to be unplugged from the electrical outlet. Then the body panel removed, and finally a multimeter would need to be used to test the different electrical components for the fault. An inspection of all wiring and components is in order, as well.

      We are sorry, but we do not offer any training on multimeter usage. Hence, if one does not have this knowledge, it is better to check with someone who has or hire a professional for the diagnosis and repair.

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