Chromex CH308 expresso machine appears blocked?

Can anyone assist with this conventional looking espresso machine please? I cant find any reference to this Italian company for a service manual. Th ere may be a forum (SAV?) but it is in French.
When I press the espresso button to brew the coffee, the pump works for abo ut a second and then appears strangulated and stops, thereafter dribbling t iny amounts of coffee out of the portafilter.
Do these pumps go weak or do they just fail please?
I immediately suspected a failed pump but when I open the steam valve, the pump sounds and works fine??
So I unscrewed the metal filter above the portafiler which doesn't look par ticularly dirty. When I took it off, the pump worked fine and spewed out n ormal amounts of water from the bare head: I figured that the metal filter is blocked, since not much seems to be blocked above it and cleaned it. But when I put it back, and put the portafiler back in place (empty), the unit appears strangulated again and no water comes through.
I dont suppose there are two pumps, with one governing the coffee brew and the other governing the steam wand. Does all this just mean that my pump i s gone?
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On 11/19/2014 4:25 AM, Amanda Ripanykhazova wrote:

Does your portafilter have an insert below the screen that hods the grinds? Some do and it may be clogged.
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I do not know how your espresso pump works, but a recent experience with a Mr. Coffee coffee maker may apply.
There was a check valve inside a hose, just below the water reservoir. A plastic ball about the size of a BB, was sticking to some kind of gummy material, closing the valve so water could not flow into the heating tube. It would initially allow some water to enter the tube, but would stick soon after the brewing process began.
It was easy to disconnect the hose and squeeze out the valve. Cleaning the ball and inside of the valve body seems to have solved the problem.
This was a relatively new coffee maker that had been in use for about two months. I suspect some gummy material found its way into the water reservoir by accident.
Fred
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This may not be relevant but when i took off the metal screen above the portafilter and turned the machine on, I said that there didn't seem to be a blockage??
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