He just has to avoid the urge to "go to the dark side..." and start modifying. If Roger isn't there, that should be easier to avoid.
Espresso machines at their heart are just a simple steam boiler - with a fancy wrapper and a fancy cup for the coffee grounds. The heating element goes open, or the thermostat is on the fritz, quick and easy and probably a standard part from the Plumbing House.
Worst case it's all scaled up inside, and you handle that the same way - Drain, fill with White Vinegar and boil out & loosen up the deposits, then flush. And you may have to dismantle & clean the steam valves going to the coffee cups and the frother output.