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Thread: EM6910 is it worth fitting a new collar, machine has done 12,000 cups approximately

  1. #1
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    EM6910 is it worth fitting a new collar, machine has done 12,000 cups approximately

    The title says most of it, with an EM6910 is it worth fitting a new collar, machine has done 12,000 cups approximately and is close to needing a new collar due to wear, it is working well other than the steam knob shaft also getting worn, would I be better putting the money into something newer or replace the collar and seal.
    What is the life expectancy of the EM6910?
    Last edited by geebee666; 27th February 2017 at 02:16 PM.

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    I know several "2008 vintage" 'high usage" 6910's that are still going strong (including one of mine). I would suggest you use a spacer (between the seal and the collar) before you consider replacing the collar unless it is scored badly due to use. FWIW, most 2011 and newer 6910's are not as strong. If the red exposed bit on the drip tray is round, it is one of the older ones, if it is rectangular it is the newer type.

    TampIt

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    Cheers for the reply, it's a newer one about 27 months old, I have fitted a new seal two months ago but noticed the collar wearing and bulging where the group handle slots in, making fitting it a pain at times.
    It's only a matter of time before the wear causes other issues

    I was wondering if a Lelit or Rancilio etc, might be a better long term investment due to the heavy usage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee666 View Post
    Cheers for the reply, it's a newer one about 27 months old, I have fitted a new seal two months ago but noticed the collar wearing and bulging where the group handle slots in, making fitting it a pain at times.
    It's only a matter of time before the wear causes other issues

    I was wondering if a Lelit or Rancilio etc, might be a better long term investment due to the heavy usage.
    Wow! That is way out of the zone for most home uses. I would probably just replace the collar ($100 or so) and run the machine into the ground over the next 5 years or so. As near as I can tell, the earlier 6910's will do about 35,000 shots before they cark it in a terminal fashion. The newer ones are probably fewer shots.

    One thought - if the user's technique is poor it will get coffee grounds in the seal and trash both it and the collar a lot quicker than those who take more care. I have pulled over 10,000 shots with my 2008 6910 and its seal / collar is fine - I haven't even resorted to a spacer yet (see La Pav below about seals).

    Alternatively, I would suggest you start to think about true commercial machines. I doubt my Silvia would have served the "9 fairly trouble free years I had" with that workload... I reckon it did about 7,000 cups in that time (I combined it with a manual level Electra which would drive anyone up the wall with that workload - if it could do it at all in a practical sense). Miss S was more than half worn and I had replaced a few minor (i.e. routine) parts during that time.

    Do you want to get seriously into optimising the shots or just have a "hit button and work" setup?

    Standard commercial espresso machines "hit button and work": I also have a 2 group La Pavoni (example, not recommendation, although it is a great machine) which would handle that load without more than a routine service every year or so. My earlier La Pav (which I should not have sold) would have done a lot more than 300,000 shots (I had it for twenty years and 50 cups a day would have been about average I suspect) and did not even need a new seal, however I maintained it fanatically / scrupulously. Similar "non maintained machines" were needing 6 months services at $200 to 400 a pop at the time (probably double those figures for today's dollars). If you are not willing to maintain your machine at a similar level to me I suspect the running costs (not to mention the power consumption!) would be significantly higher than the 6910.

    Optimising the shots: If you want to play with temp or pressure profiling you would have to look to other "more exotic" gear - most of which will not handle that workload unless you have a stratospheric budget (thinking LM Strada and such - my fave "tinkering machine", not entirely suitable for a cafe or home at a mere $20k+).

    Hope this helps.


    TampIt

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    "Do you want to get seriously into optimising the shots or just have a "hit button and work" setup?"

    Well I preheat the group head, P/F and glasses, run shots via manual button, threw the plastic frothing tip away on day 1 and find the grinder the most limiting feature now as the steps are to big and it drifts a bit on the setting, so moderately serious
    The machine can produce seriously good coffee (we drink cappuccinos only) with care.

    I am the only person that uses it and I baby it, the collar appeared to go all of a sudden, it looked and felt like new a few months ago
    I am concerned by several people seeming to have short life on the machines after collar replacement.
    You maybe right about replacing the collar and running to death, decisions, decisions.
    Last edited by geebee666; 1st March 2017 at 08:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee666 View Post
    "Do you want to get seriously into optimising the shots or just have a "hit button and work" setup?"

    Well I preheat the group head, P/F and glasses, run shots via manual button, threw the plastic frothing tip away on day 1 and find the grinder the most limiting feature now as the steps are to big and it drifts a bit on the setting, so moderately serious
    The machine can produce seriously good coffee (we drink cappuccinos only) with care.

    I am the only person that uses it and I baby it, the collar appeared to go all of a sudden, it looked and felt like new a few months ago
    I am concerned by several people seeming to have short life on the machines after collar replacement.
    You maybe right about replacing the collar and running to death, decisions, decisions.
    G'day geebee666

    Yep, a 6910 can make a really, really good cuppa with care. Expecting snob flames any time now. However the grinder can make way more +ve difference than the machine, just as a naked makes way more +ve difference than playing with spouts and VST baskets make way more +ve difference IF your grinder is up to it. Not that it is practical with your "coffee workload", but as far as I am concerned, a decent manual lever machine like the Electra is the only current way to get a significant improvement in the cup over a 6910 at a "somewhat sane" price (but expect some grief with the learning process).

    Two quick points
    1) Are you sure someone else did not use the 6910? Coffee grounds are like grinding paste and do not take long to get to work on destroying seals / collars. If it happened suddenly, I reckon that is quite likely. Oh, I suggest you contact noidle22 - I have heard that some replacement collars are very soft - ask him about it.

    2) I went from 2 * SB 480's to 2 * Mahlkonig Vario gen2* grinders for my espresso and Turkish coffees. Even better than my Mazzer Major "in the cup" and also easier to configure. My only issue with the Varios - it is a dedicated Turkish to espresso only grinder - anything coarser and it is a mediocre performer. I should have kept a 480 for my "modded chemical stirrer" plunger coffee. Oh, and despite some of the more dubious threads around on CS, the gen2+ Varios are Swiss made using a Ditting commercial module "under the bonnet". Not only are they not a "domestic appliance", they kiss goodbye to all the arcane rituals like static problems, grounds all over the bench, needing to add accessories like wire grids, funnels etc etc which plagues a lot of traditional grinders. A Vario is easily my top choice for a quiet, fuss and mess free home grinder (which is exactly why I bought a second one three weeks after the first one).

    Enjoy your cuppa.


    TampIt
    * The gen3 Vario is now out, although it is only a different p/f holder from what I can establish. Same "in the cup" as the gen2.

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    Hi all,

    Does anyone know where I could purchase a spacer for the collar on the EM6910? The machine is about 7 years old, gets used every day once or twice. It started leaking around the collar so I put in a replacement, but that leaked as well, right from the start. It doesn't leak from any particular spot. I was thinking if a spacer doesn't work then it will be a nice excuse to sort out the upgrade-itis.

    Thanks!
    Margaret

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    Quote Originally Posted by marg3106 View Post
    Hi all,

    Does anyone know where I could purchase a spacer for the collar on the EM6910? The machine is about 7 years old, gets used every day once or twice. It started leaking around the collar so I put in a replacement, but that leaked as well, right from the start. It doesn't leak from any particular spot. I was thinking if a spacer doesn't work then it will be a nice excuse to sort out the upgrade-itis.

    Thanks!
    Margaret
    Just about any SB repairer has the spacers, or you can make your own easily enough. Use the seal as a guide and neatly cut out a correctly sized circle out of any thin card (i.e. the old "wheatbix packet trick"). It can be a reasonably permanent "repair" unless you are careless with coffee grounds.

    TampIt
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    E61 shim or a Boema shim are both compatible with the EM6910. These can be purchased from Coffee Parts.

    You'll pay a bit of postage so it would be worth buying some more stuff along with it.

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    Thanks, I'll give it a go...we eat a lot of weetbix so no trouble sourcing the part :-)

    I can still get great coffee out of the machine (pressure gauge is stuffed but I just watch the pour) and I don't like throwing stuff away if I can help it (I'm a bit of a greenie).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by marg3106 View Post
    Thanks, I'll give it a go...we eat a lot of weetbix so no trouble sourcing the part :-)

    I can still get great coffee out of the machine (pressure gauge is stuffed but I just watch the pour) and I don't like throwing stuff away if I can help it (I'm a bit of a greenie).
    G'day Margaret

    Glad to hear you are also allergic to wastage (ditto). I also get great coffee out of my older 6910 (newer one swapped for a 7000 - not entirely an improvement other than noise level). A quick (i.e. preinfusion plus a second or so) pre and post flush really lowers the 6910 maintenance bar - as does keeping all coffee grounds out of the seal.

    BTW, the 6910 pressure gauge runs via a very thin / quite long(ish) pipe which can block easily - often a really good "routine clean" as per the buttons (I use white vinegar diluted as per the manual) can fix it without bothering to tear the machine down. Mind you, I also always go by the pour as any gauge can have its own quirks.

    Enjoy your cuppa - all else is irrelevant.

    TampIt
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    Hi
    An update - I put a cardboard collar under the seal and now the problem is fixed, yay!
    I tried a good clean but the pressure gauge is still not working. I'm not going to bother about that as I've made enough coffee to be able to dial in a pour well enough.

    Thanks for your help TampIt. I agree, the 6910 is very noisy. Good way to wake up the teenage kids for school though- just make a cuppa.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by marg3106 View Post
    Hi
    An update - I put a cardboard collar under the seal and now the problem is fixed, yay!
    I tried a good clean but the pressure gauge is still not working. I'm not going to bother about that as I've made enough coffee to be able to dial in a pour well enough.

    Thanks for your help TampIt. I agree, the 6910 is very noisy. Good way to wake up the teenage kids for school though- just make a cuppa.
    No worries, always glad to help another "allergic to waste CSr". Presumably your gauge is stuffed - no big deal.

    I always knew a noisy maker was good for something. Love it.

    TampIt

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    I decided to fit a new collar and group seal, $97.00 for the pair express post, ordered lunch time had them in my hand 24h later! Sunbeam Café Series Coffee Machine Group Head Collar Assembly for EM6910, PU6910, EM6910106
    Fixed a couple of other issues like valve gland nut loose and a very loose screw, both in the steam valve, realigned the water knob as it was way off from new.
    Internally the machine looks like new and it now runs like new again.

    I will keep looking for a replacement but this means I can take my time, after responses to my other thread I will most likely look for a Lelit PL60 dual boiler if they ever come on sale or one pops up second hand, or something similar due to the large amount of cappuccino's we drink.

    Edit to correct wrong price.
    Last edited by geebee666; 5th April 2017 at 06:33 PM.

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