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Thread: Yes Tampit you were right! or Cleaning the group head EM 6910

  1. #1
    Rbn
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    Yes Tampit you were right! or Cleaning the group head EM 6910

    I have just discoverd a thick coating of coffee oil on the group head, as Tampit suggested there would be.

    While the screens came clean with a couple of factory flushes and the cleaning tablet, the rest of the "gunk" did not move.

    I took off the shower screens and seal and soaked it in vinegar in an attempt to "loosen/soften" the oil residue.
    Then used a scotch brite cloth and elbow grease to rub off the oils, some came off.

    Are there any tips good coffee people have to the it back "clean as new" condition.

    With thanks.

    And is there a guide to removing the group head?
    Last edited by rawill; 30th August 2017 at 05:32 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Yes Tampit you were right! or Cleaning the group head EM 6910

    The group head on the 6910 is integrated with the thermoblock. So to get the collar off and access the group head properly you ideally take the whole thermoblock out. Once you've done this it's really easy to access everything and give it a good clean.

    You'll probably find this situation-




    Post cleaning -

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  3. #3
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Yes Tampit you were right! or Cleaning the group head EM 6910

    Looking good! Great job LeroyC. Wondering whether this is just as easy with the EM7000 or have they reworked/upgraded things to prevent it happening?
    Last edited by matth3wh; 30th August 2017 at 07:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Rbn
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    Oh my goodness! Thank you. I found on here an old thread about pulling the whole machine to pieces to get at it.

    Maybe I will swap out the steam thermobloc at the same time.
    The one I am working on does not give out as powerful a steam as my "original", which has a new thermobloc in it, now about 3000 shots on it.

    I have put a few cleans with a vinegar solution through it, it did some out clouldy the first time, subsequently it is reasonably clear.
    But I will keep trying to get it up to speed before I ditch it. Or can it be something else.
    When I set it on the driest steam it seemed to be weaker.
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  5. #5
    Rbn
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    Managed to get it almost pristine!

    I used to be a motor mechanic, so decided some of the products we use there might help loosen/soften the caked on oils.
    Yes, it did, and only needed some moderate rubbing with a coffee stirrer etc to get it clean.

    Then the factory flush with the disc, next coffee tasted fine, and I am still alive a few hours later!
    Last edited by rawill; 30th August 2017 at 03:22 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Posting up my thoughts.... 'Cleanliness is next to 'Godliness' when it comes to Coffee and Espresso Machines.
    Minimising the amount of stale burnt grinds & oils that can congregate around, under and above the shower screen / seal area
    by observing the 'maximum dose height' that is possible with the machine ( Aka the '5cent test') will go a long way in assisting. And therefore minimise as much as possible the need for excessive cleaning / maintenance / service / replacement.

    As a fellow mechanic I'm sure you'll agree proper operation, care and servicing beats repair anytime.

    Its amazing even at the Cafe / Barista level how many believe in cramming as much coffee as possible into the basket AND then....
    throw in another shovel just for good measure!

    I saw this recently at a cafe with a brand new Victoria Arduino (Black Sheep) 2group...and they persisted in filling the basket till the guy had to virtually stomp on the tamper just to compact the puck...maybe only 3 or 4mm into & down from the top of the basket.....he then ....literally had to push the handle up and in just to get the lugs to engage with the Grouphead.....
    Hmmmm I thought to myself wonder how much a new grouphead for one of these things is !!
    Last edited by EspressoAdventurer; 30th August 2017 at 10:20 AM. Reason: proper english
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    Posting up my thoughts.... 'Cleanliness is next to 'Godliness' when it comes to Coffee and Espresso Machines.
    Minimising the amount of stale burnt grinds & oils that can congregate around, under and above the shower screen / seal area
    by observing the 'maximum dose height' that is possible with the machine ( Aka the '5cent test') will go a long way in assisting. And therefore minimise as much as possible the need for excessive cleaning / maintenance / service / replacement.

    As a fellow mechanic I'm sure you'll agree proper operation, care and servicing beats repair anytime.

    Its amazing even at the Cafe / Barista level how many believe in cramming as much coffee as possible into the basket AND then....
    throw in another shovel just for good measure!

    I saw this recently at a cafe with a brand new Victoria Arduino (Black Sheep) 2group...and they persisted in filling the basket till the guy had to virtually stomp on the tamper just to compact the puck...maybe only 3 or 4mm into & down from the top of the basket.....he then ....literally had to push the handle up and in just to get the lugs to engage with the Grouphead.....
    Hmmmm I thought to myself wonder how much a new grouphead for one of these things is !!
    G'day EspressoAdventurer

    A quick extra clarification on the 5 cent test. Far too many CS'r's seem to think it is the 11th commandment to dose exactly to that level. A number of machines give a far better cuppa when dosed significantly less than that. I would suggest that it is no more than a handy guide to the maximum dose that should be deployed.

    The rest of your post -

    Yep, seen some lack of maintenance horrors. It is amazing how little maintenance is needed when the technique is sound.

    I too have seen far to many "wannabe baristas" destroy whatever quality remained in their beans by grinding it far too coarse, overdosing the bejesus out of their innocent espresso machine and then topping up the resultant catastrophe with scorched milk froth from a filthy steam wand. Shudder. Their machine always needs an A to Z clean after every second shot as so much crud is left in the group area. They also need to replace the seals every other week - I went years without replacing the seals on my first 2 group La Pav simply because I never crapped them up in the first place.

    TampIt
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    'A quick extra clarification on the 5 cent test. Far too many CS'r's seem to think it is the 11th commandment to dose exactly to that level. A number of machines give a far better cuppa when dosed significantly less than that. I would suggest that it is no more than a handy guide to the maximum dose that should be deployed.'

    Yeah I agree entirely....IT is only one of the many things you need to know to familiarize yourself with YOUR machine / equipment.
    As you allude too there's a whole world of experiment / flavour and consistency out there to be discovered once you get past the -
    - What quantity should I dose / does my basket hold? One of the most often asked questions here and elsewhere.
    or
    - I'll just fill it till it's full then, fill it further into a mound, then stomp on it ..school of dosing.

    Or an alternative such as a (slightly) lower dose, finer grind, lighter tamp puck (so ts clear of the shower screen) setup.
    I've experimented / experienced when nailed this gives just as consistent shot after shot result, and a fully soaked (wet moistened) soft as cotton wool puck, post shot.
    I wouldn't go as far as to say it gives a wow in the cup different taste experience...but a different angle to come at it when chasing consistency.

    Versus the alternative being a fully dosed coarser grind heavier tamped puck that can finish with a dry lesser soaked puck that may not be getting the most out of the bean.
    Off course depends on the roast and the bean / blend in the first place.

  9. #9
    Rbn
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    After reading up on the do's and don'ts of cleaning, like not putting the Sunbeam solution through the steam wand!
    And at the risk of "stuffing it up" according to AM, back in 2010, I decided to "do it anyway".

    After having put a 50/50 solution of vinegar through it I did not expect to find much.
    I was wrong!

    Green stuff came out of the steam wand, the group head was fine and clear.

    Putting the same Sunbeam solution, 1 tablet per 1 litre of water, did not produce the same results, what came through this machine was as clear when it came out as when it went in.

    I can see it is going to take a bit of time to clear the steam wand in the 6910.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    You can't hurt the system putting descaler through the steamer. I believe sunbeam say not to as the descaler vapours may be an issue. They sure smell bad and coats everything it touches with a sticky layer.

    I've left descaler in an EM6910 for several days and when flushed out there were no adverse effects. It's still working fine today.

    Some EM6910s can be recovered and will produce good steam but some are just too far gone and require new thermoblocks.
    It's also an idea to remove all associated copper piping and make sure it's clear.

    Also, when you run descaler through the steamer, adjust the steam thermoblock temp to the minimum and the steam pump rate to the maximum.
    This will ensure the descaler can do the maximum work as less of it will be converted to steam.
    rawill likes this.

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