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Thread: Sunbeam side of the road score.

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam side of the road score.

    My EM7000 decided to start misbehaving only yesterday. The steam knob makes this horrible click and the steam doesn't shut off properly now...

    Anway, was driving to my folks place and couldnt go past this 6910 looking lonely in a hard rubbish pile, so had to try my luck. It was dirty, but looked taken care of and has a service sticker on the side. Got it home, poured some water in, fired her up and it's running like new!! Pretty happy that now I have a back up machine, while I decide what to do with the 7000.

    Another question for owners, the steam is I reckon twice as strong in the 6910 to my 7000 straight off the bat! Has there maybe always been something wrong with the 7000, or is the 6910 known for a strong jet of steam?
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  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Great pickup KizZ...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KizZ84 View Post
    My EM7000 decided to start misbehaving only yesterday. The steam knob makes this horrible click and the steam doesn't shut off properly now...

    Anway, was driving to my folks place and couldnt go past this 6910 looking lonely in a hard rubbish pile, so had to try my luck. It was dirty, but looked taken care of and has a service sticker on the side. Got it home, poured some water in, fired her up and it's running like new!! Pretty happy that now I have a back up machine, while I decide what to do with the 7000.

    Another question for owners, the steam is I reckon twice as strong in the 6910 to my 7000 straight off the bat! Has there maybe always been something wrong with the 7000, or is the 6910 known for a strong jet of steam?
    Here are a couple of quick vids of first extraction and steam pressure... nothing at all wrong with that IMO:

    https://youtu.be/eAQvRtkOCIg

    https://youtu.be/PNnn6RDa8UQ

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    Quote Originally Posted by KizZ84 View Post
    My EM7000 decided to start misbehaving only yesterday. The steam knob makes this horrible click and the steam doesn't shut off properly now...

    Anway, was driving to my folks place and couldnt go past this 6910 looking lonely in a hard rubbish pile, so had to try my luck. It was dirty, but looked taken care of and has a service sticker on the side. Got it home, poured some water in, fired her up and it's running like new!! Pretty happy that now I have a back up machine, while I decide what to do with the 7000.

    Another question for owners, the steam is I reckon twice as strong in the 6910 to my 7000 straight off the bat! Has there maybe always been something wrong with the 7000, or is the 6910 known for a strong jet of steam?
    Good score! That is a post 2009 model - believe it or not both shot grunt and steam are slightly less than the earlier model (2007 / 2008).

    Just make sure you clean the steam wand out thoroughly (look up "descaling in the manual and use white vinegar in the steam wand as well as the shot is my firm recommendation). Some users manage to get milk all the way past the bend via poor technique.

    Well done.

    Enjoy your cuppa - the one in the photo looks good enough to drink...


    TampIt
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    Tampit- Is it only the square float that indicates post 2009?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Good score! That is a post 2009 model - believe it or not both shot grunt and steam are slightly less than the earlier model (2007 / 2008).

    Just make sure you clean the steam wand out thoroughly (look up "descaling in the manual and use white vinegar in the steam wand as well as the shot is my firm recommendation). Some users manage to get milk all the way past the bend via poor technique.

    Well done.

    Enjoy your cuppa - the one in the photo looks good enough to drink...


    TampIt
    Thanks for the info TampIt. So you're saying the 6910 I have is the newer model? I actually thought older, as it has the Sunbeam label printed directly on to the drip tray. I thought the update had the "Cafe series" embossed logo on it? The group handle is consistent with it being newer, as it doesn't have that shitty little plastic insert in it and is formed more like the one from the EM7000. All said, however, surely my 7000 should have as good of a steam jet, if not better?

    Gave her a back flush and descale and overall clean this morning, looking pretty neato and pulling a nice coffee!

    I was reluctant to descale the steam wand, as it specifies not to in the manual? The steam is clean and strong, see vid link, so is it necessary? Don't want to break anything :-p

    https://youtu.be/L7vBayYSCj0

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Tampit- Is it only the square float that indicates post 2009?
    Yep. The actual date of manufacturing is inside the back cover on the black bit (hard to see - look / feel for indented stamping). Basically it is the year and the week withing the year - too long ago to remember which order for sure, although 318 for my original one sticks in mind - 31st week of 2008 (i.e. August). Also, some newer ones are "date reversed" anyway.

    Also the height is different. Boo hiss - first use - exit one vintage Wedgewood cup from my grandmother in my newer (2010) one as it was about 5mm lower - long since moved on to a worthy friend.

    For WA CS'r's, I still have two spare 6910s from 2007 / 2008 in good shape - PM me (not really a plug, although the current renovations are placing storage at a premium).
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    Quote Originally Posted by KizZ84 View Post
    Thanks for the info TampIt. So you're saying the 6910 I have is the newer model? I actually thought older, as it has the Sunbeam label printed directly on to the drip tray. I thought the update had the "Cafe series" embossed logo on it? The group handle is consistent with it being newer, as it doesn't have that shitty little plastic insert in it and is formed more like the one from the EM7000. All said, however, surely my 7000 should have as good of a steam jet, if not better?

    Gave her a back flush and descale and overall clean this morning, looking pretty neato and pulling a nice coffee!

    I was reluctant to descale the steam wand, as it specifies not to in the manual? The steam is clean and strong, see vid link, so is it necessary? Don't want to break anything :-p
    Yep - newer one unless (shock horror) you scored a bastardised repair clusterf**k. Mercifully I have only seen one of those... the frame needs to be bent to fit and they leak around the drip tray anyway.

    Group handles - started with thin placky and brass, "upgraded" to thicker placky and stainless, then to bare thin stainless and finally to thick stainless. Guys like me remove the placky on first look anyway, so that may be hard to tell. Given a choice I then convert the p/f to naked anyway using a holesaw (early brass) or lathe w cutting oil (stainless).

    6910 / 7000: I have posted about this before. Short version :7000 is quieter but has a little less shot power than the earlier 6910s. Possibly the same as later 6910, however I have never had them in the same room. Close enough to still make a decent espresso, however 4 "microsettings" coarser on my Varios to get the same flow. Milk: the 7000 automatics mean that any idiot can make an OK microfoam. Once you know how to froth milk the 6910 makes microfoam up with the best machines I know - the 7000 simply cannot match it (or even get close).

    Steam wand: I use white vinegar solution ONLY for that. I have used it on all types of espresso machines (mainly commercial ones) since 1970 with no probs. Do not use anything else, as friends of mine that used a "well known coffee cleaning product" (starting with "C") trashed their wands. Also, if it is likely to be really polluted, it is most important to leave the white vinegar mixture in the thermo / wand system for about 15 minutes and then flush for at least 20 minutes (in 2 minute on / 1 minute off pulses) to clear out all traces of the stuff - unless you really love tainted milk flavours...

    Enjoy your cuppa.

    TampIt
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    Thank you, TampIt, you're a wealth of information!!

    I will run the vinegar solution through the steam wand today, as per your instructions. The solution I used for the rest of the machine is just the Sunbeam stuff you get in the little red and white bottle.

    I don't think its a Frankenstein, though it has been well loved and professionally serviced, which is reassuring! It sounds like you have a soft spot for these machines, and I must say, I'm enjoying it more than the safe ol' 7000 so far. Shots are consistent, it's definitely much quicker to heat milk and I am personally getting better micro foam out of it than the 7000.

    The portafilter that came with it is closest to my EM7000, so I'm guessing that is a very recent replacement one. Not to mention (hard to know unless you're holding it) the condition of the handle plastic is brand spanking new, compared to any of the others I own. Pic one shows it left of one that I've removed the plastic insert from, pic two is (right to left) the old 6910 portafilter, then the one from this machine, then my 7000. Interesting the subtle changes.

    I had one of the very old filthy originals that I butchered into a naked with a hole saw yesterday. Pretty happy with my 1st attempt... does anyone get them straight on the first try? I might clean it up with the Dremel later today, just a little afraid of making it worse!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KizZ84 View Post
    Thank you, TampIt, you're a wealth of information!!

    I will run the vinegar solution through the steam wand today, as per your instructions. The solution I used for the rest of the machine is just the Sunbeam stuff you get in the little red and white bottle.

    I don't think its a Frankenstein, though it has been well loved and professionally serviced, which is reassuring! It sounds like you have a soft spot for these machines, and I must say, I'm enjoying it more than the safe ol' 7000 so far. Shots are consistent, it's definitely much quicker to heat milk and I am personally getting better micro foam out of it than the 7000.

    The portafilter that came with it is closest to my EM7000, so I'm guessing that is a very recent replacement one. Not to mention (hard to know unless you're holding it) the condition of the handle plastic is brand spanking new, compared to any of the others I own. Pic one shows it left of one that I've removed the plastic insert from, pic two is (right to left) the old 6910 portafilter, then the one from this machine, then my 7000. Interesting the subtle changes.

    I had one of the very old filthy originals that I butchered into a naked with a hole saw yesterday. Pretty happy with my 1st attempt... does anyone get them straight on the first try? I might clean it up with the Dremel later today, just a little afraid of making it worse!
    Thanks: Appreciated. I received a lot of help over the years and believe in paying it forward.

    Good luck with cleaning the wand out - tedious but necessary procedure on any "unknown machine". 6910 wands tend to clog up if the user's technique is poor.

    Soft spot: Yep. I mainly used many different commercial machines from 1970 to date in Oz and had a 2 group La Pav (stupidly sold it, it was in perfect nick) plus an Electra manual lever at home in a super sized kitchen. I went to the US for "far too long", taking my beloved Electra and one of my smaller Mazzer grinders with me. I left my Electra manual lever and my one year old 230V GS3 in the US (not to mention heaps of other coffee and non-coffee stuff - all of which is now inaccessible to me) in stage one of what turned out to be an extremely unfriendly separation and divorce.

    Being back in Oz, in a micro kitchen and flat broke I bought a 6910 "on spec and faint hope" as the only machine I could afford that could froth milk and pull a shot at the same time. The Electra always thrashed the GS3 in terms of coffee flavour, and I still miss it. The 2008 6910 proved to be surprisingly good and later when I bought another 2 group La Pav (in way worse condition than my earlier one - I had to do an A to Z restore) I found it was no better "in the cup" - to the point that I rarely use it (probably should sell it). Later I bought a 7000 which is a lot quieter and the domestic peace is (possibly) worth it. Using the 7000 I can equal the coffee from the 6910, however I cannot match the milk texturing (even after 2+ years of attempts). Needless to say, I am keeping my main 6910 and when I finish my new (separate) building it will be back in use for my day to day cuppa (unless the Decent DE1Cafe is as good as it seems to be). I am really resisting buying another Electra (or similar manual lever) as I cannot be bothered with that level of arcane rituals any more - even if the end taste result is better.

    P/fs: Your older "non naked" one may be either the last run of brass ones (I have only seen one of them) or the first version of the stainless ones. They are exactly the same hole arrangement. Obviously if it is the brass one, it is trivial to convert to naked with a good holesaw. You probably already know this: try scratching it where it would be drilled out anyway and you can easily tell what it is made of.

    Naked: Your effort is good, however your holesaw is actually a tad small. As the coffee should already miss the "jagged edge", I would only clean it up enough to remove any sharp "non person friendly" edges. FWIW, I use a Josco holesaw which is exactly the same size as the internal diameter of the brass p/f. Makes cleaning up after drilling it out just a quick filing job (not even worth getting my Dremel 4000 out of its box because a manual file would be finished long before I could put the Dremel together). Hint: I took my p/f to Total Tools and bought the best fitting holesaw I could find - they have a large number of them at their Rockingham branch, if not at any other. An exact fit makes life a lot easier.

    Enjoy your 6910 - in my view they are a very under rated machine.

    TampIt

  11. #11
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    Good lord!! People throw some crazy things out. This was on a clean up pile??!!!!! Madness. My guess is they were getting a little water leaking around the group handle, probably because they were overdosing, and decided it was stuffed. Great pick up there and should provide plenty more good service. I second everything Tampit has said and just urge you to do as much cleaning as you can - descale both thermoblocks with vinegar, pull the group shower and gasket assembly apart and give all that a good clean as well as up under the group head area on the machine. Do a chemical backflush with the gasket in place, but not the shower screens (note: this is how I always do a chem backflush on 6910s as powder can get stuck behind the shower screens). And yeah you should see good steam power. Don’t forget this is also adjustable so you might even be able to improve it more. I have my steam set to ‘hottest’ and ‘wettest’. Well done. Enjoy.


    PS. The click on the steam knob on your 7000 could just be that the plastic stem inside the knob is broken. The plastic is fairly low quality and they do tend to deteriorate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Thanks: Appreciated. I received a lot of help over the years and believe in paying it forward.

    Good luck with cleaning the wand out - tedious but necessary procedure on any "unknown machine". 6910 wands tend to clog up if the user's technique is poor.

    Soft spot: Yep. I mainly used many different commercial machines from 1970 to date in Oz and had a 2 group La Pav (stupidly sold it, it was in perfect nick) plus an Electra manual lever at home in a super sized kitchen. I went to the US for "far too long", taking my beloved Electra and one of my smaller Mazzer grinders with me. I left my Electra manual lever and my one year old 230V GS3 in the US (not to mention heaps of other coffee and non-coffee stuff - all of which is now inaccessible to me) in stage one of what turned out to be an extremely unfriendly separation and divorce.

    Being back in Oz, in a micro kitchen and flat broke I bought a 6910 "on spec and faint hope" as the only machine I could afford that could froth milk and pull a shot at the same time. The Electra always thrashed the GS3 in terms of coffee flavour, and I still miss it. The 2008 6910 proved to be surprisingly good and later when I bought another 2 group La Pav (in way worse condition than my earlier one - I had to do an A to Z restore) I found it was no better "in the cup" - to the point that I rarely use it (probably should sell it). Later I bought a 7000 which is a lot quieter and the domestic peace is (possibly) worth it. Using the 7000 I can equal the coffee from the 6910, however I cannot match the milk texturing (even after 2+ years of attempts). Needless to say, I am keeping my main 6910 and when I finish my new (separate) building it will be back in use for my day to day cuppa (unless the Decent DE1Cafe is as good as it seems to be). I am really resisting buying another Electra (or similar manual lever) as I cannot be bothered with that level of arcane rituals any more - even if the end taste result is better.

    P/fs: Your older "non naked" one may be either the last run of brass ones (I have only seen one of them) or the first version of the stainless ones. They are exactly the same hole arrangement. Obviously if it is the brass one, it is trivial to convert to naked with a good holesaw. You probably already know this: try scratching it where it would be drilled out anyway and you can easily tell what it is made of.

    Naked: Your effort is good, however your holesaw is actually a tad small. As the coffee should already miss the "jagged edge", I would only clean it up enough to remove any sharp "non person friendly" edges. FWIW, I use a Josco holesaw which is exactly the same size as the internal diameter of the brass p/f. Makes cleaning up after drilling it out just a quick filing job (not even worth getting my Dremel 4000 out of its box because a manual file would be finished long before I could put the Dremel together). Hint: I took my p/f to Total Tools and bought the best fitting holesaw I could find - they have a large number of them at their Rockingham branch, if not at any other. An exact fit makes life a lot easier.

    Enjoy your 6910 - in my view they are a very under rated machine.

    TampIt
    Wow! What a story. Sorry to hear everything didn't work out in the US of A!

    My 7000 is currently at Ellis Electrical in Dandenong being quoted, as it was my closest authorised repairer. As I walked in the door to drop it off, two office-types were picking up a repaired 6910, which I can only assume was their trusty work machine (good to see). Then as I looked around the repair floor, there were about three other 6910s and one 7000. I guess given the reasonable initial price and decent performance of both machines, people are happy to pay what it costs in repairs every 3-5 years to keep them keeping on... reassuring in such a disposable society as ours.

    I'm curious to see (assuming the repair bill is worthwhile) how I personally find the 7000 stacks up after a few weeks of the 6910. The main things I miss are the milk temp gauge (mainly because I can't find my thermometer and haven't bought a new one) and the cool touch steam wand (just takes some getting used to, as I'd gotten into a shitty habit of resting my index finger against the want as I was frothing -- learnt to stop that the hard way).

    As for the portafilter, I have a set of stepped hole saws, so one is sure to fit snug into the inside of the PF -- I went in from the other side for some reason, using the spout as a guide hole for the centre drill bit of the hole saw. I think I will convert the other brass one, but leave my two stainless ones as they are!

    Admittedly, haven't cleaned the steam thermoblock yet, probably a tomorrow job, when the kids are at childcare!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Good lord!! People throw some crazy things out. This was on a clean up pile??!!!!! Madness. My guess is they were getting a little water leaking around the group handle, probably because they were overdosing, and decided it was stuffed. Great pick up there and should provide plenty more good service. I second everything Tampit has said and just urge you to do as much cleaning as you can - descale both thermoblocks with vinegar, pull the group shower and gasket assembly apart and give all that a good clean as well as up under the group head area on the machine. Do a chemical backflush with the gasket in place, but not the shower screens (note: this is how I always do a chem backflush on 6910s as powder can get stuck behind the shower screens). And yeah you should see good steam power. Don’t forget this is also adjustable so you might even be able to improve it more. I have my steam set to ‘hottest’ and ‘wettest’. Well done. Enjoy.


    PS. The click on the steam knob on your 7000 could just be that the plastic stem inside the knob is broken. The plastic is fairly low quality and they do tend to deteriorate.
    Hi Leroy!

    Yes, on a clean up pile among many other gems! It makes me sick how disposable people see these items! Guess again, the group head seal was literally brand new, the first time I put the portafilter in, i couldnt even turn it to 90°!! I have a feeling it has had some decent repair done on it fairly recently, including a full service, a new portafilter and possibly a re-collar (just a hunch). Maybe the owners just went off coffee?!?

    As for the clean up, have checked most of your list off, except for the steam thermoblock. Will be sure to give it hell!

    Thanks for the advice :-)
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    Update: I picked the EM7000 up from Ellis Elec yesterday. They have replaced the steam knob and valve and when the guy called, he said something about adjusting it, as there was too much water going into the overflow tray?

    Anyway, fired her up this morning and the steam pressure is out of this world, I swear the thing nearly took off from the bench!! Very happy with the repairs and $176 for service and repair seems like a fair price!

    Now I have the 6910 and the 7000 humming along, it seems a sin just to put the 6910 in the garage for emergencies, so not sure what I'm going to do...
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  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Maybe set the 6910 up as a take-away machine with a hand grinder, etc with everything organised in its own box, ready to go except for quality beans...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Maybe set the 6910 up as a take-away machine with a hand grinder, etc with everything organised in its own box, ready to go except for quality beans...

    Mal.
    Haha, not a bad idea! I have a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder sitting in the garage that would pair up better than the hand grinder, too ;-)

    Honestly though, I think it might go to my in-laws' house at least for a while. They have a Jura automatic, but can't understand why the can't get coffees out of it, comparable to what I serve them here. Might offer it up with some lessons on the basics, see if they prefer it!
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  17. #17
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    Ah, that sounds like a great idea mate...

    Mal.
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    Or sell one of the machines with the Smart Grinder as a package on eBay and use the funds to buy a good grinder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Or sell one of the machines with the Smart Grinder as a package on eBay and use the funds to buy a good grinder.
    Have you owned one and had a bad experience? I quite like it

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    Quote Originally Posted by KizZ84 View Post
    Have you owned one and had a bad experience? I quite like it
    If you’ve got a good one that’s working well and you’re happy with it there’s probably not a lot of point upgrading. Unless of course you want to get into single origin espresso as a small semi commercial grinder will give you better clarity of flavour. But if you mostly drink milk drinks then the Smart Grinder is fine and it’s hard to beat when it comes to being user friendly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    If you’ve got a good one that’s working well and you’re happy with it there’s probably not a lot of point upgrading. Unless of course you want to get into single origin espresso as a small semi commercial grinder will give you better clarity of flavour. But if you mostly drink milk drinks then the Smart Grinder is fine and it’s hard to beat when it comes to being user friendly.
    Yeah, I bought it new around 2.5 years ago and it's still going strong. I give it a good clean after every kilo or so of beans, but have always found the grind to be overall consistent. Not that I have any commercial grade experience to compare to...

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