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Thread: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

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    Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,

    I think I might have a problem with my Sunbeam EM4800, but Im not sure. Hopefully someone can point out whats happening.

    On Thursday, I performed my regular cleaning processes on the machine, including descaling using the water and vinegar solution as suggested in the manual. Ive done this quite a few times in the past with no hassles.

    This time round something weird happened. Id gone through the entire process of running the solution through the unit, and was on the home straight where I was running a couple of reservoirs of clean water through to flush out any remaining water/vinegar solution, and, I persume, scaley bits.

    Midway through this, though, the usual noises it was making began changing - sort of rising in tone, with a few odd clanking noises - and the water flow began slowing. I know - this is where I should have switched everything off, but I didnt.

    The machine eventually just stopped. The lights were still on, but it was doing nothing, no flow, no noises, nothing! Id switch off, unplug, plug back in, switch on, but still nothing.

    My initial thought was maybe my descaling process had descaled some scale which had then clogged the water flow somewhere along the line. So I turned it upside down, gave it a bit of a shake and tried again. This time it started up, but the flow was slow and the tone of the noises was still high.

    Anyway - I went through the whole cleaning process again, and it now seems to be working - but only just.

    The tone is still higher than before, and the water coming through just seems to be at a lot less pressure than before. I grind my own coffee, and with everything how it was before the descaling process, the coffee is flat out dripping out of the machine into my cup. The flow actually dries up completely. The coffee tastes alright, but the machine just now seems to be struggling to make a cuppa.

    Any ideas what Ive done? To my inexperienced mind, it seems that maybe Ive managed to clog something up along the line. Any suggestions on how to fix things?


  2. #2
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    SpeedBump

    Vinegar is for pickling onions and putting on your fish and chips...... not descaling coffee machines!

    There are special products available for that purpose which have controlled amounts of the correct ingredients and no "funny" impurities which might be in the vinegar..... whilst OK for descaling kettles (just!) keep it away from coffee machines - especially thermoblocks.

    The odds are that it has displaced - but not dissolved - chunks of scale which are blocking the small pipes.....

    Get yourself some proper descaling chemicals
    (site sponsors over <<<<<< sell them) and descale again.... hopefully that will overcome your problem.

    If you want to do it cheaply (less risk than vinegar - but still not ideal) you could try citric acid..... but a product specially designed for the purpose is far safer and more effective.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    As above
    Available in powder or tablet form
    use it in conjunction with your solid / blind filter basket

    In this case you may need to clean a couple of times to get the water flowing again
    KK

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Ah yes - typical me, always doing things on the cheap!! Lesson learnt, and Ill go get myself the proper chemicals. And a solid / blind filter basket, coz I dont seem to have one of them!

    Thanks!!

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Hey there, I just bought one of these Sunbeams and would like to know if I can replace the portafilter insert with a non-pressurised one?? I get the feeling that it makes the espresso taste weaker. I dont really need fake crema.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Try this link http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1199980798

    There is discussion about unpressurised filers for the EM4800.

    Also this link http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1192424067

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Kosmo link=1212802805/0#2 date=1212805694
    As above
    Available in powder or tablet form
    use it in conjunction with your solid / blind filter basket

    In this case you may need to clean a couple of times to get the water flowing again
    KK
    Im about to get myself some proper descaling product and will be ditching the vinegar, but now Ive got 2 more questions: I follow instructions very closely, and the instructions with the EM4800 seem quite precise and foolproof and talk about running the liquid through the machine a number of times, and at one point switching the machine off for about 15 mins whilst the descaling liquid is in the machine so that the liquid can do its job. How and when exactly would I use the solid filter basket in this process?

    And whilst Im changing my evil ways, whats a good regular cleaning and descaling regime to follow?

    And thanks for the link to that other thread, Stan. Im also going to invest in the Krups filter basket and seal.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Have you completed the service as per the Owners Manual
    Descaling from pages 17 to 20

    You may need to do the service again but with the chemical

    The blind filter will clean the brew head on a regular maintanance prgram
    Ask for a demo when you pick up some descaler chemical

    KK

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Kosmo link=1212802805/0#7 date=1212851648
    The blind filter will clean the brew head on a regular maintanance prgram
    Ahh,

    This only works for machines with a 3-Way Valve such as a Silvia for example KK and Im not sure that the SB EM4800 is such a machine. Better to stick with manufacturers procedure unless it specifically states that this machine has a 3-Way Valve. Would still be a good idea to use the product sold by our Site Sponsor "Bombora" rather than vinegar though. Im pretty sure several of our sponsors are able to get or stock the Bombora product and will be only too happy to walk you through a good maintenance programme.... :)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Thanks for all the advice, guys! And yes, KK, I follow the descaling instructions in the manual religiously, and in the past Ive been using the vinegar solution they suggest.

    But thats now going on the fish n chips, and Ill be investing in some of the Clean Machine Triple Action Formula descaling liquid (ohh - sounds impressive!!) from one of the sponsors, and continue to clean and descale by the book!

    And hopefully all my problems will dissolve away...... :)

    Thanks again!!

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedBump link=1212802805/0#6 date=1212833436
    And thanks for the link to that other thread, Stan. Im also going to invest in the Krups filter basket and seal.
    Woooh!! Just rang Sparkys Electrical here in Brissy. Krups brewhead seal $7.95, Krups double basket $39.05!! A lot more than the approx $20 total mentioned in that other thread! *:o

  12. #12
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    No worries I ordered mine from a local a month ago and I am still waiting. :-/ I am considering looking further afield as others dont seem to take that long to get them. >:(

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    A quick update on the hassles I was having with my machine after running my regular descaling process as per the 1st post.

    Unfortunately, I think Ive wounded my poor machine. Last night I did the entire descaling process twice - using descaling liquid this time instead of vinegar. Alas, no improvement to the running of the machine. :(

    It seems to either still be clogged slightly or has somehow lost pressure. The water seems to struggle to get through - even without the filter basket on. Ive had to wind up the coarseness of the ground coffee just to get some liquid through, and even then its obviously a struggle. And my shot no longer has any crema. :( The steam wand seems to be operating at a lower pressure, too.

    Oh what have I done!!?? :( :(


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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Speedbump, its interesting to read that you used vinegar. I have a 4800 as well and my manual actually says (as an alternative to the Sunbeam Liquid Descaler) to use "2 dessertspoons of tartaric acid (creme of tartar) or citric acid in half a litre of lukewarm water." ...and goes on to say, "Important: Do not use vinegar."! (See page 17).

    Strange that our two manuals would say explicitly contrary things?

    For what its worth, Ive always used the tartaric acid and its worked okay for me.

    Perhaps try the Sunbeam product or the tartaric acid solution?

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by VC link=1212802805/0#13 date=1214120032
    Speedbump, its interesting to read that you used vinegar. I have a 4800 as well and my manual actually says (as an alternative to the Sunbeam Liquid Descaler) to use "2 dessertspoons of tartaric acid (creme of tartar) or citric acid in half a litre of lukewarm water." ...and goes on to say, "Important: Do not use vinegar."! (See page 17).

    Strange that our two manuals would say explicitly contrary things?

    For what its worth, Ive always used the tartaric acid and its worked okay for me.

    Perhaps try the Sunbeam product or the tartaric acid solution?
    Well, isnt that interesting! Sounds like others have had problems and theyve realised the vinegar is the culprit! Bit late for me to find out though. I tried the Sunbeam product a few times (including an extra-strength mixture), but the machine is still stuffed. Time for a new one, unfortunately.

    Though I might just try ringing Sunbeam, explaining the problem, and pointing out theyre obviously aware theres an issue cause theyve changed the manual. Its not still under warranty, but theres a good chance it IS stuffed cause I followed their instructions. So, who knows......?

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    :( Yeah, they prob realised and changed the manual. (My machine is about 3.5 years old... is yours older?)

    Ring them and see if theyll replace it with an EM6910. ;)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    What!!?? Mine is only 18 months old!! Man - this is getting weird!! So they originally say Important - Dont use vinegar, and then later manuals decide its OK??

    Definitely gunna try for an EM6910 now!! :)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedBump link=1212802805/0#16 date=1214132107
    What!!?? Mine is only 18 months old!! Man - this is getting weird!! So they originally say Important - Dont use vinegar, and then later manuals decide its OK??

    Maybe they think they will sell more machines that way ::)

    I wouldnt use vinegar in any coffee machine.... as you dont know what else is in it (or even what strength it is!).... and in a thermoblock you have very fine tubes..... doesnt take much to block em Im afraid.

    The correct chemicals are best, but tartaric and citric acid should both be fine (when used at the correct concentrations)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    We had a similar problem on the final leg of the descaling with our works fully automatic Delonghi Magnifica, it slowed to a trickle then stopped. the thing then sat on a shelf for a year and was going to be sold on ebay as a not working unit .. at this point I thought what the hell and ripped it to bits to have a good look.

    Turned out to have a bit of crud (loosened scale) in the 3 way solenoid after the primary boiler. Cleaned this with a pin and put the machine back together, it worked fine for about 5 minutes, then the same happened, same valve was blocked .. so out with the primary boiler which is a mongrel and after dismantling it was FULL of scale .. spent 20 minutes with a pot scourer and tartaric acid .. reassemble and the machine is back working, better than ever for the last few months.

    Instead of writing off the sunbeam .. get a screwdriver or 2, what have you got to lose ... I would suggest pulling it to bits on an outdoors table though, you do tend to get water squirting everywhere..

    I might post some pics if anyone is interested. I took a few snaps to show the guys at work.

  20. #20
    A_M
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney link=1212802805/0#18 date=1222736984
    We had a similar problem on the final leg of the descaling with our works fully automatic Delonghi Magnifica, it slowed to a trickle then stopped. the thing then sat on a shelf for a year and was going to be sold on ebay as a not working unit .. at this point I thought what the hell and ripped it to bits to have a good look.

    Turned out to have a bit of crud (loosened scale) in the 3 way solenoid after the primary boiler. Cleaned this with a pin and put the machine back together, it worked fine for about 5 minutes, then the same happened, same valve was blocked .. so out with the primary boiler which is a mongrel and after dismantling it was FULL of scale .. spent 20 minutes with a pot scourer and tartaric acid .. reassemble and the machine is back working, better than ever for the last few months.

    Instead of writing off the sunbeam .. get a screwdriver or 2, what have you got to lose ... I *would suggest pulling it to bits on an outdoors table though, you do tend to get water squirting everywhere..

    I might post some pics if anyone is interested. I took a few snaps to show the guys at work.
    My old Em4800 had the same sort of problems and Pulled the whole system apart and split the Thermo block etc just to look... It was 18months old... So what did it matter... I found scale in the switching valve at the front... and after a clean and rebulid, it worked for another 18 months before I went to an EM3600 (yep sort of went backwards) as it was cheep and offered some improvements over the EM4800. Needless to say the bug had bit and now a Em6910... Just waiting for the next model up to be released... No Autos for me.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 problem (I think)

    For Jim Tigernuts & Speedbump & others seeking an unpressurised basket, I found that the Breville Bar Italias basket fit the 4800s portafilter very snugly. I bought another portafilter and removed the plastic bits to use it with. Oh, it only cost me about $12 in Perth.



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