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Thread: EM6910 steaming issues

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    EM6910 steaming issues

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all
    I`m at my wits end. I really need some advise. Prior to Christmas has issues texturing milk, thought it may have been the milk so tired about 3 other brands still no good. Milk just wont stretch large bubbles and the steam seems very for want of a word violent cant just get the tip under the milk with out it blowing large bubbles and the milk come out just a watery mess. Contacted SB and it has been in to the sevice centre at Launceston and they have replaced the steam pump under warrenty. Got it back Friday and its no different. Have adjusted steam temp and delivery adjustments still cant get a good result. Almost seems as if there is too much pressure. Now this could be my imagination but the hole in the steam tip looks bigger than it used to be, is that possible and would it have an effect? Certainly bigger than the hole in my old EM3800. BY the way I dragged out the old 3800 and can texture the milk with this machine no problem Not keen on going back to the s/s as it almost a 3hr round trip. Sorry for the long post, can anyone give me some clues.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 635E5354434572310 link=1296945566/0#0 date=1296945566
    Hi all
    I`m at my wits end. I really need some advise. Prior to Christmas has issues texturing milk, thought it may have been the milk so tired about 3 other brands still no good. *Milk just wont stretch large bubbles and the steam seems very for want of a word violent cant just get the tip under the milk with out it blowing large bubbles and the milk come out just a watery mess. Contacted SB and it has been in to the sevice centre at Launceston and they have replaced the steam pump under warrenty. Got it back Friday and its no different. Have adjusted steam temp and delivery adjustments still cant get a good result. *Almost seems as if there is too much pressure. Now this could be my imagination but the hole in the steam tip looks bigger than it used to be, is that possible and would it have an effect? Certainly bigger than the hole in my old EM3800. BY the way I dragged out the old 3800 and can texture the milk with this machine no problem Not keen on going back to the s/s as it almost a 3hr round trip. Sorry for the long post, *can anyone give me some clues.
    Try KKs Method...

    Look in teh Milk section ;)

    It is all USER and if you think a EM6910 can be fast... Stay away from a HX etc..

    15 to 20 sec is like - long term and will blow ya mind.

    The hard part is explaining in a post when by a hands on example is so simple. A pic tells a thousand words.

    Any EM6910 users in you area ?


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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Thanks AM i`ll check that out. What beats me is i`ve had the machine for 18 months and never had a problem texturing the milk so why now? This why I think the machine and not me.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Read the post tried it out and no good. Have tried everything, made all sorts of adjustments to technique and machine. Wasted 4 litres of milk light & full cream. Seems the to be too much pressure you just cant get the tip under the surface without it just blowing large bubbles. Milk doesnt want to whirlpool either just seems to turbulent. Any idea what the steam delivery should look like as it leaves the tip? Mine seems to fan out a fair bit should it be a narrow? I know this all sounds crazy and AM is suggesting that its all user but Ive had no trouble with texturing milk up until now nothing I usually do has changed.

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    A_M
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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 0C313C3B2C2A1D5E0 link=1296945566/3#3 date=1297022117
    Read the post tried it out and no good. Have tried everything, made all sorts of adjustments to technique and machine. Wasted 4 litres of milk light & full cream. *Seems the to be too much pressure you just cant get the tip under the surface without it just blowing large bubbles. Milk doesnt want to whirlpool either just seems to turbulent. *Any idea what the steam delivery should look like as it leaves the tip? *Mine seems to fan out a fair bit should it be a narrow? *I know this all sounds crazy and AM is suggesting that its all user but Ive had no trouble with texturing milk up until now nothing I usually do has changed.
    What type of tip ?


    Remember a barista will have to contend with 1 to 8 holes and poor to SUPER steam....

    Most EM6910 users would kill to have "too much"...

    You can always back the the Steam knob off to try to reduce... Thus like any commercial unit, manage via the steam valve.

    I have a spare tip or two if you think some one may have played and damaged the tip..

    PM me you address details.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    When you purge the steam wand, does the flow of steam settle to a constant level, or does it keep getting stronger and weaker?

    Have you tried adjusting the steam temperature and wetness (I think the manual refers to the steam pump rest rate)?

    I find steaming milk for my daily piccolo on the EM6910 challenging with default settings; have to ramp the temp back up when Im doing multiple regular sized coffees for others though or it takes forever.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Interesting that you mention this...

    Ive been having this problem since day one. I was able to exchange it for another machine with the same results.

    The problem with my current machine is that it does not blow out the steam at a constant level. Sometimes its too weak, sometimes I get a short burst of steam and sometimes nothing comes out at all!

    The worse is when the wand is just below the milk surface and the machine decides to give me a sudden burst of steam. It adds big bubbles and then ruins the texturing process. Ive made the steam hotter, cooler, wetter, drier and I still get the same results.

    I may give the milk section a scan to see if other people are having this issue too. If you have the link to KKs techniques, feel free to post it up ;)

    For the record, I can texture milk perfectly with a rancillo - so im not too sure if technique is an issue? Maybe I havent perfected the sunbeam yet, but im pretty sure a steam issue.




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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Hi RobertC

    You have my sympathy - I have owned a EM6910 for just over a year. Learnt from the DVD, No problems steaming for almost a year. At the 11 month mark, started getting big bubbles, no whirlpool, etc. Adjusted temp and pump settings methodically - no good results. Read lots on CS and started to think it must be me. Had a go on another machine - no problems, great milk first time. Rang SB and went in for repairs under warranty. Came back much better, but not as good as when new. Just today (1.5 months after repair), things went belly-up again - big bubbles etc. Only difference is that the steam pressure has dropped off much quicker than last time. I have maintained this machine according to the manually very carefully since day one. Will be on the phone to SB again tomorrow and am not looking forward to moka pot coffee for another month (or more).

    None of this helps I know, but you hopefully understand you are not alone in having steam issues with this machine. Although I agree with a lot of AMs advice, I think that suggesting it is "all user" is not correct. When I first started to have issues I thought it was from too much pressure and crap technique on my part, but when I made some careful observations the big bubbles were from low pressure. I do agree that getting with another EM6910 user can be very helpful - you can do some comparisons and decide if its you or not (that fact you can steam OK on a 3800 and have been able to steam OK in the past might suggest you know what youre doing). I would suggest if it is still under warranty to get back onto to SB and persist - they seem to have been quite sympathetic to steam issues in the past. Good luck!

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Guys, you have crap in the steam system.

    That is why the steam is not as strong as it was.

    As a follow on, that is why you are lifting the tip right to or above the surface.

    As a follow on, you see big bubbles and no whirlpool.

    A new steam pump wont fix this whatsoever.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    I suddenly developed this issue over the weekend after 3 years of excellent milk.

    I ordered a new steam tip and its better... but still not where I want it.

    Seriously considering just selling it as the more I read these posts the more it seems to be a fault in the machine - and Im not sure if its fixable

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 525A424855310 link=1296945566/8#8 date=1297335595
    Guys, you have crap in the steam system.

    That is why the steam is not as strong as it was.

    As a follow on, that is why you are lifting the tip right to or above the surface.

    As a follow on, you see big bubbles and no whirlpool.

    A new steam pump wont fix this whatsoever.
    Agree, this is VERY likely the problem. However, if you follow the directions in the manual this is where you will eventually end up. Hopefully it will happen within the warranty period and SB will repair it for you and you will discover there are other things you can do to avoid the problem, some of which should only be done post-warranty or SB could (quite correctly and fair enough) point out you didnt follow the instructions and so you have voided the warranty. Its a difficult area.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Well guys my problem is solved. Acquired a s/h steam tip from a fellow CS and compared to the hole in mine it was much smaller.bunged it on and textured 2 jugs of milk no problem at all. Seems the old tip may have blown out. Maybe this is worth youre while checking out. :) :)

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 102D2027303601420 link=1296945566/11#11 date=1297663736
    Well guys my problem is solved. Acquired a s/h steam tip from a fellow CS and compared to the hole in mine it *was much smaller.bunged it on and textured 2 jugs of milk no problem at all. Seems the old tip may have blown out. *Maybe this is worth youre while checking out. :) :)
    Any time... ;)

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Thanks AM you saved my sanity :)

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 704D4047505661220 link=1296945566/11#11 date=1297663736
    Acquired a s/h steam tip
    What does S/h mean??

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 6972796465257862667B7864650B0 link=1296945566/14#14 date=1297670041
    Quote Originally Posted by 704D4047505661220 link=1296945566/11#11 date=1297663736
    Acquired a s/h steam tip *
    What does S/h mean??
    Sh1t Hot * ;D

    Actually (Second Hand) - One of the old tips I had around after obtaining a few dead EM6900s.... *

    I picked the one with the smallest hole. *Some of the others looked like someone tried to clean out with a 3mm drill *:o

    (Bigger is not always better)

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Nice one AM - wish I still lived in Bris sometimes! Glad youre back in business RobertC.

    Just to update, my Em6910 is back in the shop, SB is repairing under warranty (even though it is just out of warranty) as a "sign of good faith" and given it only lasted a couple of months after the previous repair. Im missing the coffees really badly - hope the guys at Sparkys arent too busy at the moment!!

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Well that was short lived, one week and its packed up again water leaking out from the bottom of the machine when the steam pump is operating. So its back at the service centre, replacing the thermoblock and the steam pump. Not sure why the staem pump as they replaced that last visit but who am I to argue. So i got one week of coffe enjoyment. Seems to me that its trial & error. :)

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 023F3235222413500 link=1296945566/17#17 date=1298515726
    Well that was short lived, one week and its packed up again water leaking out from the bottom of the machine when the steam pump is operating. So its back at the service centre, replacing the thermoblock and the steam pump. Not sure why the staem pump as they replaced that last visit but who am I to argue. So i got one week of coffe enjoyment. Seems to me that its trial & error. :)
    If it was not done correctly :o

    But with out seeing first hand ;)

    I am not in a position to comment :-X

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    I used to have this issue with my EM6910, and I recall that it literally drove me up the wall.
    I found that the solution was a RIGOROUS descale (outside the house owing to the fumes) of the steam side, with temp lowered, and steam rate at wettest.
    Pumped through about 300 - 400ml of the solution before flushing with plain water again.
    This seemed to solve my issue,
    best of luck

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Hi All,

    Just to update my post above for readers who are interested in the various experiences of EM6910 owners. My machine has been at the shop for just over three weeks now (second repair in as many months), no news. Rang today and was informed that the problem was a faulty steam pump (same as last time). They are out of stock and so is Sunbeam. According to the shop, Sunbeam has no idea how long before they will have some. They long journey continues ...

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 013425346268510 link=1296945566/20#20 date=1299478645
    Hi All,

    Just to update my post above for readers who are interested in the various experiences of EM6910 owners. My machine has been at the shop for just over three weeks now (second repair in as many months), no news. Rang today and was informed that the problem was a faulty steam pump (same as last time). They are out of stock and so is Sunbeam. According to the shop, Sunbeam has no idea how long before they will have some. They long journey continues ...
    Which Shop ?

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Hi AM. Shop is Sparkys at Albion (I was directed* to them (as the "local" authorised repair agent) by Sunbeam).

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    OK, patiently waiting still. Rang Sparkys yesterday and they told me still no steam pumps, dont know when they will get them. They contacted Sunbeam on the 8th of march so that they (Sunbeam) could keep me informed. They have never contacted me. I rang them yesterday, they said steam pumps should arrive in about a week. I expressed my disappointment at the service so far, they had a manager ring me back. The manager said they had sourced a pump especially and I would have my machine next week. Fingers crossed. ;)

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    The week has passed and still no machine. I rang Sparkys on Thursday - they had a pump arrive but the job number made no sense and they had to make sure it was for my machine before installing it. They had tried to contact Sunbeam but no replay as yet. Sparkys rang me Friday to say it was for my machine and that usually it would take another 14 days before it would be fitted(!!!) but mine should be a "bit quicker".

    Lucky the steam pump has a five year* warranty, although at this rate most of that time will be spent in the repair shop. Not real flash for a machine that still has a RRP of $799!

  26. #26
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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Bugger... That is a real pain in the royal backside...

    Feel for Sparkys, as like many in teh process they are often at the front line but have their hands tied by the contracts with the Manufacturer...

    Fingers crossed for you.


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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Thanks. I feel for Sparkys too and sympathised with them on the phone yesterday.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    The end of the story ...??

    Yay!! I have a working machine. Rang SB on Monday after the week they promised I would have my machine back and expressed my displeasure at the passing of their promised return date and no phone call from them. The new person I got agreed that the service I had got so far was not good enough. They then sent a new machine which arrived 3 days later and seems to work fine (a couple of interesting differences to the new machine - a new thread for that). So I guess a summary of my experiences would be (for those with EM6910 or those considering purchasing one):

    1. As a search will show, steam problems have can have several causes and you need to do a careful diagnosis of your situation. Advice that it is often the users fault or that you have crap in the steam lines might not be accurate - steam pumps do die - Ive had two.

    2. Maintaining an EM6910 according to the manual and using it carefully and according to the training (and some advice on this forum) does not at all mean that you will not run into trouble.

    3. If you do have trouble, be persistent with SB.* Keep in mind this is an appliance that still has a RRP of $799 and you can expect decent performance for a reasonable amount of time. (I had to quote page 3 of the manual "... advanced technology and functional design guarantee the performance that each product will surpass expectations. (my emphasis).

    4. You can expect your appliance to be repaired in a reasonable time. I had to point out quite firmly that my machine had been out of action for 10 out of the 67 weeks I had owned it (about 15% of the time).

    5. Continue to deal with SB, not the repair agent (although I did ring the agent a couple of times to find out what was happening, I didnt hassle the agent). In my case, although SBs customer service has been woeful, they did come good in the end.

    I hope reiterating my experience is helpful to someone in a positive way. Good luck all.

  29. #29
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    An excellent post Pete.

    Its good occasionally to re-summarise something like this.

    I had a similar expereince with a steam pump a few years ago with a 6900 and eventually SB replaced it with a new 6910.

    Mine actually went back to them for repair, not to an agent.
    When they got it the steam pump was miraculously working again so they did nothing and sent it back.

    5 Days later it was dead again.

    Why on earth when the customer and the customer service rep were telling them it didnt work, they didnt investigate a little harder, only they know.
    In the end it cost SB a new machine instead of possibly only a pump.

    But I agree with everything you said above about not hassling the agent and dealing with SB.

    Id like to add staying calm and polite at all times and to keep putting the responsibility to act back on them.
    Remind them its their problem NOT yours.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Thanks TG and I agree totally with your addition - staying calm was something I was very careful to do (despite a severe lack of decent caffeine in the system!!) and I think paid dividends in the end.

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    Re: EM6910 steaming issues

    Yes, I kept pointing out the unreasonableness (theres a word and a half) of the situation THEY had put me in and asked what THEY were going to do about it.

    In the end, when they offered a new machine, they gave me the choice of waiting for delivery or coming to pick one up.
    I immediately told the boss I was leaving early and drove from Macquarie Park straight to Botany and brought it to work the next morning.
    No more delay = win.



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