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Thread: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

  1. #1
    A_M
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    Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Quite often I hear and see people with blocked steam wands..

    A: Regularly clean your steam tip (may need to remove and soak in cleaner every so often) and use filtered water...

    However if it has had scale or been sitting and crap has made its way into the steam thermo block... You have a problem... :P

    1: A shot of my over crowded work bench # 3 Me = :o Wife = >:(



    2: A closer view of the EM6910 with side panel removed and some of teh tools you will need. Note the anti tamper driver and the length of the anti tamper screw...

    NOTE: Power lead is not plugged in... Switching off at the wall is NOT good enough.



    3: A closer look at the Steam thermo block... Note: When undoing the nut you will need to also hold the top brass fitting so that you do not crack / break the seal / connection to the thermoblock...

    I use a special ring spanner that is set up for fine plumbing work and a shifter.. I then attach the Large boor Si tubing and syringe to the brass fitting and start working the system... Air first... before you try pushing and sucking fluid.... Also do not forget to open the steam knob...

    To Date I have not had a blockage in teh copper tubing to the Steam OP valve which is mounted directly on top of the blue steam pump. If you have a blockage or high back pleasure (>4.8 bar) this will vent out the waste line...



    I usually use a 50 / 60 ml syringe, but have a selection of 10, 20, 30 and 50. Where it is a bad blockage I run a vacuum pump such that the pressure is in reverse of the normal flow..

    You will also see that the fine black coated copper line from the gauge to the top pressure take of fitting... I am still playing but by compressing and stretching, you can affect the calibration of the gauge.

    Trust this post is of some assistance to someone...

  2. #2
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    whoa!

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    Senior Member caffeol's Avatar
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Thanks AM. I hope not to have to play inside for some time but its good to have a few clues in advance if it happens.

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    A_M
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Well your in Brisbane so feel free to keep in touch... Always happy to assist where I can..

    Cupping this Saturday at west end...

    Besides with my NEW purchases, I am going to be asking lots and on the lookout for stuff myself...

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Hey AngerManagement, its not relate to this thread, can u please show me how to change the collar (with picture)? That will be much apperciate~~

    Tony.

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Hi AngerManagement.
    I would like to give this a try, as I have been having problems with my steam production as well.
    Can you tell me what fluid you use to flush through the thermoblock? Is it just a de-scaling fluid?
    Thanks

    Jez

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E716E222124140 link=1232674232/5#5 date=1234003691
    Can you tell me what fluid you use to flush through the thermoblock?

    Just be careful when you descale small pipes - like in the thermoblock.

    Descaling fluid.... even the commercial brews for this.... can cause bits of scale to come off without being fully dissolved. (I had lots of these "chunks" of scale when I descaled my LC boiler).

    These chunks arent a problem within a boiler.... even a Silvia sized one.... but within a thin pipe inside the thermoblock.... they could clump together and block the pipe....

    So softened water in the tank all the time.... and frequent descaling (before there is significant build up) would be fine.... but descaling after the pipe has already been restricted could spell disaster....

    Do it very, very slowly (plenty of time for the fluid to dissolve the scale.... and dont push the fluid through too fast) would be the safest bet.

  8. #8
    A_M
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 292639757673430 link=1232674232/5#5 date=1234003691
    Hi AngerManagement.
    I would like to give this a try, as I have been having problems with my steam production as well.
    Can you tell me what fluid you use to flush through the thermoblock? Is it just a de-scaling fluid?
    Thanks

    Jez

    In teh first instance.. What do you mean by Problems... Temp / Volume of Steam ????

    A: Set the wetness to as wet as you can and the Steam temp to as low as you can...

    Then using a good descaler... Follow the manual for the main system... But open and close the steam as well.. You will need to do this a few times and wrap the steam wand in a cold wet towel... Helps to keep the steam down.. You have to get the clean water through and the descaler and water into the system and give it time to work...

    Then let it sit 4 a while and do again... say 10 min Then let it sit even further say another 10 min...

    Depending on you problem... You may see the difference already...

    Then flush with clean water and do lots of start stops with the steam... Thiis is where some time is taken as YOU have to CLEAR all the chemicals or you milk will taste like descaler.

    NOTE: Do all this out side and try to get a painters mask or use a cloth over your face... Some people are very sensitive to chemicals...

    If all that does not work, then you have to pull down and use manual methods... With teh manual method I do have some special fluid ( light viscosity) but it is not commercially available. I tend to try a strong descale mix first and use a suck / pump through the Steam thermo block. I am sure it is the movement of fluid going in both ways that helps to remove the crap...

    If it is hard caked on scale... Then it just takes time and patience... If it is fully blocked... Then thats where you donate to me.... And I get to play ;D

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Thanks for your help guys.
    I have never run de-scaler through the steam pump because the instruction manual says not to! In fact says nothing about cleaning steam system.
    I will run through this process and report back the results.

    Jez

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Hi again.
    I went through the process above to clean out the steam system. No luck, unfortunatley :(. It still splutters steam in small amounts. There does seem to be plenty of hot air though. When the wand is in the milk it makes the most horrible screaming sound.
    Have tried all the different settings for temp and wettness. No difference.
    Any more ideas that I might try?

    Jez

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    A_M
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 424D521E1D18280 link=1232674232/9#9 date=1234067343
    Hi again.
    I went through the process above to clean out the steam system. No luck, unfortunatley :(. It still splutters steam in small amounts. There does seem to be plenty of hot air though. When the wand is in the milk it makes the most horrible screaming sound.
    Have tried all the different settings for temp and wettness. No difference.
    Any more ideas that I might try?

    Jez

    Sounds like you need a service person to dissemble and do a little work...

    Now if you were in Brisbane... No prob...

    One of the Brisbane CSs had what sounds liek the same problem and his fix was the micro switch on the steam knob... But words and explanations that sound the same can be about different problems... I will attempt to track him down, but you may have better luck... Many peoplel on log on when they have a problem and do not visit again for some time..

    As to the screaming.. Well that can be a user / method issue...

  12. #12
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    I would follow up with a sponsor first, as they have either the ability or know who to go to..

    Euro Coffee & Appliances (Fix) would be the first contact.. That I could think of in your area...

  13. #13
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 435E5E57465D50525D330 link=impost date=1268148076
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Is the italian pump significantly better quality? I thought Sunbeam makes a big fuss that the two pumps are both italian, the rest from china. not much use that has made.

    If its worth the extra, I would be happy to go with the italian if you can get it. And regards to postage - there are a few options. Aus post will send to Indonesia, I will pay for this (probably $25ish). Or if this is too much to ask, my rel who lives in Bris, and could pick it up from you in Albion.
    I will follow up with sparkys as to availability... Give me a day or two ;)

    Yes the Italian is better ... Is it worth the extra ???? Not sure.... Also understand they are harder to obtain..

    I am happy to;

    1: Obtain a pump of your choice but have no control over availability....

    2: Hold for your contact to collect and post off.

    In the mean time read this topic from top to bottem :D :D

    And

    This one as well. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1236770389 note reply 15 ;)

    I would suggest ya try the cleaning and then make a call as to if ya want the pump or not..

    AM

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Im having a crack at the steam wand descaling as I type. Ill let you know what happens. Fingers crossed

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Well that appears to have done the trick :D. I descaled the machine and turned it off 3 times, leaving it for 12 minutes each time. Then flushed a full tank through the group head and .5 of a litre through the steam wand. It took me over an hour to get that through the wand. I guess if it takes that long to get the water through it, it would have only had a tiny bit of descaling solution in it anyway.

    One tip, I placed the steam wand into a pyrex measuring jug with water in it to check its performance. Saves steam going everywhere, you get to see how vigorously the water moves, and no need to take the loud ass machine outside. Although it screams pretty badly due to the angle of the wand in the jug.

    Thanks AM for the proceedure.

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B2A3D3D26232A374F0 link=1232674232/14#14 date=1268830148
    Well that appears to have done the trick *:D. I descaled the machine and turned it off 3 times, leaving it for 12 minutes each time. Then flushed a full tank through the group head and .5 of a litre through the steam wand. It took me over an hour to get that through the wand. I guess if it takes that long to get the water through it, it would have only had a tiny bit of descaling solution in it anyway.

    One tip, I placed the steam wand into a pyrex measuring jug with water in it to check its performance. Saves steam going everywhere, you get to see how vigorously the water moves, and no need to take the loud ass machine outside. Although it screams pretty badly due to the angle of the wand in the jug.

    Thanks AM for the proceedure.

    No problem... just keep adding hints and or tricks that you find that may make it easer for others.....

    The only thing I can add and re state is that;

    1: Use a good descaler... One that dissolves the crap and not just helps it to flake off ;)

    2: Be careful when running it through teh steam wand... Fumes can really upset some people and also take paint off walls at 100 paces ;) ( Thus I do it outside)

    3: Yes it takes time.. Shame about that.... :o ;)

    4: Make sure you give teh pump some rest time.. The Chinese pumps can over heat and teh coil can cook...

    Enjoy the road and whats in teh cup.

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    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.


    I notice on page 32 of the EM6910 manual it says:
    "Important: Do not run descaling solution through the steam wand."

    Im confused :o

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Are
    Quote Originally Posted by 18373E3C2B143837383E3C343C372D590 link=1232674232/15#15 date=1268831531
    1: Use a good descaler... One that dissolves the crap and not just helps it to flake off
    Are the Sunbeam descaler tablets ones that dissove scale or just help to flake scale off?

    If not what type or types of descaler are recommended for doing this?

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A3D3B3C31480 link=1232674232/16#16 date=1268883645
    I notice on page 32 of the EM6910 manual it says:
    "Important: Do not run descaling solution through the steam wand."

    Im confused :o
    "Last ditch effort"

    Read my post # 7 and # 14

    The manufacturer has to try to manage users such as *Frito Pendejo and the issue of safety..

    How many still roast indoors; with out the correct ventilation...

    If your going down this path it is because it is a "Last ditch effort"....

    The service people do it and use the Good cleaner and either outside of under a fume extraction.

    If you take short cuts, use the wrong cleaning solution, do it inside, do not change the steam temp and the wetness etc.. * Then what more needs to be said...

    Is it 100% .... NO.. *it is a "Last ditch effort"....


    For me the combo of the cleaning solution and using Vacuum and a compressor has been 100% where the problem has been a blockage... It will not fix a stuffed coil *:o

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E757C6A69641D0 link=1232674232/17#17 date=1268885192
    Are the Sunbeam descaler tablets ones that dissove scale or just help to flake scale off?
    I am going to suggest that teh standard Tabs for de scaling and backflushing are not as good as the real McCoy ;) Talk Coffee and other sponsors including Coffee Parts have some great cleaning products.

    WARNING: These materials can be quite nasty if not managed... Thus; come with warnings such as "Designed for technicianís use only"..

    You are a Qualified Tech :-X

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Well steam wand is still going like it did when new, mind you its only 4 months old so Im crapped off about that to start with. AM, in your "instructions" you suggest to make the steam as wet and as low temp as possible, are you meant to change the settings back after ? I had to reset to the factory settings to get it pretty good again. I just used the sunbeam liquid descaler ??? and I guess it worked ok going by the results.

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 363720203B3E372A520 link=1232674232/19#19 date=1268907169
    mind you its only 4 months old so Im crapped off about that to start with
    Its routine maintenance, its important to all machines, big or small ;)

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Agree, but havin a bitch makes me feel better ;) I reckon AM should come up with a mod kit to kill the heat to the thermo block so you can get it up to temp with the solution in it, several times, then kill the heat and flush it so the steam wand is like the hot water wand. Cmon AM, it would only be a couple of wires and some gaffa tape ;D

  23. #23
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 64657272696C6578000 link=1232674232/19#19 date=1268907169
    AM, in your "instructions" you suggest to make the steam as wet and as low temp as possible, are you meant to change the settings back after ?
    Yes.... Those are only service mode settings to get a good wet content and chemical through the steam wand... And then to flush it with out getting the chemicals too hot..

    Sorry assumed that people would understand they might have to return their settings to what they had before.

    PS. Mine were never default any way ;)


    Be easer to change the embedded code and have a hidden service function that one could activate ;)

    But then I would be consulting to SB ;D

    OPPs... If ya using good quality water it would not matter ;D The one at work has never been de scaled... Back flushed to get rid of teh coffee oils.. But still going strong.

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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    I thought as much but also thought it might be some measure to get a bit more life out of the various components

  25. #25
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    Re: Last ditch effort to clean EM69xx steam wand.

    sunbeam tell you not to descal the steam thermoblock because the high temp can cause more problems than when you started

    the steam pump time and temp adjustments are built in so people can play with them(even if they dont understand what they are doing)

    i do not use the settings to carry out a descal,

    i control the pump and machine operation separately so the steam thermoblock doesnt reach a high temp

    the descal solution will dry out in the steam thermoblock if the temperature gets too high, and cause a worse blockage

    graham



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