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Thread: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

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    Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

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

    This is my first post prompted by the receipt of a "broken" em6910 from a friend (hes bought a Nespresso).

    The main problem is that it never becomes ready.* The green power light flashes continuously.* Ive found that the group thermoblock is not heating up, the steam heater is working fine and gets very hot very quickly* :o
    Ive checked the heater resistance and it is measuring 53 ohms.* The thermal fuse and thermostat are OK.* The thermistor measures 108Kohms.* From other posts these values seem to be OK?

    Ive noticed that the heaters are switched with relays on a daughter board.* The schematic I have shows triacs.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Some general information about the unit - It wasnt very well looked after. :(*
    The collar is damaged and needs replacing.* Both shower screens and the seal are caked with old coffee.* The water tank had brown gunk floaties in it and the filter itself was a light brown colour (this has been filed!). The float was stuck in the empty position, but it doesnt have enough magnetism to actuate the reed, so it will need replacing.* It looks like a potentially expensive repair bill just on parts alone.

    I would like to say that I wouldnt have got as far as I have with the diagnosis this machine if it hadnt been for the quality posts about the EM6910.
    Posts by AngerManagement, Matrix, Wan and others have been a valuable resource.

    Cheers,

    Gant

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    Senior Member caffeol's Avatar
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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 66444E53464440210 link=1302631487/0#0 date=1302631487
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    While it is sooo tempting to start a chain of suggestions with what to do with a 6910 in that condition, (small boat anchor immediately comes to mind) have you seen the reference to a parts mob called Bigwarehouse in the posts you found?

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C3E34293C3E3A5B0 link=1302631487/0#0 date=1302631487
    This is my first post prompted by the receipt of a "broken" em6910 from a friend (hes bought a Nespresso).
    You got the better of the two machines. ;)

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B393E3E3D3734580 link=1302631487/1#1 date=1302646502
    While it is sooo tempting to start a chain of suggestions with what to do with a 6910 in that condition, (small boat anchor immediately comes to mind) have you seen the reference to a parts mob called Bigwarehouse in the posts you found?
    Hi caffeol, I appreciate the reply.* Boat anchor, it is pretty heavy, but I reckon it may be recoverable (my optimism always gets me into financial trouble* ;D)
    Thanks for the pointer to Bigwarehouse, I had already found it in the posts and I have already put in a largish order for bits and pieces.* I havent ordered anything to do with the heating problem yet as Im optimistic (that word again* ;)) that I can sort out a PCB problem, if thats what it is, without resorting to order an entire PCB.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0C302D363C3D2A3F373C580 link=1302631487/2#2 date=1302653706
    You got the better of the two machines.* Wink

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.
    Hi Thundergod, thanks for the welcome to CS.* I am a little embarrassed because I didnt mention you explictly, yet a lot of the advice I have followed has been from your posts as well.* :-[

    Thanks for validating what I thought, that Ive got a potentially good machine.* Ive always wanted one, but I just couldnt justify the funds.

    Thanks for the replies, Ill update you on my progress and Ill shout out if I cant find what I need in the existing posts.
    If anyone does have some up to date schematics for the EM6910 PCB, that would make life easier, although I should be able to work out whats going on by taking measurements off the steam circuit.

    Thanks again,
    Gant.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Im about to get my 2 year old EM6910 replaced under extended warranty for this exact issue. Its the 3rd time its been in for repairs in the past 12 months with the same problem - the insurer said theyre replacing it because Sunbeam has no replacement parts in stock and doesnt expect to have any until September. Hence the new machine. As for the cause of the issue, the girl said it was the thermoblock (she wasnt more specific re parts).

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 475252524C59200 link=1302631487/4#4 date=1302685847
    As for the cause of the issue, the girl said it was the thermoblock (she wasnt more specific re parts).
    Hi grrrly,

    Thanks for the reply.* Ive been continuing the testing and it isnt the thermoblock and all the thermoblock components are OK (it heats up fine using the steam circuit).

    Gant

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    My 4yo EM6910 had the flashing green light, but never quite ready problem just a few months ago. I managed to get it working for another 24 hours by thumping the front - not in the manual!

    The local Sunbeam repair shop ordered and replaced a circuit board. Cant recall the cost of that bit alone since the repairer insisted I should also replace the socket where the group head twists in. I think the cost was about $50 for the board. Its been working fine ever since. Over all Ive been very pleased with the EM6910 - I use it a lot and bang per buck its been great.

    There was one annoyance associated with this last repair though - apart from them losing the red drip tray float! I was quite happy with the amount of wear and the slightly past halfway angle that the group handle had settled into over the years. But I figured hed know when things were worn and at his urging agreed to have the socket fitting replaced. Got it home and decided to do a full clean including a (Sunbeam) tablet group head wash. It did the cycle OK, but only a couple of drops of dirty water arrived in the jug Id placed underneath.

    I then discovered I couldnt budge the group handle - the pressure was still full-on inside it. I tried everything including power off/on, a repeat clean cycle and waited for an hour or two. Still stuck. Eventually I left it overnight and the next day it came off easily.

    Thanks to this extended stress, the group head handle now rotates in the new socket almost as far as it did with the old worn one! I should have stuck with the old one and saved $80. Grrr!* :(

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Hi All,

    Just an update, parts are on order, there was an attempted delivery yesterday but the postie left a card.* Didnt see the card until gone 5pm.* Now have to wait till Wednesday to pick the bits up ::).

    Have also been looking into grinders and even the the EM0490 is out and good prices can be had on the EM0480; Ill probably plump for the Breville BCG800.

    Next update when the bits are in and fitted.

    Gant

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    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 66444E53464440210 link=1302631487/5#5 date=1302705963
    Ive been continuing the testing and it isnt the thermoblock and all the thermoblock components are OK (it heats up fine using the steam circuit).
    Im sure you are aware that there are two thermoblocks - one for steam and one for brewing ;)

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    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 765157505D240 link=1302631487/8#8 date=1303686092
    Reply #8 - Today at 9:01am Mark & Quote Quote Modify Remove
    Gant wrote on Apr 14th, 2011 at 12:46am:
    Ive been continuing the testing and it isnt the thermoblock and all the thermoblock components are OK (it heats up fine using the steam circuit).


    Im sure you are aware that there are two thermoblocks - one for steam and one for brewing
    OOPS! I should have read your post more carefuly ::)

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 1334323538410 link=1302631487/9#9 date=1303686288
    OOPS! I should have read your post more carefuly Roll Eyes

    No Probs, thanks for taking the time to reply :)

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Hi CSers,

    Its Alive!!* Thanks to the excellent information on this board the 6910 is back up and running.* Ive replaced the collar, group seal, the (main) PCB and the float.* Ive given the unit a damn good clean as well.* Everything works and the steam output seems to be excellent.
    The old PCB has also been repaired and Ill be keeping it as a spare.

    All I need now is a decent grinder, Im thinking the BCG800.

    Thanks again, this board is tops! [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Nice score Gant.

    Any chance of talking your Nespresso mate into giving you a grinder too?
    ;D


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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 200F0518610 link=1302631487/12#12 date=1304046586
    Nice score Gant.
    Thanks Andy, it was quite enjoyable getting it working.* Im looking forward to learning the art of making coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 200F0518610 link=1302631487/12#12 date=1304046586
    Any chance of talking your Nespresso mate into giving you a grinder too?
    Chance would be a fine thing ;)
    Unfortunately he never had a grinder, hence the Nespresso!* ::)

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Hi Gant and everyone,

    I am in en eerily similar situtation. Just got a broken EM6910 from a friend who bought a nespresso. It was neglected with dirty tank and filter, and heaps of old coffee stuck in the shower screens.

    I have given it a good clean, but it has the "never quite ready" problem. However, I have been able to run the backflush routine, so I know that the pump works and the water comes out hot. On the other hand, I am not sure if the steam side is working because I havent been able to run the steam pump.

    Ive just started to strip it down. Did you fix your old PCB yourself? What exactly was the problem with it?

    Thanks to all the great posters on the forum who have contributed useful information about troubleshooting these machines!


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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Hi MichaelP, Welcome to CS.

    Wow, the similarities are indeed spooky! The difference in my case was the Group thermoblock wasnt heating. Yes, I did repair the PCB, it needed a new opto on the Group t/b.

    It may not be the PCB, hopefully the problem is due to an open circuit thermostat, this would be the least inexpensive repair.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Hi Gant,

    thanks for the reply. I have investigated a little further and found that while the water thermoblock is heating up, the steam one is completely cold.

    This same symptom appears in another thread (http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1292624538/25)

    Tomorrow Ill try to sift through that thread and work out what measurements I need to take. Given that it is completely cold I suppose the possibilities are:

    - Broken heating element
    - Blown thermal fuse
    - Broken thermostat
    - Broken thermistor
    - Loose connection somewhere.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Ok, here are some questions for the experts. Im just trying to understand how the steam heating system works in these machines. I see there is a thermistor, a thermostat and somewhere (on top of the thermoblock?) is hidden a thermal fuse. Am I correct in thinking that the thermistor is connected to the logic board and is the primary way that the machine controls the temperature of the thermoblock? Clearly the thermal fuse is a safety feature designed to blow if the unit overheats. This leaves the thermostat... is it a second level of safety, designed to cut power to the thermoblock if it gets over a certain temperature? Otherwise I cant see why it needs both a thermistor sensor and a thermostat attached to the block...

    Am I correct in understanding (from other posts by AM) that the steam block thermostat should be rated at 200 degree C while the main block should be 120C? This would support the above interpretation since the main water temp is supposed to be around 96C or so (indicating that the thermostat was a safety measure and not a primary control element).

    Looking on Bigwarehouse they just have one thermostat part listed for the EM6910. Do I have to tell them which one I want? Or are they a standard part I can get from jaycar??

    Ill soon test the parts to see if any appear to be broken. Id love to know if the above comments are on the right track.

    PS I suspect that the logic board is not the problem here because I have never had any funny behavior from the lights. As I mentioned before, the backflush routine works correctly. Also, the temp adjustments and everything appear to work. This would suggest to me that it hasnt got brain problems.

    cheers!

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Hi Michael P,
    Quote Originally Posted by 64404A41484C4579290 link=1302631487/17#17 date=1304570633
    Am I correct in thinking that the thermistor is connected to the logic board and is the primary way that the machine controls the temperature of the thermoblock?
    Yes, thats correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by 64404A41484C4579290 link=1302631487/17#17 date=1304570633
    Am I correct in understanding (from other posts by AM) that the steam block thermostat should be rated at 200 degree C while the main block should be 120C? This would support the above interpretation since the main water temp is supposed to be around 96C or so (indicating that the thermostat was a safety measure and not a primary control element).
    The steam thermostat is rated at 210 degrees C and the group thermostat is rated at 110 degrees C.* The thermostat is the first line of over temperature protection.
    Quote Originally Posted by 64404A41484C4579290 link=1302631487/17#17 date=1304570633
    Looking on Bigwarehouse they just have one thermostat part listed for the EM6910. Do I have to tell them which one I want? Or are they a standard part I can get from jaycar??
    Im not 100% certain, but I believe this to be the Group thermostat.* They are pretty standard units.
    Quote Originally Posted by 64404A41484C4579290 link=1302631487/17#17 date=1304570633
    PS I suspect that the logic board is not the problem here because I have never had any funny behavior from the lights. As I mentioned before, the backflush routine works correctly. Also, the temp adjustments and everything appear to work. This would suggest to me that it hasnt got brain problems.
    Unfortunately this may not be a safe assumption.* The power switching and control is also performed by the PCB.* Whilst the logic and temperature control circuits may be OK, the problem may be in the switching on/off of the relays that control the heaters.* This is what was wrong in my case.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Thanks again Gant for your replies. Its nice to know Ive got the right idea. I see now that some of my questions are easily answered with the wiring diagrams in the service manual.

    I have finally taken some measurements, and the thermostat seems ok. In fact, for the steam heating circuit from the PCB, through the thermostat, heating element and thermal fuse and back to the AC supply, I get a resistance of 48 ohm. This agrees with AMs measurement in the other thread I referred to. So I conclude that thermostat, heat element and thermal fuse are all ok.

    I checked the thermistor too. It seems to read about 150 kOhm which is pretty high, but it is cold here. I got a similar reading for the group thermistor (which I know is working), so I conclude the thermistor is probably ok. Also, Im measuring the thermistor resistance through the back of the PCB so I am sure it is connected properly.

    So it seems that the problem is with the PCB. There is no power being supplied to the steam heater. I guess this might well be the same problem you had Gant. How did you work out what was wrong with your PCB? Did you replace a relay in the end?

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D39333831353C00500 link=1302631487/19#19 date=1304687334
    So it seems that the problem is with the PCB. There is no power being supplied to the steam heater. I guess this might well be the same problem you had Gant. How did you work out what was wrong with your PCB? Did you replace a relay in the end?
    It was the opto isolator that had failed, the relay was fine.
    A new PCB isnt that expensive from the place you have mentioned in a previous post. It may be the easier route, simply because fault finding on the board with all the cables fitted is very tight and a PITA. ::)

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F4D475A4F4D49280 link=1302631487/20#20 date=1304689676
    fault finding on the board with all the cables fitted is very tight and a PITA. Roll Eyes
    I know, I already pulled the PCB out :) I know they arent too expensive, but Im going to have a go at fixing it first.

    Im not sure where that opto isolator is, but I am pretty sure the relay is the problem because Im putting 8V across the control pins and the switch is still open. This is pretty conclusive isnt it?

    The question is where to get these relays? The part is an OEG OJ-SH-106LMH as shown in the picture. Has anyone out there ever replaced one of these?


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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    A Google search yielded a couple of places to source the same parts. Ive used mouser before to source parts that I couldnt find here locally. The relay doesnt look special, and looking at the specs it isnt even a sealed unit. You could probably source an equivalent.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Thanks for the suggestion of Mouser, and sorry for the dumb question. I did search google but some places I found had a min qty of 1000. Just thought someone on the forum might have bought this part before and have a recommendation.

    Ill report back once I get hold of one of these and install it.
    Cheers!

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 577379727B7F764A1A0 link=1302631487/23#23 date=1304772098
    Thanks for the suggestion of Mouser, and sorry for the dumb question.
    In my experience there is no such thing as a "dumb question".
    The dumb are the ones that dont ask questions, their cups be full! ;D
    Ill take a look around for an equivalent (local if possible).

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    I just had the idea of simply tapping the relay a bit and found that this got it working again! When I put the machine back together the steam block did indeed heat up, but the never ready problem still seems to be there :( Still, this is an improvement.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Oops, I missed your last post Gant. I had a look and found the OJ SS 109LMH in stock at x-on.com.au (also at mauser). It is similar but with a 9V coil voltage instead of 6, so would probably work. Unfortunately they charge $15 p&h on a $2 part, but I doubt there is a better deal.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6F656E67636A56060 link=1302631487/25#25 date=1304779606
    I just had the idea of simply tapping the relay a bit and found that this got it working again!* When I put the machine back together the steam block did indeed heat up, but the never ready problem still seems to be there Sad Still, this is an improvement.
    Great stuff!* Reset the machine to factory defaults (from the powered off state, hold down manual button and then whilst still holding the manual button in press the power button).
    It will take 5 to 10 mins for the unit to get up to temperature.* The readiness and temperature control is read from the thermistors.

  29. #29
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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B79736E7B797D1C0 link=1302631487/27#27 date=1304811423
    Reset the machine to factory defaults
    This is a good suggestion - I have done this a while ago, but not since I got the steam heater going. Sadly it still doesnt reach the ready state even after 30 min.

    Unless I can find another (repairable) fault on the PCB I think Ill just have to buy a new one. I am sure the thermistors are working, as are the heat circuits. The dodgy relay actually failed again, but more tapping got it going, so a whole new PCB wouldnt be a bad idea.

    Thanks for all your help Gant!

  30. #30
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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Latest update. Firstly the relay is very unreliable, working about half the time, so there is no option but to replace it or the whole PCB.

    The bigger problem is that when the relay is working, the machine still doesnt get to the ready state, even though both relays are ticking on and off (you can see little flashes of light when they switch), and both thermoblocks are clearly hot. I suspected that maybe a thermostat was playing up, turning off at too low a temperature, or that there was some other intermittent fault in the heating circuits. However, the fact that the relays were switching on and off doesnt support this idea, and at no time did I find the heating circuits open.

    Soooo... it seems that (when the relay works) the machine is controlling the heaters correctly and getting to temperature, but is not switching to the ready state for some other reason. Are there any other things that need to happen for the machine to switch to ready? I dont have any theories left other than dodgy pcb. I just dont want to replace the pcb to find that the fault lies in some other component, or that the pcb problem was easily repaired.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Have now ordered OJE SS 109LMH relays from x-on.com.au. They are 9V instead of 6, but the transformer in the machine is rated at 8V and seems to put out about 10, so I think they should work ok.

    During my testing the machine did make it to the ready state once, so I think its worth replacing the relays to see if that fixes the problem completely.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Sounds promising :)

    I thought Id posted a response on the ready state. I thought of another test. Since it was the steam block that was the problem, why dont you try lowering the temperature by the maximum 10 degrees?

    Good luck with the repair :)

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Success!! The relays came and after replacing them it got to the ready state quickly. Now to fully reassemble and pull some shots!

    As I mentioned, the relays are not exactly the right ones - they are 9V instead of 6V. They also have 400ohm coil resistance instead of 180. For this reason I replaced them both. After some testing Ill post again to say whether they are really working properly.

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E3A303B32363F03530 link=1302631487/32#32 date=1306031503
    Success!!
    Excellent job!! Enjoy your coffee making :)

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Just made my first coffee on the machine (using pre ground supermarket stuff). Unsurprisingly it was terrible, but the machine seems to work fine. I didnt get any back pressure, so not enough tamp i guess, and my milk was hopeless. But there was plenty of steam. The learning curve begins!

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    Re: Hi all, Just acquired an almost working EM6910

    Quote Originally Posted by 00222835202226470 link=1302631487/33#33 date=1306032268
    Excellent job!! Enjoy your coffee making Smiley
    Thanks for all your help Gant!



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