anyone has had the same symptoms but after a few tries of running the steam it suddenly works? would it just be minor clog in the thermoblock that got flushed out eventually after running the steam a few times?
anyone has had the same symptoms but after a few tries of running the steam it suddenly works? would it just be minor clog in the thermoblock that got flushed out eventually after running the steam a few times?
Thanks Gents....same issue here in beautiful scenic Kalgoorlie (with out wonderful water).
On the job this afternoon......
Im a coffee machine technician. I work on delonghi, sunbeam, seaco, breville, SAB, rancillio, la cimbali, boema, isomac, la pavoni, san marino, and nova simonelli.
Sunbeams are all prone to block between steam pump and thermo and wand.
If I can be of use. Please message.
I've had my 6910 for only a few months. I bought it second hand but it had never been used (out of the box). Milk texturing was a breeze until last week. Suddenly it started making screaming noises and they didn't stop no matter how far I pulled the wand out of the milk. I deduced it wasn't technique as I was doing ok untill last week. It is not the milk as I use the same milk all the time. All I get now is bubbly hot milk that isn't stretched.
There are a number of posts with people having similar problems, i.e. working fine one moment then crap milk the next.
There hasn't really been a fix that I can find.
I've unscrewed the nozzle and had a look, it looks very clean and unblocked. Not sure what is wrong and it is frustrating.
Any help, hints would be very greatly appreciated.
Hello Ecoli17 (interesting name you have there!)
I have a few em6910's and one 6900,all have a tendency to suck up milk if the steam knob is switched to off while the nozzle in beneath the surface of the milk,this leads to quick blockages.
I reduce the steam flow to almost off,but not completely and then remove steam arm carefully to avoid spillage,this way there is no milk residue buildup in the nozzle.
I would suggest you have a buildup causing the screaming you described,remove the complete arm again,disassemble (including nozzle tip) give it a thorough treatment of descaler (including a soaking) and see how it improves.Always surprising how much "invisable" gunk is cleared away.
Thanks mulquemi. I tried that earlier and also tried a system reset (after calling SB) the steam now comes intermittently - strong bursts then weak most of the time. SB have asked me to send it in for repairs since still under warranty. I'll do that and update if they tell me what was wrong. I suspect some of the lines may be clogged or something but I didn't want to open up the machine if it was still under warranty.
Yes,warranty is always the first to follow up unless you and your machine are miles away from the nearest Sunbeam repair agency,mind you there are plenty about when checking the list.
I've never had a new machine so warranty is but a dream however,I'm not concerned to jump in where others fear to tread because I always have a operational coffee machine on hand,always good to have a spare or two.
I have ,on some of my em6910's, removed all the copper piping ,cleared and reinstalled,occasionally there are fractures in the copper (such light gauge copper) that has to be silver soldered to return units to operational again.I don't buy new replacement parts,always make do with what's in the collection or fabricate what's needed...great challenge.
Many have had failed /blocked pumps and they are so repairable as well,electronic boards rarely fail...always a first time.
Steam boilers are a bit tricky although still blockage clear able as are the thermo blocks.
Hopefully you will have some joy with the warranty claim.
Thanks for jumping in Mick. I appreciate any advice since I'm new to this. I'm really missing my 6910 now, had to revert to nespresso coffee this morning.
Just as an update, I got my 6910 back today. They had to change the steam pump and o-ring. Seems pretty major for such a new machine, perhaps I got a dud or something.
Anyway just glad to get it back.
After being away from the house for several months, I returned to find the steamer giving exactly the symptoms in the title.
I dismantled the steamer pump and found the same two components stuck together.
In my machine the long "aluminium coloured bit" was stainless steel.
The short "brass coloured bit" (with a small hole in the end) was also steel, a bit discoloured, and the outer section was covered on some sort of deposit.
The bore of this section was gummed up, stopping the longer piece from sliding freely, so I cleaned it out.
I also cleaned up the "deposit" on the outside, but on re-examining my photos later I am now not sure if it was some sort of glue. It does not make sense to me that this component should be free to slide internally and externally.
Anyway, there is now plenty of steam, so I just have to see if it can produce milk as good as when it was new - once I get some full-cream milk.
Yes you do. At least on my model, the long star screw attaches to a small plate that is riveted to that side plate that you need to get off....Location of secret star screw. After doing this, I'm actually pretty sure you don't need to take this out just to get the side off...
I was wondering if you managed to get a diagram for this or even what the model of your pump is. Mine is second-hand and I think the previous owner may have put it back together wrong. The model I have is a Defond PF PF-40B-PPS. Even if anyone knows of the same pump in a different brand/mode no, that would be great.
Update: I was unaware that the 3 different models of replacement pumps have different internals. A friend managed to break a spring in the pump so I sucked it up and bought a new one. I would suggest that anyone who wants to fix their steam section to attach the copper pipe to the pump and make sure it's pumping before attaching that pipe to the thermoblock. I wish I had have, haha.
Using the excellent information in this post, I've managed to disassemble and re-assemble the steam pump (see photos if they are of help to others). The interesting learning from this is the discovery of a previously unmentioned sprung valve assembly inside the stainless steel stem! The pump is now definitely producing some output (tested it before I reconnected the outlet (top side), tho I can't be sure it is producing the correct amount of output.
Another observation I made while testing after re-assembly is that there is quite a bit of clear cold water being expelled out into the drip tray while the steam pump is pumping!? (lift the grill and watch it pulse out). This lead me to wonder if there is a problem upstream of the pump (perhaps too much back pressure from a restricted flow through the boiler?), or alternatively, somehow the back-pressure on the tube that seems to tee off the top of the steam pump just before it connects to the copper pipe that goes to the boiler has dropped, diverting more of the pump output that way instead of into the boiler??
Interestingly, I tried a little test to see if indeed some of the output from the pump is going down the relief circuit, rather than into the boiler, by pinching the plastic pipe that comes off horizontally near the top of the pump. When I pinched it off, the amount of steam coming out increased dramatically. When I let it go again, it returned to producing weak steam! Not sure why this is, as when I follow the plastic pipe work into the bowels of the machine, it doesn't seem to go directly to the overflow outlet that goes into the drip tray?? Anyway, that's what happens.
Anyone know whether seeing overflow into the drip tray when steaming is 'normal'? (Perhaps someone with a fully functional machine could let me know if the see any when steaming normally? TIA.)
So, while I do seem to have improved the amount of steam coming out by cleaning the pump components up, I'm not really back to normal yet. I've checked all the copper pipe work is clear, the steam wand is clear, and that the boiler is not blocked, but haven't descaled. All in all, I guess it could still just mean that the pressure out of the steam pump is still lower than it needs to be, and to fix it I will have to get a replacement pump.
(Will post pics once I work out why I don't seem to have any rights to attach images)
Last edited by garryk; 8th March 2015 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Remove pic references
Ok, so I seem to have successfully resolved the problem, after following instructions provided by noidle22 (legend!). Thanks also to spoko2's great pics and guidance!
The problem was the steam pump, which I ended up fully dismantling, cleaning, and re-assembling, which gave me some steam back. But not enough. The final key was to include cleaning the somewhat 'hidden' pressure relief mechanism in the steam pump's horizontal outlet. Unscrewed the white plastic retaining grub screw that sits in the outlet pipe (it has a slot and a small hole in it), removed the spring and valve it retained, cleaned it all out, re-assembled, gave it one extra turn to tension the spring slightly more (I turned the screw ~ ten revolutions), and voila!
Stoked! Back to the coffee making!
Pressure relief plunger
Pressure relief outlet
Valve on spring inside stainless pump pin
Pump parts laid out
Last edited by garryk; 9th March 2015 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Add pics
l'm new to this. I have a Sunbeam em6910 which l have had since new about 3 years ago. It started playing up the other day, when l turned the power on as soon as it heated up it would start trying to press coffee out. Nw when l turn the power on, it blows the safety switch.... Any thoughts ??
Stainless pump piston, showing little plastic valve in closed position at the end of the pin
The valve is spring-loaded inside the pin.
Note the o-ring inside the pump end cap (sits behind the white teflon washer)
Separated pump body
All the dismantled pump components (except the pressure relief valve)
You have some patience there! Hope everything is still working well for you. Thanks for the pics as this is the same model as my broken one and my new one, which thankfully was only $55 locally. My old and then broken pump was very weak and had incredible back pressure that ended in the tray. I'm sure more info like this can help others since this seems to be an unfortunate common problem in the EM5910.
Sigh, now I have to keep working on my grind and tamp instead. Wish there was an easy fix for this, haha.
I know this sounds a bit poor, but do you have any hints for getting the top section off this thing? I spent about 30 minutes trying to pull it down but couldn't find the trick. (EM6910, to be sure, to be sure).
Good luck, let us know when you find the culprit.
Andrew, the symptom you describe is a shorted triac on the main board. Had you done any work prior to this occurring? If the PCB gets damp it can cause the triac to start, drying it out with a heat lamp or simply leaving in the sun will often fix it if dampness is the problem. If the problem just started with no potential for dampness on the PCB then the triac is likely faulty. There are old threads with the part number for the triac, if you are not comfortable working on the PCB then time for the repair shop.
If you can, either have the machine off and manually apply power to the pump to run cleaner through while cold (the flush with clean water before turning back on), but this can be a bit dangerous.
Otherwise somehow disconnect power to the thermoblock and run it through normally with no heat- probably equally as dangerous.
Don't do either of these unless you are a licensed electrician of course.
I've soaked a thermoblock in descaler once and regularly cycled it through the water passage but it never really got any better.
You will need a new solenoid and triac, both of which should be fitted by a qualified technician.
One tiny trick which I'm not certain was necessary but I'm pretty sure it helps, is to apply the **slightest** smear of food-grade silicone grease to the seals before they went back in, and the sealing surfaces (pressure relief valve seat, & spring valve inside). Very slight- almost wipe it right off with a tissue afterwards. Molykote or Stella or similar.
Totally stoked. Thanks for your help all.
Last edited by radsdau; 12th April 2015 at 07:01 PM.
Ladies & Gents, can I start by saying thank you very much and that this and other posts have allowed me to successfully repair my EM6910. But unfortunately not until having first paid over $400 at the local Townsville Sunbeam authorised repairer. Unfortunately out of extended warranty and even though I took it back numerous times he could not fix it. He would go past the pump and suggested I had put something other than water through the machine.
Anyway, moving on.
My problem ended up being a blocked Thermoblock. On another post, canít seem to find it again to thank him, the author said to let the machine heat up for 5 min, turn off & un plug. As quickly as possible remove one of the wires from the Thermoblock heating element, heating element is at the bottom of the Thermoblock and I found the top wire the easiest to access, then turn the machine back on. This allowed the preheating to be bypassed and descaling solution to be pumped through the steam side without converting to steam. Note that steam will first come out until it cools down.
Although this didnít fix my problem altogether it helped for a short period. I ended up going down the same path as Stewart4 buy disconnecting the top and bottom pipes to the Thermoblock, filling it with descaler and flushing it out numerous times.
In all it took me two days on and off but Iím now enjoying a great coffee as I write and the machine is working as good as it did day 1. Without this post to get me started on the right path I was looking at $850 for a new machine.
PS. Had issues typing this on the site so had to revert to a word doc. The site canít keep up with typing, and Iím no speed typist.
"Good news stories' don't get told so here is one.
My early 6910 did between 6-7000 shots before I got it with a blocked steam thermobloc, a near one for $40.00, a magnetic low water float switch, a new thermocouple, and 1000 shots later it is still going fine, its only issue is a small drip from the hotwater spout when I am stretching milk.
A naked P/F and VST basket later and I am a happy chappy.
If it fails and I can't fix it I will get another one or go for a 7000.
Last edited by rawill; 10th July 2015 at 07:25 AM.
Thanks for sharing guys. My sunbeam was in storage for about a year and a half. Was working when I put it in there put had the no steam coming out issue. The pump was trying though. I was able to fix it up using the comments here, mine was pretty much just past the steam wand and I was able to get a bit of wire up there.
Thanks Guys. Now it is out of our house, so we are happy, and making coffee for some other lovely people.
Just chipping in, have managed to pull apart my 6910 thanks to this thread. Have had intermittent steam issues for months (not starting for a few seconds, weak steam, water leaking from under machine). Haven't had time to get into it and it was still working, so I've left it. Anyway, pulled it apart and found the leaking water has caused heavy corrosion on the bottom of the blue part (I assume houses the coils?) Was hoping to clean it out, but I think a whole new pump is in order. Still cheaper than a new machine!
Descale the thermo while I'm in here and hopefully I'll be on my way with the new pump!
It's common for these machines to leak from the pipe fitting at the top of the pump. This seems to be caused by vibration from the pump working the fitting loose and also damaging its o-ring seal. Before replacing the pump you could try cleaning it up, drying it out and replacing the o-ring. Also keep in mind that a faulty steam switch (behind the steam control knob) can cause intermittent steam production. No sound at all when you turn on the steam can be an indication of a faulty switch (or burnt out steam pump solenoid coil) but a very quiet "brrp-brrp" sound usually indicates a sticking piston or valves in the pump.
Good luck with your repair.
I've got an 18 month old one that fails to get water through the coffee (regardless of grind setting). No movement of the pressure gauge needle at all. Water comes out with no coffee though. I'm guessing the pump can't produce enough pressure. Only makes 1-3 cups per day and regularly cleaned. If it's the pump it will be covered by warranty. If something else it won't (though my credit card gives me another year so that's ok). Wondering about the statutory warranty though. Surely a machine should last more than that but how do you get action on it (the statutory warranty)?
Wow what an amazing thread. Thanks firstly to everyone here for going to the effort of contributing to this great community and helping so many others. Outstanding.
My questoon is where I can order parts online for the 6910. No one has mentioned a supplier you trust.
If not, yes probably the pump.
I have repaired many EM6910's with failed solenoids up to 12 months out of the 12 month warranty period, Sunbeam are generally fairly accommodating with things like this as long as your service agent is a good one.
Well... I've just bought another faulty one of these, I couldn't help myself. $33 for one with, from the description, the same steam issue. My plan is to get this one up and running, the one I detailed fixing in this thread is still going strong, so I really like these machines.
I just got the other one last night, and I don't have the time to repair it yet, that's about a month off I think... but already I can tell it's a different problem. When I turn on this machine it immediately starts making the quiet chugging noise of a not working steam pump... and I think it was even doing it when the machine was switched off... so... yeah, I'm not sure what's going on with this machine. I'll run through similar steps and see what happens.
Hopefully I'll take better pictures this time too!
Last edited by spoco2; 25th February 2016 at 02:59 PM.
Thanks to everyone on this thread, your pictures and descriptions have all been so helpful. I too bought a 6910 on the cheap with the steam arm not working and managed to pull the steam path apart, the pump and pressure outlet, clean them all (I did turn the small O-ring over so that it sat proud again, just in case), reassemble and it now has steam. All from the info on this one thread.
This is what the internet and forums should be for, people sharing knowledge and helping people.
You guys are fantastic.
Now just to workout why the pressure guage isn't working, not that it's essential but I love a challenge.
Two main reasons (there are a few rarer ones as well)
1) it is blocked. Usually the input line to the gauge as it is very small (without measuring it, it is probably the smallest diameter pipe in the 6910 by quite a margin).
2) It has been transported badly and the input line to the gauge has split / broken off just behind the gauge. Telltale signs - a very small patch of water underneath the gauge / milk wand area. usually it is about 5cms under the left hand edge and 10 to 15 cms from the back of the case.
Thanks TampIt, I'll start my investigations there.
Well thank god for this thread! Found a good youtube on how to pull apart the machine and replace the steam pump but then stumbled across this thread, pulled apart my pump, dropped the middle black section and connecting copper coil in some descaling solution, cleaned the internal shaft of the outter electrical piece of the pump, reassembled and hey presto! I don't have to throw away my machine - the steam is back and stronger than ever!!!
What are your symptoms - any noises, loud or soft etc.
May be able to help localize the problem with more info before you go to the expense of replacing the pump.
I had exactly the same problems, cleaned all parts as described twice but nevertheless it didn't work. I called the importer for the machine in Germany and they sent me the sparepart number. I could buy the spare part at my local dealer with this number for 34 Euro. The machine is running very smooth now. They replaced some of the plastic parts, especially this little screw on the outside, with copper...
I have had the same problem. I have checked the pump, seems to be fine. I removed the brass hose above the pump, that seems fine. (I did clean it out, but nothing much came out). My next step is to check/clean out the top brass hose but I can not get the top cover off. It looks like the steam and hot water knobs have to be removed but I can not work out how. Does any one know?
I have worked it out. You just pull them off. (Lucky I don't have a dirty mind or that might sound a bit rude).
Weird though. I took everything apart. Nothing seemed blocked. Put it back together again. It all works like new. (Maybe I put something back into place or freed something up).
With all the informations I got in this thread I was able to repair my Graef ES90 coffee machine (it is similar tothe Sunbeam model and are sold in Germany as Graef). Hope the machine will go on making good coffee now.
Many thanks from Stuttgart, Germany
Hi all, great thread!
I also have the model em6910 and could successfully clean and reassemble the steampump. Also applied a tiny bit of silicon grease. The steam block and all pipes / hoses are clean and free.
But the pump still only emits that very quiet humming, and doesnt give any steam. Anybody got some pointers what else to try?
Is it possible the steam thermoblock is blocked.
I had that once, I imagine the pump would work but nothing would get through.
I know I put a vinegar/water solution through mine to keep it clean and descaled inside.
My son does the same to to his, but only when the steam gets a bit weak!
To check if it was blocked you would need to take it out and see if you can get compressed air to go through it, or something similar to test it.
@rawill the thermo block is free and air can be pushed through.
The pump also has the quiet humming when disconnected from the machin (only AC connected)
I also tried tapping the pump while connected, this doesn't lead to any change though.
Also the insides of the pump move freely when outside pump. The silicon grease helped greatly there