Sunbeam EM6910 - steam pump or microswitch
Recently the steaming wand on my EM6910 suddnely stopped working. One day it was fine, next day nothing happens when I turn the steam dial (no sounds or anything). Reading on these forums it is probably the steam pump or the microswitch - any idea which it might be given these symptoms?
Also, I'm not sure if I need a new group collar or a group seal. When I put the group head in and tighten it to pull a shot, it sits at around the 4 o'clock position. Sometimes if I accidentally overdose I get some leaking from the group head, but usually there are no leaks. I'm hoping it's just a matter of replacing the seal. How do I tell if the group collar is worn? I have had a look at it and I can't see anything obvious.
If the collar and steam pump both need replacing, might it be better just to get a new machine? It looks like the steam pump might be easy to replace myself, but the collar might be too tricky for me.
Originally Posted by capnstoobie
Journeyman's My New Machine has all the info you need about it (long post w 4 pages covering EM480 & 6910). Also has links to instructions about most of it.
You probably need a new seal, not collar. Can also use cheap spacer as a semi permanent fix.
Steam - do you hear the pump at all? Also have you tried just leaving it run for a while and see if something comes out?
I had some issues a while back where I'd turn on steam and get nothing for 30 or more seconds but I could hear a very-much reduced pump noise. I ran some cleaner through the wand (I know the manual says not to) and just let it keep running. After about 15 mins the wand cleared its throat and my steam volume increased dramatically. When I looked in the container I had under the wand there was dirty brown stuff in the liquid.
And yet it had been running fine (or so it seemed to me) in the weeks before this. I'd even cleaned it before but hadn't left it running for anywhere near that time.
I doubt you'll see anything with the collar without dismantling the machine. It is also unlikely the collar is an issue - that's one solid piece of part. I bought a new one to keep as a spare because so many posts seemed to talk about having to replace the collar - about the only part that might wear would be where the lugs on the PF engage.
It could be the seal, but I had similar experiences with mine. Learning to grind/dose/tamp better solved the occasional leaks and a washer from ebay (flat cardboard part that sits between seal and collar) solved the too-much-rotation issue.
I bought new seals (the consensus on CS seemed to be if you get a leak it must be the seal) but when I got them, except for some brown stain on the surface, there was no difference between the brand new ones and my current one. The new ones have been in the drawer for 6 months and I haven't had leaks in that time.
Have you removed the seal and showerscreen to clean them out? When I first got my machine it leaked easily; on inspection I found both screens were almost completely choked with solid coffee oils. Going by the clean out I do each month, I think the previous owners probably never cleaned the screens.
Sleep is overrated
Just make your own using the seal as a template.
Originally Posted by Journeyman
Now that I've seen one, that's possible, but TBH I would have made it too thick. Also it isn't just normal box-type cardboard so I probably would have gotten that wrong too. Plus I was getting some other bits at the time so I just added them on to the order.
Thanks for all the great reponses! I took Journeyman's advice and turned on the steam for a while. Lo and behold, after about 60 seconds it sprang to life and started working again! Previously there was no sound coming out of it at all, so I was surprised to hear it sputter back to life. I didn't get any gunk come out of it though. All that I can think of is that I recently came back from a one month holiday, and maybe the lack of use clogged it up. However I did use the steamer one or twice since I came back without any troubles.
I will monitor the group head leak. Tomorrow I'll give the screen a good clean. I have cleaned it before, but it's been a while.
I use Cino Cleano cleaner that I got from the local roaster. It goes in the water tank and I run the cleaning cycle (with machine off, and rubber disk in the basket, hold down single cup and double cup and press the Power button and let the cycle run. Put a container under the PF to catch excess water) then when it is done I run the steam for 10 minutes or more.
Then I rinse out the water tank, fill it with fresh clean water (from my reverse osmosis system) and repeat. I know when I'm due to do it again because the steam starts taking more than 4 seconds to start.
Group head leak - try the 5 cent test to make sure you are dosing right. Check your grind and tamp; for mine I do a progressive tamp (do a search on CS for 'progressive') with lighter tamp than normal and I grind a bit finer than I would if I was doing the 15kg tamp. With the heavy tamp the dose was critical - seemed to be fractions of a mm different and I'd get leaks.