About to throw Sunbeam EM6910 under a passing truck, what to buy next?
I have had my third Sunbeam EM6910 milk steamer bust. Why third you ask? I had one machine at home, one in my office purchased at the same time. The home machine busted, so I bought another one.
The milk steamer on the office machine started going quiet last week, the home machine steamer just went dead quiet today.
I have descaled, cleaned, turned on and off, you name it. Even pulled it half apart in the hope of cleaning it inside but have frankly given up because I don't really know what I'm doing. So after spending the last two hours trying to fix it I'm hot, bothered and might pissed off.
My question is, do I bother fixing it or should I buy a completely different machine? If the latter, can anyone recommend something up to $1000 that ISN'T going to freaking break after a couple of years use. The home machine makes 2-3 coffees a day, the office machine is lucky to make one a day.
Thanks in advance.
Bud, do what I did. Do yourself a favour and get a Breville BES920, they're giving the smart (as-long-as-it's-shimmed) grinder away for free at the moment. The retail is $1700 but I got mine for $1198 from HN. I can send you the receipt if you like. Once you dial in the settings you like, you can store it in a button so it's super repeatable. I read that for $1250 you can squeeze a 5 year warranty out of them too! Great machine! If you go down this path, order the ruddy shim kit, call Breville and do it before you even pick up your machine, the grinder doesn't work without it.
Have a look at the Nuova Simonelli Oscar from Casa Espresso. Heat exchanger machine, means you heat and steam at the same time if you wish.
May be in your budget bracket.
I'm on my 2nd EM6910 in 8 years. I dropped the first one down a flight of stairs (accidentally) after it gave up its last breath. I think the steam pump is problematic with the model - I won't be buying a third. You get what you pay for sadly... I'd increase that budget if it was me (double it) or learn to like the French press again.
Plenty of threads on here about people who have had the same problem. Seems to be the steam pump or steam thermoblock at the root cause. New pump is like $50, new thermoblock is about $80. Both are pretty easy to replace, you wouldn't need much technical knowledge or skill to do the job.
It is ironic, inside an EM6910 is a lot of nice copper and solid aluminium and it's all put together pretty well..........but they're still not very reliable. However if you choose not to fix it and are just going to dump it, i'd be keen to take it off your hands
My suggestion is to checkout the Lelit range at site sponsor Jetblackespresso. If reliability is your main criteria I'm confident you'll find something to meet your needs. I have the Lelit PL 41temd as my second machine and have no difficulty recommending it. (I have been living across two houses for the last couple of years so I get to use mine quite regularly.) It would be within your budget. As a single boiler it may not be as user friendly as your Sunbeam, but once you get used to its idiosyncrasies you'll have no problems. Personally I steer clear of the mass market Brevilles and Sunbeams - though they clearly have their fans on this forum.
If robustness is your criteria then the Lelit could be what you are looking for.
Best wishes, Russell
Get a Nuova simonelli $1k faster and 10x more durable. What's that saying ..set it ... Get it and forget it. Steam and pull same time. As long as you don't need hot water. I have a rancilio Silvia with retrofit pid(got it a year ago), works well but if I had to do over would get the Nuova. Long live coffee! Don't get a thermoblock/thermocoil machine..
I'd look at repairing it first. At least some of the steam problems seen to have similar symptoms where the pump goes very quiet and steram pressure either doesn't start or comes out week. There's a thread on here that lays it at the door of the moving part inside the pump, saying that it jams. If that's the case with yours it should be a relatively easy fix.
I think a part of the blame at least is the Sunbeam manual that tells the user not to clean the steam system; SB should have provided a way to do so, particularly with the chemicals towns and cities add to tap water. The steam pump HAS to clog up eventually and that moving slide seems to be the most common part to jam.
How old are the machines? Samsung has a 5 year warranty on the pumps.
Thanks for the suggestions guys
Thanks for the suggestions, they're all really good ones.
I prefer to repair things rather than toss them because I hate the thought of all that stuff sitting in landfill. However, I am more inclined to sell the two machines I have for parts (as I did the last one) as I'm completely over this model.
Buying a household brand seems easy, but I think I might look at increasing my budget and buying something like the Lelit. Hubby loves researching things in great detail before we buy so I'll give him all the suggestions you lovely people have made.
Thank you again.
got to agree. our machine
Originally Posted by Journeyman
after about 6000 coffees has only had a new thermobloc and a new thermal cut out fuse. instructions not to decalcs the steamer is nuts.
If your handy to Cremorne you could include a visit to Jetblackespresso in your research, see the machine in action and taste a shot or two before you buy. It's a few years since I lived in Sydney, but when I had the opportunity to visit them they were always helpful and welcoming.
Originally Posted by tanyaz
Best wishes, Russell
Have agree, although advice from someone closely associated with EM5900 - 6910 development suggests it's a liability issue - breathing in too much vaporised descaling solution might be a health hazard. All a bit too risky to suggest in a user guide in our litigious society.
Originally Posted by rawill
My EM6910 has only had a button circuit board replaced in 5+ years (almost as long as the EM5910 has been out) of daily use. However, a few months ago the steamer started to fail, giving only a weak ineffective pulsing jet of steam. I'd recently done a group head tablet clean and a descale, and figured I'd dislodged some calcium into the steamer plumbing. I was contemplating an expensive repair, but thankfully found out about the 'health hazard'.
Opened the windows and ran some diluted descaler through the steamer, running it on and off at intervals, for some time till the steam pulses gained strength and eventually became a continuous jet once again. A few days later it began to failed again, but another steam descale quickly fixed it and for the last few weeks it's been working like new.
I suspect a repair would have cost $100+, a week without a coffee machine, 5 minutes of labour and 20c worth of descaler ...! :\
This is my first post and I have been meaning to post something for 3 years - the length of time I have owned a Sunbeam EM6910. My steam pump also went about 3 weeks ago. I was halfway through frothing the milk and everything went quiet. Rang Sunbeam and they gave me an authorisation number and took it to the local repairers. Turned out to be a valve and O ring and cost me $75.
I personally would call Sunbeam and go from there. I would also say I have been extremely happy with my Sunbeam and up to now it hasn't missed a beat for 3 years pulling 2 coffees on most days.
Sunbeam have been very obliging in the past when my older EM5900 started misbehaving, with steam began issuing from the vents. They sent me some new O rings FOC, explaining where they went, however they weren't needed - the steam turned to smoke when the mainboard burnt out during a cleaning cycle. That's when I upgraded to my EM6910.
I also got a complete new set of baskets FOC when I told them my new EM6910 arrived with a set of baskets, but two inserts were the same - one type was missing. I guess you could say I still have one basket insert missing - but I almost have two sets Still good service, but once well out of warranty and when internals fail, the local repairer isn't quite so obliging.
When my EM6910's button circuit board was repaired locally, I only dropped off the main unit, thinking they'd not need the extras, or at least have spare handles and trays lying about. They called me back asking for the accessories before repairing it. I got it back to find the red float from the drain tray was missing. After a few months and several reminders, I got it sent back in the mail. Only it wasn't really a nice bright red any more. I got a grubby old faded one that looked like it'd been in the bottom of someone's tool box for years