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Thread: Issues with Sunbeam EM6910 - Won't stop humming

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    Issues with Sunbeam EM6910 - Won't stop humming

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

    First time poster here. I have a Sunbeam EM6910 - about 2.5 years old and I love it - always made good coffee.

    Just under warranty I think the valve blew, which was replaced. It blew again a year later and all fixed without problems now.

    My issues is after making a coffee this morning, the machine has not stopped humming as though the steam pump is steaming milk (but not on nor is it spurting water).

    I turn the machine OFF and the humming still happens unless I turn it off at the switch.

    Steam pump still works as does the rest of the machine.

    What would it be?

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    I had this. It was the micro switch on the hot water knob. I never used the hot water and it must be the heat that got to it. Unplug, open the back and you can remove the wire where it meets the circuit board as a temp fix. Replacing looks like a tougher job. Depends if you use the hot water.

    C

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I had this. It was the micro switch on the hot water knob. I never used the hot water and it must be the heat that got to it. Unplug, open the back and you can remove the wire where it meets the circuit board as a temp fix. Replacing looks like a tougher job. Depends if you use the hot water.

    C
    Thanks. I'm not very... hmmm... handy though so I'm not sure if I will know which circuit to remove and possibly remove the wrong one.

    I never use the hot water.

    The odd thing is everything is fine - hot water comes out, pulls coffee just as well as it always has and steams well... just won't stop humming - is this what yours did?

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    Yep exactly.

    Don't worry you can see the wire coming down from the hot water control to the PC board and its just a terminal - slide off with a pair of pliers.

    If you want to test further - run the hot water on and off in different ways, quick slow etc. If you can get the hum to change tones by playing with the knob is definitely the switch.

  5. #5
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    You mentioned that the "valve blew" and was replaced. What exactly did they replace? I assume you mean the solenoid valve?

    A problem that the EM6910 suffers from which is quite dangerous and something that Sunbeam don't seem to admit is a problem is that the brass piston sleeve of the solenoid valve splits and sprays water onto the solenoid coil contacts which then drips down onto the circuit board. This usually shorts out the triac which controls AC component operation and 90% of the time it's the steam pump triac that cops it.
    This will cause the steam pump to run whenever the machine is switched on at the wall, regardless of the on or off status of the machine itself.

    Being that your machine has killed two solenoids I would assume it's leaked a fair bit of water onto the board. This could be contributory to the failure this time or it could be a coincidence. I would assume it's the triac in either case.
    If it was the microswitch, the humming would stop once you turned the machine off using the on/off button on the machine itself as the switches will stop functioning.

    Triac replacement is cheap and easy assuming you can find a technician who knows what they're doing. If it's worse and requires a board replacement then a Sunbeam authorised service agent will be the way to go. Get them to check the solenoid valve again for any evidence of damage too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    You mentioned that the "valve blew" and was replaced. What exactly did they replace? I assume you mean the solenoid valve?

    A problem that the EM6910 suffers from which is quite dangerous and something that Sunbeam don't seem to admit is a problem is that the brass piston sleeve of the solenoid valve splits and sprays water onto the solenoid coil contacts which then drips down onto the circuit board. This usually shorts out the triac which controls AC component operation and 90% of the time it's the steam pump triac that cops it.
    This will cause the steam pump to run whenever the machine is switched on at the wall, regardless of the on or off status of the machine itself.

    Being that your machine has killed two solenoids I would assume it's leaked a fair bit of water onto the board. This could be contributory to the failure this time or it could be a coincidence. I would assume it's the triac in either case.
    If it was the microswitch, the humming would stop once you turned the machine off using the on/off button on the machine itself as the switches will stop functioning.

    Triac replacement is cheap and easy assuming you can find a technician who knows what they're doing. If it's worse and requires a board replacement then a Sunbeam authorised service agent will be the way to go. Get them to check the solenoid valve again for any evidence of damage too.

    You have described pretty much exactly what it could be - thanks! When the valve blew prior it affected the AC and it would short the power every time I would turn it on. I was told this was because I didn't clean my machine effectively. The last time the solenoid valve blew was <6mths ago.

    Both times has been serviced by a Sunbeam Authorised service agent.

    I guess my question is also (depending on how much $$ it will cost to repair) is will this keep happening and should I start thinking about investing in a new machine? All in all a little disappointing given it was supposed to be a good, reliable purchase...

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    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leopuppy04 View Post
    You have described pretty much exactly what it could be - thanks! When the valve blew prior it affected the AC and it would short the power every time I would turn it on. I was told this was because I didn't clean my machine effectively. The last time the solenoid valve blew was <6mths ago.

    Both times has been serviced by a Sunbeam Authorised service agent.

    I guess my question is also (depending on how much $$ it will cost to repair) is will this keep happening and should I start thinking about investing in a new machine? All in all a little disappointing given it was supposed to be a good, reliable purchase...
    Their claim of it being your fault is incorrect. They were just covering for Sunbeam, or they haven't seen the problem before.
    I have seen other EM6910's with coffee grounds built up all the way from the thermoblock, through the copper piping and completely jamming the solenoid from moving which haven't split the brass sleeve. On the other end of the spectrum, I have repaired a 2 month old EM6910 with a split solenoid with barely any coffees having gone through it.
    The solenoid is purely a mass produced, cheap item that has a (reasonably) high rate of failure.

    Think of how many commercial machines use solenoid valves which run at brew pressure (basically all of them). None that I have seen have ever failed in the same way as the Sunbeam solenoids. This is a key example of why the Sunbeam is an appliance and not a high end machine, no matter the cost. Unfortunately there's not much you can do about this.

    I can't speak for your service agent but when I replace triacs, it's about a $60 job. The cost comes from required safety checks and testing. The triac itself costs about $2.50 from RS Components however it is not a job which I would suggest an end user to attempt as it involves soldering and 240V components.

    I couldn't guarantee that it won't happen again. If your agent keeps using extremely overpriced Sunbeam sourced solenoids (which are from the same manufacturer as the faulty ones, and are also the one's they use in the EM7000 of which I have replaced several already) it may well happen again.
    Once I knew this solenoid thing was a problem, I ditched the stupidly expensive Sunbeam parts and got my solenoids direct from another manufacturer in China. End result is a better quality solenoid at a tenth of the price.

    If your machine is only 2.5 years old with 2 repairs under its belt already, I would contact Sunbeam and ask if they would consider repairing it under goodwill warranty again, or even replacing it. You would expect a machine of it's price to last longer than this so you have fair ground to stand on.
    Alternatively in my opinion, ditch it, save a bit of cash and buy a Breville Dual Boiler.
    KFT likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    Their claim of it being your fault is incorrect. They were just covering for Sunbeam, or they haven't seen the problem before.
    I have seen other EM6910's with coffee grounds built up all the way from the thermoblock, through the copper piping and completely jamming the solenoid from moving which haven't split the brass sleeve. On the other end of the spectrum, I have repaired a 2 month old EM6910 with a split solenoid with barely any coffees having gone through it.
    The solenoid is purely a mass produced, cheap item that has a (reasonably) high rate of failure.

    Think of how many commercial machines use solenoid valves which run at brew pressure (basically all of them). None that I have seen have ever failed in the same way as the Sunbeam solenoids. This is a key example of why the Sunbeam is an appliance and not a high end machine, no matter the cost. Unfortunately there's not much you can do about this.

    I can't speak for your service agent but when I replace triacs, it's about a $60 job. The cost comes from required safety checks and testing. The triac itself costs about $2.50 from RS Components however it is not a job which I would suggest an end user to attempt as it involves soldering and 240V components.

    I couldn't guarantee that it won't happen again. If your agent keeps using extremely overpriced Sunbeam sourced solenoids (which are from the same manufacturer as the faulty ones, and are also the one's they use in the EM7000 of which I have replaced several already) it may well happen again.
    Once I knew this solenoid thing was a problem, I ditched the stupidly expensive Sunbeam parts and got my solenoids direct from another manufacturer in China. End result is a better quality solenoid at a tenth of the price.

    If your machine is only 2.5 years old with 2 repairs under its belt already, I would contact Sunbeam and ask if they would consider repairing it under goodwill warranty again, or even replacing it. You would expect a machine of it's price to last longer than this so you have fair ground to stand on.
    Alternatively in my opinion, ditch it, save a bit of cash and buy a Breville Dual Boiler.

    This is very helpful - thank you so much. I will call both sunbeam and the repairers tomorrow and see what results I have. Is it true that if I don't go to the sunbeam approved manufacturers that I void the warranty? Either way - if the warranty doesn't cover this, I wouldn't care about voiding it because it obviously covers jack sh!t (I'm talking about the 5 yr pump warranty btw - I know the machine only has a 12mth warranty).

    Where is a good place to take your machine for a service and to fix these issues should it happen again?



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