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Thread: EM6910 explosion

  1. #1
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    EM6910 explosion

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I just picked up a used Sunbeam EM6910 yesterday and was trying to get to grips with it this evening, running some beans that I was given so are probably not fresh.
    The extraction was fast as to be expected. So, I made my grind a bit finer, but didn't tamp very hard so as not to choke the machine.

    I know I should be using fresh beans but was really just using the ones I had been given as a base to pour milk over as I am practicing milk texturing (something that I am having better success with on this machine compared to my old Francis Francis X1).

    As you can see in the video, it seemed to explode water from the grouphead and lose pressure.

    Does this mean I need to replace the Brewhead seal? I did contact Sunbeam today and they gave me contact details for a local company that would be able to supply me with one, but it needs to be ordered in. Should I also replace the anti-calc cartridge?

    Ran an descale yesterday - there was a good coating of coffee oil on the showerscreen! Also removed the insert in the porterfilter. Actually popped out quite effortlessly.
    Would like to get a single spout but Sunbeam say they don't have any stock of those - maybe I need to try overseas for one, unless anyone knows where I can source one from here in little old NZ.

    https://youtu.be/P_UC9zmdKks

  2. #2
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    The group handle is meant to seal in tightly at 12-1 oclock, not rotate all the way around. This is a classic problem with these machines. You will need a new group collar as yours is catastrophically worn.

    This is not a small job and I would recommend taking it to an authorised Sunbeam service centre. As your machine is second hand, they can assess it for any other work that may be required but from your description it sounds like it's otherwise working ok.

    The group head seal is probably ok. If it is still blue in colour and not visibly deformed or damaged you can probably still use it. The service agent will probably replace it anyway though.

    The anti-calc cartridge should be replaced if you will be using tap water in the machine. I'm not sure what the water is like where you live but generally any tap water will have calcium, lime etc. in it to some extent.
    If you can use properly filtered or bottled water in the machine that would be ideal. These machines suffer badly from scale in the steam thermoblock causing weak or sputtery steam so avoiding this would be a bonus.

    Check ebay for a single spout, there's some sellers in Australia who can post to NZ I think. Alternatively, ask your service agent and see if they have any spare.

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    Many thanks for your reply noidle22.

    I have removed the seal and it does have a massive split in it!

    Have another one on order and asked for a quote for a new collar.

    We do have hard water here so I will take your advice and use filtered water (or I remember reading that I should use water that has been previously boiled?).

    Thanks again...your help is much appreciated.


    Last edited by jazrotorman; 11th July 2015 at 09:18 AM. Reason: trying to add photo

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    Split seal


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    Quote Originally Posted by applor View Post
    Many thanks for your reply noidle22.

    I have removed the seal and it does have a massive split in it!

    Have another one on order and asked for a quote for a new collar.

    We do have hard water here so I will take your advice and use filtered water (or I remember reading that I should use water that has been previously boiled?).

    Thanks again...your help is much appreciated.


    G'day applor

    Before you replace the collar, try your new seal with a gasket placed between the seal and the group. You can buy them, however as a proof of concept a piece of cardboard or whatever will do for testing. Rawill (CSr in Sth NZ) even used a plastic icecream lid (which didn't melt!). The very 6900 / early 6910s had a soft collar (note: not the same mounting), the later ones do not wear much unless a careless user keeps polluting the p/f seal junction with coffee grounds. Inspecting the collar for wear is also a good idea IF you know what you are looking for...

    TampIt
    PS: I have a few single spouts* for a 6910 - "cost of postage deal" may still be too much, or ask Rawill if he has any strays.
    * between converting 6910 p/fs to naked + every 6910 coming with both a single and a double they build up.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot for your advice TampIt.
    Hopefully I will receive the new brewhead seal today or tomorrow and will make a gasket to test.
    Has taken more than a week to get the seal, but I gave up on our authorised Sunbeam repair centre in the end and purchased one online.
    Many thanks for the offer of the single spout, but as it turns out, the person I bought it off has found a single spout in their cupboard and is sending it my way.
    Thanks again for your advice and expertise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazrotorman View Post
    Thanks a lot for your advice TampIt.
    Hopefully I will receive the new brewhead seal today or tomorrow and will make a gasket to test.
    Has taken more than a week to get the seal, but I gave up on our authorised Sunbeam repair centre in the end and purchased one online.
    Many thanks for the offer of the single spout, but as it turns out, the person I bought it off has found a single spout in their cupboard and is sending it my way.
    Thanks again for your advice and expertise.
    Where in NZ are you Jazrotorman?

  8. #8
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    It's fairly clear that there is excessive collar wear in this case, doesn't really need to be tested to figure that out.

    It's simple to double check if the collar is the problem. Look up under the group head and along the edge of the collar, probably on the left hand side as you are looking under it from the front, you will probably see some deformed metal. Run your finger along the edge and you will feel roughness. The rougher it is or the more deformed metal you can see, the worse it is.

    A group seal spacer will do the job for a while but a collar replacement is ideal. You definitely will need a new seal because of that split but the seal itself is still a healthy blue colour which means the silicone was still in good condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Where in NZ are you Jazrotorman?
    Palmerston North mate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    It's fairly clear that there is excessive collar wear in this case, doesn't really need to be tested to figure that out.

    It's simple to double check if the collar is the problem. Look up under the group head and along the edge of the collar, probably on the left hand side as you are looking under it from the front, you will probably see some deformed metal. Run your finger along the edge and you will feel roughness. The rougher it is or the more deformed metal you can see, the worse it is.

    A group seal spacer will do the job for a while but a collar replacement is ideal. You definitely will need a new seal because of that split but the seal itself is still a healthy blue colour which means the silicone was still in good condition.
    Will check that tonight. I got the machine for a bargain price, so won't mind too much if I have to get a collar for it.
    Thanks again.

  11. #11
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazrotorman View Post
    Palmerston North mate.
    I'm in Kaiapoi/Chch so can't help you sorry. Looks like you've already worked out that 'authorized service agents' for Sunbeam and the like aren't always the best. I think the experience is similar in Australia, some are great but the rest are average and bloody expensive. I've bought a few Sunbeam parts now and I've ended up getting them all from a supplier in Australia selling on eBay. Good luck with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    I'm in Kaiapoi/Chch so can't help you sorry. Looks like you've already worked out that 'authorized service agents' for Sunbeam and the like aren't always the best. I think the experience is similar in Australia, some are great but the rest are average and bloody expensive. I've bought a few Sunbeam parts now and I've ended up getting them all from a supplier in Australia selling on eBay. Good luck with it.
    True that LeroyC! Could have purchased from ebay oz, and it would have been here by now. I know for next time.

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    Success! Thanks for all your help and advice.
    Fitted the brewhead seal and it has fixed the leak/geysur issue and the portafilter handle now sits nearer where it should be.
    Now, I just have to get some practice in to get better technique.

    3J5A3182.jpg3J5A3181.jpg

  14. #14
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Excellent, that's good to hear. Have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazrotorman View Post
    Success! Thanks for all your help and advice.
    Fitted the brewhead seal and it has fixed the leak/geysur issue and the portafilter handle now sits nearer where it should be.
    Now, I just have to get some practice in to get better technique.

    3J5A3182.jpg3J5A3181.jpg
    Great - another unnecessary collar replacement avoided. Just remember to use a spacer if / when the clearance gets too high. A lot easier than the unloved tradition of grinding the p/f lugs...

    That coffee doesn't look too bad at all. About my artistic level for pretty shapes.

    As long as you are enjoying your cuppa, the rest doesn't matter much.

    TampIt

  16. #16
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    Thanks for your help TampIt. Getting some good results from this machine now. Miles ahead of my old Francis Francis X1. Great having such an active and informative forum with helpful members like this.
    rawill and LeroyC like this.

  17. #17
    Rbn
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazrotorman View Post
    Thanks for your help TampIt. Great having such an active and informative forum with helpful members like this.
    Your comment is so true. I could not believe it when I found this forum.
    You have to sift the wheat from the chaff a bit at times, but posters on here have helped me no end in my journey to better coffee.
    They know who they are!

    And you said it all, more practice, improve the technique.
    And read up on preinfusion,
    I think this is more important than I realised, and I have only just come to begin to understand it in the last week or so.
    I suspect it may be more important on lower spec machines than the EM6910, but important overall.

    And I have got bits for my machines from Ebay and site sponsors rather than Sunbeam, but also a supplier in Wellington, for the Breville single walled cups for my EM4800c (campervan coffee machine)
    However, the local repair shop sold me a steam thermobloc for $40.00, my machine was blocked when I acquired it from my son.
    It had never been maintained at all, just used.

    On the P/F handle not pointing straight at you, 6.00 oclock.
    I am not at all sure about it being a worn group head, maybe it is, I am a novice.
    But, my EM6910 was pointing around to the right when I got it from my son after it had done about 6000+ shots.
    As
    Tampit said I cut up an icecream lid to make a washer to space the seal down a bit.
    It is now at 6.00 oclock, pointing straight at me, and has been like this for between the 1000-2000 shots I have pulled.

    The comparison is, that the new EM6910 that my son bought new went right around to the right from day one.
    I am sure it wasn't made with a used group head collar.

    The only thing I notice is that if I have my shot wrong, and the pressure goes up too high, into the red!
    the P/F can try to unwind, and it did once!

    I am now a convinced fan of the VST baskets and naked P/F.
    Thanks to the guys on here who are fans of the similar set up.
    And here you will notice the difference with preinfusion, you can see what is happening.

    Being a C/S can be an expensive hobby, but not as expensive as motor racing!!

    Anyone want to buy a 2000 Formula Renault, I know where there is one for sale!!
    jazrotorman likes this.



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