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Thread: EM6910 wet puck and gauge not working

  1. #1
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    EM6910 wet puck and gauge not working

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi apologies if this has been asked many times before but I am new to this and have done some searching and not really found a clear direct answer.

    I have a EM6910 coffee machine which is fairly old as I have had it for years. I bought it new and it has worked well for ages.

    Lately though, the puck is wet and the gauge does not work at all. I have descaled and cleaned the machine as best as possible following all the guidelines for cleaning the EM690.
    I have replaced the big seal for the grouphead.
    When I make a coffee, I pack the coffee grinds in nice and tight.
    When I grind the beans I have tried to make it as fine as possible.

    But when I make coffee the gauge does not work and the puck is wet. The pressure seems to be fine but their is no creme.

    Is there something else I can check?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Let taste be your ultimate guide, not the quality of the puck. If the coffee tastes great then that is what matters.
    Assuming the Sunbeam is maintaining good temperature and you are using fresh beans ideally roasted with the last 2 weeks, you may need to play around with the dose and grind. If the puck is wet and sloppy, your dose may be too low. If the puck is wet on top, your grind may be too fine. No crema could be the result of old or poor quality beans or grind quality. What grinder are you using and how old is it? The burrs may be worn, producing a poor grind
    Can't advise on the pressure gauge. Try googling sunbeam 6910 gauge. It might also be time for a new machine? Appliance coffee machines aren't designed to last forever.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I agree with your thoughts Flynn, however for some reason a dry puck that knocks out cleanly is rather satisfying.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I agree with your thoughts Flynn, however for some reason a dry puck that knocks out cleanly is rather satisfying.
    I know what you mean Yelta but that is icing on the cake.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caposka View Post
    the gauge does not work and the puck is wet
    This is often a sure sign that the internal line from the group head to the 3 way solenoid valve is blocked preventing the pressure from being released.

    It can take a concerted effort using multiple backflushes and a good coffee cleaner to hopefully clear this. And make sure you fit the rubber disk into a double basket first.
    It would pay to remove the shower screens beforehand and give them a good soak in a hot cleaner solution.
    You should start to see white 'sudsy' water trickling into the back of the drip tray at the end of each backflush if it is working.

    Hopefully you can clear it this way rather than having to resort to a tear-down.

    It is possible that you have been grinding too finely and that the grounds have been passing back up through the shower screens and into the pressure relief and gauge lines to block them or that the screens are not seating properly on the group seal.

    Hope this helps
    Trev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthine View Post
    This is often a sure sign that the internal line from the group head to the 3 way solenoid valve is blocked preventing the pressure from being released.

    It can take a concerted effort using multiple backflushes and a good coffee cleaner to hopefully clear this. And make sure you fit the rubber disk into a double basket first.
    It would pay to remove the shower screens beforehand and give them a good soak in a hot cleaner solution.
    You should start to see white 'sudsy' water trickling into the back of the drip tray at the end of each backflush if it is working.

    Hopefully you can clear it this way rather than having to resort to a tear-down.

    It is possible that you have been grinding too finely and that the grounds have been passing back up through the shower screens and into the pressure relief and gauge lines to block them or that the screens are not seating properly on the group seal.

    Hope this helps
    Trev
    Hi all, thanks so much for your comments. Trev, Iíll definitely give your advice a try! Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Mine did the exact same thing. Turned out to be a blocked line from the group head to the 3way solenoid. The gauge also stops working as it tees off on the 3way solenoid.

    I disconnected the line from the group head (inverted u shaped line) at the 3way solenoid, connected up a piece of 4 mm irrigation hose (had to hold it on the connector but it sealed perfectly) and reverse flushed it. Tried blowing but that didn’t work so grabbed a syringe, filled it with water and forced the water back towards the group head. Eventually a chuck of scale came out with a rush of water behind and voila, all fixed.

    Getting access to to the hose is fairly easy (search for em6910 collar replacement guide on this site)and make sure you have the machine completely disconnected from power( unplugged not just turned off).

    Once it it is clear I then reconnected it and did a couple of backflush cycles. All good.

    If it is still fairly clogged you could use the syringe to push through some dissolved backflush powder to make sure it’s clear. BUT be very careful not to apply so much pressure that the hose pops off the fitting or your syringe as you will be spraying backflush solution everywhere which would not be good for anyone or anything.

    hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glint View Post
    Mine did the exact same thing. Turned out to be a blocked line from the group head to the 3way solenoid. The gauge also stops working as it tees off on the 3way solenoid.

    I disconnected the line from the group head (inverted u shaped line) at the 3way solenoid, connected up a piece of 4 mm irrigation hose (had to hold it on the connector but it sealed perfectly) and reverse flushed it. Tried blowing but that didn’t work so grabbed a syringe, filled it with water and forced the water back towards the group head. Eventually a chuck of scale came out with a rush of water behind and voila, all fixed.

    Getting access to to the hose is fairly easy (search for em6910 collar replacement guide on this site)and make sure you have the machine completely disconnected from power( unplugged not just turned off).

    Once it it is clear I then reconnected it and did a couple of backflush cycles. All good.

    If it is still fairly clogged you could use the syringe to push through some dissolved backflush powder to make sure it’s clear. BUT be very careful not to apply so much pressure that the hose pops off the fitting or your syringe as you will be spraying backflush solution everywhere which would not be good for anyone or anything.

    hope this helps.

    Just realised I forgot to mention Stop after steps 1-3 in the guide, no need to go any further to get access to the 3 way solenoid and line I mentioned.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    If you're trying to remove scale be aware that Backflush powder is NOT the same thing as Descaling powder.


    Java "The right chemical for the job" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Agreed, mine was a chunk of scale which had flaked off the group head after a vigouros attempt at cleaning off the scale that formed due to neglect. But typically this would be all the old smelly coffee grunge and not scale hence the backflush powder comment.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    Just a further thought - it may be possible to use a syringe and tubing to apply suction through the vent hole in the underside of the thermoblock/brew head rather than having to remove the covers and undo connections.
    The vent hole is under the shower screens and off-centre and can be a little hard to see at first. The tubing you use would need to be a fairly tight fit into this hole so it seals well.
    I have not tried this before but ,if it works, it would be easier and safer than removing covers.
    Trev

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthine View Post
    Just a further thought - it may be possible to use a syringe and tubing to apply suction through the vent hole in the underside of the thermoblock/brew head rather than having to remove the covers and undo connections.
    The vent hole is under the shower screens and off-centre and can be a little hard to see at first. The tubing you use would need to be a fairly tight fit into this hole so it seals well.
    I have not tried this before but ,if it works, it would be easier and safer than removing covers.
    Trev
    Good thought but I doubt you would be able to get it to seal from the group head side unless you can get the syringe to seal inside the small hole. The other problem is you would be trying to suck on an essentially sealed system so you wouldn't effectively achieve much. Also trying to push back from the group head side may make things worse as it may just push any blockage deeper into the system.

    When I just used air in the syringe/tube it just compressed inside the hose/syringe and nothing happened. I had to use water in the syringe (not compressible) so managed to generate a lot more pressure (which was required) to clear it.

    It wasn't overly difficult or complex to do but if you aren't mechanically inclined or don't feel comfortable/confident pulling it apart then best to just take it in for a service and they would hopefully do a full clean. Would be more expensive but better than breaking something and making it even worse.

    OTOH you could just use it as an excuse to your significant other to upgrade your machine. Looking back on it, I should have done that myself and got a nice shiny new toy. Oh well live and learn.

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    I'm having a similar issue and there's some good info in this thread so I don't want to make an entire new one. Much the same as OP's 6910 my gauge is not working, well I think it's working I think the machine just can't build pressure.

    Whenever I have the PF in place (with a cleaning disk/coffee) water just streams out into the drip tray, Does yours do this OP? Would I be wrong in thinking that my relief valve is stuffed/blocked somehow and is permanently open on mine? There's also no audible sign of any pressure being released at the end of a shot etc.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glint View Post
    I doubt you would be able to get it to seal from the group head side unless you can get the syringe to seal inside the small hole.
    DSCF5691.jpg

    Syringe with Yakult straw and silicone tubing from old BJ printer.

    DSCF5692.jpg

    Nice tight fit in vent hole.


    Quote Originally Posted by glint View Post
    The other problem is you would be trying to suck on an essentially sealed system so you wouldn't effectively achieve much.
    In an unpowered state the 3 way is open and the valves in the pump would be forward biased so it should be possible to draw water all the way from the reservoir (in the machine that is not the hills )




    Quote Originally Posted by glint View Post
    Also trying to push back from the group head side may make things worse as it may just push any blockage deeper into the system.

    When I just used air in the syringe/tube it just compressed inside the hose/syringe and nothing happened. I had to use water in the syringe (not compressible) so managed to generate a lot more pressure (which was required) to clear it.
    Pumping back and forth on the syringe filled with hot water and Cafetto would probably help work the blockage loose - Would suggest eye protection though!


    Quote Originally Posted by glint View Post

    OTOH you could just use it as an excuse to your significant other to upgrade your machine.
    Yeah! I Occasionally consider this but I have a soft spot for the 6910 and enjoy the challenge of occasionally having to fix it. Having a couple of spare machines at hand removes the urgency too.
    Also, I rarely make a coffee myself. My wife enjoys perfecting her skills and would be the first to complain if I suggested a replacement.


    Cheers
    Trev
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    @ducktoaster
    I reckon you are on the right track with the solenoid valve.
    If you are able to measure the coil resistance safely it should be around 2k3 ohms across the two vertical terminals ( the single horizontal terminal is an earth).
    There is no diode in the coil like in the pumps to complicate measurements - just use meter on ohms setting.
    Other possibilities would be a stuck plunger in it or a control board failure.
    The brass sleeve down the centre of the coil is rather flimsy and prone to splitting easily resulting in water leakage.
    Trev

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    I picked up a second hand em6910 and em0480 grinder for $75 and it looked almost unused! Needless to say when I got it home the pressure gauge was not working and it sounded like the 3way valve was not working either. I Managed to pick up a pod style cleaning kit from Woolies for $8 and ran the clean cycle twice. The 3way valve came good but the gauge still did not work. Using info from this thread I took the back panel off the em6910 and after turning off the power I could feel the 3way valve was hot so water was definitely getting through. The gauge line was cold so I unscrewed it and gently manipulated the fitting into a bowl of discarded cleaner from the previous clean. I let it soak overnight and reconnected it. Voila- the gauge now works and the machine is as good as new! Thanks for posting the info, it was really helpful in fixing this problem.
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