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Thread: EM6910 pump not switching on for steamer???

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    EM6910 pump not switching on for steamer???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    EM6910 aficionados!
    So 6 years after paying $80 at a garage sale, old faithful has let me down.
    Still pumping hot water fine, still brewing coffee, but the pump does not switch on when I try to steam milk. So my guess was that it was the micro-switch on the steaming knob - I replaced this with one I know was working from a 'sacrificial' machine I have acquired.....but no luck. The problem was not the switch :-(

    So what else? Again, the pump is still working, but will not switch on for steaming. Is the next most likely thing the control board? This would be pretty scary, right? Is this something I can switch out myself from the donor machine? Any other likely culprits that I should try first?
    Cheers,
    Davo

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    It has two pumps, a larger pump for coffee and a small pump for steaming.

    Most likely the steam pump has failed. This is usually due to it just wearing out or the nut on top loosening and leaking water down the pump which gets into the electrical coil and causes damage.

    If you look under the machine on the left hand side below the side panel, there are some slots in the chassis. If there is any white residue around this area then it would suggest that water has been leaking from the pump.

    To know for sure you will need to remove the side panel and assess.
    rawill likes this.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm...the two pump thing should have been obvious now that I think about how the unit works when making a coffee. My vague hope of not having to fully deconstruct both my machine and the donor machine seems to be rapidly evaporating! Thanks for the help

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    You don't need to totally disassemble the machine to replace the steam pump.

    Remove the two screws on the underside of the left hand side panel, remove the door with 1 x large flat head screw, remove the rear plastic panel 4 x screws and the T20 torx screw in the top right corner behind the panel.
    The panel can be removed giving access to the pump and thermoblock, no need to disassemble further.
    rawill likes this.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Thanks Noidle - yes, I did most of this yesterday changing the micro switch over, so it should be easier this time around. Also found a good video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0z_nSLNqh8) for the pump change. Will have a shot at it over the weekend
    Cheers,
    Davo

  6. #6
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    So just to update, I changed over to the pump from the second machine. So now I have pump noise, but no steam still! Conclusion now is that the internals of this pump are jammed (I know steam path is not blocked) and I need to deconstruct it this weekend. Last crack before ordering a new pump...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    The pump may not be priming - try force feeding it with water in a syringe and try again.
    The valves tend to stick if left un-used for a length of time.
    A dry pump is louder than one operating normally.
    rawill likes this.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Ssssooooo....I think Xanthine might have hit it on the head, although my solution was different in the end. Pulled the pump apart and found the little rubber ball (that sits below the top spring) stuck to the top of the SSteel piston. Perhaps this could have been fixed by forcing water through as you suggested?

    Now, this was the pump from my 'donor' machine, which has done a lot of hrs in a short period (maybe 30 shots a day for 2 yrs) in the coffee room at work. I think this machine was declared dead after the summer break, when it wasn't used, and this is when the 'fusing' happened.

    So just to be sure of things, I installed the rubber ball and spring combo from my original machine, and VOILA! Working beautifully! Thanks for your help team - special props to Noidle!

    6 yrs in and the machine has still only cost me about $100 ($80 garage sale purchase, plus replacement group head seal)
    rawill, inorog and LeroyC like this.

  9. #9
    Rbn
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    I just love stories like this.

    Thank you for writing it up.

    Kind of balances out those who bag these very good machines, especially for the price.

    It is very close to my own experiences of 6910 machines that have been ditched.
    Mostly because of a lack of maintenance.

    My "original" 6910 has now pulled way in excess of 10000 shots, and is now in my daughters kitchen.
    Still going really well.

    Total cost about NZ$200.00 since I got it with a blocked steam thermoblock.
    A couple of thermal fuses and group head seals later, then finally a new collar before I gave to her, and all is good.

    My next 6910 needs a new collar sometime, and the steam pump needs some attention, very weak steam compared with my original, and I mistakenly blamed the thermoblock and unnecessarily replaced it with a new one.

    Anyone want a used steam thermoblock!

    As I say, thanks for posting your story.
    Again the helpful CSers come to the rescue of another 6910.

    Can you tell I am a fan, even though I also have a 7000!
    LeroyC likes this.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Thanks Rawill - forums like this are at their best when people take time to provide a conclusion to stories. "Take the advice and run" adds nothing to the group. As you can see from the thread above - I knew ZIP at the beginning (ah yeah..it's got 2 pumps!!) and in the end managed a pretty complex repair, thanks entirely to info found here. Great place to hang out!
    rawill and Xanthine like this.

  11. #11
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    Em6910 pump not switching on for steamer??

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0z_nSLNqh8e Davo[/QUOTE]

    Watched this great video and stripped my machine today. Sure enough, the pump is sooo corroded. Next job is to source the part and sort it....
    rawill likes this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    If your pump is corroded on the outside this is likely to be caused by water leaking from the connector at the top of the pump and running down over the pump solenoid coil.
    This leak is very common and seems to be caused by the vibration from the pump loosening the connector nut.
    Hopefully it has only damaged the coil and not the control board .
    Before replacing the pump I would disconnect the 2 leads to it and measure the coil with a multi-meter, but use the 'diode' setting and not the Ohms (resistance) setting - you should get o/c one way and a reading of around 0.6V with the leads swapped, if the coil is good.
    Even if your coil is faulty and you replace the pump there is still no guarantee that the control board will be OK but you may be lucky.
    Before you touch anything make sure the machine is switched off and unplugged from the power point.
    rawill likes this.

  13. #13
    Rbn
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    Nov 2010
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    Great, will use those figures in my checking of my pump. Cover is already off, not put back on after replacing the steam thermoblock.



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