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Thread: EM6910 - No water from group head and minimal water from hot water wand

  1. #1
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    Unhappy EM6910 - No water from group head and minimal water from hot water wand

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey everyone. Itís my first time posting here, but Iíve done a lot of reading of past posts on the EM6910, and tried many suggestions found in them. Mine is approx. 6yrs old, and has recently had much less water coming out of the group head. Iíve descaled many times with vinegar as suggested in the manual, thinking that if there was a blockage somewhere it would help to clear it. After Iíd done this a number of times there was a little improvement, and I was able to get not-quite-acceptable coffee out of the machine, which was mildly better than the terrible coffee Iíd had previously. Thereís been no crema at all. In the last couple of days when Iíve tried it there is almost no water coming out Ė sometimes it drips, other times nothing comes out at all. I havenít been the best at descaling, but have always regularly backflushed with coffee machine cleaner, and cleaned the filter basket. When the problem first started the pressure gauge was moving to only the yellow area, sometimes not even that far. Now itís not moving at all. Iíve tried backflushing, still with no movement on the pressure gauge, and only a tiny bit of water coming out, or in the basket when I remove it. The hot water wand seemed to be fine, but have just checked it again and itís alternating between dripping, water with some steam, occasional flow (but less than it should be) and spitting, something like the steam wand does when clearing a block. I did notice when running it today there were tiny black bits coming out in the water, and wondered if it was scale thatís clearing gradually?? The steam wand is working okay Ė steam was reduced but gave it a good clean a while back, although Iíve noticed today that itís a little inconsistent at times. Itís well out of warranty, and have called the local guy who fixes them - he seemed to think it was better to invest in a new machine rather than pay to get it fixed. My other half is keen to pull it apart and check pipes/hoses etc for blocks, but hasnít done it before, so thought Iíd look for any advice or tips here first. Does it sound like itís got a block somewhere, or could it be a pump or solenoid valve issue, or something else? (these are the possibilities suggested by the service guy). It might also be worth mentioning that I think itís due for a new collar. I canít see how that would affect the water coming out without the handle in, though. Would really love to figure out how to fix thisÖÖ.Iím sick of plunger coffee! Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    The first thing I would suggest to try is is another thorough descale with a commercial descaler rather than just vinegar. This may do the trick especially if you have bee using it with hard water and infrequent de-scales.

    Also check for any water leaks from under the machine.

    Have you removed the shower screens and thoroughly cleaned them - coffee grounds frequently build up and block them although this should not reduce the hot water flow from the wand.

    The three way valve could be stuck open allowing the water to flow from the drain at the back of the drip tray.

    It could also be that the brew pump is badly worn, has sticking valves or a leaking pressure relief valve.

    Hope this gives you some ideas to try - be keen to hear how you get on
    Karyn likes this.

  3. #3
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    G'day Karyn

    You didn't mention taking the showerscreens out and cleaning them. That requires a No2 Philips head screwdriver. If they are really bad it will restrict the water flow down to a trickle. This machine was supposed to be dead (i.e. no water flow at all) when it hit my bench.



    Attachment 20191Attachment 20192

    This is a sight I see all too often with 6910s - mainly because the manual does not tell people to take the showerscreens out and clean them. The first showerscreen was actually lot worse than the photo as I had removed a lot of the gunk with my fingers before I decided to take photos (the pale areas are finger marks, the whole screen had a good 2mm of embedded grounds evenly spread). This particular machine was 100% OK after I cleaned the showerscreens & grouphead and then flushed the rest out with white vinegar (steam wand included). No other repair needed. BTW - no coffee cleaner I have ever used does a better job than white vinegar and the taste is easier to clear later.

    Basic method
    1) Showerscreens (and for dirty baskets for that matter): Take them out of the machine. Scrub the worst of the grounds off (denture brushes are excellent for that, as are soft toothbrushes) and then use whatever cleaning agent you have handy that is non abrasive. FWIW, I alternate between meths, toluene (well ventilated area, not kid or lung friendly), full strength (i.e. concentrated) dishwasher detergent, CLR (or equivalents) and more recently an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner. The really bad ones need more than one method (the ones above needed three attempts). Check it with a jeweller's loupe or strong magnifying glass - the flatter screen in particular has tapered holes and can be a real PITA to clean if the buildup is bad enough. The naked eye is too easy to fool...

    2) Seal: take it out. If it is really bad empty the water reservoir and turn the machine upside down and use a couple of drops (NOT the spray) of Penetrene around the outer edges of the seal every day until it frees up and can be "non destructively removed". If cost / time is an issue use needlenose pliers and forcibly remove the seal (careful not to damage the grouphead) - 90% of the time the seal will then need replacing as you will tear it during the removal. Check carefully for any spacers between the seal and the grouphead - originally SB used paper, later ones may be rubber. If there are spacers, try to work out roughly how thick they are before you remove them. If the machine has spacers, be prepared to make new replacement spacers (cut your own out of a weetbix box or similar, or buy some). Clean the seal carefully (denture brushes again) and if it is damaged then replace it.

    3) Grouphead: clean it carefully as best as you can (denture brushes again in my case - even though I still have my own teeth). Usually a machine that has been so abused will also have tap water used in it so the chance of excess corrosion is very high (regardless of machine brand and type).

    4) Descaling: Leave the seal & showerscreens etc on the bench. Fill the water reservoir with approximately 3 litres of water, add 6 tablespoons of white vinegar and replace the reservoir into position in the machine. See the 6910 manual as a guide to the inbuilt descaling cycle (on this site somewhere). Alternate between the standard 6910 descaling cycle and running steam through the steam wand (place 300ml of cold water in a 600ml jug - i.e. the one the 6910 comes with and run it to near boiling point, repeat as needed) until things clear up (or if it is really bad, you run out of water... and repeat the whole process once). Optionally, if the showerscreens etc. are clean, replace them after the third or fourth flush and do the descaling cycles with them in place (it may remove a tad more gunk from the showerscreens).

    5) Put the whole machine back together (minus any spacers) with a tank full of filtered water and keep flushing until you cannot detect the vinegar any more. That can take up to 9 litres of water.

    6) Try to get a real shot of coffee out of the machine - if it sprays, add spacers as required or consider replacing the collar. Ditto the steam wand - assuming it works normally you have nailed it.

    Hope this helps


    TampIt
    inorog, Karyn and cousineddy like this.

  4. #4
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    Thanks very much Xanthine and TampIt for your responses.
    Sorry, I was sure I'd mentioned in my original post that we've removed and cleaned shower screens and seal, and cleaned around the grouphead. Over the weekend my partner took the back off the machine for a look and found air bubbles in a couple of the hoses. On looking closer he found a broken part, which sounds exactly like what's described in this post https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...-identify.html, and guessed that could be causing the air bubbles. The tiny spring and two white plastic attachments seem to have come away from the plastic part (excuse lack of technical names) they were in and slipped down the hose - they were sitting at the bottom of it. We googled self priming valve and S3 valve (names for the part we found in the other post) and found nothing, but did find someone here in NZ that sells an S2 valve which looks like what we need, only he said he didn't know whether it would fit an EM6910 Can either of you confirm the part name? I can't read any of the service manuals I've found online to identify it as they're either too small, or blurry. Also, the part seemed to have some sort of glue/sealant at the joins, so wondered if you have any suggestions what he should use? At this stage we're thinking he should replace the broken part once we know for sure what it's called, then see if anything else needs fixing.
    There doesn't appear to be any leaking from under the machine. Will try descaling and backflushing with the proper stuff once we've replaced the part, then with any luck it'll be back up and running
    I don't have the part here, otherwise I'd post a photo of it. I could link to the one I'm looking to order - am I allowed to link to sellers here?
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    This is the valve sitting on top of the pump-

    DSCF5764.resized.JPG

    The valve assembly screws off -

    DSCF5765.resized.JPG

    The valve has a clip-on cap which can be pried off. Underneath is a plastic needle valve and a spring (the spring is missing from this one). It goes between the cap and the pin.

    You may be able to find the parts down the clear plastic hose and re-assemble them - the clip-on cap may have just come off.
    -

    DSCF5766.resized.JPG

  6. #6
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    Thanks Xanthine, Yep that's the part I meant. The cap (little round part on the right of your last pic) is definitely broken - the centre of it is now separate from the outer ring, and the outer ring is broken, too. It's looking pretty worn/brittle. The spring and needle valve are supposed to be inside the large piece, with the cap on to hold them in, right? There's no way it's doing that the way it is Can you confirm the part name for me please, guess I'll be ordering a new one!


    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthine View Post
    This is the valve sitting on top of the pump-

    DSCF5764.resized.JPG

    The valve assembly screws off -

    DSCF5765.resized.JPG

    The valve has a clip-on cap which can be pried off. Underneath is a plastic needle valve and a spring (the spring is missing from this one). It goes between the cap and the pin.

    You may be able to find the parts down the clear plastic hose and re-assemble them - the clip-on cap may have just come off.
    -

    DSCF5766.resized.JPG

  7. #7
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    I reckon noidle22's description as a self priming valve would be correct as he's the professional service tech.
    I don't think they are usually sold as a separate part (usually part of the pump) but you may be able to score one from someone who has a machine for parts locally or a local service centre with scrapped machines or old pumps.
    The spring goes between the cap and the needle valve.
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  8. #8
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    Okay, thanks. I thought noidle22 sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Oh, I see - hadn't realised it was usually sold as part of the pump. The one we found is sold separately, and called a pump priming valve S2, so I figure that's close enough. Will post an update once the part has arrived and can confirm it's the correct one, and whether the machine is back in action! Thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthine View Post
    I reckon noidle22's description as a self priming valve would be correct as he's the professional service tech.
    I don't think they are usually sold as a separate part (usually part of the pump) but you may be able to score one from someone who has a machine for parts locally or a local service centre with scrapped machines or old pumps.
    The spring goes between the cap and the needle valve.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    That little valve is a air bleed.
    Karyn likes this.

  10. #10
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    Update: The part arrived yesterday, and it fits! (called Pump Priming Valve S2 here in NZ). Spoke to a number of service people/suppliers of parts and as mentioned by Xanthine, they all said they are usually supplied as part of the pump - I guess we got lucky. The part is now fitted, and after a backflush and descale, the coffee machine is working as before, with water flowing well out of the group head and hot water wand. It's ages since it's made coffee this good. I'm also happy to say that the steam wand was starting of its own accord when the manual, single or double shot buttons were pressed, and now with the new valve that problem has disappeared. Thanks a lot to all who contributed to helping us work out what was wrong with it



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