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Thread: EM6910 not heating up/double shot light only working when machine is turned on

  1. #1
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    EM6910 not heating up/double shot light only working when machine is turned on

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey people. When turn the machine on it doesn't warm up, and the only light working is the double shot one. I had to unplug it at the wall to turn it off. Can anyone give any suggestions as to what might be the problem? Tried a factory reset just in case that helped, but still only the double shot light worked

    Edit: I just tried turning it on again, and the power button flashed and it heated up, only once it had it started running/water came out of the group head automatically. I had to turn it off at the wall to stop it, and when I tried to turn it on again it went back to just the double shot light only again.
    Last edited by Karyn; 28th May 2019 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Adding new information

  2. #2
    Senior Member Xanthine's Avatar
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    Hi Karyn

    Going by the symptoms you described it sounds like you may have got water inside on the control board.
    This sometimes happens when water splashes over the side of the tank while filling or from an internal leak.
    You could try leaving it in a warm, dry place for a day or two to dry out and then try it again.
    If this does not work you may have to get it repaired, but this could cost more that the machine is worth - depends on its age and condition.

    Trev
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    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Blown pump triac... At least.
    Still a far better machine than a pod fantastic when working.

    50c part, $100 repair.
    Still, as my mate just told me, you pay for the expertise, not the repair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthine View Post
    Hi Karyn

    Going by the symptoms you described it sounds like you may have got water inside on the control board.
    This sometimes happens when water splashes over the side of the tank while filling or from an internal leak.
    You could try leaving it in a warm, dry place for a day or two to dry out and then try it again.
    If this does not work you may have to get it repaired, but this could cost more that the machine is worth - depends on its age and condition.

    Trev
    Hi Trev

    Thanks, that's very possible, I have to admit that sometimes the water doesn't all go IN the tank when filling it up. It started working again for a bit but when it was running the lights were sometimes flickering and flashing on/off. Now when turned on the power button flashes and it warms up, but never gets to ready, with all the lights on. Will try your suggestion and update you.

    It's six years old now, so we're wondering the same thing, but we recently did the collar replacement and replaced the seal so not too keen to just chuck it, but if it's really not worth getting fixed I guess that's what we'll do.

    Karyn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Blown pump triac... At least.
    Still a far better machine than a pod fantastic when working.

    50c part, $100 repair.
    Still, as my mate just told me, you pay for the expertise, not the repair.
    Bit of a rookie here, so not sure what a pump triac is - will do some research. Yes, it's been a great machine, but I have a feeling it's on its way out

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    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Best bet on all tank machines is to remove tank to fill it. And remove tank and replace it with machine turned off.

    Hard to feel sympathy if you dont

    The triac is the transistor (switch) that turns the pump on and off. Often it fails in the on position, meaning as soon as you power the machine up, it powers the pump up.

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    Well worth the effort in fixing it. And if as said above it is only a triac, all will be well. As for chucking it, I'll put my second crack worth here, happy for you to chuck it my way.
    However, what would you get instead, maybe an Em7000, I have one, as well as an EM 6910. You would probably like that it makes less noise, it does not make better coffee, and has a silly temperature sensor in the steam wand. It does not read that accurately according to my milk thermometer.

    So if it was me, and I was "forced" to send it to a repair place and spend $100.00 on it, compared with spending nearly $1000.00 on a 7000, I would fix my old one.

    As I have said elsewhere, when I got my original EM6910 it had done around 7000 shots, I put at least another 3000 on it before I gave it to my daughter.
    It is still going fine.

    Now there is a real good guy on here, who knows everything there is to know about repairing these machines.
    For the moment I forget his name, not Tampit or Journeyman, I will try and find out who it is.
    I know I have read his posts before.
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    Karyn, I had success in fixing my machine some years ago by taking the covers off and directing a heat lamp at the board for half an hour. Machine never failed again. (Because I filled it very carefully)!
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexm1 View Post
    Karyn, I had success in fixing my machine some years ago by taking the covers off and directing a heat lamp at the board for half an hour. Machine never failed again. (Because I filled it very carefully)!
    That sounds like excellent advice.

    Karyn you should definitely try some active drying of the control board before you try anything else. If that doesnít work then a new triac or even a whole control board is still cheaper than a new machine. Itís potentially a DIY job, but thereís a couple of good repairers in NZ depending where youíre based.
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    ^if you can solder... Even a board replacement needs soldering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Best bet on all tank machines is to remove tank to fill it. And remove tank and replace it with machine turned off.

    Hard to feel sympathy if you dont
    .
    Hmm, I never have removed the tank to fill it, in 10 years!
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    And now you are here with us....

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    I've wondered about the sense of pouring water in from the top, above electricals, but figured if they designed it that way surely it wouldn't be a problem.
    It seems not to be doing the automatic running thing now - it doesn't seem to be getting up to temperature, power light just keeps flashing and machine isn't feeling as warm as it should when operating properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Best bet on all tank machines is to remove tank to fill it. And remove tank and replace it with machine turned off.

    Hard to feel sympathy if you dont

    The triac is the transistor (switch) that turns the pump on and off. Often it fails in the on position, meaning as soon as you power the machine up, it powers the pump up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    Well worth the effort in fixing it. And if as said above it is only a triac, all will be well. As for chucking it, I'll put my second crack worth here, happy for you to chuck it my way.
    However, what would you get instead, maybe an Em7000, I have one, as well as an EM 6910. You would probably like that it makes less noise, it does not make better coffee, and has a silly temperature sensor in the steam wand. It does not read that accurately according to my milk thermometer.

    So if it was me, and I was "forced" to send it to a repair place and spend $100.00 on it, compared with spending nearly $1000.00 on a 7000, I would fix my old one.

    As I have said elsewhere, when I got my original EM6910 it had done around 7000 shots, I put at least another 3000 on it before I gave it to my daughter.
    It is still going fine.

    Now there is a real good guy on here, who knows everything there is to know about repairing these machines.
    For the moment I forget his name, not Tampit or Journeyman, I will try and find out who it is.
    I know I have read his posts before.
    You've talked me into fixing it - although it didn't take much convincing. I don't mind spending a bit on parts/repairs
    I'd say this machine has done around 10,000 cups too, but has recently been making some of the best coffee I've had out of it, until the last week or two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexm1 View Post
    Karyn, I had success in fixing my machine some years ago by taking the covers off and directing a heat lamp at the board for half an hour. Machine never failed again. (Because I filled it very carefully)!
    Oh that's great. We don't have a heat lamp, but with 4 degrees here tonight the fire is cranking so the machine's now sitting beside it, just far away enough that the plastic bits don't melt. Will leave it there overnight and try it again tomorrow. Yes, I think we'll be filling much more carefully in future too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    That sounds like excellent advice.

    Karyn you should definitely try some active drying of the control board before you try anything else. If that doesn’t work then a new triac or even a whole control board is still cheaper than a new machine. It’s potentially a DIY job, but there’s a couple of good repairers in NZ depending where you’re based.
    Great, will try drying it and see how we go. We're not afraid of DIY, but if necessary will take it to a repairer. By any chance are there any good ones in the Wairarapa, as that's where we're based? (or even Wellington?). If not I guess there's always the courier option, if it means it gets looked at by someone who knows what they're doing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    ^if you can solder... Even a board replacement needs soldering.
    No problem to do a bit of soldering here

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    Hmm, I never have removed the tank to fill it, in 10 years!
    And here I was thinking I was one of few who fills from above.......good to know I'm not!
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  19. #19
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    BTW, thanks to you all for your help. Will try starting it up again tomorrow after a night by the fire and let you know what happens....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karyn View Post
    Great, will try drying it and see how we go. We're not afraid of DIY, but if necessary will take it to a repairer. By any chance are there any good ones in the Wairarapa, as that's where we're based? (or even Wellington?). If not I guess there's always the courier option, if it means it gets looked at by someone who knows what they're doing
    LTC Electrical in the Te Aro/Mt Vic area are the ones to talk to. Nice people.
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    Brilliant, thanks. I've used them before, and thought they might be good people to take it to. Have found them really nice and very helpful in the past.....unlike the local place we have here in Carterton :/

    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    LTC Electrical in the Te Aro/Mt Vic area are the ones to talk to. Nice people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karyn View Post
    And here I was thinking I was one of few who fills from above.......good to know I'm not!
    G'day Karyn

    As long as you use good quality water (perhaps tap stuff in NZ, certainly not over here in West Oz) and check the tank for crud (mould, dirt etc) every so often you should have no problems.

    Mind you, a 6910 I was given "as it was dead" had a mud tide mark about 3cm from the bottom of the tank. An A to Z clean and (surprise, surprise) it all worked again. The showerscreens were also completely clogged up - this photo was after a rough cleanup. I really should have photoed the tank and steam wand - Gamalost anyone? - to use as a cautionary tale about the need for cleanliness.

    IMG_1970.jpg

    BTW, the 6910 guru is noidle22 (Bathurst NSW) - he could probably fix your 6910 on his bench in a few minutes. Pity 'bout the commute.

    Hopefully you can enjoy your cuppa again soon.

    TampIt
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  23. #23
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    Sorry, forgot to update you re your suggestion. I had the oven on most of the day so left the machine near it with the door open (didn't remove covers). Have been trying randomly to start it up since, but the power light just flashes and it doesn't get to ready. Haven't yet tried it today after its night by the fire with covers removed, but will do so soon and let you all know the outcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthine View Post
    Hi Karyn

    Going by the symptoms you described it sounds like you may have got water inside on the control board.
    This sometimes happens when water splashes over the side of the tank while filling or from an internal leak.
    You could try leaving it in a warm, dry place for a day or two to dry out and then try it again.
    If this does not work you may have to get it repaired, but this could cost more that the machine is worth - depends on its age and condition.

    Trev

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    Ewww, that looks/sounds disturbing. Can't believe people would want to drink that The water here is pretty good, and I check the tank often (can't bear the thought of drinking anything other than coffee made from nice, clean water). I back flush, clean shower screens and descale regularly, although I admit to not starting descaling until last year, when the machine started having problems. Would love to know what an a-z clean is, in case there's anything I'm missing, so will search that and see what pops up.

    Thanks for the tip re Noidle22, if I have no luck starting the machine up today I'll drop him a line. Yeah, pity about the distance.
    With all the help we're getting I'm sure we'll figure it out soon


    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day Karyn

    As long as you use good quality water (perhaps tap stuff in NZ, certainly not over here in West Oz) and check the tank for crud (mould, dirt etc) every so often you should have no problems.

    Mind you, a 6910 I was given "as it was dead" had a mud tide mark about 3cm from the bottom of the tank. An A to Z clean and (surprise, surprise) it all worked again. The showerscreens were also completely clogged up - this photo was after a rough cleanup. I really should have photoed the tank and steam wand - Gamalost anyone? - to use as a cautionary tale about the need for cleanliness.

    IMG_1970.jpg

    BTW, the 6910 guru is noidle22 (Bathurst NSW) - he could probably fix your 6910 on his bench in a few minutes. Pity 'bout the commute.

    Hopefully you can enjoy your cuppa again soon.

    TampIt

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    I realised I had missed updating a bit of what's been happening with the machine, so thought I'd put a full description here....

    On Tuesday I turned the machine on and it wouldn't warm up; the only light working was the double shot one. I had to unplug it at the wall to turn it off. I tried a factory reset to see if that did anything, but still only the double shot light worked.

    I then tried turning it on again, and the power button flashed and it heated up, only once it had, it started running/water came out of the group head automatically. I had to turn it off at the wall to stop it, and when I tried to turn it on again it went back to just the double shot light only again.

    Following this it started working again for a bit so was able to make a few coffees, but when it was running the lights were sometimes flickering and flashing on/off.

    By Wednesday night when it was turned on the power button flashed and it warmed up, but never got to ready with all the lights on.

    On Friday I tried it and the power button flashed as it should when warming up, but it seemed to only be warming up slightly, it didn't feel as warm at is would when working properly, and it's continued to do this any time I've tried it since.

    I've just tried it again today, to see if the night by the fire helped but it's no different. With freezing weather here today the fire is still going, so will leave it where it is, but I would have thought any moisture would have dried up overnight.

    If still no luck by Tuesday (public hol here Monday), I'll call LTC electrical.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karyn View Post
    I realised I had missed updating a bit of what's been happening with the machine, so thought I'd put a full description here....

    On Tuesday I turned the machine on and it wouldn't warm up; the only light working was the double shot one. I had to unplug it at the wall to turn it off. I tried a factory reset to see if that did anything, but still only the double shot light worked.

    I then tried turning it on again, and the power button flashed and it heated up, only once it had, it started running/water came out of the group head automatically. I had to turn it off at the wall to stop it, and when I tried to turn it on again it went back to just the double shot light only again.

    Following this it started working again for a bit so was able to make a few coffees, but when it was running the lights were sometimes flickering and flashing on/off.

    By Wednesday night when it was turned on the power button flashed and it warmed up, but never got to ready with all the lights on.

    On Friday I tried it and the power button flashed as it should when warming up, but it seemed to only be warming up slightly, it didn't feel as warm at is would when working properly, and it's continued to do this any time I've tried it since.

    I've just tried it again today, to see if the night by the fire helped but it's no different. With freezing weather here today the fire is still going, so will leave it where it is, but I would have thought any moisture would have dried up overnight.

    If still no luck by Tuesday (public hol here Monday), I'll call LTC electrical.

    G'day again Karyn

    "A to Z clean" - clean everything without stripping the machine completely and then descale it. From what you have said in the last couple of posts, not needed on two grounds - firstly it must be fairly clean (going on pristine) and secondly, I really doubt it is a cleanliness issue anyway.

    The fact it partially worked again is why I now suspect a connector - just gently moving it around can make / break a flaky connector. It sounds like corrosion on either one of the connectors or the main control board (I guesstimate the latter) - probably due to water ingress. Even randomly spraying the internals with circuit cleaner (the non-residual one!) may fix it temporarily - although I only use that approach when it is urgent and I need to get it going pronto whilst awaiting spares (or spare machines).

    I empathise - intermittent faults are always the worst to sort out.

    I would strip it partially down and have a good inspection for loose connections / corrosion. This site has comprehensive strip down instructions complete with photos - do a search as I cannot remember the link offhand.

    It sounds a lot more encouraging now there is enough info to work on.

    TampIt
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day again Karyn

    "A to Z clean" - clean everything without stripping the machine completely and then descale it. From what you have said in the last couple of posts, not needed on two grounds - firstly it must be fairly clean (going on pristine) and secondly, I really doubt it is a cleanliness issue anyway.

    The fact it partially worked again is why I now suspect a connector - just gently moving it around can make / break a flaky connector. It sounds like corrosion on either one of the connectors or the main control board (I guesstimate the latter) - probably due to water ingress. Even randomly spraying the internals with circuit cleaner (the non-residual one!) may fix it temporarily - although I only use that approach when it is urgent and I need to get it going pronto whilst awaiting spares (or spare machines).

    I empathise - intermittent faults are always the worst to sort out.

    I would strip it partially down and have a good inspection for loose connections / corrosion. This site has comprehensive strip down instructions complete with photos - do a search as I cannot remember the link offhand.

    It sounds a lot more encouraging now there is enough info to work on.

    TampIt
    Hi TampIt,

    Awesome, thanks. I did a search for A-Z clean but couldn't find anything. I'm not concerned with its' cleanness at the moment, I was just interested to know if there was anything else I should be doing on a regular basis. Seems not

    That makes sense, it's been very intermittent/changeable. If the problem persists the circuit cleaner could be a go just to have a break from plunger coffee. My partner will open it up for a look - I'm not confident with these things. I think I've got a couple of links bookmarked which will help with this, but he's already replaced the collar and (priming valve, I think it was) so has opened it up before.

    It's been very confusing, but with help from people here we're getting somewhere. Apologies for forgetting to add details. I suspect it's unrelated, but thought I should also mention the hot water leaks while the machine is running (broken switch, or something?), and the steam isn't the best - takes ages to get going, and loses power while steaming milk. Assuming the latter just needs a clean, so will get onto that when the machine is running again.

    Will update soon.

    Thanks again,
    Karyn
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    So he opened it up, and it's looking to us as though this is a bit fried! So we're thinking maybe replace it? Found some online, around $70 (NZD) for the part. Could have been a little bit of corrosion around the self priming valve he replaced, but not sure if that's just from water that escaped while he was doing it. Other than that it just looks like there's a bit of dust in there, which will be easy to clean up. Can post more pics if needed, but this seemed the obvious one for now.

    Attachment 22362

  29. #29
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    That attachment isn't working.

    The machine seems to be displaying a variety of issues, none of which seem to point to one specific cause.

    Generally there's only a few repairs I carry out on the circuit board. One is a shorted triac due to water leak, the other is a failed closed relay that powers a thermoblock.
    For any other random or intermittent issues I just replace the board. Not time efficient to troubleshoot it further.

    It sounds like you could have some triac problems but also something else going on as well. I can't really diagnose it any further over a forum without seeing it in person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    That attachment isn't working.

    The machine seems to be displaying a variety of issues, none of which seem to point to one specific cause.

    Generally there's only a few repairs I carry out on the circuit board. One is a shorted triac due to water leak, the other is a failed closed relay that powers a thermoblock.
    For any other random or intermittent issues I just replace the board. Not time efficient to troubleshoot it further.

    It sounds like you could have some triac problems but also something else going on as well. I can't really diagnose it any further over a forum without seeing it in person.
    Is this image any better? Thanks for your thoughts, not easy to diagnose from a distance. Replacing the board might be the way to go, then see if there's anything else needing doing once we have.
    Thanks again.
    Attachment 22364
    Attached Images Attached Images

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karyn View Post
    Is this image any better? Thanks for your thoughts, not easy to diagnose from a distance. Replacing the board might be the way to go, then see if there's anything else needing doing once we have.
    Thanks again.
    Attachment 22364
    That's fine, most of them look like that.

    I just reread your initial post. I'm fairly sure that the double shot light being on solid and the machine not operating is the board not receiving a response from the brew thermoblock thermistor in a preset amount of time. This is a very rare fault, I can only remember seeing it once before and it was a circuit board problem then, not a thermistor. They are very reliable.
    Given the array of other problems you have, I would definitely suspect the board.

    The boards themselves are covered in a conformal coating that will protect most of the circuitry from water damage. This also means the likelihood of it being a dirty contact or corroded wire very slim. I don't recall any situation where a component or wire has had water damage.

    I also noticed you posted previously that you had a leak from the hot water tap and poor steam performance. The water tap leak is from the needle valve. It's reasonably cheap to replace. The poor steam can be a time consuming task.
    Most likely the steam thermoblock has scale in it causing it to not operate efficiently. It can be descaled and usually comes back ok. Sometimes they just don't recover very well.
    It's also possible the steam pump could not be working properly..

    I'd definitely take it to a service centre for appraisal at this point.
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    Thanks. Interesting it's a rare fault, but good to know it sounds like the board.

    That's great about the needle valve. The steam was playing up a while back so descaled it and it was as good as new. I did wonder at the time if the pump was on its way out, but maybe descaling again will help.

    Called LTC electrical today, and they'll take a look at it for only $35, so was pretty happy with that. Will see what they find once I've sent it in to them, and let you all know.

    Thanks again very much for your help.

    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    That's fine, most of them look like that.

    I just reread your initial post. I'm fairly sure that the double shot light being on solid and the machine not operating is the board not receiving a response from the brew thermoblock thermistor in a preset amount of time. This is a very rare fault, I can only remember seeing it once before and it was a circuit board problem then, not a thermistor. They are very reliable.
    Given the array of other problems you have, I would definitely suspect the board.

    The boards themselves are covered in a conformal coating that will protect most of the circuitry from water damage. This also means the likelihood of it being a dirty contact or corroded wire very slim. I don't recall any situation where a component or wire has had water damage.

    I also noticed you posted previously that you had a leak from the hot water tap and poor steam performance. The water tap leak is from the needle valve. It's reasonably cheap to replace. The poor steam can be a time consuming task.
    Most likely the steam thermoblock has scale in it causing it to not operate efficiently. It can be descaled and usually comes back ok. Sometimes they just don't recover very well.
    It's also possible the steam pump could not be working properly..

    I'd definitely take it to a service centre for appraisal at this point.

  33. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rockingham W.A.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    That's fine, most of them look like that.

    I just reread your initial post. I'm fairly sure that the double shot light being on solid and the machine not operating is the board not receiving a response from the brew thermoblock thermistor in a preset amount of time. This is a very rare fault, I can only remember seeing it once before and it was a circuit board problem then, not a thermistor. They are very reliable.
    Given the array of other problems you have, I would definitely suspect the board.

    The boards themselves are covered in a conformal coating that will protect most of the circuitry from water damage. This also means the likelihood of it being a dirty contact or corroded wire very slim. I don't recall any situation where a component or wire has had water damage.

    I also noticed you posted previously that you had a leak from the hot water tap and poor steam performance. The water tap leak is from the needle valve. It's reasonably cheap to replace. The poor steam can be a time consuming task.
    Most likely the steam thermoblock has scale in it causing it to not operate efficiently. It can be descaled and usually comes back ok. Sometimes they just don't recover very well.
    It's also possible the steam pump could not be working properly..

    I'd definitely take it to a service centre for appraisal at this point.
    G'day Noidle22

    A quick note FYI - I have actually seen two newer (2013 and 2012?) type 6910s with major water damage on the main board - plus plenty of corrosion. As SB did a mountain of "6910 changes" (even the frame is different) around 2010 perhaps that is among the list. I also know SB did a bit of cost saving around then, so perhaps the hot water can "cut through" the protective layer on the newer ones. I just keep getting earlier ones for rellies / friends if I see them going cheap and avoid the newer ones.

    Ironically, one of my friends 2006 6910 copped a major flood (muddy river water to ceiling level) and a rinse & dry fixed it about 4 years ago. It still looks OK.

    Enjoy your cuppa - I just have to get to the mountain next October...

    TampIt

  34. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    152
    Soo? Who dun it?! Inquiring minds want to know :P

  35. #35
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by inorog View Post
    Soo? Who dun it?! Inquiring minds want to know :P
    I'd love to know too :P No real update as yet sorry, have to send it off to LTC electrical and haven't yet had the chance to pack it up -well beyond sick of plunger coffee though, so will get onto it over the weekend. When I spoke to them on the phone they agreed it sounds like the board. Will be sure to update when I have more news.



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