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Thread: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressure

  1. #1
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    Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressure

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have had the EM6910 for about 6 months now and i also have the Sunbeam burr grinder(i forget the model number).

    My coffee has been good and all has been well until about a month ago.

    When i was making coffee i noticed that the pump would not hold at a constant pressure and the pressure gauge needle would NOT stay constant and the needle would go up and down. The noise coming from the machine was like a vroom, vroom as the pressure got stronger and then weaker.

    This never happened before and the pressure always stayed constant. I havent changed anything in my procedure and the beans are also the same. I have since tried to change my grind etc but nothing has worked. I have also cleaned the machine as well but to no avail.

    Also before this i was getting shots in the dark brown/black area of the pressure gauge but now all the shots are in the yellow/light brown area of the pressure gauge.

    Has anyone else had this problem?




  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    The 6910 I used and the 6900 before that both exhibited similar behaviour.

    The needle hits the line bordering the red and stays there for a while then starts to fluctuate as you describe then settles for a while again.

    Its never bothered me but in your case it does seem strange as it is now behaving differently to what you have become accustomed.

    In isolation I would have suggested that if the needle now sits in the yellow then your grind is too course.

  3. #3
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Yeah i thought that it may be due to the grind being to coarse but i have tried changing the grind and the pressure just sits in the same place between the yellow and the light brown

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Another question, when cleaning the group head on the 6910.

    Where does the pressure gauge needle go up to? yellow, light brown, brown, black of red area?

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    When Im doing mine, it creeps up relatively slowly to just on the red area and thats where it sits at a constant until it finishes then it drops back to the bottom when the pressure is released.

    As an aside, I noticed that, when I did the Sunbeam Coffee Course, on the machine I had there, the needle also fluctuated a little bit, but I figured that was probably because they were older and much more used machines (my machine is now about 2 months old) but my coffees came out brilliantly there, so it didnt seem to affect the coffee making side of things.

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    I think it is best to take note of the extraction pour through the grouphead. *If that is coming out at the right rate and the pour is consistent, then ignore the gauge.

    I remember a post on a different forum where a guy had reviewed the Sunbeam 6900 and he had a permanent fix for the gauge.

    He suggested a well placed piece of masking tape :-)

  7. #7
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Gaza link=1225341932/0#5 date=1225493632
    I think it is best to take note of the extraction pour through the grouphead. *If that is coming out at the right rate and the pour is consistent, then ignore the gauge.

    I remember a post on a different forum where a guy had reviewed the Sunbeam 6900 and he had a permanent fix for the gauge.

    He suggested a well placed piece of masking tape :-)
    I concur to a point :)

    The gauge is an indicator and it is possible to have a Good gauge reading and due to grind and channelling get a crap pour.

    You eyes, ears, watch and fingers should all be used in addition to the Gauge and grind mark setting to produce the result you want.

    There is another post about blonding and times and it makes for interesting reading http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1222855075/6#6

  8. #8
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    The guage is a good ballpark indicator.
    I still use the manual button and watch for blonding.

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    I had the exactl same symptoms about 6 months ago with my 6910. I took it in to the service agent and they used a test basket to test the pump etc and said it was fine and that it had something to do with my technique or different/stale beans. Then about a month ago (1 week out of warranty) the machine blocked up and wouldnt relieve pressure after the shot causing the pressure to explode out of the pf when undoing the handle. The pressure gauge also stopped working soon after that. I then took the machine back to the service agent, who couldnt unblock the machine. A complete new machine was then sent to me for no charge, even though it was just out of warranty. The new machine delivers consistent pressure as I expected. I also noticed that the pressure gauge has changed whereby what would be sitting at the 2-3 oclock, close to the red position on the gauge now is about 1 oclock and stays in the tan area (same grind settings tamp pressure etc.).

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    I also get this effect. I think it might be caused by fissures in the puck and the thermoblock electronics. Heres my theory. The machine senses a pressure loss because a fissure allows water to flow easier. As a result, it increases pump pressure causing the fissure to close thus blocking the flow and increasing pressure. The machine reduces pump pressure again to compensate for the change and the fissure opens again starting the whole thing again.

    So, to prove the theory right, have a look at the puck after the extraction. For those that dont know about fissures they are holes in the puck. They can be so small that all you see is localised raising of the surface anywhere on the puck (even on the edges).

  11. #11
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Interesting theory but.........

    Sunbeam says the pump does a preinfusion then ramps up to full pressure.
    Thats all they say it does.
    No talk of pressure sensors.

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Surely without a sensor it wouldnt know it has reached full pressure?

  13. #13
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    The machine pump is not that much different to a vacuum cleaner. It is either on or off and when its on, it runs at a constant power. The pump delivers a certain flow rate at a particular pressure. As the pressure from the portafilter increases due to the resistance of the coffee, the flow rate is reduced and pressure builds up. Similar to a vacuum cleaner changing pitch as it gets blocked, the pump in the coffee machine also makes different noise. However, this change is not caused by any sophisticated mechanisms, its just simple physics of the pressure building up and the flow rate reducing. The pump is rated at a nominal maximum pressure (say 15 bar), which means that as the pressure gets towards that limit, the flow rate slows down to zero.

    There are no sensors to monitor the pressure and set it to a certain value. The pressure is a factor of coffee quantity, quality, grind setting, distribution, tamping, portafilter basket and maximum pump power.

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    I also have this problem with my 6910 :(
    I have had this machine for about a year, it used to hold pressure if I had a too fine grind all the way to about 3.30 on gauge and just pour slowly.
    About thee months ago I started to notice that if I had to fine a grind it would start to surge up and down in preessure!
    It has gradually got worse to the point that I know it is going to surge if the gauge is heading towards 12 ošlock!
    This is annoying as I like the gauge to get to about 2 ošlock, which seems to give me the best pour.
    I belive this is a problem with this machine that I may need to take in to get repaired, although from what has been said in this
    forum, Sunbeam may not recognise it as a problem!!!

    Jeremy

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    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Sunbeams advertising claims that the machine is built to commercial quality and capable of producing "rich, velvety espresso". They also advertise a five year warranty on the pump. The reason I mention this is that it sounds to me as though your machine has a faulty pump which is preventing the machine from producing espresso.

    Ring em up, explain the problem and mention the pump warranty. Be polite, but prepared to argue your case.

  16. #16
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Quote Originally Posted by jez650 link=1225341932/0#13 date=1227508850
    I *also have this problem with my 6910 :(
    I have had this machine for about a year, it used to hold pressure if I had a too fine grind all the way to about 3.30 on gauge and just pour slowly.
    About thee months ago I started to notice that if I had to fine a grind *it would start to surge up and down in preessure!
    It has gradually got worse to the point that I know it is going to surge if the gauge is heading towards 12 ošlock!
    This is annoying as I like the gauge to get to about 2 ošlock, which seems to give me the best pour.
    I belive this is a problem with this machine that I may need to take in to get repaired, although from what has been said in this
    forum, Sunbeam may not recognise it as a problem!!!

    Jeremy
    See post http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1227520429/2#2 *this symptom is one that may or may not be caused by fine coffee dust making its way into the system. Cause is one of any number and of course can be enhanced by a lack of maintenance.

    If you can get in in to a service centre ASAP... *If the line is too blocked they can not repair in general.

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    HI ALL
    the 6900 /10 needs backflushing on a regular basis, recomend at least monthly

    descal at least 3 times per year

    the problems you are talking about are not machine problems but lack of cleaning

    the cleaning schedules in the manual are meant to be minimuns, not actual

    have a 6910 on the bench at present, (under 12 mths old) with erratic pour times, and bad crema

    lack of descaling causes the pump bypass to not seal properly, giving erratic pressures
    lack of backflushing causes the vent hole in the group to clog up, and the 3 way from not seating properly
    and shit crema

    this customer has to pay for the priveledge of my time, having to do a Descal and Clean/backflush the group system



    graham

  18. #18
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Quote Originally Posted by fix link=1225341932/0#16 date=1227566280
    HI ALL
    the 6900 /10 needs backflushing on a regular basis, recomend at least *monthly

    descal *at least 3 times per year

    the problems you are talking about are not *machine problems but *lack of cleaning

    the cleaning schedules in the manual are meant to be *minimums, not *actual

    have a 6910 on the bench at present, (under 12 mths old) with erratic pour times, and bad crema

    lack of descaling causes the pump bypass to not seal properly, giving erratic pressures
    lack of backflushing causes the vent hole in the group to clog up, and the 3 way from not seating properly
    and shit crema

    this customer has to pay for the privilege of my time, having to do a *Descal and Clean/backflush the group system


    graham
    Yep, depending on use (my one at work) gets even more attention...

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Thanks for your advise, guys. :)
    You were spot on with the cleaning. I thought I was cleaming enough..... Obviously not....
    I just went and back flushed and descaled the machine.. Twice.... Scrubed every inch of it....
    Result... PERFECT SHOTS.... :)
    Gauge holds presure perfectly at the 3ˇclock position, beautiful pour, beautiful crema.. HEVEN......
    Thanks again

    JEREMY

  20. #20
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Quote Originally Posted by fix link=1225341932/0#16 date=1227566280
    HI ALL
    the 6900 /10 needs backflushing on a regular basis, recomend at least *monthly

    descal *at least 3 times per year

    the problems you are talking about are not *machine problems but *lack of cleaning

    the cleaning schedules in the manual are meant to be *minimuns, not *actual

    have a 6910 on the bench at present, (under 12 mths old) with erratic pour times, and bad crema

    lack of descaling causes the pump bypass to not seal properly, giving erratic pressures
    lack of backflushing causes the vent hole in the group to clog up, and the 3 way from not seating properly
    and shit crema

    this customer has to pay for the priveledge of my time, having to do a *Descal and Clean/backflush the group system



    graham
    Interesting reading, thanks Graham!

    Do you recommend removing & cleaning the showerscreens with each backflush, or less regularly? (I backflush with cleaner weekly & with water after each session)

  21. #21
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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Quote Originally Posted by m@ link=1225341932/0#19 date=1227650442
    Quote Originally Posted by fix link=1225341932/0#16 date=1227566280
    HI ALL
    the 6900 /10 needs backflushing on a regular basis, recomend at least *monthly

    descal *at least 3 times per year

    the problems you are talking about are not *machine problems but *lack of cleaning

    the cleaning schedules in the manual are meant to be *minimuns, not *actual

    have a 6910 on the bench at present, (under 12 mths old) with erratic pour times, and bad crema

    lack of descaling causes the pump bypass to not seal properly, giving erratic pressures
    lack of backflushing causes the vent hole in the group to clog up, and the 3 way from not seating properly
    and shit crema

    this customer has to pay for the priveledge of my time, having to do a *Descal and Clean/backflush the group system



    graham
    Interesting reading, thanks Graham!

    Do you recommend removing & cleaning the showerscreens with each backflush, or less regularly? (I backflush with cleaner weekly & with water after each session)
    For me I remove the shower screen weekley and do the backflush about every two to three weeks with the SB tablet.

    Graham was spot on with his statements and as implied the SM manual is a MIN. Thus it also depends on your use and methods.. see http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1227520429

    If you having one coffee a day and may be two or a couple more on the weekend, then the backflush and SB tab could be dropped to the SB recommendation.

    If your like me 3 to 6 coffies a day and up to 10 - 20 over the weekend.. Then for me I remove the shower screen weekley ( Sunday morning while reading the paper and after my first cup) and do the backflush about every three weeks with the SB tablet. If I have had a few people ofver, then I do the fullbackflush at about two weeks.

    It is a little like OIL... Every so many miles (Number of coffees) or at a time period (SM Recomendations) which ever comes first.

    Thus for me it is about every 80 - 100 coffees a full backflush (SB tab used) and a weekley shower screen remove and wash.

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Can the machine be overcleaned?

    I make 2 coffees per day during the week and then about 4 - 6 per day on the weekend. I only backflush with cafetto, but do this on a weekly basis.

    I dont bacflush after each coffee / session, but do flush the group head after each coffee and clean the head / seal with a cloth each time to remove any grinds that may be there.

    Sen

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Quote Originally Posted by Senator link=1225341932/20#21 date=1227664933
    Can the machine be overcleaned?

    I make 2 coffees per day during the week and then about 4 - 6 per day on the weekend. I only backflush with cafetto, but do this on a weekly basis.

    I dont bacflush after each coffee / session, but do flush the group head after each coffee and clean the head / seal with a cloth each time to remove any grinds that may be there.

    Sen
    Like many cleaning practices... Some can lead to less than desirable effects... *Over consumption of water for eg *and *lead to all sorts of issues as it can dilute your chemical balance and in some cases can be deadly.

    In the first instance I would think you overdoing it w.r.t. your coffee through put and it could have an effect on your main seal? * I guess it depends on the exact type and strength of the cleaner...

    Then again... I can not say for sure as I have not experienced / engaged in the over servicing on a number of units to allow me to observe the outcomes.

    I cleaned the work unit today (SB Tab) ~70 a week and after a month (I have been off site) it was not that bad.. *Then again we try to not overdose or go extra fine and the shower screen was not that bad as it does cet a manual wash every so often.


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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Can the machine be overcleaned?

    I make 2 coffees per day during the week and then about 4 - 6 per day on the weekend. I only backflush with cafetto, but do this on a weekly basis.

    I dont bacflush after each coffee / session, but do flush the group head after each coffee and clean the head / seal with a cloth each time to remove any grinds that may be there.

    Sen

    hi sen
    yes you can over clean but
    are you using the cleaning disc from sunbeam or a blind filter
    if using a blind filter how much cleaner are you using per clean



    I cleaned the work unit today (SB Tab) ~70 a week and after a month (I have been off site) it was not that bad.. Then again we try to not overdose or go extra fine and the shower screen was not that bad as it does cet a manual wash every so often.
    in this instance cleaning is not being done often enough

    it is not what you can see, it is the dried out gunk, in side the 3 way, and in the water channels of the group, that doesnt get removed with normal backflushing

    i recomend
    flushing after each use
    backflushing every 2 too 3 weeks, using the sunbeam tablets and cleaning disc.
    remove shower and plate at least every 2nd backflush

    ( the group and seal are not designed to be blocked for any amount of time, and this is what occurs when using blind filters.
    this will cause the 3 way solenoid valve to fail sooner, the group seal to soften quicker and leak, the group collar to wear quicker, and put undue load on the pump bypass and associated pipework)

    if you find that your gauge starts to playup, this generally means that you are not backflushing often enough

    Descal at least 3 times per year in areas with good water

    The less coffees you make, the more often cleaning needs to be carried out
    cause the coffee dries out very quickly



    graham


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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Hi Graham

    I use the disc that came with the machine and about 1/2 - 3/4 a teaspoon of caffetto. I just let the machine run through its cleaning cycle.

    Seems that the first shot or so of water is just to fill up the PF as the pressure gauge doesnt rise much and there is some leakege through the spouts.

    The subsequent shots run the needle into the red quickly and it stays there for a second or 2 and then releases, there is only sometimes seepage through the spouts.

    The final few shots just seem to run straight through the PF (seems as if the sunbeam disc floats in the water of the PF, and no longer creates resistence).

    I have taken the shower screen off once and it was fairly clean, havent delved any further than that into the cleaning though

    Sen

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    sen
    i find it is best to use less cleaner and do it more often

    for instance
    some people say to use 1 teaspoon , and backflush once per week

    i find it cleans better, and is easier too get rid of any taste by usimng 1/3 teaspoon and backflushing 2 -3 times per week

    and yes you can clean to much
    by backflushing to often with excess cleaner, you get rid of all the oils of the surface, and take it back to brass
    if this happens you can find a metalic taste in your coffee

    so what is the optimun cleaning schedule

    every body has a different idea

    with commercial machines some say to backflush everyday, others say it is only necessary once per month

    with the em6900/10 i suggest at the very outside once per month, with very low usage, as long as they are flushing after each coffee

    others dont agree

    but remember 90% of repair problems are caused through lack of cleaning
    NOT machine faults

    if domestic pumps gave the problems some blame them for, companies like sunbeam wouldnt give them a 5 year warranty

    so the next time you have a problem, dont be so quick to blame the machine

    graham

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    Re: Problem with Sunbeam 6910 espresso pump pressu

    Yep - had this problem before - first week I had the machine. First machine would leak water when I used the steamer wand. Second one didnt register the pump pressure. All this within 3 days of returning and replacing with major store. Got my money back when offered a third new machine. Went and got a Rancilio Silvia - the best decision ever to spend more on this with the iberital challenge grinder! This will last!





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