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Thread: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge Pro

  1. #1
    A_M
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    Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge Pro

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well today I saw first hand *the effects that OVER DOSING and an uneven tamp, can and does do; to not only the EM6910 but any number of the smaller systems, that many people are using..

    The symptoms are not always the same but the outcome is... Repair shop and $$$

    Where does one start...

    Let me state up front *- Up dosing is not OVER dosing. *

    1: *On the 6910 (as stated elsewhere) up dosing should see your SB tamp with about half the SS showing... *Evenly around the tamp. *

    A quick check can be done by dosing, tamping and putting the Group and PF into the head and locking into place. *You should feel little difference to doing the same with an empty PF. *At present *I am trying to use my L/H and or be a little more careful when locking in.

    A physical inspection should at worse, should show just the hint of the shower screen, but ideally it should not.

    After your shot, I see and would expect to see a slight indent due to the puck expanding slightly...

    IF you go to lock in your Group and PF and it is tight and you force it: then your heading for the repair shop... This = OVERDOSING. *It is not the once off or the odd mistake, it is the continual abuse that causes the problem...

    If the unit is of the newer *release models (Collar Version 4) *SB may or may not fix under warranty... *If it is an older unit and you have had it repaired and been advised to watch / modify you method and the same happens again... SB will reconsider and may choose not to replace / repair a second time under warranty.

    So how does this issue of OVERDOSING cause Group collar, Seal, Leaks, *& Gauge problems...

    If I reference your post do not take it personally as the cause may be something else... *

    However I saw first hand a number of systems exhibiting any number of problems that CS members are seeing in the posts every day. *The other point is that the service people were discussing Common faults that were being seen every day and are increasing.. *Often with the same fix.

    A: *Fine grinds / dust will build up quicker with OVER dosing and lack of cleaning; thus you can get fine particles up around the top of the shower screens and into the system.. *Over time this can does cause blockages... *Early on they can be cleaned if slightly blocked, however this is not always possible and does involve stripping the system and using an acid. * *

    See this post for an idea or two of *some the issues you might get - [here]

    Best case is Replacement machine under warranty - Worse case is a dead machine.

    ACTION *- Clean the shower screen... *More often than not. Up dose if you will /need and tamp correctly.

    B: The collar is not the same material as some and thus does wear... *

    I saw them with one side almost at 1/2 thickness and bulging (some had even split). *The users explained how they used the system and it was clear... *Brute force and tamped at times with significant angles. *When you see the way some balance the Group handle and then hold and tamp... *It is so clear where the problem is.

    Many even think that after a tamp, the coffee should be level with the top of the PF! *RTFM.

    ACTION - Up dose if you will /need and tamp correctly.

    C: *Overdosing puts extra tension on the bolts and in the latest version of the collar, I understand they have gone up another size yet again as will as extra thickness... *However it does not solve the problem, it is an attempt to bandage the symptom.

    ACTION - Up dose if you will /need and tamp correctly.

    D: I hear some say - Seals as well ??? * If you thing about it when yor OVER dosing your also squashing the seals... *Over time this can cause them to split and or misform (Locked in tight when not in use) *

    Some may question this - however advice it that with; hardware evidence of OVER dosing, the seals have usual been observed as being in very poor condition and or split *to boot. *Along with comments of leaking and spitting etc by the owners.

    ACTION - Up dose if you will /need and tamp correctly.

    E: *Even with a clean *even tamp, if you pushing the dose and the collar is wearing then it can get loose and then we have the issue of NEW seals and a spacer to take up the slack... *In time a new collar will be needed.

    One fix is training and education and that is where CS members get involved and pass on there experiences (good and bad) so that others can learn.

    The other fix is to move up to a more solid machine. *However you still have to take care and use / maintain it correctly.

    I have checked out ALL three (3) of my 6910 systems and when looking and feeling the collar on the one at work ( > 18mths old)... *Yep I can feel a slight malformation. *I will be dropping the water tank and placing on its side and a good light will confirm. *

    Then it will be a re-education of some of the addition users that *keep dropping in... *Maybe I can stop them from screeching the milk and leaving the system in a mess at the same time..

    ~$50 for the collar but a major job to strip down and replace...

    I trust that some will *gain from this and for others it will raise further questions and debate.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    Excellent, thanks for all of that AM - shame theres no horror photos of the problem machines to show the effects, but very worthwhile read regardless!

    I have the odd tendancy to overdose when Im not concentrating and can feel it straight away when I try and put the PF into the GH when it doesnt go in smoothly so, rather than force it, Ill scrape off/out some of the grind and repolish and try again. Id rather waste probably 20 cents of fresh ground coffee than have to buy a new machine, personally!

    Keep up the great work!

    Cheers
    Di

  3. #3
    A_M
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyks link=1227520429/0#1 date=1227522855
    Excellent, thanks for all of that AM - shame theres no horror photos of the problem machines to show the effects, but very worthwhile read regardless!

    I have the odd tendancy to overdose when Im not concentrating and can feel it straight away when I try and put the PF into the GH when it doesnt go in smoothly so, rather than force it, Ill scrape off/out some of the grind and repolish and try again. *Id rather waste probably 20 cents of fresh ground coffee than have to buy a new machine, personally!

    Keep up the great work!

    Cheers
    Di
    I was tempted to take some photos and when I go back for a further chat... Who knows...

    In addition Water is another big issue here with two main problems... Tank water and De mineralised both causing there own problems... Lots of after market additives now being sold to bring water quality back to its natural state.

    Hardest issue is to clean the steam wand... As the chemicals when heated to STEAM temp is not good and then you have to somehow purge... Low temp and max wetness if you make a mistake and do get some in... But try not to. SB even warn you NOT to do the steam wand. Need a service menu to set the steam to 90 or less and run like the hot water wand.

    So, good maintenance, the right raw materials and correct dosing and care with tamping should see you right with any and all equipment..

    For grinders... Biggest problem is all the favoured oily beans from some of the bigger well known Fast Coffee places... We agreed add in the syrup after the fact... Not added to roasted beans and then in the grinder.


  4. #4
    Senior Member caffeol's Avatar
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge


    Thanks AM - really worthwhile information.


  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    All good to know.

  6. #6
    A_M
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyks link=1227520429/0#1 date=1227522855
    Excellent, thanks for all of that AM - shame theres no horror photos of the problem machines to show the effects, but very worthwhile read regardless!

    I have the odd tendancy to overdose when Im not concentrating and can feel it straight away when I try and put the PF into the GH when it doesnt go in smoothly so, rather than force it, Ill scrape off/out some of the grind and repolish and try again. *Id rather waste probably 20 cents of fresh ground coffee than have to buy a new machine, personally!

    Keep up the great work!

    Cheers
    Di
    Ok... Had the opportunity to take a couple of happy snaps..

    Resized to make things easer, so if the Quality or the comments do not stand out.. *PM me and I can send the full sized pics on.

    1: * This shot is of the effect of OVER dosing and and uneven tamp - Good side.




    1A: *This is the other side of the collar. * Note the amount of wear and that it starts right at the beginning... *Thus even to get the Group handle and PF in, would be tight from the start. No need to do weights training any more... *Just make coffee *:o




    2: * Here is a more recent *collar and in a non cleaned state... *The text in the pic is an explanation or two.





    3: *And to assist in a comparison of the old and new here is a side by side shot, can you pick the changes.




    There were any number of these on the bench and while many get sent to SB others are not for many reasons. *At the end of the day the users have to take some responsibility.

    My Hilux with the right tyre pressure (~18psi) goes well on the beach.. *Drop it to 8 or 10psi and then do doughnuts on hard sand and the tyres peel off and people get hurt / killed. *They then try to sue TOYATA for selling an unsafe car. *Others take smaller 4WDs that are meant for slippery road conditions and then complain when they bog all the time all burn out their car in deep soft sand.

    Thus be it your car or coffee machine; it is about fit for purpose.

    At the price and the ability to make coffee and steam milk for more than 4 or 6 people in a flash; the EM6910 works well and in general lasts OK..... for*what many would call a white good.

    If you wish to push to the limits and or abuse, then it will not last as long as other more expensive systems. * While I have 3 (1 4 sale) they have been purchased for a purpose and to suit the $ available, have performed well and saved me many $$$. *

    My next upgrade has to perform the same outcomes but built differently and that is a hard find...

  7. #7
    A_M
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    I have just had my newest system (Aprox 8 months old) back from getting its collar fixed.

    PROBLEM: *It was one of those that had been double chromed and had a bad case of flaking etc.

    1: * While I had it for only 4 months (another CS had it from new) and it was well looked after.

    2: *Old collar was showing signs of wear... :o

    3: It has *a *HN extended warranty :-) *It will be interesting to see what happens in the future ::)


    However I noticed that on the new system it was hard to lock in (No coffee in the PF) and while the start was loose I could only move it about 12mm :-?

    On further investigations and use of a bearing blue etc I have come to the following conclusion. *TESTED ON MY SYSTEMS ONLY

    A: *Even at new, it does not appear to be even - That is it appears to bind more on one tab and not the other ?

    B: *SB Vs Other basket has little impact when put in the Group handle

    C: *None of the PF *locking tabs show any real sign of wear - Brass and or another hard compound.

    D: *The locking tabs have a rather steep step and if the system is tight to start; with this can / will also contribute to wear of the collar... *Tamp and overdosing can further add to the problem and hasten the trip to the repair shop.

    I have applied a *compound to reduce any friction and thinking of using a dremial *to make a more tapered step (it will remove some chrome however).

    E: The collar appears to be made of a softer material and thus is the first to give. *The beefing up in the new ones, resists fractures and splitting, however does not stop the wear.

    F: The collar is a pain to replace as the thermoblock is directly attached.

    G: The seal can also contribute to the problem, if it is slightly larger and or not put in correctly and or the system is not clean as it will offset the seal. *Thus the spacer ( That SB sometimes send out - I have one) is a last ditched effort to extension of a service visit; as it is telling you the collar has had significant wear.

    Outcome:

    1: *I would rather have a *PF handle that wears and that I can replace myself after 18mths to 2 years; than *to have the machine serviced, off line for a week and *the dollars involved.

    2: *As it is the only problem that I have had to date. *Then it is still less expensive than servicing of any number of other similar systems or any of the cheep Autos

    Conclusion - Fit for purpose / maybe? Depends on what SB intended


    I guess that my issue is I want to be able to service myself and tweak the system. *

    Upgradeitius is offset by Lotto winnings!!!!




  8. #8
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    Mine came back from the collar repair without any problems.
    It locks in now at 6 oclock like a new machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by AngerManagement link=1227520429/0#6 date=1227922784
    Conclusion - Fit for purpose / maybe? *Depends on what SB intended
    The issue I have with SB is their multiple references in the Instruction Book to the commercial quality of the 6910.
    Bulls#!t.

    My Expobar gets the same treatment, obviously, because its the same operator.

    In 11 months the Sunbeam has gne through 3 seals, had the spacer inserted to prolong the need for a service and finally the collar replaced before the warranty expired.
    They shout "commercial quality" then warn me that because they deemed it is in "commercial use" they were generous to fix it this time and wont in future.

    They ARE NOT built to a commercial quality.
    They need to be babied somewhat.

    I agree that if you are aware of their limitations then they can be good value for the extra money compared to some other cheap machines.

    But as AM said, they are an appliance.

  9. #9
    Member peteru's Avatar
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1227520429/0#7 date=1227924319
    It locks in now at 6 oclock like a new machine.
    Mine never locked in at 6 oclock, even when new. The sweet spot seems to be just at the little arrow marker, which makes it more like 4:30 or 5:00. It could be pushed even further, but theres no need to force it past this mark since there are no leaks. If I leave it at 6 oclock, I will get leaks and this was from day one.

  10. #10
    A_M
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    Re: Group collar, Seal, Leaks, OVER dosing & Gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by peteru link=1227520429/0#8 date=1227925016
    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1227520429/0#7 date=1227924319
    It locks in now at 6 oclock like a new machine.
    Mine never locked in at 6 oclock, even when new. The sweet spot seems to be just at the little arrow marker, which makes it more like 4:30 or 5:00. It could be pushed even further, but theres no need to force it past this mark since there are no leaks. If I leave it at 6 oclock, I will get leaks and this was from day one.
    My new one locks in at about 7.00 I am about to put in an old seal and see it that makes it 6:00 or 5:30.. That I would be happier with.



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