Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    59

    em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My em6910 is 18 months old.
    Today, without warning, it has stopped producing steam. I can hear the pump, but no steam, just an occasional trickle of water into the drip tray.

    Has been in use daily, well looked after with regular Cafetto use, and de-scaling every 4 months. I gave it a good de-scale today but still not working. I live in Perth & have only ever used tap water :(

    Anyone else had this problem, and if so, how was it resolved???

    Maybe I should have bought a Silvia instead :(

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Toad link=1227619272/0#0 date=1227619272
    I live in Perth & have only ever used tap water *:(

    Anyone else had this problem, and if so, how was it resolved???

    Hi Toad,

    As a fellow Perth resident..... no coffee machine should EVER be given a dose of Perth water (unless softened)..... Perth water has so much calcium in it it is not funny!!! (5 times more than our Eastern States cousins!)....

    If using say a Brita jug (the least you should use).... you will need to change the filter element almost weekly over here..... the same with an "in tank" softener in the machine.....

    I suspect your steam thermoblock is blocked with calcium deposits..... and will require a repair or possibly a replacement.

    You can try to descale a themoblock... but it is very difficult as it is more prone to blocking as it is only a thin pipe.... and all that leaves is steam.... the deposits tend to remain (dispensing hot water with descaler may help before it gets totally blocked)

    And, yes a boiler machine (like the Silvia) is a better proposition here. Scale will still form in the boiler but is far more easily removed (and does less damage).

  3. #3
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1227619272/0#1 date=1227620202
    Quote Originally Posted by Toad link=1227619272/0#0 date=1227619272
    I live in Perth & have only ever used tap water *:(

    Anyone else had this problem, and if so, how was it resolved???

    Hi Toad,

    As a fellow Perth resident..... no coffee machine should EVER be given a dose of Perth water (unless softened)..... Perth water has so much calcium in it it is not funny!!! (5 times more than our Eastern States cousins!)....

    If using say a Brita jug (the least you should use).... you will need to change the filter element almost weekly over here..... the same with an "in tank" softener in the machine.....

    I suspect your steam thermoblock is blocked with calcium deposits..... and will require a repair or possibly a replacement.

    You can try to descale a themoblock... but it is very difficult as it is more prone to blocking as it is only a thin pipe.... and all that leaves is steam.... the deposits tend to remain (dispensing hot water *with descaler may help before it gets totally blocked)

    And, yes a boiler machine (like the Silvia) is a better proposition here. Scale will still form in the boiler but is far more easily removed (and does less damage).
    I concur with JavaB but would also go one step further.. Straight tap water for many systems is not that good.

    1: When did you last change your Anti Calc unit ?

    At 18mths old you should have had at least 2 changes by now ( Note - Always remove this filter prior to doing a full de scale)

    2: It could also be a thermoblock problem.

    3: They also warn about not running the de scaler through the steam wand.. As I understand it, this is due to some of the fumes that it can give off and pump into the air in steam mode WHS issue and how does one purge / flush...

    I did do for a short shot by accident and had to turn the Steam temp DOWN and the WETNESS right up. In addition I then wrapped a cold towel around the steam wand and did lots of short bursts etc.

    Yep, it stank.... :( I captured all the output and got nothing other than water... I did remove the steem tip and managed to get some gunk out.. but minor.

    Needless to say, I steamed some water and the first milk drink went to the next door neighbour... She is about 80 plus, so I guessed that if it did not knock her over by the morning, all was fine..

    Did I have a second take when the AMBOs turned up later that night....






    Sorry... Only partly true.. She is 83 and the Ambo is her son in law, who drops in on occasion..


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AngerManagement link=1227619272/0#2 date=1227690005
    1: When did you last change your Anti Calc unit ? *

    At 18mths old you should have had at least 2 changes by now ( Note - Always remove this filter prior to doing a full de scale)
    Id take the Sunbeam recommended figure for change interval and divide it by 5 in Perth (and about 3.5 in Adelaide). Just like the element in a Brita filter, they can remove so much calcium and then they are worthless...... so more frequent replacement is required in the "hard water" areas (it is 10 times higher in some WA country towns than the Eastern States by the way). Sunbeam almost certainly rated them for Sydney and Melbourne water supplies....

    She is about 80 plus, so I guessed that if it did not knock her over by the morning, all was fine..

    Did I have a second take when the AMBOs turned up later that night....
    Gold ;) ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    59

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I think the thermoblock is the problem, and is probably blocked.
    I stripped the machine down today & disconnected the pump just before it enters the thermoblock - pump seems OK, pumping maybe 100ml per minute. Is that about right?

    But no steam at all coming out of thermoblock - the thermoblock is hot however.

    I must fess up about the anti-calc filter - never been replaced. Just me being a tightarse >:(

    What is involved in de-calcing the thermoblock?

    Water filter & anti-calc filters will be used from now on.

    Anyone know what a new thermoblock is worth?

  6. #6
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Toad link=1227619272/0#4 date=1227695285
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I think the thermoblock is the problem, and is probably blocked.
    I stripped the machine down today & disconnected the pump just before it enters the thermoblock - pump seems OK, pumping maybe 100ml per minute. Is that about right?

    But no steam at all coming out of thermoblock - the thermoblock is hot however.

    I must fess up about the anti-calc filter - never been replaced. Just me being a tightarse >:(

    What is involved in de-calcing the thermoblock?

    Water filter & anti-calc filters will be used from now on.

    Anyone know what a new thermoblock is worth?
    1: Thermoblock is HOT ? How hot ??

    2: I have unblocked others but not one from an EM6910...

    However Opening the steam valve and by passing the pump should / could allow you to manually flush / syringe the flow path..

    3: Picking up a steam tip in the morning, so will ask as to the $ of the steam thermoblock for you... Not sure if any are available however and may have to be ordered in.

    Keep us informed.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    306

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Could be the pipe from the pump to the wand has come undone. This happened to my EM6910, where the connection wore loose, leading to an internal leak. It wasnt enough to badly affect steam but it was enough to short out one of the circuit boards so that the machine switched on by itself when it was switched off. Apparently, this is known issue and not uncommon because the pumps thrash around a bit and the connections come loose.
    Hope this helps...

  8. #8
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Toad link=1227619272/0#4 date=1227695285

    Anyone know what a new thermoblock is worth?
    Would if ya could get one...

    As far as I know, they are not a part that is available and thus when under warranty; you get a full machine as a replacement.

    Time will tell...

    If it is that bad it may be worth pulling apart and checking the fittings and or using one of the Cafetto products <------ Sponsor on the left to see if you can shift what ever is blocking it.


  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    59

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    The thermoblock was **** hot - enough to burn my fingers - silly boy :o

    Definitely no leaks that I could see.

    I disconnected the pipes going into & coming out of the thermoblock, then dripped some descaling fluid into the outlet, but only goes thru a drip at a time - seems like I need some way of forcing fluid through at pressure.

    Im happy to buy a product to descale it from one of the sponsors, but would like to know how you use it before buying some.

    I want to try & fix this myself because my local agent says 7 days before they can even quote on the repair - no way we can go without coffee for that long!

    Still using the 6910 for the shots, and using a crappy old Breville to steam the milk. Ironically it turns out better textured milk that the 6910, but wife wont put up with 2 machines on the kitchen benchtop. :(

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,339

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Hi Toad

    Apart from the good people at Cafetto, or Bernard from Bombora, I suggest you give Graham from Euro Coffee & Appliances a call. He seems to work with a lot of these appliances and am sure he would have some useful advice.

    Cheers!

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    362

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    If you cant fix it yourself and need local assistance try Godden Electrics Wembley - Sunbeam agent.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    59

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cuppacoffee link=1227619272/0#9 date=1227776169
    Hi Toad

    Apart from the good people at Cafetto, or Bernard from Bombora, I suggest you give Graham from Euro Coffee & Appliances a call. He seems to work with a lot of these appliances and am sure he would have some useful advice.

    Cheers!
    Took your advice & rang Graham at Euro Coffee & Appliances - great guy who was very helpful. We ended up chatting for 20 mins!

    Anyway, I followed Grahams advice & now have steam ;D

    Problem was blocked thermoblock AND bypass valve stuck open. Solution was to de-calc on the steam cycle, having first set steam temp to lowest & pump rate to wettest. As all of the water was being pumped thru the bypass valve, I pinched the tube going from the valve to the drip tray, thus forcing the water up into the thermoblock.

    All good now, but will keep on de-calcing on the steam cycle weekly to try & remove 18 months buildup!

    Thanks to all, especially Graham, whos advice was priceless.

  13. #13
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Toad link=1227619272/0#11 date=1227879622
    Quote Originally Posted by cuppacoffee link=1227619272/0#9 date=1227776169
    Hi Toad

    Apart from the good people at Cafetto, or Bernard from Bombora, I suggest you give Graham from Euro Coffee & Appliances a call. *He seems to work with a lot of these appliances and am sure he would have some useful advice.

    Cheers!
    Took your advice & rang Graham at Euro Coffee & Appliances - great guy who was very helpful. We ended up chatting for 20 mins!

    Anyway, I followed Grahams advice & now have steam *;D

    Problem was blocked thermoblock AND bypass valve stuck open. Solution was to de-calc on the steam cycle, having first set steam temp to lowest & pump rate to wettest. As all of the water was being pumped thru the bypass valve, I pinched the tube going from the valve to the drip tray, thus forcing the water up into the thermoblock.

    All good now, but will keep on de-calcing on the steam cycle weekly to try & remove 18 months buildup!

    Thanks to all, especially Graham, whos advice was priceless.
    Great to hear your up and runningnand to have our many suggestions ratified... The extra bit of info was the bypass and it makes sense.

    I had to clean one today and did it on the back deck, prior to going out... My wife said that I had to shower and shave, as I stank of descaler after blowing steam all over the place for some time.

    Note: Steam performance check.

    This is not unlike the Gauge check I posted and if a great reference.

    Set the unit to default steam temp and wetness OR do it at you own setting and make an adjustment for the wetness.

    1: Purge the moisture... about a 10 sec run.
    2: Run into your SS jug for 60 sec
    3: Measure the water collected.

    Should be approx 20ml (Default settings)... If significantly different then you may well have a problem.

    If you do it at your settings, then you can monitor and gauge if the volume is changing; it can assist in trouble shooting as to a Temp, Pump Problem or blockage/ leak.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,339

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    [QUOTE=Toad link=1227619272/0#11 date=1227879622]
    Quote Originally Posted by cuppacoffee link=1227619272/0#9 date=1227776169
    Hi Toad

    Apart from the good people at Cafetto, or Bernard from Bombora, I suggest you give Graham from Euro Coffee & Appliances a call. *He seems to work with a lot of these appliances and am sure he would have some useful advice.

    Cheers!
    Took your advice & rang Graham at Euro Coffee & Appliances - great guy who was very helpful. We ended up chatting for 20 mins!

    Anyway, I followed Grahams advice & now have steam *;D
    quote]

    [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]


  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    140

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Rather than start a new thread it appears that I have a similar problem.

    My 6910 has been producing rather insipid steam for a few weeks now. I fit the tight arse criteria re anti calc filter also.

    I de calced tonight and cleaned etc and the steam is ok but not great. Was wondering about the procedure for accessing the internals of the thermoblock. Is it as simple as opening the back and taking out the 3 or 4 screws to get inside? Any thing i should be careful of? Is the reason u dont decalc on steam (As stated in the sunbeam manual) really for fumes/taste? Im not keen on sending my machine away because the closest service centre in Adelaide is not convenient for me to access and I want coffee daily.

    Ill follow the procedure that Toad mentioned to get his steam up and going again. Just want to clarify If Its as easy as undoing a few screws and decalcing with the steam wand on and pinching the drain hose?

    Cheers

    Coffeesnobs to the rescue I hope :)

    Saambo

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    6

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    I have owned a Sunbeam 4800 - a much older, earlier and simpler thermoblock machine since 2002 when the model was first released. *I too live in Perth WA and I agree the water is very hard here.

    I used to de-scale the 4800 only about once every three months or if the steaming became a bit on the weak side. *I used about 35g of tartaric acid crystals (NOT not cream of tartar powder) which you can buy at the supermarket dissolved in about 600 - 750ml of water and placed in the water tank. *Switch on the machine and pass some water through the head and shut of the flow. *Then do the same through the steam wand. *Allow to settle for a few minutes, then release the water through the group and the steam wand. *Repeat until the tank is just about empty.

    NOTE: Before starting the clean process remove the shower grate in the group head as scale deposits when released will block it up. *I found that if the steam from the wand is poor, use a fine stiff wire and poke it up through the tiny hole at the end of the steam wand and give it a bit of a jiggle. *Quite often deposits accumulate at this point and tend to block off the hole somewhat restricting the steam flow.

    I found the steel wire in those freezer bag ties ideal for this. *Just remove the plastic first and bend a L shape into the wire. *Obviously do this with caution if you have the steam flow on as you could get a nasty burn.

    After de-scaling, rinse out the water tank and replace with fresh water. *Run at least 1 litre of water though all parts of the machine before using it to make coffee or steam milk.

    Tartaric acid crystals in solution wont damage the thermoblock or the plumbing within the machine and is a cheap and effective way of de-scaling the machine.

    Ive been using this process since 2002 and my Sunbeam machine is still working perfectly well today, albeit Santa arrived a bit earlier this year and dropped a Rancilio Silvia on the kitchen benchtop. *:) *

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    140

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Thanks Monkeyboi,

    Will try the crystals tonight...watch this space for how succesful it is.

    Saambo

  18. #18
    Member peteru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    78

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    I used to use Tartaric acid with my Krups and it works, but so does white vinegar. RTFM section on descaling. Sunbeam tell you how to descale using white vinegar and following manufacturers instructions means you wont have any warranty issues.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    59

    Re: em6910 - help - stopped steaming!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saambo link=1227619272/0#14 date=1228396847
    Rather than start a new thread it appears that I have a similar problem.

    My 6910 has been producing rather insipid steam for a few weeks now. I fit the tight arse criteria re anti calc filter also.

    I de calced tonight and cleaned etc and the steam is ok but not great. Was wondering about the procedure for accessing the internals of the thermoblock. Is it as simple as opening the back and taking out the 3 or 4 screws to get inside? Any thing i should be careful of? Is the reason u dont decalc on steam (As stated in the sunbeam manual) really for fumes/taste? Im not keen on sending my machine away because the closest service centre in Adelaide is not convenient for me to access and I want coffee daily.

    Ill follow the procedure that Toad mentioned to get his steam up and going again. Just want to clarify If Its as easy as undoing a few screws and decalcing with the steam wand on and pinching the drain hose?

    Cheers

    Coffeesnobs to the rescue I hope :)

    Saambo
    Saambo - no need to take cover off - just descale are per my instructions earlier (and try to resist the temptation to watch all the gunk depositing in your jug - apparently those fumes are not good for you). Chances are the relief valve is OK.

    If you want to get inside, the left panel is held in place by 3 screws - 2 are underneath, the third is at the rear and is one of those weird star shaped heads, which I luckily had a tool for. Taking the rear door off helps (no, not the kitchen door! ;))
    Of course, you should not power the unit up with the cover off.




Similar Threads

  1. em6910 steam wand stopped working
    By laser in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11th December 2016, 05:15 PM
  2. EM6910 pressure gauge stopped working...bitter coffee!
    By martrix in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 99
    Last Post: 22nd May 2015, 03:53 PM
  3. EM6910 steaming issues
    By RobertC in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 4th April 2011, 01:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •