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Thread: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

  1. #1
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    newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    my husband and i are newbies to coffee machines. We recently splashed out and bought an EM6900 and yesterday i went out and bought some nice coffee from David Jones and we looked forward to sampling our first home made cup or real coffee.

    We followed the instructions to a tea (I had a laugh) and prepared to flush the unit out and all the unit did when pressing the manual button was make an incredibly loud noise, no water was coming out. We checked everything caucious to continue as the noise didnt sound right and i was worried we were going to break it! We took out the water container and noticed the little intake valves pattern did not match up with the inlet in the unit so i twisted it around a little until it did (hope that made sense) and put it all back together. Upon trying again a small amount of water started to come out but the noise continued. Surely it shouldnt be that noisy!! You cant talk over the top of it, if you had people asleep in the house they would all be awoken! We gave up after over an hour of trying, checking, etc, etc thinking surely there is something wrong and decided we would call for support.

    Not impressed with their support so far, the line is only open 9am-5pm (adelaide time) and they want you to have the machine in front of you! A bit hard when you both work full time! (thinking about it now, are they open weekends, she didnt mention that..?) THe lady who answered was working from home and turned her machine on and it made the same noise.... surely this isnt really normal! it is a ridiculous level, not sure if ours was louder than hers, bit hard to tell on the phone but it is not acceptable. THey should warn you that it is noisy or i would never have purchased the unit. The lady was very unsympathetic, she said she cant do anything for me unless i am in front of the unit, i told her that is impossible unless i take time off of work "well thats your choice" was her reply. She told me the noise was normal and it makes the same noise when making a coffee to (i was atleast hoping it was the initial noise when flushing the system)

    PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE someone tell me this noise is not normal, i dont know how you are supposed to put up with the noise! i can just imagine the casual nights at home....., guests over for dinner and you crank up the noisiest coffee machine in the universe and the neighbours can even hear it!

    Very dissapointed so far with this machine and we havnt even attempted a coffee yet! Apparenly Sunbeam will not take the unit back because it is not faulty (that we know of at this stage), my argument is that the machine is unacceptably loud and it is not noted.

    I know some of you have experiance with this machine, can you please help me???

    Thanks muchly!

  2. #2
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    You need to be understanding of pump driven espresso machines and I understand if this is your first, then you have nothing to compare to and with respect, no expertise yet to draw upon!

    Vibrating pumps do vibrate, and they do make a noise...it can differ from machine to machine and some are louder than others...

    However, when a machine has NO water coming through it the vibrating noise will be a lot worse and very metallic.

    I havent been able to ascertain from your post whether the machine is now pumping normally but loudly, or whether it is struggling to get water.....you see when you first mentioned you turned the machine on but no water was coming out and the vibrating noise was loud, this is "normal" (for a dry pump on a new machine before the water comes through), but it should have quieted down considerably as soon as water started to come through.

    If you continue to run a vibrating pump ad infinitum while it is "dry", the pump can or may become damaged, it can seize, and will become very hot. In these circumstances it then will not suck / pump water and to keep trying to get it to pick the water just makes it hotter and less likely to pick up the water.

    The best course of action under these circumstances is to stop, turn the machine off, give it a good 1/2 hour or more for the pump to cool, then turn it back on and try again. It will be much more likely them, to pick up water and function as it should....as long as it has not been damaged.

    I understand your frustration as a new machine owner, but there is little point doing anything over the telephone where people are just "guessing" as to what is going on. If the machine is now operating normally but you think it is loud, ultimately you will need to run the machine in front of someone in the know about domestic coffee machines in general, or in front of a Sunbeam coffee machine service tech, and see what they say, which means you have to put it in the car and take it somewhere. This is standard practice for any electrical appliance or domestic espresso coffee machine with "carry in" warranty.

    The difficulty for you, is that this brand is sold through the department store sector but there is no point taking it back there because the shop assistants would likely not have much of a clue. You will probably have to seek out the location of the nearest service point. Equipment purchased on the other hand from specialty coffee machine stores, can usually be taken back there for some friendly advice.

    Hope this helps,
    FC.

  3. #3
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    Thank you for that. We didnt run it for long when it wasnt taking up water. It started taking some after i fiddled with the inlet valve on the water tank but it was slow and i would have thought it would have ran faster if it was doing what it was supposed to (but then again i thought the noise was wrong!) Should the water flow through at quite a high rate during flushing? The noise did not lower in volume when some water started coming out but as i said it didnt come out very much or fast so perhaps this is why.

    I know where a service place is and they are not that far. I know the staff are helpful as hubby gets his shaver serviced there.

    I appreciate the knowledge this forum can give me, i didnt know how noisy these things could be. I read reviews of the machine and i didnt ready any reference to the high noise output so thought it may be something wrong with it.

  4. #4
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    I too have an EM6900 and I was also very concerned about the racket coming from the machine when I first purchased it. I also had a brief problem with the water stopping but it seemed to be fine after I turned it all off for a while. It has been running well for 6 months now and I can say that the water has not stopped since and we quickly got used to the noise.

    Tha machine is noisiest when the water is not under pressure. So when you have no coffee in the portafilter (or not enough/not packed well) it will be noisy. When it is under sufficent pressure (at least in the yellow band of the pressure area, getting quieter the high the pressure) there is little noise at all.

    Have you made any coffee yet? If not then you may be surprised, if you have and it is still very noisy make sure you almost fill the portafilter and pack it in well with the tamper. The grind is important here to as too fine will cause the machine to choke, too course and the water will rocket though resulting in underextraction and a noisy experience.

    This post is turning into a bit of a ramble (3am post without a coffee in sight)...

    A good experiment would be to grind the coffee really fine and see what difference it makes, keep going finer until the pressure gauge is in the black band. If the machine chokes (goes into the red) and no water comes out then back off the grind a little. The machine should be much quieter now although the noise level is not constant for the entire pour (noisier at start). Once you have learned how to find the limits with the grind you can introduce more variables like the amount of coffee and the amount of tamp you apply.

    I dont think ill proof read this so I hope it makes some sense.

  5. #5
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    Bucca,

    not wishing to be piccie but you have to beware of placing your trust in "electrical appliance" repairers....espresso machines are a specialist field and anyone you ask questions of needs to have requisite experience in the correct field. So relying on the bloke that repoairs electric shavers for correct information about your coffee machine is not going to help you.

    No, they dont flow a great deal of water out of the group, but some individual machines differ markedly from others in their rate of flow of fresh water from the group/s. The real (and only) test is when you put grinds up to the group and flow coffee...some machines seem to flow very little water from the group but when you position the group handle with grinds in and make coffee, they flow like any other. This kind of thing is what I mean by "specialist field".

    Nico,
    re: "...Tha machine is noisiest when the water is not under pressure. So when you have no coffee in the portafilter (or not enough/not packed well) it will be noisy. When it is under sufficent pressure......................... there is little noise at all.............."

    Well spotted and entirely correct.

    regardz,
    FC.



  6. #6
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    Thanks guys. I had a busy night last night and didnt get to test it again.

    FC I will point out that all 4 Sunbeam service centres in metropolitain Adelaide are all "Shaver Centres" the only one that isnt is a "home appliance centre" in Mt Gambier (wayyyyy awayyyyyyy!). I would think that being listed on the Sumbeam guarantee leaflet as a service centre would mean that they have some knowledge in the sunbeam machines.

    As for the grind of the coffee, we are yet to get our own grinder and I had David Jones grind the coffee I bought for me, I had no idea that so much was relying on the grinding so of course I didnt ask for anything special with the grind, I have no idea how David Jones would grind it, and if it will suit my machine...

    Thanks again, the more advice the better, I am learning that there is allot more to learn! I had a laugh

  7. #7
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    Hi bucca, welcome to Coffeesnobs.

    Id like to add a few suggestions for you to consider.

    First, as you are unsure of the machine and its operation, you might benefit by taking it to a specialist equipment supplier and just asking if they could assess the machines operation for you. It would only take a few minutes of their time and they could allay any concerns you have about its operation. If it is broken, take it back to Sunbeam under warranty.

    Second, if you dont have a decent grinder, you are in trouble. This machine is meant to satisfy those seeking cafe quality coffee. That entails an entire process of preparation, none of which can be skipped. The use of fresh beans and a decent grinder are actually more important than the machine. Fortunately, Sunbeam now sell a very capable grinder (the EM 0480) for under $200.

    It is sites like Coffeesnobs that can help you attain the best from your equipment, if you so desire. Your machine, by all accounts is a very good one and capable of making exceptional coffee, if you learn how to drive it. That really means learning some barista skills. There are barista classes in most cities that may be well worth attending for this purpose. Otherwise much of the knowledge can be gained from the various coffee sites and trial and error.

    Finally Id like to relay an anecdote about my experience with coffee machines. My first machine was a Sunbeam predecessor to the current line-up. It was a machine similar to yours. I started with preground coffee from the supermarket. What you are looking for is a 25-30 second extraction giving 30-60 ml of coffee. With care in packing and tamping the coffee I could achieve this and the results were very good. At least as good as most cafes were offering at the time. Then I upgraded and gave my machine to the neighbours. One day I went over and made a coffee with the machine. Their coffee was old and stale and there was no way I could get the coffee to extract for longer than 8 to 10 secs. The result was disgusting, and certainly not espresso. They told me it always works that way, and that was why they come over to my house for coffee!

    So a machine that was working well in my hands was not working well for them. Same machine, different skills, different coffee and different preparation.

    This anecdote is intended to illustrate that you cant just rely on the machine to make the coffee for you (at least not with this type of machine).

    If you persist, Im sure youll be making wonderful coffee in no time. Its just a learning curve. Just buy a decent grinder and try to find a supplier of freshly roasted beans.

    Good luck,

    Mark.

  8. #8
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    Well put Sparky..... [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

    Mal.

  9. #9
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    thank you all so much, i appreciate your time to help me.

    we managed to continue to flush out the system last night and water was coming through and the machine quietened down somewhat!

    we made a capachino and it actually turned out quite well for our first attempt i thought! although we did realise we didnt pack the coffee high enough so it was underextracted (but still tasted better than instant coffee!)
    Hubby isnt too happy my milk frothing skills are better than his even though I hadnt touched a coffee machine before! I had a laugh (of course we still have a long way to go though!)

    We didnt realise how much was involved and how much affected the end result but we are up for the challenge. With the machine we got an offer for a free DVD and a coffee appreciation course which hubby has registered for. hopefully that will help us out allot.

    Our coffee was ground by David Jones in their food court, i bought the beans then they ground them. i only bought enough for a few cups (at a guess anyway!) as i know they do go stale. would David Jones grind them at a good quality? I guess we should look at a grinder then.....

    If David Jones isnt the best place can someone suggest somewhere in Adelaide to get good quality fresh beans?


    thanks again for all your advice, i think we need all the help we can get!
    Nicole.

  10. #10
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    Re: newbie needing HELP with Sunbeam EM6900

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi bucca,

    Glad to see that things are starting to work themselves out for you now :). Regarding beans and the grinding there-of.....

    Short of purchasing your own suitable grinder, such as the very impressive Sunbeam EMO480, as others have already suggested and an essential component for the production of excellent espresso based drinks, I would recommend that you try to identify artisan roasters close to home, develop a rapport and buy freshly roasted beans from them. Im sure they will also be happy to grind the beans to suit your machine and thereby get you on your way :D.

    To really get the best out of your new machine though, it is essential that you acquire your own grinder as soon as it is practical for you to do so. Until then, its a bit like shooting in the dark because of the many variables that affect the ultimate quality of each shot poured. Having your own grinder on hand makes this a much more simple process and a lot less frustrating. All the best to you and happy brewing [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    Mal.



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