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Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

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  • Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

    I am new owner of a new Sunbeam EM5600. The group handle leaks and sprays water and coffee when the coffee has been tamped.

    It occurs for a very light tamp, as well as for firmer. I have done a Barista course, so appreciate the tamping role. It does not perform this way when the coffee is untamped. I have replaced the machine (with same model) and it performs this way on both machines. On the first machine, i even replaced the filter seal. If I want coffee from the machine, I have to endure it with untamped coffee grind. Grind is coarse. Looks like a design fault to me. Anyone else had this problem?

  • #2
    Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

    When you say "leaking" what exactly do you mean? Is the water spraying over the top of the basket, or is it just blowing lots of water everywhere when you go to pull the espresso?

    Its unlikely that it would be a mechanical fault, as you suggested that you changed the machine. Did you steam the milk then run the coffee? or did you do it the other way around? Is this a shot that youve pulled after the machine sitting idle for a couple of minutes, or is it the same after you attempt multiple pours?

    Possible solution? Try purging the system (waiting til you get a stream of water from the showerhead instead of hissy steam) before you put the portafilter on, then run the shot, See what happens then.

    Another question to ask is, are you running the Pressurised baskets? if you are, That could cause problems with running a finer grind in order to achieve proper extraction times.

    Oh, and more detail on what "course" means when you talk about your grind would be possibly helpful to aid you with your problem


    • #3
      Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

      Thanks for your response. Here are my comments in reply to yours:

      "Leaking" = blowing lots of water everywhere emerging from the top of the group handle.
      I have changed the machine, so it could be a design fault (rather than a mechanical fault). I always ensure the group handle is clean, and it locks firmly.
      I get tolerable coffee when no tamping: get spray and coffee when tamped: its not about the frothing/idle machine or sequence.
      It purges OK when there is no coffee: theres plenty of pressure.
      Get coffee with pressurised basket, provided the coffee is untamped: get a kitchen spray when the coffee is tamped.
      Can run fine coffee OK, provided it is untamped: otherwise the group handle sprays from the top.
      Whether the coffee grind is "fine" or "coarse" depends on the setting on the Burr Coffee Grinder (Sunbeam EM0450): it runs OK.

      Im wondering whether to try for a 3rd machine [Sunbeam EM5600] or move on. This machine was road tested and recommended by Choice magazine, from among about 30 machines.

      If Im happy with tolerable, untamped coffee, the machines OK. But this way, Im missing a lot of the coffee experience.

      I could have struck a bad batch, as unlikely as that seems.

      Anyone else had this Sunbeam EM5600 group handle kitchen spray tamp experience?



      • #4
        Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

        The group handle seal could be damaged/deteriorated/dirty. Peek underneath where you lock the group handle in, make sure nothing is stuck to the seal and give it a good wipe.


        • #5
          Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

          Hi Gnat,

          Took your advice: great discovery. The Sunbeam EM5600 group handle seal is damaged, - broken and gapped on its inside lip. This is a new machine! And its the second new machine out of the box with a leaking group handle problem ..

          Interesting, when the coffee is under less pressure, that is, when it is untamped, the faulty seal is not tested. When coffee is tamped, the failed seal cannot perform, and the kitchen gets a spray.

          Wondering whether I should dare to continue with Sunbeam: the rest works.

          Meanwhile, thanks Gnat: youre clearly a champ!


          • #6
            Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

            No worries, happy I could help

            Youre very unlucky to get two machines with the same problem.
            Either call up your local Sunbeam repair place and very specifically tell them your problem and that its a brand new machine. They should be able to replace the seal for you pretty much on the spot.
            Or call up Sunbeam and voice your displeasure and see if they give you an upgrade


            • #7
              Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

              Recent history with Sunbeam customer "service" on this machine is not satisfactory.

              To my written (emailed) complaint (late September) which they acknowledged, they then revealed, upon my further enquiry, that they had lost the original. When I re-sent it, and they failed to respond within their defined 3 days, I continued to receive no response upon further enquiries. In my recent experience, Sunbeam is effectively unresponsive or non-responsive. They have my disappointment in writing. I have no response.

              Decided not to go with Sunbeam a third time. This includes your suggestion of an upgrade. Too much in Sunbeam service, beyond the machine, needs to be upgraded, anyway.

              Pleased to be working with an understanding and helpful retailer, on this occasion, - Harvey Norman.

              I am switching out of Sunbeam and this unhappy experience. A good, reliable coffee experience will be fine.


              • #8
                Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

                Are you grinding your owe beans Sprite?

                Does this machine have a pressurised basket aka "crema system".

                Most of these cheaper machines are designed to pressurise preground supermarket coffee to produce the illusion of nice crema. When you run fresh ground coffee and tamp it properly, the pressure is too much for them and they leak with ugly and comical results.
                For most the solution is to get a de-presurised basket or just get a better machine.

                I would strongly recommend a better machine or a decent second hand machine. Better value in the long run.


                • #9
                  Re: Sunbeam EM5600: Leaking Group Handle and Tamping

                  Hi Gman1,

                  Thanks for your interest.

                  Yes, grinding own beans.

                  Yes, machine has two pressurised baskets supplied (a one-cup, and a two-cup).

                  Agree about the ugly and comical results when coffee is tamped.

                  Yes, have tried de-pressurised baskets: still the same problem. However, in all fairness, the problem arises because the seal (in a new machine) is broken. Responsibility for that? To avoid getting caught a third time, Im upgrading away from Sunbeam. So I agree with your suggestion.

                  Some coffee readers might be interested in my coffee machine retail transaction associated with this problem. Helpful retailers name bears words similar to the following: hardly normal. The full name was edited out of my earlier appreciative note.