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Newbie with a second hand 6910 and lots of questions

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  • Newbie with a second hand 6910 and lots of questions

    OK, I am peering into a rabbit hole and thinking it can't be that deep, can it. I mean, its dug by rabbits, right? They aren't that big or strong and they're pretty dumb, right? Right?

    After a year long journey that started with a loaned DeLonghi Piece of Crap (at least I think that was the model, it might have been a La Specialista on reflection), much badgering from The Girlfriend and not a little procrastination on my part I have acquired a second hand Sunbeam 6910. Its a completely unknown quantity other than the former owner tells me the gauge doesn't work (although even here she, or I, may have been confused as she was talking about it in regard to steaming milk rather than extraction) but the price was too good to resist. The only extras are a portafilter with a double shot basket and a tamper.

    Where do I start with this thing? Obvious, even to a muppet like myself, is a descale and complete clean. But what is not obvious? How long is this piece of string?

    I might have another one potentially on the way that no longer steams but comes with a grinder (looks like an em480), milk jug and a knock box for another too-good-to-refuse price.

    Hey, this rabbit hole is bigger than it looks, is that a light up ahead..?

  • #2
    No, it's the Mad Hatter's tea party.

    Comment


    • #3
      And the rabbits dressed like alice cooper, welcome to the nightmare enjoy your stay

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi all, I'm in exactly the same boat as the OP, so any assistance would be appreciated by me as well!! Have been perusing the forum for a while but took the plunge!

        Along with the clean and descale, is it worth changing the group head seal and the water filter? Anything else?

        Cheers!

        Comment


        • #5
          Where to start?

          Thousands of posts on CoffeeSnobs for repairing and cleaning the 6910

          These two cover most questions:
          https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...eep-clean.html
          https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...-pointers.html

          There are plenty of others too.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lyrebird View Post
            No, it's the Mad Hatter's tea party.
            Tea?! Well as long as its strong and black I'm OK with that. My theory is weak tea with milk was the cause of the fall of the British Empire...

            Originally posted by Sullo View Post
            And the rabbits dressed like alice cooper, welcome to the nightmare enjoy your stay
            Ol' Black Eyes? I guess since schools out, its no more Mr Nice Guy

            (Crap, now I've got School's Out stuck in my head. Have to go listen to Tom Waits or The Pogues to shift it)

            Originally posted by flymo View Post
            Hi all, I'm in exactly the same boat as the OP, so any assistance would be appreciated by me as well!! Have been perusing the forum for a while but took the plunge!

            Along with the clean and descale, is it worth changing the group head seal and the water filter? Anything else?

            Cheers!
            I'm not bothering with seals unless there's water on the bench. My experience of consumer equipment is disturbing them often makes trouble elsewhere.

            Originally posted by Andy View Post
            Where to start?

            Thousands of posts on CoffeeSnobs for repairing and cleaning the 6910

            These two cover most questions:
            https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...eep-clean.html
            https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...-pointers.html

            There are plenty of others too.
            Thanks, Andy.

            I just read through the first before thinking I should check the thread I started.

            Found the manuals and the search box now I just need an afternoon without customers or colleagues to interrupt me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cptbluebear View Post
              OK, I am peering into a rabbit hole and thinking it can't be that deep, can it. I mean, its dug by rabbits, right? They aren't that big or strong and they're pretty dumb, right? Right?

              After a year long journey that started with a loaned DeLonghi Piece of Crap (at least I think that was the model, it might have been a La Specialista on reflection), much badgering from The Girlfriend and not a little procrastination on my part I have acquired a second hand Sunbeam 6910. Its a completely unknown quantity other than the former owner tells me the gauge doesn't work (although even here she, or I, may have been confused as she was talking about it in regard to steaming milk rather than extraction) but the price was too good to resist. The only extras are a portafilter with a double shot basket and a tamper.

              Where do I start with this thing? Obvious, even to a muppet like myself, is a descale and complete clean. But what is not obvious? How long is this piece of string?

              I might have another one potentially on the way that no longer steams but comes with a grinder (looks like an em480), milk jug and a knock box for another too-good-to-refuse price.

              Hey, this rabbit hole is bigger than it looks, is that a light up ahead..?
              G'day cptbluebear & flymo,


              First thing: Use a #2 Philips and take out the showerscreens (there are 2 of them). Some 6910's I have revived have been caked so solid that the showerscreens needed straightening out. If the showerscreens will not come out, leave the screw out and pull a "water shot" with the p/f in place (to catch the showerscreens). That works almost every time. Needless to say, note the showerscreen shape and fit so you can replace them "as they were" later. Clean them and any grunge around the blue seal (next piece up, don't remove it unless it falls out) as well as you can and then replace them.

              Then descale it (preferably with white vinegar as shown in the manual) until the water is running clear (not muddy brown). Then using "good water" rinse (and rinse, and rinse...expect 6 litres if you have sensitive taste buds) the whole thing out with enough water to remove the vinegar taint. Note: Use 1/2 strength "vinegar mix" for the steam wand - never use "commercial descalers" on the steaming section unless they state it is safe to do so. Personally, I hate the taste of the "commercial descalers" and find it takes forever to get their taste out of both the milk and the coffee so I use vinegar for both. YMMV.

              If the grouphead then leaks check the "chrome collar" (above the blue seal and also around the p/f - it actually locates the p/f) carefully. Unless the collar shows clear signs of damage / extreme wear then you can use a spacer (cut your own if you like - cereal packets work fine, ditto old playing cards) in between the collar and the blue seal to fix it - just like Sunbeam themselves do! According to a Perth repairer, 80% of the 6910 collars they see on leaking machines do not need replacing. Save yourself around $100 on parts.

              After all that, post in this thread if you have any further issues.

              Enjoy your cuppa (hopefully from your new toys)


              TampIt
              PS: always use good quality water in any espresso machine. In Perth, most of our tap water becomes a corrosive SOB at 9bar pressure / 92 Celsius temperature. Will kill any new machine in 3 months or so.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks TampIt!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Time for an update!

                  Last night I acquired another 6910 plus a Sunbeam 480 grinder, knock box and a collection of accessories for a pineapple. That brings the total spent to $65. The Girlfriend definitely gave me the eye when I returned from hunting and gathering. She already suspects where this is going but its her fault 'cause she wanted a machine working at Christmas.

                  I took this second one to work today and put it on the bench. Sadly, its not the strangest thing that has passed through our workshop...

                  I popped out the shower screens as per instructions posted here 10 years ago (!) and dear God! These people are pigs! I am surprised anything was making it through at all. The screens are still about 50% blocked and I am trying to track down someone with an ultrasonic cleaner to finish the job. As expected, the cleaning disk was still taped inside back cover...

                  I was told this one didn't steam (the reason I chose this one to pull apart first - if its already broken I wouldn't feel bad about completely stuffing it). The steam knob didn't feel right, as if it was sticking, so I pulled it off (again, instructions found here!) and there was a lump of cack stuck behind the microswitch. Put it back together and it steams like a little champ.

                  Now its sitting on the bench having had two litres of acetic acid solution (vinegar to you and I) and about ten litres of water flushed through.

                  All in all, the most productive day I have had in weeks.

                  Which leaves me with a couple of questions:

                  1 Is there a trick to lining up the markings on the steam and water knobs? It took me ages to the steam knob back correctly lined up. The water knob is really stiff so I am going to pull that off at some point to figure out why.

                  2 The water light is on constantly. I presume that is controlled by the black float in the tank. Is there a light sensor or something that is supposed to detect it's position?

                  3 There is no anti-calc cartridge. Is this normal? Should I get one? I live in Adelaide and the water is so hard Chuck Norris nods his respect when it passes by.

                  So Flymo, how goes yours?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Feeding it straight Adelaide water will kill it in a matter of weeks. The Sunbeam filter will likely not be anywhere near enough.

                    The water light stays on all the time because the magnet in the black floaty thing has weakened over time. To fix this buy some tiny rare earth magnets off eelbay and duct tape one over the sensor (so when the water tank is in position it sits between the black float and the sensor). See if that solves the issue, of not add another magnet, etc.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by level3ninja View Post
                      Feeding it straight Adelaide water will kill it in a matter of weeks. The Sunbeam filter will likely not be anywhere near enough.
                      Cant let this pass L3N, the above is simply incorrect.

                      I have no idea where people get this idea from, born and bred in SA I've used unfiltered S.A. water in 4 espresso machines without problem, my current machine a Bezzera HX, now 10 years old has never suffered a water/scale related problem, nor have any of my previous machines.

                      Likewise, a number of close friends also use unfiltered S.A. water in espresso machines without problem.

                      It becomes a little tedious listening to people make similar claims without having made efforts to discover the facts, I've traveled quite widely and Adelaide water stacks up well against other countries around the globe.

                      I suspect retailers flogging expensive filter systems have a lot to do with misinformation regarding Adelaide's water.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                        Cant let this pass L3N, the above is simply incorrect.

                        I have no idea where people get this idea from, born and bred in SA I've used unfiltered S.A. water in 4 espresso machines without problem, my current machine a Bezzera HX, now 10 years old has never suffered a water/scale related problem, nor have any of my previous machines.

                        Likewise, a number of close friends also use unfiltered S.A. water in espresso machines without problem.

                        It becomes a little tedious listening to people make similar claims without having made efforts to discover the facts, I've traveled quite widely and Adelaide water stacks up well against other countries around the globe.

                        I suspect retailers flogging expensive filter systems have a lot to do with misinformation regarding Adelaide's water.
                        This is what SA water have to say about your water
                        https://www.sawater.com.au/community...gan-swan-reach

                        Ill leave the chemists to determine if this is ok or not.
                        pH of 9.3? mmm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the big one to take away from that report, is the levels of Cl compounds in the water.
                          Owners of s/s boiler machines will need to be quite focussed on its removal prior to filling.

                          Mal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cptbluebear View Post
                            Time for an update!

                            So Flymo, how goes yours?
                            I still haven't got to the point of running it yet - once I got it apart for cleaning the 10 years worth of gunk out of the head, the seal had a massive split in it, so waiting for a new one to crank it up. On the upside, its now clean and I gave the grinder a good clean out as well - I have no idea how it is still running with how much caked coffee was in it...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by level3ninja View Post
                              Feeding it straight Adelaide water will kill it in a matter of weeks. The Sunbeam filter will likely not be anywhere near enough.

                              The water light stays on all the time because the magnet in the black floaty thing has weakened over time. To fix this buy some tiny rare earth magnets off eelbay and duct tape one over the sensor (so when the water tank is in position it sits between the black float and the sensor). See if that solves the issue, of not add another magnet, etc.
                              Thanks. Ironically I had 100 such magnets on order from China for a Christmas project but Aussie Post told me this morning that they have lost it. My guess is its stuck to inside of a van or another package delivered two weeks ago.

                              Originally posted by flashpixx View Post
                              This is what SA water have to say about your water
                              https://www.sawater.com.au/community...gan-swan-reach

                              Ill leave the chemists to determine if this is ok or not.
                              pH of 9.3? mmm
                              Now that's interesting.

                              Not sure why you picked on Morgan (because that's where the feed for Moonta comes from?) but that is straight from the Murray. I'm on Adelaide East Metro (Murray river supplemented by rain fall (remember that?) and desal. A comparison of the Morgan (Murray river) to is interesting:

                              Morgan pH is 9 while mine is 7.3 - the latter is effectively neutral while the former is similar to baking soda (a 30 year old memory from high school chem that Google confirms: my head is full of some weird shit)

                              I am more interested in dissolved solids than pH, and specifically calcium and sodium salts. Adelaide Metro has 7x the dissolved solids and 1.8x the hardness! This is skewed by sodium, zinc and magnesium so probably from old pipes and the desal water, but bicarbonate and calcium are around 1.5x the Morgan numbers.

                              The takeaway for me is Moonta water (assuming it isn't seriously affected but transmission) is nicer for boilers than mine! But, and its a biggie, I don't know if these numbers are significant. We are talking 10s of mg per litre. I'm guessing its all a lot more complicated than this. I shall have to talk to a mate who does water quality testing for a living...

                              Originally posted by flymo View Post
                              I still haven't got to the point of running it yet - once I got it apart for cleaning the 10 years worth of gunk out of the head, the seal had a massive split in it, so waiting for a new one to crank it up. On the upside, its now clean and I gave the grinder a good clean out as well - I have no idea how it is still running with how much caked coffee was in it...
                              I hear ya, brother. How do these people do this? The manual goes on about cleaning at some length. I can only suppose they just keep using it until it stops working and then, conditioned by experience, buy another one. I shouldn't complain if the result is cheap, hardly used second hand equipment that just needs a clean

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