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  • EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

    Hi fellow Coffee Snobs,

    After reading many posts on these forums I finally decided to take the plunge (if youll pardon the pun) and become a CS member. Id first like to say a quick thankyou to all those of you contributing to posts on the EM6900/EM6910 and the EM0480. Your tips and suggestions have aided me to make some great advancements in the caliber of espresso coffee being produced from my home machine over the last few weeks.

    I am hoping to call on your knowledge and expertise again to help me diagnose a problem with my EM6910. Ive had it for just over 12 months now and I am noticing that whenever I manage to achieve critical mass with the pressure of my espresso pour, the machine seems to start leaking around the group handle. I know that there could be several reasons for this such as the basket being too full, grind being too fine, handle not tight enough, worn seal etc, however I am wanting to know if anyone has any really good tips for definitively diagnosing the problem?

    Appreciate any suggestions and assistance you can provide.
    Regards,
    Cameron

  • #2
    Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

    Welcome to CS (first time Ive said that - I almost feel like an oldie!) 8-)

    My (not so experienced) advice would be to problem solve by taking one thing away at a time. If you tighten the handle a bit more and it stops, that is what your problem is, if you dose your portafilter a little less and it stops, that is what your problem is, etc.

    Ive had this a number of times, at all the above times at one stage or another (ie; overdosing, not tightening enough, etc) and it was usually user error.

    Or it could be that your seal in the group head is on the way out and might need replacing. They (the good sorts on this site) recommend that you dont leave the portafilter locked in for extended periods (Ive taken to removing mine overnight once Ive made my last coffee at about 6.00pm and given it a thorough clean), and then left it out until I go to make my morning coffee at which stage I plonk it in when I first switch on the machine so it has time to warm the portafilter when I go to make my work takeaway). I also get into the seal area when Im doing my thorough clean each night and brush away all the lose grounds around the seal with a soft paint brush.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Di

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

      Hi

      In the first instance;

      If you tighten the handle a bit more and it stops, that is what your problem is, if you dose your portafilter a little less and it stops, that is what your problem is, etc.
      Is a reasonable attack...

      However regardless of use; or as you state "it is now happening at what you call critical MASS"  the fact that your unit is 12mts old...

      It is SCREAMING out for a NEW group head seal....  Until you replace the seal, some of the other issues such as a worn collar can not be determined.


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

        I must admit I was a little concerned that the seal might have been on its way out, but I am not sure how to determine the wear? It doesnt look in bad shape so was not confident that it was at fault. Should I be on the lookout for any signs in particular to indicate the degree of wear, or is it just a given that 12 months = replacement group head seal?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

          Originally posted by cammcgrath link=1224052041/0#3 date=1224056889
          I must admit I was a little concerned that the seal might have been on its way out, but I am not sure how to determine the wear? It doesnt look in bad shape so was not confident that it was at fault. Should I be on the lookout for any signs in particular to indicate the degree of wear, or is it just a given that 12 months = replacement group head seal?
          Looks can be deceiving... In many cases the seal becomes a little harder and or is compressed over time...

          Thus if you leave the PF locked in place it will hasten the demise of the seal or if you do not take care when cleaning or it is subject to heavy use these all have an impact.

          12 months OLD... REPLACE the seal. In the mean time, just dont push the system to its critical mass. A slpit seal or other mishap will leave you with a mess.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

            I use a 6910 at work and it gets a lot of use.

            Without knowing how many coffees you make each day I cant compare but would suggest that after 12 months its probably the seal.

            AM is right in that they dont seem to look worn (at a glance).

            The work machine is just on 10 months old and I out its 2nd replacement seal in it last week.
            Admittedly the previous one died prematurely, a chunk came out of it.

            The work machine does about a dozen a day at a guess; I met a new guy today who does overnight shifts and he was asking about it. So there may be a few more coffees made between midnight and dawn that I havent accounted for.

            When you get your replacement seal get the silicon spacer to go with it while youre at it.
            If the collar is also worn the spacer will help in the short term.

            Ring Sunbeam and ask their opinion.
            If youre lucky theyll send you a seal for free.
            Try work the spacer into the conversation; say youve got a friend with the same machine and he needed the spacer too.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

              Thanks AngerManagement. Ill get a new seal and take it from there.

              Thanks also Di for your feedback. Hopefully a new seal will sort my leak issues, but if its still happening Ill attack it with your suggestions too.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

                Mr Hoyks here,

                She doesnt trust me to pull the machine apart right now , but you might try removing the seal, turning it upside down and re-installing it. I dont know if it is symmetrical or not, but if it is, it should give a new face for the head to seat against.

                Might get you out of trouble until you can get a new seal…..or might be absolutely no help at all .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

                  It only works one way.
                  You cant turn it upside down.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

                    Thundergod, this may sound like a stupid question, but can you describe to me the silicon spacer versus the group head seal? I might be thinking of completely the wrong thing (hence my mentioning that I cant see anything wrong with the seal). On my machine, Im talking about a thick blue rubber ring that can be removed once the shower screen is removed. Is this the seal or the spacer?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

                      Originally posted by cammcgrath link=1224052041/0#9 date=1224071318
                      Thundergod, this may sound like a stupid question, but can you describe to me the silicon spacer versus the group head seal? I might be thinking of completely the wrong thing (hence my mentioning that I cant see anything wrong with the seal). On my machine, Im talking about a thick blue rubber ring that can be removed once the shower screen is removed. Is this the seal or the spacer?
                      The seal is usualy blue and molded to suit the shower screen etc. The spacer is  the same size in Diameter ( internal and external) but only about .05mm thick  and is put on top of the seal..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

                        Thanks very much. Will give Sunbeam a call and see how we go.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

                          Originally posted by Hoyks link=1224052041/0#7 date=1224070356
                          Mr Hoyks here,

                          She doesnt trust me to pull the machine apart right now , but you might try removing the seal, turning it upside down and re-installing it. I dont know if it is symmetrical or not, but if it is, it should give a new face for the head to seat against.

                          Might get you out of trouble until you can get a new seal…..or might be absolutely no help at all .
                          Mr Hoyks...    I am starting to understand why Mrs Hoyks may have issues with your assistance  ;D

                          In addition to not being symmetrical as it gets old it hardens and I can assure you....  You do not want a full PF under pressure to unwind or to have the seal blow...  Very messy... :-[

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour


                            I find that if I over dose, or the grind is too fine (needle in the red zone) or both, it tends to leak.

                            I also find that if theres lots of old grind trapped at the seal, it causes leaks, but this is true of the Vibiemme commercial 3 group head machine that I used to make coffees with.

                            So these days, after a coffee is made, I pop in the silicon insert into the filter basket and loosely fit the porta filter to the group head and run a pour. I wriggle the PF gently from side to side and the rising water inside the basket pushes out all the loose grind that is trapped at the seal.

                            I inspect and repeat the steps to ensure that no grind is trapped in the groupseal.

                            Seems to work all the time and my seal is still pretty good after 12 months.



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: EM6910 Leak Issue During Espresso Pour

                              Here is a recent link detailing my experience with the group seal.

                              I doubt if Sunbeam will be interested in repaling it under warranty.

                              My old seal was only 5 months old so it is likely that is your problem.

                              http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1223723901

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