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Sunbeam EM6910 poor(er) steam.. any ideas?

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  • Sunbeam EM6910 poor(er) steam.. any ideas?

    Only using the sunbeam occasssionaly, but lately the steam output is so poor I cannot get usable foamed milk. Its still working, but lacks any grunt.

    I ran a cleaning cycle and also vinegar through the steam tip to no avail. I have tried all the settings to both extremes. Of lesser importance but also significant is the brew water temp seems low even though i have it on the max temp setting.

    It used to be ok but something has changed for the worse. I have tried all the settings to both extremes.

    Ive trawled these logs for any ideas but have found any.

    Help! any ideas welcome.

  • #2
    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 poor(er) steam.. any ideas?

    brettly ..

    This might help you:

    I scored a 2nd hand EM6910 off eBay for $50 advertised as "steam wand not working". The problem turned out to be 2 things. The micro switch behind the steam knob had fallen apart, so I just transferred the switch from the hot water tap (as Ill never use that function). That made the pump work but the output was mostly hot water with the occasional burst of steam. The solution to this problem was to de-scale the steam thermoblock. I didnt want to rig up any external devices to pump solution through it (Im lazy), plus I couldnt really find a easy procedure on CS for doing this, so I devised my own.

    De-scaling the thermoblock requires pumping de-scaling solution through it without turning it into steam in the process. De-scaling solution is made up of various kinds of acids - boiling it and turning this into an airborne vapor is not a good thing for humans to breath in, and it reduces the effectiveness of the solution which is why Sunbeam dont recommend it in their manual.

    *WARNING* Take the usual precautions when dealing with live electricity etc..

    To de-scale the steam thermo block I used the following method. Remove covers to gain access to the internals. Fill tank with warm water and de-scaling solution. Turn on machine and allow it to warm up. Allow machine to stay at operating temperature for 5 minutes, then un-plug from the wall. As quick as possible remove one of the wires from the steam thermoblock heating element and turn the machine back on. With any luck it will by-pass the warm up cycle and allow the steam pump to operate just by turning the knob.

    About 1.5L of de-scaling solution was pumped through the steam block which removed a lot of built up junk. YMMV.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sunbeam EM6910 poor(er) steam.. any ideas?

      I have a similar problem. Dave, your solution does sound good but im a little confused and dont really want to ruin my machine or do something wrong. would it be possible for you to make a video showing how?? maybe photos?? anything? haha sorry to be a pain but my machine hasnt been working great lately and its getting me down. haha thanks in advance.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sunbeam EM6910 poor(er) steam.. any ideas?

        Hi,

        My steam died on my 6910 just a couple of days ago. My pump was still working (could hear it but it had gone quiet and sometimes Id get a little dribble of water). I fixed it as follows: (usual warnings about 240V power as above)

        1. Unplug the machine
        2. remove the water tank and drip tray
        3. remove rear door (one large slotted screw at the bottom)
        4. remove the rear plastic panel via the 4 Philips head screws
        5. remove the right panel (as viewed from the rear, ie the side with the steam wand). Its held in place with a Torx screw (no20) at the top rear and two philips at the bottom. Once these are out the panel just slides down and out.
        6. you can now see the steam pump at the bottom and the steam thermo-block above it. Unscrew the copper pipes from the elbows that go into the thermo-block at the top and bottom. Then unscrew the elbows.
        7. On my machine, the top elbow was blocked. I cleaned out the the lines and thermo-block using a syringe and some de-scale soln made up with hot water. Got heaps of gunk out. A good flush with clean water and careful reassembly. All runs fine now.

        Hope this helps. I could post some photos if you want (but would have to take them first!!). Good luck

        Pete

        Comment


        • #5
          I think I may have a simpler solution. I've had a steady decline in steam quality also ... I have previously disconnected the steam thermoblock and then forced descaler through it with a seringe , this worked well but took a lot of time and effort...... This time i ran a mixture of white vinigar and water through the system as usual to descale it.

          I've heard running the steam pump on high and the temp on low was a method of getting descaler thought the thermo block but this produces dangerous vapours. So I simply placed the steam wand in half full jug of cold water .... This immediately condenses the vapour back into a harmless (but slightly acidic) liquid....

          To get even better results run the steam for a short time .... then switched off the power on the front panel whilst leaving the steam nob in the on position and the wand in the water / descaler. As the Block cools the water vapour inside condenses and the vacume sucks the solution back up the steam wand into the block. I removed the tip of the wand to stop it screeching and repeated this process about 20 times over. Just switching the machine on in the add break... Wait for steam to kick in..... Then cut the power and continue watching the telly until the next add break....

          So far it seems to have worked well .... so I may add this to my usual descale routine every couple on months....

          Comment


          • #6
            I had some really good success in descaling the steam path with this method. If you like, use it at your own risk. You will need a cheap plastic bucket, some 4mm pvc tubing and some descale solution mixed up as normal. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the tubing in the side of the bucket, close to the bottom and push one end of the tubing through it. It might help to put the end in boiling water to soften it. The tube should seal tightly into the bucket. Now you are ready to move to your EM6910;

            - UNPLUG the unit and remove the water container and drip tray and stuff
            - remove the back door, the back cover and the left hand side
            - identify the steam themoblock (cylindrical) and remove the inlet pipe to it
            - push the other end of the PVC tubing over the thermoblock inlet nipple
            - put a container under the steam wand and open the steam valve fully
            - put a litre of descale solution in the bucket and then lift the bucket above the coffee machine
            - the descale solution will flow under gravity through the themoblock, the steam outlet pipe and the steam wand
            - after about half the solution has flowed through, close the steam valve and put the bucket down at about the same level as the coffee machine.
            - leave the solution inside for about ten minutes
            - lift the bucket back up, open the valve and run the rest of the descaler through
            - run a litre of fresh water through to rinse the descaler out
            - pull the tube off, put everything back together and enjoy full steam flow again

            Cheers....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by davek View Post
              De-scaling the thermoblock requires pumping de-scaling solution through it without turning it into steam in the process. De-scaling solution is made up of various kinds of acids - boiling it and turning this into an airborne vapor is not a good thing for humans to breath in, and it reduces the effectiveness of the solution which is why Sunbeam dont recommend it in their manual.

              *WARNING* Take the usual precautions when dealing with live electricity etc..

              To de-scale the steam thermo block I used the following method. Remove covers to gain access to the internals. Fill tank with warm water and de-scaling solution. Turn on machine and allow it to warm up. Allow machine to stay at operating temperature for 5 minutes, then un-plug from the wall. As quick as possible remove one of the wires from the steam thermoblock heating element and turn the machine back on. With any luck it will by-pass the warm up cycle and allow the steam pump to operate just by turning the knob.

              About 1.5L of de-scaling solution was pumped through the steam block which removed a lot of built up junk. YMMV.
              Many thanks. Works a treat. I know it is an old thread.
              but thought I would bump it just incase others are needing to do this too..

              My steam thermoblock had hard to remove scale in it.

              Sunbeam tablets, compressed air, and vinegar solution pumped through, now fingers crossed to see how long it lasts, or if I will need a new thermoblock.

              Comment

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