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EM6900 no steam! how do i test the pump?

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  • EM6900 no steam! how do i test the pump?

    Based on pointers from other posts here i understand my no steam issue is likely 1 of 3 things. The steam micro-switch is fine. Ive tested it for continuity and its all good. So I suspect either the steam pump has died or the control board is dodgy. 2 questions i hope someone can help with:

    1. How do I test that the pump is operable given i cant get power to it? I figured continuity across the two connectors but that doesnt appear to work even on the brew pump which i know works. (Incidentally does anyone know what the Ulka pump model is that SB has used for the steam?...i read its a 4bar pump but thats all i know. its smaller than the brew pump but I cant quite see the identifier tag on mine without pulling the whole machine apart.

    2. could the steam pump be successfully replaced with another ulka pump from an old breville or other donor machine? im talking a standard "15 bar" pump. I have a cheap old breville cluttering my bench that could finally serve a purpose! pump does the same job of pulsing water to prime the boiler during steaming in that so any reason it wouldnt work as a dedicated steam pump in the em6900?

    any advise to these questions appreciated...

  • #2
    Re: EM6900 no steam! how do i test the pump?

    The procedure below is mentioned elsewhere on this site. BUT it is risky, you do this at your own risk.

    How do you know it is the pump and not a blocked steam boiler (which I had in the not working used unit I just bought).

    Anyway to check your pump, DO THIS CAREFULLY 240 Volt inside and a bite will at the least hurt, and can be fatal.

    Unplug the unit.

    Remove the covers so you can see inside to the steamer.

    Note the blue wires (on an EM6910 anyway) on the steam boiler.

    Remove one wire, and put it back on, this is just to make sure it will come off easily later.

    Losen and then retighten the hose coming out of the pump that goes to the steam boiler, just to make sure you can easily loosen it later.

    Turn the machine on until it gets to operating temperature, this is with all the lights on on an EM6910.

    Turn the power off and disconnect the plug, quickly remove the wire to the steamer, and loosen the pipe I spoke about before.

    Plug the machine in and turn it on, operate the steam knob, if the pump is working it will shoot water out the pipe.

    This only works when the unit is at operating temperature on the EM6910 and so I am assuming it is the same or similar on your machine.

    Note: you do this at your own risk 240 volts can be fatal.

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    • #3
      Re: EM6900 no steam! how do i test the pump?

      Originally posted by 6C7F697772721E0 link=1339213717/1#1 date=1339218381
      How do you know it is the pump and not a blocked steam boiler (which I had in the not working used unit I just bought).
      thanks for the tips. I only suspect its the pump as there is no noise at all when I open the steam valve. The machine gets up to temperature fine but the power light flashes red continually while all other lights are solid green. been like this since the pump stopped. I havent been able to find a troubleshooting code for this and the local sunbeam service agent had no idea when i explained it. So anyway, figured its either the pump or the controller board playing up. if I can confirm the pump is healthy but just not getting fed power then Ill replace the PCB. Incidentally, would the boiler blockage you mention result in the pump not operating or would you still hear it pulsing away there?

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      • #4
        Re: EM6900 no steam! how do i test the pump?

        Thinking about it some more.

        The pump would pulse if the steamer boiler was blocked. It would send cold water out the overflow and collect in the tray

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        • #5
          * Apologies for resurrecting an old thread *

          Looking to test a similar thing - the pump is not "pulsing", the micro switch seems good (when no water and opening the value, the alarm starts). Having removed the sides, I've been able to confirm 240v (230) to one of the pump terminals, but when opening the valve, the second terminal voltage doesn't change - should it also come up to 240v? The tests above are probably not what I'm looking for, I "think" the pump is dead, but want to try and confirm before spending the money on ordering a new one, then finding it's the board, or something else!!

          Thanks in advance,

          Anthony..
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            My sparky friend has a dummy lead. 2 terminals that plug into the pump and a inline switch with a male plug on the other.
            Handy for descaling too, as he can descale without the machine being hot. Be aware that the duty cycle is 50%, and the overtemp would be bypassed.
            I think yours either has a blown diode or a blown coil. Pretty sure they should have some resistance one way, and infinite the other (being they have a diode in there).

            I leave the live testing to him.

            Answering the earlier posts, the pump is a ep3. It can't be changed with a ep5 as the flow rate will be too high, resulting in hot water squirtlin from the steam nozzle as it hasn't had time to convert to steam (imo).
            I did find a ep2 pump in a steam mop, so a bigger capacity steam mop on junk day would be worth investigating.

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            • #7
              Ahh, I think @Xanthine answered here in this thread: https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...g-steamer.html

              Removed the wires from the pump terminals and it appears OC both directions! I guess a dead steam pump looking most likely right now...

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              • #8
                Thanks Jack - just posted a simlar finding myself...

                Are you saying my pump (in the photo) is an EP3? How do I tell for sure so I get the right spec replacement?

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                • #9
                  Does the pump power go through the thermoblock thermostat? In order that it can't run without the thermoblock being up to temp? Can't remember without having a look...

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                  • #10
                    ...the "230v" reading has the wire from going to the pump FROM the control board.

                    This machine is now 10.5 years old, so it's done pretty well from what I've read, although it doesn't get heavy use - more over the last 12 months.

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                    • #11
                      It's definately a E series. P is plastic nosed (x is for brass nosed) and pretty certain it's a 3 size...
                      I sent my spare pump to someone else. But I have the 2 and it's def too small for the holder.
                      Can you pull yours out and get any of the numbers? If you loosen the 2 screws at pump top, you can then spin the nose, that allows you to unscrew the stuff off the top, and then you can pop it out of the holder.

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                      • #12
                        Post a link for the steam pump, I had a bit of a look before, but couldn't find one.

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                        • #13
                          Attached image from the back label part - looks like a tricky beggar to get out! Although recall reading somewhere you need to snip the rubber holder, will research more soon!
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            You don't need to snip the rubber. Loosen the screws on the pump nose so you can turn the nose. Then unscrew the fittings off the nose, then feed the pump out the bottom. My rubber holder is not cut here, so it comes out..

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                            • #15
                              Thanks, cool - think I read it here:

                              If I can get the bottom hose off, it may come out through the bottom, but some more fiddling required I think. For the time being, I need to research where best to get the correct replacement part from.

                              Whilst I've got it all open I should probably do some other servicing. I've seen somewhere a skinny gasket that can help compensate for a worn collar too... Hmmm...
                              Last edited by Javaphile; 1 June 2019, 05:22 PM. Reason: eBay link removed

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