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EM6900 - Steam question

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  • EM6900 - Steam question


    Excellent forum, so full of knowledge and helpful advice. Thanks to all who have contributed.

    Having read through so many posts relating to the EM6900/EM6910 I'm begining to understand my machine a little better however having made the decision to invest in some parts and now having replaced them I'm starting to doubt my initial logic.

    Whilst every other part of my '07 EM6900 appeared to function normally the steam side decided to spoil my morning rituals by ceasing to steam the milk. A closer inspection revealed the micro switch governing pump operation had thrown it's silver metal lever (in fact the ABS casing of the microswitch had worn away at the point where the metal lever hinged). Assuming no water being pumped into the steam generator resulted in no steam from the wand was the logical thought.
    I eventually found a source for the micro switch and ordered this plus a set of knobs and a new blue group head gasket.

    Removing the shower head plates and gasket revealed a rather corroded section of the group head block (aluminium). Not such a friendly sight when undertaking delicate surgery on a member of the family. Well that confirmed that whatever improvements I made where not going to be long term. Reassembled the section with care and a prayer.

    Replacing the micro switch and lead was the last part of the procedure before a thorough internal clean with couple of SB's tablets.

    A new anti-calk filter and a rinse through of the water tank and I set the unit back in to operation. There was a ever so slight improvement in steam being generated however it's puff may just about be enough to extinguish a match at 2cm.
    The expresso pump and thermoblock side of the system appears fine as does the hot water pump.

    I can hear the pump working albeit it is no way as loud as the expresso pump. I suspect there is either a blockage somewhere or the pump is not able to develop enough pressure to force water into the steam generator. The steam pump and thermoblock seciton of the machine is hard to get into so before I contemplate open heart surgery I thought to check with more learnered colleagues to see if someone has experience with a similar steam issue.

    I'm trying not to give up on my old treasure but am starting to think it may be best to invest in a new unit rather than throw more money at it.

    Should anyone have some tips on resolving the steam issue I would be ever so grateful. I have $140 worth of coffees to get through her before recuperating the cost of the parts just bought.

  • #2
    Let me welcome you to the forum and remind you of that old expression "You'll catch more flies with sugar than vinegar".
    It's spelled eSpresso!

    The steam pump is smaller than the other one and shouldn't sound as loud.

    If you think the pressure is lower than it used to be then I suspect partial blockage due to corrosion.

    If you search the forum you should find how to descale the steam path.
    It's not an easy job and much care needs to be taken.


    • #3
      Hi Tim,

      Since you've been in the guts of this thing and sound pretty confident, I'm assuming you understand the care that needs to be taken re safety and not breaking bits. The steam side on my 6910 got blocked an it was pretty straight-forward to dismantle the the plumbing (but leaving it in place) and squirt some de-scaling fluid through each part with a syringe, being careful to catch the fluid with cups/towels. Quite a bit of gunk came out of the thermoblock and the valve and a bit out of everything else. Gave it all a good rinse and was good to go again. Definitely worth a try. Hope you have a win.