Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

EM6910 Steam pump audibly trying, but nothing happens until minutes have passed...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • EM6910 Steam pump audibly trying, but nothing happens until minutes have passed...

    So, I have an EM6910 that I bought second hand in what was supposed to be working condition, but when I got it home it took some cleaning to get the water flowing nicely from the group head, and the steam just never seemed to work. I got my money back bar $50 which I said I'd pay as I was keen to try to get it working. (The unit was a prize from Gloria Jeans, has their logo printed on the front, apparently used for 1 year, then put in storage for 1 or 2, unfortunately no paperwork was able to be found so I couldn't do a warranty claim)

    So, after reading a number of posts here I decided to open the machine up and see if I could get at the steam pump/look at the switch. Found that the microswitch had pretty much disintegrated, so got a replacement from Jaycar, and switched it over. Put it back together, found the steam dial to feel much better and when I tried it again I noticed I could hear the steam pump if I put my head to the side of the machine, a faint chug chug sound. On leaving it on for a bit it suddenly sprang into life and started producing excellent strength steam. I thought everything was grand, I could turn the steam on and off and it was all seemingly fixed. Got a nice cup of coffee out of it.

    BUT

    Then after the machine had been turned off I went to make another cup and the steam would do the faint chug chug sound, but no steam.... waited quite some time of turning it on and off and eventually it started making steam again. But then last time I tried I never got it to make steam.

    Does anyone recognise the symptoms here? Which bit is dying/clogged/feeling sorry for itself? Is it clogged? Or should it be louder if it were clogged and trying hard to push steam? Why does it start up all of a sudden and blow very strongly as if nothing was wrong?

    Sorry if this exact type of behaviour has been covered here, I've been reading for a while and haven't found this particular case.

  • #2
    OK, so it seems that this is not a particular set of behaviours that anyone knows, so I'm going to open it up again on the weekend and see what I can see. I'd love for this thing to work, as then one coffee I got out of it was great!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi spoco2,

      Sounds like the steam side is clogged somewhere, probably with scale. Sounds like you're handy, but all warnings as usual about opening up 240V appliances ...

      The best thing to try is disassembling the steam path (pump, themo-block, valve, wand and tubes in-between) and squirting descale solution through them using a syringe for example. You can leave the main parts in place and just use little containers and/or towels to catch the liquid. You could also try a short-cut and run the descaler through it while it is all assembled, but you should do this outside with the pump rate at max and steam temp at min to avoid breathing any nasties. Hope this helps.

      Pete

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Pete39 View Post
        Hi spoco2,

        Sounds like the steam side is clogged somewhere, probably with scale.

        Pete
        Thanks for the reply. I was hoping it might be something like this, as being that the previous owner said it was working when put into storage, and that it looked like it hadn't been descaled or cleaned very well in it's year of use. I only found it odd that once it did start going that it seemed to be pumping at an excellent rate, seemingly with no blockage anywhere, so was thinking it might be some part of it not fully switching on until occasionally it just would and then stay ok until the machine was switched off again.

        But, being that the machine is not usable as it stands, and that it was only $50 to begin with, I don't have much to lose in trying to clean out the steam path.

        Comment


        • #5
          No worries. The manual says that the steam side should not be de-scaled, so if its been maintained to the book, it wouldn't be surprising if it is scaled up. Hope it goes well and you have a win.

          Pete

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, so update is, I took the top, back and side off, just to see what it was doing, saw it pumping around water when using the main water path, but no movement with the steam side... filled the water tank with a vinegar descale solution and eventually got the steam side to start pumping (just left it on for aaaagees). This blew out brown water and stunk, and I hoped that's all it needed, but after having the machine off again it wouldn't push any steam. I had it off overnight (so the vinegar solution was sitting in the steam path all night) and in the morning it steamed pretty quickly, this time blowing out quite a lot of brown water/steam. I upgraded the descale solution to use cafetto with the hope that would clean out more. Ran that through (I hadn't turned the machine off in the interim and it steamed through straight away)... more browness, left it steaming for a couple of minutes, then left the machine off for 15 minutes to let it sit and soak.

            Now I've turned it back on and the steam refuses to start up again. So looks like I'll have to take out a bit and soak it. I'm guessing it's the steam thermoblock, which looks to be _reasonably_ easy to get out... I hope. So I'll get that out, try to squirt some descale stuff through it and then let it soak for a couple of hours and clean it... hopefully that'll do it as it really does seem that's the issue, just blocked up. Which is great, as that'll mean a $700 machine for $50 and some elbow grease

            Comment


            • #7
              Progress report:

              Took out the metal piping between the steam pump and the steam block and the piece between the steam pump and the wand, flushed them both clean with descaling solution, but they seemed pretty clean already.

              Then put a cup under the bottom entry to the steam thermoblock (and paper under the top inlet to soak up spillage) and syringed in descaling solution, this went through the thermoblock pretty easily actually, but did push out some bits of brown muck from in there. A bunch more flushes through with the descaling solution and a bunch of clean water flushes through all those parts. I put it all back together and it just will not start pushing steam through. The pump is still making it quiet brr brr brr sounds, but nothing going through yet.

              I guess this means the blockage could be _before_ the pump... urgh, that looks a bit more painful to take off and put back successfully, at least the metal pipes are all nuts, which are definite on/off... the plastic tubing is prone to not going back on properly after being taken off I fear!

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds like you're on the right track. Press on bravely, what have you got to lose???

                Pete

                Comment


                • #9
                  Further progress (I'm hoping these are helpful for others who have similar issues). I worked out that the pump really isn't that terrible to get out and found that the pipe leading in to the bottom of it (input) is flowing freely, the pipe that comes off the side at the top (I assume escape path, as when I push water through there it comes out in the tray area under the group head) is also fine, and I already know the flow through the rest of the steam path is clear, so I figure the pump itself is to blame. I connect up the pump at it's base, but leave the top unconnected to see if it'll pump anything when told to. Fire up the machine, turn on steam, the same quiet brr brr sounds and nothing going through the pump.

                  So I have to assume it's the pump now. Clear pipe before, clear pipe afterwards, clear thermoblock, clear wand and pipe leading to that, and a pump that doesn't push out water when given the command.

                  So... I hope it's the pump as I don't want to spend $63 on a part to find I still don't have a working machine... $113 for a 6910 is a bargain (actually, 118, $5 for the microswitch), but same money for a machine that'll just pull espresso and not make steam would not make my wife happy at all. But I'm pretty sure I've made sure that's the only possibility.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Haven't done it myself, but I think I remember others cleaning up pumps to get them going again. Thanks for keeping everyone up-to-date. Someone will probably benefit someday.

                    Pete

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pete39 View Post
                      Haven't done it myself, but I think I remember others cleaning up pumps to get them going again. Thanks for keeping everyone up-to-date. Someone will probably benefit someday.

                      Pete
                      OOh, that'd be great, and I definitely have nothing to lose trying to fix it, I just don't see how you actually could... I tried pushing water/air through it with the syringe, but nothing... I could suck air through it from the end that it would push out, which I guess makes sense.

                      Not like I can just dump it in a bath of descale solution though, being an electrical device... if only I could find the threads about cleaning one!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Continuing to try to leave some info here for others trying to fix their machines.

                        I know that it was pretty daunting when I first opened this thing (Which I could could do a complete rundown of how to get into it with pictures if desired), but I've come to understand the mess of things in here now. As a snapshot I took while I was running fluid through the thermoblock, I give this as a quick look at what the insides looks like. The paper towel is there to catch overflow where I'm squirting fluid into the thermoblock, and the cup catches it coming out the bottom.

                        Click image for larger version

Name:	EM6910.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	104.1 KB
ID:	733220

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Success! I took the steam pump out, unscrewed the top two screws and pulled out the center portion that moves, and then from that pulled all the bits out and gave them a bit of a clean, although nothing looked dirty. Put it back in the machine and we now have excellent steam with no delay. It'll take me a while to trust it, but it looks good :-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Great to hear!!! Nice job. Hope you gets lots of nice coffees out of it.

                            Pete

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Spoco2 Did u do anything with the filter, or see the condition of itand how severe is the group head seal problem sorry if I missed ur comment

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X