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  • Em6910 steam playing up

    I am onto my third em69** now and all have served me well over the last ten years, but their downfall each time has been a fault in the steam wand where it seems to be producing good steam but ends up creating bubbles rather than texturing milk.

    I'm about to farewell another machine unless I can uncover the reason for this issue.

    I'd love to know if anyone has resolved this as I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    The pump seems ok - sounds like it is pumping consistently and strong.

    Any tips?

  • #2
    Originally posted by hamo View Post
    I am onto my third em69** now and all have served me well over the last ten years, but their downfall each time has been a fault in the steam wand where it seems to be producing good steam but ends up creating bubbles rather than texturing milk.

    I'm about to farewell another machine unless I can uncover the reason for this issue.

    I'd love to know if anyone has resolved this as I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    The pump seems ok - sounds like it is pumping consistently and strong.

    Any tips?
    Hi Hamo

    Join the long queue of people who froth their milk as per the 6910 manual and have probs. I used to get about 6 or 8 friends or rellies a year with this prob or more severe wand blockages. No repeats (touch wood).

    1) Clean the wand out properly (using white vinegar in situ, or remove it and use a decent "stainless friendly" solvent).

    2) Rinse it out very thoroughly (until you cannot smell / taste anything in the steam).

    3) In future, remove the wand just BEFORE the steam cuts off to zero (listen for it). Removing the wand along the line of the steam will not spray milk everywhere even if it is still running a little.

    Do it later (i.e. as per SB manual) and you get up to 5ml of milk up the wand as the steam pressure drops. That is why so many 6910's have steam wand issues. Classic case of OH & S defeating the engineers who designed the 6910.



    TampIt
    PS: my older 6910 is Aug 2008 and still works fine, however I was taught properly in the first place.

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    • #3
      Thanks Tampit - it's been a recurring problem. I have already tried what you suggested and no luck.

      I have ordered a new steam tip but I'm not optimistic as I've been that route before too.

      Might be time for a new one

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      • #4
        3x 6910's in 10 years, that's not good.
        New or just used ones already?

        As for when to shut off the steam, it's self cleaning if you purge and wipe the wand after each use.
        Once a week I would fill a jug with espresso clean and water mixture, then leave the steam want to soak in it for an hour (along with the PF and baskets)

        you shouldn't need a new tip, just clean the original one out with Espresso Clean.

        I also cleaned the steam thermoblock and all the piping in mine, simply by filling the reservoir and pumping water through the steam side (may aswell do the other side at the same time)
        BUT use caution here, you don;t want to vapourise the cleaner and blow it into the air, I always keep the wand submerged in water in a jug when pumping through the steam system.
        Shut the machine off and let it sit for 1/2 an hour
        then refill the reservoir with clean water and pump it through.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the tips - appreciate it

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Robbks View Post
            As for when to shut off the steam, it's self cleaning if you purge and wipe the wand after each use.
            Once a week I would fill a jug with espresso clean and water mixture, then leave the steam want to soak in it for an hour (along with the PF and baskets)

            you shouldn't need a new tip, just clean the original one out with Espresso Clean.

            I also cleaned the steam thermoblock and all the piping in mine, simply by filling the reservoir and pumping water through the steam side (may aswell do the other side at the same time)
            BUT use caution here, you don;t want to vapourise the cleaner and blow it into the air, I always keep the wand submerged in water in a jug when pumping through the steam system.
            Shut the machine off and let it sit for 1/2 an hour
            then refill the reservoir with clean water and pump it through.
            Hi Robbks

            "it's self cleaning if you purge and wipe the wand after each use." I wish... A few years ago virtually every friend & rellie dropped in with a clogged wand, some of them needing a removal and soak in solvent overnight (toluene) after an ultrasonic bath failed to shift the gunge. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...w-machine.html has the whole gruesome history. I tested one of my 6910s and pulled 5ml of pure rainwater up into the wand using exactly the technique recommended by Sunbeam. If that had been milk, there is no way it would not have left a residue. Sometimes leaving the wand submerged in a jug of water and heating it up to (say) 90 Celsius helps to clean it out. A minute after the steam has shut off, remove the wand and if it doesn't empty just crack open the control a little (not enough to start the pump). It usually releases over 10ml that way. often with gunk if the wand is partially clogged.

            Cleaning: I have used white vinegar in situ for years in all manner of machines (including 6910's), however it takes ages to get the flavour out of a 6910 steam wand. Better to use it properly in the first place and avoid the problem. Other than normal maintenance issues, the 6910 seems reliable, just not "ignorant proof". Cannot call people idiots if the manual is plain wrong.

            TampIt

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            • #7
              I guess the fact my machine would have seen at least 4-6 drinks a day, split morning and night, hardly gave any time for a proper stubborn build-up to occurr

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              • #8
                I think the problem is that the hole in the end of the steam wand gets bigger somehow after much use, and when you clean it, it becomes really noticeable. After reading another thread somewhere, I have inserted a paper clip in mine after cleaning to close up the hole a bit.. Still not perfect, but a decent texture rather than big bubbles. Will be interested to hear if the new tip fixes it, I read another thread where this wasn't good enough.

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