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em6910 hot water spout leaks while extracting ?

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  • em6910 hot water spout leaks while extracting ?

    I must admit, our em6910 is celebrating its 9th year in our kitchen and it does on average 500 grams of beans a week. its been pretty faithful all this time but recently the hot water spout is shooting hot water when we do an extraction, initially it was only a drip but now we are get 30ml per extraction and its having an impact on our extractions.

    has anyone had this issue and what did you do to resolve it ?

    I don't think we are ready to replace it yet as this is the only issue its shown.

    thanks in advance

  • #2
    Hi, I was about to create a new post for a similar issue - but reading yours thought I'd chime in.

    Our 6910 must be a very similar vintage, getting similar if not a little less (~250g/wk) usage. It has had one previous issue with the thermostat where it would not recognise the temperature when turned on, eternally flashing lights, getting hotter and hotter. We took it to Bravo repairs in Sydney and they overhauled the whole machine. This was about 14 months ago.

    Until recently the machine was working well after its service. But I have now noticed two things:

    1) water leaking around the group head. Only at the very beginning of the pour and then it settles, and only losing ~5-10mL I'd say.
    2) temperature of machine seems to be higher than it has been before.

    The leaking around the grouphead - It is not the blue rubber seal as I replaced it very recently. I wonder if this is the group handle lugs slowly wearing away at the head. I remember someone asking me to feel for sharp edges on the lugs and up under the grouphead, and mine are getting fairly sharp. With 2-4 insetions and turns a day x365 x9 (=13,000) it has to wear down sometime!

    Any other comments or advice about the leak or the temperature would be appreciated. The machine is still usable, I'm just wondering whether it is likely to be able to be repaired again, or is it finally on it's last legs..?

    On that final note - What would be a good replacement? Something that is a step up, but not too expensive?


    • #3

      I have the same problem as you. I'm also trying to diagnose the problem and any help from the community would be great:
      -I have a machine which I intended as a replacement. When plugged in, water starts coming out the steam nozzle straight away and something starts pumping, even when I haven't turned it on. When I do turn it on the water slowly turns to steam as the machine comes up to temperature. Unplugging the steam pump stops this issue, but of course, means I can't use the steam. So my question is: is it the steam pump or the main board? There is evidence of cockroaches on the main board.

      The second issue, like Diveboy's is that when I extract water pours out the hot water tap as well. What could be causing this? Again, is it a main board issue?

      Your issue sounds like it could be the collar is worn and needs replacing. When you place the portafilter in the machine, where does the handle sit? Right around to the right of the machine? Over time the metal-on-metal will wear the collar down. I've replaced mine before without experience and it wasn't too hard.

      In terms of machines to step up to, I'd be looking at the Breville machines. If i had money for a new one, that's where I'd be looking. The dual boiler machine looks particularly juicy, but then you're starting to invest the sort of money you could put into an italian made machine that will last much longer.


      • #4
        I've not had the same troubles as listed above, but I did fix a leaky steam valve, my steam valve had a worn O-Ring on the needle valve that needed replacing, so I'll throw a few things out there.

        Each of the Steam and Water outlets are controlled by needle valves. If there is water coming out of the steam or water wands then the needle valves must not be properly closed.

        There is mention of a pump running at start up, each of the knobs for the steam and water operate a micro switch as they are rotated letting the machine know to turn on the pump or whatever valve etc, so, valve closed=micro switch not operated=pump off=nothing coming from the wand, valve open=micro switch operated=pump on=steam or water from that particular wand.

        Methinks some of the above trouble may simply be something not right or out of position in relation to the needle valves and micro switches.

        The water dribbling from the Group Head, no idea.

        The trouble with my steam valve was that while steaming there would be water drip out beside the control knob, and as mentioned it was simply a worn O-Ring, but other than a small bit of mess it all worked as it should. Mine is a very early unit and still going strong at another family members house.


        • #5
          Originally posted by crazyhakins View Post
          twhere does the handle sit?
          Sits 10-20 degrees to the right of 90. Interestingly, this morning I pulled a shot without turning it all the way to its end point and it didn't leak.

          As far as next investment - I'd be tempted to go for something better than Sunbeam/Breville (although the 6910 has surprised me). What would be some other options?


          • #6

            How would I check if the needle valves aren't working properly?


            • #7
              A needle valve is only a tap, just a different shape inside, imagine a sharpened pencil pushed into a round hole, the sharpened pencil end is the "needle" and length of the pencil has a thread on it, so when the needle (pencil) is rotated the needle comes away from the seat (round hole).

              So, for any water to be coming out, either the needle isn't seated against the seat fully, or the needle or seat is worn, or there is contamination like perhaps scale in the seat area that is stopping the valve seal fully. Most needle valves are considered a reasonably precision device and its often recommended that they never be over tightened, as this will either deform the seat or put a ridge on the seal surface of the needle, that said, sometimes its worth tightening a needle valve a little more than would be expected to make sure the valve is fully seated, or to even help mate the two surfaces to ensure they will actually seal.

              So, with the machine off I'd have a careful listen to see if you can hear each of the micro switches operate when the knob is turned, it should only go a small way before the telltale sound of the micro switch is heard, by this stage the needle valve will actually be unseated and would allow steam or water to flow. Confirming the operation of the switches and the position of operation of the switches is worth while. I'd also close the valves kind of firmly a couple of times and see if they feel like they seat quickly and consistently each time.

              If you are unsure about the needle valves working, they are actually kind of easy to dismantle, and a visual inspection would be a good idea and could confirm how clean they are and if any scale is resent.


              • #8
                I've got the machine apart so can have a proper look at if the needles valves are seating properly. I'll check it out. Thanks.