The Sewing Place

Philips 7400 back from the brink!


Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« on: February 13, 2018, 09:27:24 AM »
I've been having trouble with my Steam Generator iron for some time now, the steam was either not coming, or coming in massive bursts accompanied by a loud growling noise, and spitting brown stuff.   A couple of weeks ago I decided to clean it, a rather big job, as it is in a permanent situation where it can't be knocked off.

So, I freed up the iron, got a large bowl, and turned the iron base upside down - emptying the reservoir and the calc clean site.  I swilled everything out with clean water - there was quite a bit of muck and calcification in there, plugged it in, and it was a bit better....  ><

It's not been marvellous since then, and on Sunday, I tried to do some ironing, and I had no steam at all  :o.  This was when I decided I needed a new SG Iron.  The prices!  To upgrade my Philips was going to cost nearly £200!! At this point, I thought it worth having another go at fixing it myself.....

So, last night, I watched as many videos as possible, to pick up any tips at all for getting this beast running again.  I had nothing to lose, and with that in mind, I used a tip which isn't recommended by Philips - white vinegar.

At stoopid o'clock this morning, I remembered that I had a large bottle of this, and dismantled the SGI to take it into the kitchen to be attended to.

I sat it on the drainer, emptied the reservoirs into a clean bowl (there was a lot of muck in there), and started the deep clean.  I diluted the white vinegar with water, and filled the reservoir and clean calc tank with it.  I left it to stand for a few minutes before swirling it round, and tipping it into the bowl.  There was so much stuff coming out - it looked a bit like iron filings, and no surprise that my iron wasn't working.  Not wanting my ironing to smell of vinegar, I rinsed both reservoirs out several times, before I switched the iron on....

No joy.  The iron was heating up, but no steam was being generated....

OH came down, and after the usual conversation about the early hour, and smell of vinegar in the kitchen he asked if it was working yet.  Unfortunately, it wasn't.

It was worth it though to try to save £200.  I decided I would give it one last go. 

I left it to heat up for a bit longer before trying again, primed the steam button, still nothing....

AND THEN - there was a massive blast of steam, and it just carried on coming!!  Just at the point that we had decided it had to be a new iron!

So, ladies, before ditching your iron, give it some tlc.  I used the white vinegar as a last resort, and although Philips do not recommend it, it appears to have done the trick.

I've left the SGI in the kitchen to try it again before I put it back in place - and it will be filled with distilled water as a precaution against calcium build ups.

Hope this helps someone who like me was on the verge of hurling their iron through the window, or buying a new one, as they are not cheap.

Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.


Re: Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 10:39:01 AM »
Hi Jessie,

I have a Polti Steam Generator iron, and Polti do something called Polti Kalstop this is a brown liquid in individual phials, comes in a box of 20 and costs £8.99.

I have just been into Google and typed in 'Polti calc clean', and this came up.  Also reading one or two of the other entries, someone mentions using 50% tap water, so presumably they are using  purified water for the rest.

I also have a Polti steamer, and had trouble with this a year or so back and thinking it was scale building up in the water tank I did what you have been doing with your tank and yes a lot of gunk came out despite using this Kalstop, however there was also something stopping the steam getting through and this was a very small vent that had got blocked, so it had to be dealt with by a Polti service/repair place.

I have always got my Kalstop from John Lewis, well worth using if it is going to prolong the tanks efficiency, but also rinsing out  often does no harm.  I just happen to live in an area that has very hard water.


Re: Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 11:03:23 AM »
although Philips do not recommend it,
Of course Phillips don't recommend it, they want you to buy a new iron.
Life's too short for ironing.


Re: Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 11:02:06 AM »
A friend of mine lives in a hard water area and was on about how she keeps her iron clean with regular empties and swill out.  Me, not emptied from the time I'd bought it, thought I'd better do it, although we are very nice soft water.  Ever since I've done it, first batch of steam gives me dirty marks on what ever is being ironed.  I'm a bit worried now because I couldn't do without it and you are right, they cost a small fortune now to replace.  I'll remember this tip though if the worst happens.


Re: Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 14:01:52 PM »
The water here is very hard and nearly drives me nuts with the mess it makes of the taps etc, I use citric acid about 4 times a year in my kettle, generator iron, steam cleaner, washing machine and dishwasher.


Re: Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 15:56:04 PM »
I think you can use a descaler on irons, I also get a old cotton tea towel stick the temperature and steam on max and give it a blast through occasionally, I use it for my work shirts and can’t risk grot on them :)
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132


Re: Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2018, 11:16:32 AM »
I had a philips steam generator that died in a similar manner, so bought a "new" one, which was actually ex-display for about £45. Before dumping the old one, I tried descaler, and eventually it gave an almighty whoosh of steam and was fine after that. I kept it as a spare. Interestingly, my new one has to be cleaned out every few uses, or will not heat up. It can be annoying, but if it means it will last longer, I suppose it is worth it.


Re: Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2018, 13:05:45 PM »
I have a steam generator with an 'inline' filter.  Has anyone descaled one like this?  I wondered about taking out the filter and replacing it with some plain cotton to act as a wick so the liquid can be drawn in. Any ideas?