Hi, I Thought it would be useful to post a complete set of pictures here. I have owned an Alex izzo 3 for about 4 years and have used only brita filtered water all the time. About a year ago I replaced the temperature probe on the brew boiler which made me realise that I could access the inside of the boiler that way. In time I purchased a waterproof endoscope for around £20 and pushed it into the brew boiler and took photos. I was amazed at how scaled up it looked. I decided to descale by mixing 50 grammes of citric acid to around a litre of water. After dissolving the crystals in a little warm water I added cold water and after syringing the brew boiler out, I added the dissolved citric acid to the boiler, put the probe back in, brought up to temp, switched off and left for half hour then syringed dirty water out and flushed till clean.
I just wanted to highlight that any machine and in this case the izzo can be descaled at low cost and should be done maybe once a year depending on water. The Izzo is a great machine but could have done with valves underneath the boiler for easier descaling. Also I noticed after descaling, the coffee seems less bitter and more balanced. It makes you realise that when considering in buying a machine think about how easy it is to maintain. You will need to do this at some point. It would be good if machines were rated not only on performance but also on maintenance. Eg the ECM machines seem very well laid out and easier to maintain. The izzo a great machine but seems a little cluttered inside. Maybe DAVEUK with his expertise or others could shed some light on design considerations on machines out there regarding ease of maintenance.