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Descaling frequency with water plumbed filter/softener


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I'm after a bit of advice please.

 

Living in Essex the water is so hard I have to chisel it out of the tap. As a consequence I Brita filter and frequently descale my machine. If I follow the instructions on the Seattle Coffee Gear site it takes me 8 hours to descale my Rocket. Frankly - Life is to short!!!!

 

I think I'm going to plumb in my machine and I am giving serious consideration to installing an Everpure ES06 cartridge ( http://www.omniwash.co.uk/warewashing/product/Everpure-ES06-Cartridge/902/32/).

 

I have 2 questions.... Firstly, if I install this how frequently should I descale afterwards?

 

Secondly, can anyone suggest a better product for a similar price that will reduce the frequencies of me having to descale? I want to make the right purchase first time.

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In my experience a lot of the filters and calcium treatment units on the market range from useless, to slowing down build up - but only if changed regularly and at much expense!

 

The only way I've heard of to put a stop to scale build up and the cheapest, is to fit a salt water softener and regenerate it regularly. There are however some grey areas over using these with drinking water as they are now mainly used for glass and dishwashers.

 

Good luck in your search!

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Like Daren I am also in hard water area and am interested in a solution for limescale. The e06 looks interesting as seems to target speciality espresso production /limescale and reports to have 12 month life cycle between change.

 

I guess change time has a lot to do with the hardness of water being filtered.

Edited by GS11
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I think you'll find that most of the major players in the water filter industry have a filter specifically designed for espresso machines. All they're doing is adjusting the size of the bypass in the head of the filter, depending on the type of equipment it is being connected to. This allows the correct amount of hard water to mix with the filtered to meet the allowed standards.

As you said GS11, change time is due to the hardness of the water, but more importantly the amount of water going through the unit.

I think you may also find that the 12 months is the maximum time a filter should remain in situ due to bacteria build up.

I've come across many filters over the years and yet to find one that'll do what Daren requires - without throwing lots of money at it!

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Thanks ran1. suppose the correct procedure is to periodically test the output of the filter for hardness with a kit. Darens issue regards not having to descale is compounded by the fact that some hardness in water is desirable from a taste quality perspective.

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Thanks Ran. I appreciate I'm not going to get to a stage where I'm never going to have to descale. I'm looking for a good affordable solution to have a significant impact on the frequency at which I currently descale.

 

As GS11 suggests, perhaps I'm also going to have to buy something to measure my water hardness and regularly test the softeners effectiveness over time and replace the cartridge when this dictates.

 

My question - how frequent should I descale after fitting the above softener? (assuming I replace the cartridge as dictates). I understand this might be a subjective answer based upon how I configure the device, but would I be stupid to think once/twice a year or am I in fantasy land?

 

Any advice is appreciated as I don't have a clue?

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Some time ago I did qoite a lot of"research?" into water filters as i intended to fit one for the whole house, except drinking water.I came across an extensive article about test done by the American Military at one of their engineering bases.The water at this and some other bases was exceedingly hard, they were tasked to find a suitable method to soften water.I cannot recall all the methods they set up but it was on avery large scale and very thorough mechanical and scientific test facility.

The outcome was that none of the methods woked very well,some not at all, some held matter in suspension for a short time and then it setteled out.

As has already been said the only sure way is the salt/resin exchange but this has its problems as softening the water makes it ascidic and does degrade copper pipe,

.It also puts salt in the water which is not good for drinking. (

I have a salt/resin water softener in the garage which i was going to install but after my "research" I decided not to. As already stated they now tend to be used for dishwashers andwashing M/chs. If you think about it when you fill your dishwasher with salt this is "the watersoftener" bit.

Without a running tally of water quality you do not know when to change filter cartridges,and your machine can be scaling up

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Daren, until you do so, try and use Volvic water. It significantly increases the time between descaling

 

Thanks Glenn.

 

Would you say Volvic is a major improvement over Brita filtered?

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Taste wise there is an improvement with Volvic over brita, but over the 2 months i used Volvic i found it a chore lugging back litres of water and spending more on water than coffee , especially with a HX machine.

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Taste wise there is an improvement with Volvic over brita, but over the 2 months i used Volvic i found it a chore lugging back litres of water and spending more on water than coffee , especially with a HX machine.

 

Hey it's good exercise! I am getting tired of the little plastic handles chopping off my fingers though.

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I have not descaled yet (no need to) and have had the machine since May, exclusively using Volvic

 

Taste wise there is an improvement to Brita

 

Is there an easy or obvious way to tell if/when you need to? (descale that is)

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I'm now thinking my filtered water system will be dedicated to espresso machine use only

 

Will be aiming at volvics levels of hardness i.e calcium 8.5 /magnesium11.8

 

Proposed water filter will have manual hardness adjustment i.e. everpure claris or equivalent

 

http://www.omniwash.co.uk/warewashing/product/Claris-Complete-System-Medium/1016/32/

 

http://www.omniwash.co.uk/uploads/files/Claris_Filters.pdf

 

Testing kit will be required to periodically check output hardness levels.

 

In the meantime staying with bottled water until I pull the trigger:)

Edited by GS11
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GS11.... I think I'm with you there. When do you reckon your going to go for it? If we time it right we could order together and save on a bit of postage.

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Daren, I assume that when you say "Brita" you means the jug with Maxtra filters.

If this is so, in my experience they are quite effective in reducing hardness only for the first week of usage. Effectiveness decreasing during the second week and thereafter it is completely useless. I came to this conclusion by observing the scale buildup in the kettle and, more recently, by checking with a TDS meter. Changing the maxtra filter every two weeks costs approx £60 for a year supply. As far as I can see this is less than the running cost of a larger, in-line filtering system, though still perhaps not as effective. Basically, what I do at the moment is testing the water every time I refill the Rancilio reservoir and if the TDS is above 190 I just put it through the jug again. This only happen towards the end of the second week of cartridge life. By the way, the TDS of my unfiltered tap water is 310 (+/-). I am aiming to descale every quarter as opposed to monthly as I do now.

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