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Mara X: Redirect OPV discharge water from drip tray to re-use – easy mod instructions (with pics)


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Hi all. New to this forum and a proud owner of a Mara X. I opened up the machine up today to check it out before doing the mod and noticed that the steel plate that separates the water tank from the main compartment has a small partially cut area at the top that aligns with the existing notch at the front of the water tank itself. It's almost as if it has been designed to be 'popped' out to make a hole that the tube from the OPV could pass through and directly into the tank. I'd post an image but don't seem to be able to do that. Anyone else noticed this on their model? 

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What? This easy mod is to re-rout the water discharged from the over pressure valve (OPV) so that instead of being dumped in the drip tray and wasted, it will get reused in the machine. The mod is e

It's the highest point in the system, I suppose if any air gets in it's goring to sit there... Interestingly Vibe pumps can have de-aerators (much less common now), but they are always after the pump,

Of course, I am the first person in history to discover the idea of re-using OPV discharge water. I came up with this geniusity right after I finished inventing the wheel (and the word geniousity).  💡

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3 minutes ago, Dave135 said:

Hi all. New to this forum and a proud owner of a Mara X. I opened up the machine up today to check it out before doing the mod and noticed that the steel plate that separates the water tank from the main compartment has a small partially cut area at the top that aligns with the existing notch at the front of the water tank itself. It's almost as if it has been designed to be 'popped' out to make a hole that the tube from the OPV could pass through and directly into the tank. I'd post an image but don't seem to be able to do that. Anyone else noticed this on their model? 

I think you need a few posts in order to post images. Would be interesting to see your image. 

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Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

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On 26/02/2021 at 16:38, Guido said:

Thank you! I will give you all a short update. Meanwhile, I have made around 4 cups of coffee and I think everything is working as intended.

The first shot I had made with the hood off as shown in the photo before. I did this to check if there would be any leakage in any of the new connections i had made. I didn't discover any. Simultaneously I recorded a movie of the pressure gauge, it seemed to show some fluctuation just below 10 bar in the beginning, however, this could be due to my bad puck prep. Doing the mod itself was straightforward, the most time was spent on getting the casing back on. I do have to say that you need a good amount of force getting the tubes onto the blue Y connector.

The next morning I made a recording of the noise. In the beginning when the pump first activates, the machine seems to rattle a bit more than I remembered from before, I might check later if I need to fix any of the tubing. The recording shows a little higher db level but nothing outrages, and no burps or any of that kind. Just a nice constant buzz around 66 dB. Pressure was a rock solid 10 bar this time.

I am pleased with the outcome. In about a week or so, I am going to open it up again to see everything is still in order. Thanks for all the help guys!

Screenshot_20210226-085741.thumb.jpg.733012e53b9d3dca2398dfd1f9324b9b.jpg

 

 

@Guido FYI I did the same mod as you and downloaded what I assume is the same app. Phone is in a case and was laid down right in front of the machine - below is the db reading from shot start to finish. I'm assuming that my ambient noise is just quieter than you as otherwise the meter almost reads the same, albeit quite a bit quieter! I didn't do a recording before the mod but I really don't think there is an increase in noise whilst pulling a shot, only on startup if at all.

ACtC-3eUXNRrDC6XHNxzZCk8kOjA6_ziVqk64r39M8mMnCqOpbNzuvbAqbVbvlQ4X12q3sb8oAacKxew1zZfRkwYIJ34rNyc1wfQh4gEDgMmhx1Rc5Jv7Q3obJ6ssNw9Jodvh_0ZlBB9_G4eZ2l7ar-2DRm6NQ=w614-h1329-no?authuser=0

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20 hours ago, Dave135 said:

New to this forum and a proud owner of a Mara X. I opened up the machine up today to check it out before doing the mod and noticed that the steel plate that separates the water tank from the main compartment has a small partially cut area at the top that aligns with the existing notch at the front of the water tank itself. It's almost as if it has been designed to be 'popped' out to make a hole that the tube from the OPV could pass through and directly into the tank. I'd post an image but don't seem to be able to do that. Anyone else noticed this on their model? 

Interesting. I didn't know you need a minimum post count to add a photo, but in the meantime you can add a photo somewhere else on the internet (i.e. https://imgur.com/) and link to it from here (or do you need a minimum post count to add links as well?) 😉

Posting a link would also help you boost your post count. 🤣

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23 minutes ago, Doram said:

Interesting. I didn't know you need a minimum post count to add a photo, but in the meantime you can add a photo somewhere else on the internet (i.e. https://imgur.com/) and link to it from here (or do you need a minimum post count to add links as well?) 😉

Posting a link would also help you boost your post count. 🤣

No, sadly the spammers can post links immediately.

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1 hour ago, Doram said:

Interesting. I didn't know you need a minimum post count to add a photo, but in the meantime you can add a photo somewhere else on the internet (i.e. https://imgur.com/) and link to it from here (or do you need a minimum post count to add links as well?) 😉

Posting a link would also help you boost your post count. 🤣

Thanks, however I already tried that and it didn’t work, for me anyway.

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23 hours ago, Dave135 said:

Hi all. New to this forum and a proud owner of a Mara X. I opened up the machine up today to check it out before doing the mod and noticed that the steel plate that separates the water tank from the main compartment has a small partially cut area at the top that aligns with the existing notch at the front of the water tank itself. It's almost as if it has been designed to be 'popped' out to make a hole that the tube from the OPV could pass through and directly into the tank. I'd post an image but don't seem to be able to do that. Anyone else noticed this on their model? 

So, this is what I was referring to. Notice the cuts in the steel panel. They are in the same location as the cutaway in the water tank. The water tank stands a little higher than this but if the small portion of steel was ‘popped’ out I reckon you could run the tube from the OPV directly into the water tank.

C1CAA920-6FCA-4F6A-853B-1E78F6A9A973.jpeg

FCDFBDF6-BC4D-4801-A281-D6DD65847DA2.jpeg

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13 minutes ago, Dave135 said:

The water tank stands a little higher than this but if the small portion of steel was ‘popped’ out I reckon you could run the tube from the OPV directly into the water tank.

Thanks for sharing the photos and info. Looks exactly as you describe it. Strange that they ship the machine all ready for an OPV tube redirected back to the tank but don't finish the job.

Anyway, with this perpetration you can do it yourself in 30 seconds whenever you want, which is great!

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For those of us with no cut out, I wonder how easy it would be to drill a hole at the top and feed the OPV tube through like their intending with the newer units? I didn't want to do this method and bung up the fourth spoke on the brass X connector a-la @DavecUK because I wrongly assumed at the time that the pipes would be pressurised and was nervous about whatever bung I used would it pop off and leak in use.

Also wondering if they are putting this in almost as an optional mod that users/retailers can carry out? To ship a finished machine with a part that has been intentionally modified by design but then only partially finished as part of manufacture would be a bit odd.

Edited by pandabear
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55 minutes ago, pandabear said:

I wonder how easy it would be to drill a hole at the top and feed the OPV tube through like their intending with the newer units?

It would probably be very easy to do if you have the right tools and skill, and difficult if you don't. 🙂 It is basically cutting through a sheet of stainless steel and a sheet of plastic - not a problem if you have something to do it with, and the neatness depends on the person doing it.

If you don't want to take the risk, you can start by doing the mod internally and see how you like that. The internal mod is 100% reversible - no cutting, no permanent changes to the machine, just popping some tubes off connectors and connecting them in a different way. It is working perfectly for many people (myself included), is invisible (no cuts and no tubes going into the tank) and if you don't like it - you can just go back to stock or do the tube-to-tank mod instead.

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10 minutes ago, Doram said:

It would probably be very easy to do if you have the right tools and skill, and difficult if you don't. 🙂 It is basically cutting through a sheet of stainless steel and a sheet of plastic - not a problem if you have something to do it with, and the neatness depends on the person doing it.

If you don't want to take the risk, you can start by doing the mod internally and see how you like that. The internal mod is 100% reversible - no cutting, no permanent changes to the machine, just popping some tubes off connectors and connecting them in a different way. It is working perfectly for many people (myself included), is invisible (no cuts and no tubes going into the tank) and if you don't like it - you can just go back to stock or do the tube-to-tank mod instead.

I've already done the "no extras" mod, but there is a rasp there on start up and wonder if when the pump is actively trying to suck from the tank and now OPV pipe whether it would end up being detrimental to the OPV in some way? Otherwise I would be happy to leave as is.

FWIW all MaraX tanks have the notch AFAIK, so you'd literally need to cut/drill a corresponding hole or cut out in the stainless sheet if you have an older variant. The concern there again (as raised in the topic earlier) is if it has to go back under warranty they could question why you've drilled a hole!

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6 minutes ago, pandabear said:

I've already done the "no extras" mod, but there is a rasp there on start up and wonder if when the pump is actively trying to suck from the tank and now OPV pipe whether it would end up being detrimental to the OPV in some way? Otherwise I would be happy to leave as is.

FWIW all MaraX tanks have the notch AFAIK, so you'd literally need to cut/drill a corresponding hole or cut out in the stainless sheet if you have an older variant. The concern there again (as raised in the topic earlier) is if it has to go back under warranty they could question why you've drilled a hole!

I don't see how the internal mod would have any negative effect on the OPV, but maybe this is better answered by DaveC.

@DavecUK - perhaps you can explain the pros and cons of redirecting the OPV to the pump vs. redirecting to the tank? I redirected mine to the pump based on your suggestion (and I love it), but then you did your own machine to the tank. I think this may have confused people considering which way to go, as we all value your opinion as an authority on the matter.

@pandabear1. Not all water tanks have the cut (mine doesn't). 2. You can try the back to tank mod without cutting anything to see how you like it: There is room to re-rout the tube without cutting the metal, and you can put the tube over the edge of the tank for the experiment (tank cover won't sit flush). I believe a metal drill will make a hole in the case, or you could cut it with a Dremel or similar tool.

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14 minutes ago, Doram said:

I don't see how the internal mod would have any negative effect on the OPV, but maybe this is better answered by DaveC.

@DavecUK - perhaps you can explain the pros and cons of redirecting the OPV to the pump vs. redirecting to the tank? I redirected mine to the pump based on your suggestion (and I love it), but then you did your own machine to the tank. I think this may have confused people considering which way to go, as we all value your opinion as an authority on the matter.

These are the pros and cons for me:

Pros

  • Neat installation, not visible externally
  • been done before in the past (Dallacorte and others)

Cons:

  • My machines need to operate close as possible to stock, I might get next years firmware or revised parts to try. They are mine in as much as manufacturers expect me to store them not sell them.
  • I like to be able to check outflow from expansion valve sometimes (diagnostic)
  • I'll not get the air effect..(but that's simply an audible issue and not going to damage anything).
  • My mod was easy with the minimum of work to do...(I'm lazy)
  • I do test of concept stuff, hence my mod was to check doing it my way (potentially for future Lelit changes I might advise)
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39 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

Pros

  • Neat installation, not visible externally
  • been done before in the past (Dallacorte and others)

Cons:

  • My machines need to operate close as possible to stock, I might get next years firmware or revised parts to try. They are mine in as much as manufacturers expect me to store them not sell them.
  • I like to be able to check outflow from expansion valve sometimes (diagnostic)
  • I'll not get the air effect..(but that's simply an audible issue and not going to damage anything).
  • My mod was easy with the minimum of work to do...(I'm lazy)
  • I do test of concept stuff, hence my mod was to check doing it my way (potentially for future Lelit changes I might advise)

So let's see if I understand correctly: for normal people, who don't test machines for manufacturers and just want to use at home -

Internal mod 

Pros

  • Neat installation, not visible externally
  • been done before in the past (Dallacorte and others)
  • 100% reversible
  • Easier/Harder - no need to cut anything; but you do need to pop tubes off connectors and connect them in a different way 

Cons

  • Might (or might not) hear some air noise in the system (an audible effect that will not cause any damage). 
  • No option to check outflow from expansion valve (diagnostic)

External (back to tank) mod

Pros

  • No air noise in the system
  • Done more often in the past (most machines)
  • Reversible (if you didn't cut the machine)
  • Easier/Harder - less need to pop tubes off connectors; but you do need to cut plastic tank and possibly the metal case for a neater installation (if machine didn't come pre-cut).
  • Option to measure outflow from expansion valve (diagnostic)

Cons

  • Less neat installation - OPV tube runs to the tank, need to cut tank and/or metal (if machine didn't come pre-cut)
  • Easier/Harder - need to cut tank and/or metal (if machine didn't come pre-cut); less tubes to move.
  • Not completely reversible (if you cut the tank/metal). 

@DavecUK - 1. Do you agree to the above? 2. If you were a normal user, which mod would you choose for your own machine (disregarding laziness, as I think it's fair to say that both options are easy to do)?

 

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10 hours ago, DavecUK said:

I'd probably reroute the output to the pump....with one caveat, I don't know how the modified Lelit quiet pump would react long term, presumably OK.

and that was probably my only concern, if it might compromise the pump performance but reading this and previous posts that seems like a low risk. Presumably any air in the OPV line post mod would be pushed through the first time the OPV opens (as in a backflush), effectively bleeding the system?

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