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Sediment? Limescale? How do you tell the difference?

This is a discussion on Sediment? Limescale? How do you tell the difference? within the Coffee and Espresso Machines forums, part of the Coffee Addicts category; WARNING : NOOB ALERT! Hi folks, I dug out my old espresso machine the other day after about 18 months of not being used. I ...

  1. #1
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    Sediment? Limescale? How do you tell the difference?

    WARNING : NOOB ALERT!

    Hi folks,

    I dug out my old espresso machine the other day after about 18 months of not being used. I ran a few cups of water through it (sans coffee) and naturally, it was confirmed that it needed descaling. I bought the solution, followed the instructions and saw an improvement. However, some sediment remains after a few rinses.

    However, I am not sure if this is actually sediment or limescale. When I first rinsed it, the flakes that came out were large (about the size of a raw sugar granule) and white in colour, with the occasional dark speck.

    After a few rinses, the amount of flakes is now smaller, as well as being smaller in size (like sand) and are almost clear in colour. I can't recall if I have seen these flakes before, however.

    So basically, I'm trying to figure out if this is natural sediment from the water, or limescale that is yet to come out. As I said, I'm a bit of a 'noob', so any experienced advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    What type of water do you use? Unless you're using unfiltered well water that has a sandy base, it's not likely you'd have much sediment. Could be the larger parts of scale being dissolved through descaling leaving behind the specks you're seeing. Also, what type/brand of machine are you descaling? With my KitchenAid Pro Line (Gaggia) that is equipped with 2 aluminum boilers I would also find dark specks in the water after descaling. It's been said these are from the boiler material itself and I'd agree.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  4. #3
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    If the water coming out of the tap has that much visible sediment in it then your dishwasher, washing machine, and ice maker's shut off valves are in jeopardy (and to some extent, the water heater). You should have a whole-house particle filter installed. What machine is it? Some are not compatible with some descaling chemicals. Put the flakes into some strong descaler. If they disappear then they are mineral scale. If not then it may be sediment from the water or it may be bits of boiler or heating element. Try descaling with filtered water to see if the source is the water or the machine.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy G. View Post
    If the water coming out of the tap has that much visible sediment in it then your dishwasher, washing machine, and ice maker's shut off valves are in jeopardy (and to some extent, the water heater). You should have a whole-house particle filter installed. What machine is it? Some are not compatible with some descaling chemicals. Put the flakes into some strong descaler. If they disappear then they are mineral scale. If not then it may be sediment from the water or it may be bits of boiler or heating element. Try descaling with filtered water to see if the source is the water or the machine.
    Why waste time reiterating what I've just explained?!? This is getting rather annoying!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745 View Post
    Why waste time reiterating what I've just explained?!? This is getting rather annoying!
    I give you permission to either read my posts more carefully or do not read them at all... your choice.
    You said nothing about the damage to other appliances if it is sediment and you gave no real way to test the difference between scale and sediment.
    But ya.. other than what I was talking about in my post, they were like twins. :-/

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    Give ME permission.........................
    Last edited by CCafe; 05-16-2011 at 07:57 AM. Reason: Don't harass my moderators they do good work.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

 

 

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