Water treatment question.

tletourneau

New member
Sep 9, 2008
36
0
MN
Hello,

I'm trying to figure out how to, or if I need to, soften the water to my espresso and coffee machines without having to install a traditional water softener.

I currently have a Bunn EasyClear EQHP-54L http://www.bunnomatic.com/pages/commercl/6filter/filter_main.html#EQHP54 filter in-line for both my espresso and coffee maker but given my areas high water hardness I'm wondering if it's enough.

I've been looking at adding either an Everpure SR-X scale inhibiter (but I don't know if that's any different than the Bunn inhibitor) or a 8 or 12L rechargeable cartridge water softener. If I were to add one of them would I add it before or after the Bunn filter?

My espresso machine is a Espressimo 1750 and my brewer is a Bunn Twin ICB. My water hardness is 240 ppm.

Thanks,

Tom
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,557
0
Des Moines, Iowa
The EasyClear is a good start. But you have to that water softener on your espresso machine. Your water is around 13 grains which that means it's pretty damn hard.

Scale inhibitor is a funny word. It doesn't inhibit the growth of scale as it does prevent it from layering on the side of your machine. In your coffee brewer this is great. All the scale will simply fall to the bottom after 1 layer has built up and descaling will go with relative ease.

But for your espresso machine this is the downfall. I don't know how long you have had your Espressimo but hard water will kill it PDQ! The Espressimo has 1 mark against it being its American made. Where the Italians have been making espresso machines for almost 100 years, Grindmaster overcomplicated it in the making of this machine. It you take off the top your going to see why I say this.

The best way to describe it is a forest of pipes on top of the boiler. For this very reason I won't service one and turn down 2 or 3 a year because of it. No if you don't keep soft water to your Espressimo then those pipes along with the boiler will start to fill up with scale. Eventually you'll end up spending more then you'll ever want to fix it.

Everpure sales the SO-24 http://www.everpure.com/catalog/product ... pure&app=5

Essentially its nothing more then a 4" x 20" drop in water softener cartridge. People commonly refer to them as the Big Blue. They are heavy and can be messy but they are the cheapest among cartridge based softeners. If you can afford a simple water softener system I would suggest spending the $500 and buy a water softener from Culligan and have them install it. Now your only cost is the price of salt.
 
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tletourneau

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Sep 9, 2008
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MN
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CCafe,

Thanks for the response! I'm going to look into my options. Am I correct in thinking that the softener would go in before the EasyClear? Also is the EasyClear a good enough filter or should I look at replacing that while I'm at it?

The way my system is plumbed is 3/4" from mains -> Bunn EasyClear -> 1/2" manifold -> 3/8" feeders for equipment. The line is regulated to 55PSI.

I don't have an issue with the Culligan answer but I don't alway have access to the area that the mains come into the building so am looking for a solution that will work for both my espresso and coffee maker that I will have access to.

Thanks,

Tom
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
I would put it in after the water filter in this case. The reason is that you don't want coffee brewer to be supplied with soft water. There is no reason you need to replace your EasyClear. You don't need access to the water inlet to install a water softener. You just need access to the water line before the coffee brewer and the espresso machine. If you can't install a salt refillable softener then just look for at the cartridge based systems like the SO-24 by Everpure.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
JohnB there is a big difference between his setup and yours. His equipment is located in a coffee house and the volumes of water would kill your setup in a matter of weeks.

Secondly I would suggest for you that you change out your carbon block to filter down to .1 microns or a bare minimum of 1 micron. The prefilter at our shop turns dark brown after 6 months and it is 10 microns. So you can imagine all the particulate that is getting past that filter.

Most of the nasty stuff that is in water runs between .3 - .9 microns. Now I haven't known anyone to get sick lately but I always go for the better water filters anyway. His current filter is rated at .2 microns with a 5 gpm flow rate. His Twin ICB brewer requires a 1.5 gpm flow rate and that doesn't include his espresso machine. Most of the 10" filters run flow rates around 1.5 gpm. So the espresso machine could cause the ICB to short pot.

Also one other thing 55 ppm is roughly 3 grains of water hardness. Now almost all espresso machine manufactures say that the warranty is void if the water is over 3 grains. A lot of distributors won't even bother installing a softener if the water is at 3 grains and will tell you its not big deal. The problem is 3 grains is on the bottom side of hard water. Soft water is technically water less the 25 ppm or 1.5 grains. After that you will get build up but at a slower rate then say 7 grains which is hard water.

Personally as a distributor and a service agent I install water softeners if the water is over 1.5 grain. Its been my experience with distributors who refuse to install a water softener for water @ or less then 55 ppm is really taking advantage of the situation. That machine will eventually break down and they will be the service provider, so the motto is all good things come to those who wait. If I sell you a machine I don't want to see it on my bench for at least 5 years till its due for its first major overhaul.

I do have to say Chris Coffee has put together a nice home system and I will definitely suggest it to people seeing that they have included everything in 1 box and no additional parts are needed.
 
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tletourneau

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Sep 9, 2008
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MN
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I looked at the softeners at Chris Coffee and the commercial resin one looked interesting but it is 1/4" or 3/8" and I don't like the idea of restricting the water flow before the manifold.

How about an inline softener just for the espresso machine? The kind of softener you get when you buy them new (I got my machine used so no inline softener). Aren't some of those rechargeable and relatively inexpensive? Not that cost it the only concern, I want something that's going to last and be reliable but we currently only do about 30 doubles a day plus the steam for lattes and caps. I certainly hope that goes up but right now the Twin ICB is the work horse. I really want to avoid anything that would change the flavor of the brew as we're starting to get the reputation for having really good coffee.

Man, I really hate decisions some times :) .


Thanks,

Tom
 

JohnB

New member
May 30, 2008
113
0
Connecticut
CCafe said:
Secondly I would suggest for you that you change out your carbon block to filter down to .1 microns or a bare minimum of 1 micron. The prefilter at our shop turns dark brown after 6 months and it is 10 microns. So you can imagine all the particulate that is getting past that filter.

Most of the nasty stuff that is in water runs between .3 - .9 microns. Now I haven't known anyone to get sick lately but I always go for the better water filters anyway. His current filter is rated at .2 microns with a 5 gpm flow rate. His Twin ICB brewer requires a 1.5 gpm flow rate and that doesn't include his espresso machine. Most of the 10" filters run flow rates around 1.5 gpm. So the espresso machine could cause the ICB to short pot.

Also one other thing 55 ppm is roughly 3 grains of water hardness. Now almost all espresso machine manufactures say that the warranty is void if the water is over 3 grains. A lot of distributors won't even bother installing a softener if the water is at 3 grains and will tell you its not big deal. The problem is 3 grains is on the bottom side of hard water. Soft water is technically water less the 25 ppm or 1.5 grains. After that you will get build up but at a slower rate then say 7 grains which is hard water.

Personally as a distributor and a service agent I install water softeners if the water is over 1.5 grain. Its been my experience with distributors who refuse to install a water softener for water @ or less then 55 ppm is really taking advantage of the situation. That machine will eventually break down and they will be the service provider, so the motto is all good things come to those who wait. If I sell you a machine I don't want to see it on my bench for at least 5 years till its due for its first major overhaul.

Sorry, missed the first part about a commercial set up. As to the soft water I did drop my softness down from 120ppm to under 20ppm at the machine but I did not like the taste. I'm on well water & have been drinking it for decades so totally soft water did not cut it for me. I'm actually using water @ 80ppm currently & will deal with the descaling as required. I've already completely torn down both boilers to check for build up & its really not a big deal on the Vivaldi S1. CC is the distributor & suggests 50ppm or less for the machines they sell.

As to the filter all my well water runs through sediment/particulate filters before it even comes in the house so the carbon filter is just to clean up the softened water for the machine. I'll be replacing both filters soon so I will look at the various options at that time.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,557
0
Des Moines, Iowa
tletourneau said:
I looked at the softeners at Chris Coffee and the commercial resin one looked interesting but it is 1/4" or 3/8" and I don't like the idea of restricting the water flow before the manifold.

How about an inline softener just for the espresso machine? The kind of softener you get when you buy them new (I got my machine used so no inline softener). Aren't some of those rechargeable and relatively inexpensive? Not that cost it the only concern, I want something that's going to last and be reliable but we currently only do about 30 doubles a day plus the steam for lattes and caps. I certainly hope that goes up but right now the Twin ICB is the work horse. I really want to avoid anything that would change the flavor of the brew as we're starting to get the reputation for having really good coffee.

Man, I really hate decisions some times :) .


Thanks,

Tom

If your only pulling 30 doubles a day that SO-24 is going to be way overkill for you. For about $150 you could buy yourself a LT8 water softener. http://www.espressotechs.com/index.php? ... ucts_id=33 This is the kind I see a lot of. The only requirement is every 9 months to a year you will need to add more salt and will be required to run a flushing cycle which can take up to hour to run. But if you don't mind a little more work it saves in the long run. Just place underneath your espresso machine and connect of the fitting and you'll be off and running.
 

stefano65

New member
Aug 15, 2004
30
0
Elmira OR
Cuno are one of the best cartridge on the market
we personally use and sell a lot of the swc1350c
and also the S/S 8 lt "traditional" Italian stainless steel with the same resins inside
also a pre-filter for coursesness can be recommended
now the main question will be
convenience versus time
do you want a quick and easy cartridge to replace and spend tot amount of money every 1-2-3 months or take 1/2 of your time and regenerate the resins?
DO not save money or over look this step
you will regret later on
in repairs and bad quality drinks
 

petterz88

New member
Apr 13, 2009
3
0
Re:

CCafe said:
The EasyClear is a good start. But you have to that water softener on your espresso machine. Your water is around 13 grains which that means it's pretty damn hard.

Scale inhibitor is a funny word. It doesn't inhibit the growth of scale as it does prevent it from layering on the side of your machine. In your coffee brewer this is great. All the scale will simply fall to the bottom after 1 layer has built up and descaling will go with relative ease.

But for your espresso machine this is the downfall. I don't know how long you have had your Espressimo but hard water will kill it PDQ! The Espressimo has 1 mark against it being its American made. Where the Italians have been making espresso machines for almost 100 years, Grindmaster overcomplicated it in the making of this machine. It you take off the top your going to see why I say this.

The best way to describe it is a forest of pipes on top of the boiler. For this very reason I won't service one and turn down 2 or 3 a year because of it. No if you don't keep soft water to your Espressimo then those pipes along with the boiler will start to fill up with scale. Eventually you'll end up spending more then you'll ever want to fix it.

Everpure sales the SO-24 http://www.everpure.com/catalog/product ... pure&app=5

Essentially its nothing more then a 4" x 20" drop in water softener cartridge. People commonly refer to them as the Big Blue. They are heavy and can be messy but they are the cheapest among cartridge based softeners. If you can afford a simple water softener system I would suggest spending the $500 and buy a water softener from Culligan and have them install it. Now your only cost is the price of salt.
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
0
MASS.
Re: Re:

petterz88 said:
thanks for sharing the Everpure maybe i can your links
The link that CCafe posted is no longer accessible. I get this message:
The following file(s) have been blocked by the administrator: /catalog/productview.asp
Troubleshoot issues with Windows SharePoint Services.
 

petterz88

New member
Apr 13, 2009
3
0
Re:

CCafe said:
I would put it in after the water filter in this case. The reason is that you don't want coffee brewer to be supplied with soft water. There is no reason you need to replace your EasyClear. You don't need access to the water inlet to install a water softener. You just need access to the water line before the coffee brewer and the espresso machine. If you can't install a salt refillable softener then just look for at the cartridge based systems like the SO-24 by Everpure.


yeah its a better idea to use a water filter now , maybe you look up my water filters , i hope u can find good one here...

_________________
Everpure Filters
 
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tletourneau

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Sep 9, 2008
36
0
MN
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  • #15
I already have a filter, what I was looking for was a softener. I ended up getting a softner from Grindmaster, it was my most cost effective choice. It's a dual cartridge design, one softener and one carbon filter that's just for the espresso machine.
 
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