Plumbing in your espresso machine Certain espresso
Plumbing in your espresso machine Certain espresso machines have the capability to be direct plumbed to your water line. This isn’t a difficult process but there are a few things you need to know first. 1. Water pressure The ideal pressure for espresso machines is around 2 bar or 25 psi. If your water line pressure is too high your machine may develop leaks. The addition of a
to your setup is recommended. When installing a pressure regulator, situate it between your water filter and espresso machine. This way an eventual reduction in pressure can help to indicate when your water filter cartridge is due for replacement. 2. Water quality Descaling espresso machines can do more harm than good. Prevention of scale buildup is the best course of action. It is essential to know the quality of the water going into your machine before you fill it with water for the first time. There are two key aspects of water quality to consider. Filtration
: A filter is required to remove impurities from the water. Tiny particles too small for the eye to see can clog up the small, narrow parts inside your machine. Hardness:
Water hardness is defined as the quantity of dissolved minerals in the water. High levels of these minerals result in a buildup of limescale inside the machine. This has a negative impact on its performance and causes serious maintenance issues. Contrary to popular belief, filtering water doesn’t soften it. Because the minerals are dissolved, a standard filter won’t remove these minerals from the water. The only way to soften hard water is with the use of a specialized softening filter. Checking your water quality Some parts of the country have soft water, other places have hard water. We recommend using a test strip to determine the hardness level of your water. Water hardness test strips can be found at hardware stores or bought online from Amazon. If the hardness is below 50 ppm or 3 grains per gallon you won’t need a softener, although installing one is still a good idea. If it is above these levels we recommend installing a softening filtration system
. Any machine damage or malfunction due to use with unfiltered or hard water is not covered by warranty. Even if you live in an area with soft water your local water supply may change over time. We recommend checking your water hardness every three months. If you have a softening filter installed, regularly checking the hardness is important so you know when to replace the cartridge. The frequency of changing the cartridge varies depending on inbound water hardness and volume used. Other filtration methods Be sure not to use distilled or deionized water in your machine as these have zero mineral content. This may sound like a good idea but in reality it will cause the machine to malfunction as it needs at least a few minerals dissolved in the water to detect its presence in the boiler. Furthermore, water with no minerals will not extract a very good tasting coffee, because those minerals help to extract the best flavor from your coffee. Reverse Osmosis (RO) is commonly used as a softening process but if it is too effective you run the same risk of malfunction as the distilled or deionized water. Many people who have a RO filter actually use a calcifier to add just a touch of dissolved minerals into the water after filtration. If you have an RO system installed it is important to test the water hardness to be sure it is suitable for your machine. 3. Connecting the Line Now that you have the right pressure and water quality, it’s time to connect your machine to the line. Most machines come with a braided line with 3/8“ BSPP (British Standard Parallel Pipe) fittings. La Spaziale machines use 1/4" BSPP. The BSPP fitting connects to a plastic pushconnect fitting (such as John Guest) in the common 3/8“ NPT or 1/4" NPT sizes. All our machines ship with this fitting attached to the braided line and are ready to connect with our filter and pressure regulator kits. Use teflon thread tape as added security for a good seal. The standard tubing used in kitchen applications is 3/8". This connects to your filter kit, pressure regulator and water source. Tubing is included with the filter kit. If your machine has an internal reservoir as well as the option to direct plumb, there will be a switch somewhere on the machine to select your water supply. Please read the instruction manual specific to your espresso machine prior to direct plumbing to ensure you follow all the required steps.