You may decide to have your espresso machine plumbed directly into your water line, and there are a few things you need to know.
Water Pressure Facts
· The ideal pressure for espresso machines is somewhere around 2 BAR or 25 PSI. If your water line pressure is too high your machine may develop leaks. A pressure regulator is recommended for your setup to avoid possible damage. When installing a pressure regulator, it should be located between your water filter and the espresso machine. The eventual reduction in pressure is also one of the ways to indicate that your water filter cartridge needs to be replaced.
Water Quality Facts
- It is imperative to know the quality of the water going into your machine before you fill it with water the first time. There are two key aspects of the water quality to consider.
- Filtration – Water filtration is required in order to remove the impurities from the water. Tiny particles too small for the eye to see can clog up your espresso machine. Please be aware that water filtering does not soften the water as the minerals are dissolved not removed from the water. The only way to soften water is with a specialized softening filter.
- Hardness – Water hardness is defined as the quality of dissolved minerals in water. High levels of minerals in your water can cause serious performance problems in your machine. The minerals can result in build-up of limescale within your machines leading to serious maintenance issues, which are not covered by the warranty. Different regions have different water hardness levels. In order to find out the hardness level of your water, you are recommended to use Water Hardness Test Strips. If the hardness is below 50PPM or 3 Grains Per Gallon, a water softener is not needed, yet the installation of one is still recommended as water hardness levels can change throughout time (it is recommended that you check your water hardness at least once every three months).
- If a water softening filtration is installed, we strongly recommend that you regularly check the hardness in order to know when to replace the cartridge. The frequency of changing the cartridge will vary depending on the inbound water hardness and the volume used.
- Be aware using distilled or deionized water should not be used with your machine. Distilled and deionized water have zero mineral content which may sound good but, in reality, it will cause the machine to malfunction as it needs a few minerals dissolved in the water to detect its presence in the boiler. Furthermore, water with no minerals will not produce good tasting coffee as those minerals help to extract the best flavor from coffee.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
· Reverse osmosis is commonly used as a softening process but if it is too effective you run the same risks of malfunction as when using distilled or deionized water. Many who use an RO filter will use a calcifier to add 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. We have several water filtration systems and reverse osmosis filters that we recommend our clients use to maintain best functioning machines.