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Hot Water Tap on the Espresso Machine - Should I use it ?

Hot Water Tap on the Espresso Machine - Should I use it ?
Category: Troubleshooting
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Using the Hot Water from the Espresso Machine might not be a good idea. If your espresso machine features a dual boiler or HX (heat exchanger) like most commercial espresso machines, the hot water from the tap comes very likely from the steam boiler and that water might not be as fresh as you think.

Using the Hot Water from the Espresso Machine might not be a good idea. If your espresso machine features a dual boiler or HX (heat exchanger) like most commercial espresso machines, the hot water from the tap comes very likely from the steam boiler and that water might not be as fresh as you think.

We also get calls of customers raising concern about some cloudiness or grey colour in the water dispensed from the hot water tap (spigot).

The hot water dispensed from dual boiler or HX espresso machines (such as the LaSpaziale, Quickmill, E61 machines, Rancilio) comes from the steam boiler, in the same way as it is done in most commercial traditional espresso machines. The steam boiler evaporates water to produce steam for the steam wand which results in mineral saturation and deposits in the water remaining in that boiler. One way to ensure delivery of crystal-clear water from the hot water spigot is to feed the machine with distilled water or RO water. This however is impossible because the electronic board will fail to recognize the water level in the boiler, as distilled water is a dielectric. A practical way to keep the hot water delivered from this machine clear, is to frequently flush-out the content of the steam boiler by dispensing minimum 3-4 cups of hot water daily, preferably in the morning, when the machine is first turned on. By doing so, the water content in the steam boiler, which may have a higher content of minerals will be displaced by fresh water from the water filter/softener.

The water for the espresso and coffee shots comes from another boiler, which is a flow-through type. It does not accumulate minerals in the way the steam boiler works, and therefore the water from the espresso brew head is always with the same clarity as the water fed into the machine.

 

The main purpose of the hot water spigot is to make Americano beverages, preheat ceramic cups and to make teas as well. Frequent use of the machine to make teas however, will quickly deplete the capacity of the water softener cartridge and it will have to be changed in shorter intervals.

Some more great reading:

https://www.freshcup.com/beware-the-hot-water-tap/

https://www.scottrao.com/blog/dont-use-the-water-from-your-steam-boiler

https://www.home-barista.com/espresso-machines/grey-water-from-hot-water-wand-t16884.html

 

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