Hard Water and Equipment

Hard Water and Equipment
Category: Maintenance and Care
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Hard water in conjunction with high temperatures and high pressure will cause scale build up of coffee and espresso equipment.

  • Hard water in conjunction with high temperatures and high pressure will cause scale build up of coffee and espresso equipment.
  • While hard water will cause large maintenance bills long term, a hardness of approximately 100-200 PPM is ideal for brewing coffee.
  • For Espresso Machines we recommend a water hardness of no more then 50 PPM. This should keep scale build up to a minimum.
  • A Water Softener in front of the Espresso Machine is a must!
  • If you are considering an RO system for your coffee brewer or espresso machine, ask your equipment supplier first if the equipment will work with RO-Water! Many machines depend on the water being an electrical conductor, RO-Water is not an electrical conductor!

    Does hard water really create any problems for the homeowner?

    Hard water can be a very costly addition to your home primarily because it leaves a residue called hard water scale on all washable surfaces.

    • Over a period of time, hard water scale can clog your plumbing which eventually reduces water pressure. It damages water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers and virtually all appliances through which water passes. This scale leaves spots or streaks on dishes and glassware, and dulls the look of clothing, floors, sinks, tubs, and even hair.
    • Corrosion often occurs because of highly acidic water that gradually eats away pipes, appliances, heaters, boilers and air-conditioning units.
    • Water Softeners are designed to soften water so that it washes brighter, rinses cleaner and feels much better.

    There are several methods to soften water. Most are based on Ion exchanges mostly Sodium Ion exchanges or Hydrogen Ion exchanges (WAC - weak acid cation - softeners). Here are some articles for further reading. They will also point to the danger of using Hydrogen based Ion Exchangers. Watch your PH levels otherwise you will see major corrosion damage in your espresso machine.

  • http://www.home-barista.com/knockbox/warning-chloride-sulfate-levels-with-weak-acid-cation-softeners-e-g-everpure-claris-t31120.html
  • http://www.home-barista.com/knockbox/everpure-claris-adjustable-water-softening-filter-system-t11968-60.html#p266919
    • High TDS indicates Hard water, which causes scale buildup in pipes and valves, inhibiting performance. Since TDS is related to water hardness, using a TDS meter can be your first step in determining the degree of hardness of the water. Generally speaking, the higher the level of TDS (ppm), the higher the degree of hardness.
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