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Thread: New ECM Technika IV profi experience

  1. #51
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    Ah, forgot to attach the pic.
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  2. #52
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    Wether it is a HX, single/double boiler you are cleaning the grouphead with the backflush detergent, so yep all good, all the same. I use the detergent once a fortnight, but I backflush with just water 2 or 3 times a week. It no doubt depends on the usage of your machine.

    Whenever I use the detergent, I always pull a shot straight after and bin it.

  3. #53
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    Thanks, Caps! I was planning to do it once a fortnight too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caps View Post
    Wether it is a HX, single/double boiler you are cleaning the grouphead with the backflush detergent, so yep all good, all the same. I use the detergent once a fortnight, but I backflush with just water 2 or 3 times a week. It no doubt depends on the usage of your machine.

    Whenever I use the detergent, I always pull a shot straight after and bin it.

  4. #54
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    No worries, I use this CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Other Stuff - Cafetto Evo 500g - Medium Jar

    I also take out the showerscreen and seal at the same time and soak that overnight with my portafilter baskets in the detergent. I bought that grouphead brush from Beanbay to scrub the grouphead also.

    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Cafelat Coffee Accessories - Cafelat 58mm Espresso Machine Cleaning Brush
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  5. #55
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    Morning,

    Got a couple of questions relating to maintenance of an HX machine.

    Is the cleaner (as shown in the picture) suitable for backflushing an HX machine, like ECM Mechanika? How often do you backflush your HX machine? It's my understanding that there is no difference in backflushing HX machine and single boiler machine (like Silvia). Are there any other things that I should be aware of when backflushing my Mechanika?

    Thanks. Have a nice weekend!
    I chemical backflush weekly, and backflush with clean water after every use.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I chemical backflush weekly, and backflush with clean water after every use.
    How many shots do you normally pull a day?

  7. #57
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    It's not just about the quantity of coffee that you put through your machine you know...

    Coffee oils, whether a mere smear or a great blob of the stuff, oxidises immediately it comes into contact with air and this process slowly but surely turns the oil residues into a kind of varnish. The longer this is left in place, the more difficult it is to remove. By a method of trial and error (several years ago), have discovered that a weekly detergent back-flush coupled with water only back-flushes after every coffee session, the Group internals can be kept in pristine, clean condition.

    Given how cheap and simple this is to do on a weekly basis, for the peace of mind that your machine is being looked after, it is something that should become second nature to do....

    My $0.02 worth...

    Mal.
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  8. #58
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    How many shots do you normally pull a day?
    3 sometimes 4.
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    Thanks guys! Will do chemical backflush once in a week then.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    Thanks guys! Will do chemical backflush once in a week then.
    Thanks Yelta and Mal, I think I will be moving to once a week now too....

  11. #61
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Interestingly, although my Synchronika came with a sample sachet of Cafetto, the otherwise fairly comprehensive manual doesn't mention backflushing at all!

    Being a bit cautious, I did a bit of searching before jumping in; basically just confirmed what I already knew, but one thing I read in a few places was that overly frequent chemical backflushing on E61 machines should be avoided as the solution eventually gets past seals and degrades the grease on the brew lever cam, leading to more maintenance (or potentially wear if not addressed quickly).

    Whether that's accurate I can't really say, though it makes sense to my layman's mind - maybe a tech can confirm or bust?

    I guess the principle is that more of a good thing isn't necessarily better. So far I've gone with slightly under fortnightly chemical cleans and daily backflush with water. Not noticing any funky rancid flavours and the showerscreen hasn't been too gross, so I'll stick with 1-2 weeks unless there's a compelling reason not to.

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    I'll take a look at the manual. In the meantime, I found a video by ECM demonstrating how to do the chemical backflush. In the end of the video, there is a recommendation that the chemical backflush be done after 150 cups.

    Here is the link to the video:

    https://youtu.be/c9hY_OGyE9s
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  13. #63
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Great find!

    Hmm, 150 cups would be near enough to 2 months for me... not sure I'm entirely comfortable leaving it quite that long!

  14. #64
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    Me either...

    Mal.
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    Pretty sure the over-use of a backflush detergent is aimed at those people who think it needs to be done every day (in a home setting). Once per week over several years has never been an issue for any of my machines, two of which were E-61 Group jobs...

    Mal.
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  16. #66
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Routine service should mitigate the concerns anyway...
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  17. #67
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    True enough - a weekly schedule also makes it pretty easy to remember
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    You can, of course, simply put some food grade lubricant on the cams (which is very easy to do, once you know how). You could then chemically back flush whenever you wanted. But why you'd want to on a weekly basis, in a home setting is rather puzzling. Sounds OCD to me.

  19. #69
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    I'm with Mal on the hygiene issue...

    We see plenty of machines and it's pretty easy to pick the well maintained ones from the junkers. Coffee oils go rancid and then solidify. Get rid of 'em!

    In my experience, squeaky levers are more frequently found in poorly maintained machines (6 years old and never serviced? We see them every week... ) and those where the owners follow commercial guidelines and use way too much backflush detergent. A little goes a long way.

    A squeaky lever is easily rectified and plenty of CS'ers attend to it and showers/group seals themselves. 5 min and a little food grade lube and you're done.

    FWIW, we recommend:

    End of the day/week
    1. Rinse the group head
    2. Run a backwash according to the suggestions below:


    • (daily) 3 x 5 seconds water backflush
    • (weekly) chemical backflush of up to 10 x 3* seconds using teaspoon backwash detergent. Watch the exhaust and when the suds are clean, this step may be discontinued. You may need only 3 or 4 x 3 seconds in low use situations. Follow with a further water backflush as above.

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    Just learned a new term, "squeaky lever". Is it inevitable (i.e. will happen anyway after certain period of time despite proper maintenance) or is it caused by lack of maintenance?

    I also notice that there does not seem to be a uniform technique for chemical backflushing. Both ECM video (link as per my earlier posting) and Rocket video (found the video from Chris's url above) show different techniques of backflushing. Chris's backflushing technique explained above also seems to be slightly different from the videos. Is each technique equally acceptable?

    Thanks.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    Chris's backflushing technique explained above also seems to be slightly different from the videos. Is each technique equally acceptable.
    Yes- so long as you do a water backflush each day and chemical each week, do what you do- but go easy on the detergent...

    Cheers

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    I would suggest weekly backflushing without cleaner and monthly backflushing with cleaner. That worked for me for many years.
    That's exactly what I do and that has served me well. I only make 2 cups a day. So weekly backflushing with cleaner, for me, seems too much. That would be chemical backflushing after only 14 cups.
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  23. #73
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Thanks all - some gold info here! Maybe worth splitting to an "E-61 maintenance" thread?

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    Hi,

    I have question that I hope you guys can help. I'll be away for about two weeks, and my ECM will not be used during that period. Do you think that I need to empty the boiler? Thanks.

  25. #75
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    I don't know that it'd matter too much for two weeks in terms of protecting it, but you might as well empty it anyway just so you don't have stale steam/hot water when you return. Talk_Coffee always mentions using a bit of your boiler water each day to refresh it, so it'd probably be worth emptying it. I empty it every time I take my machine somewhere.
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    Thanks! Will empty the boiler then. :thumbup:
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  27. #77
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    Hi,

    I have question that I hope you guys can help. I'll be away for about two weeks, and my ECM will not be used during that period. Do you think that I need to empty the boiler? Thanks.
    I'd be inclined to leave it full, even if you drain the boiler there will still be some residual water/dampness, this will cause more problems than the boiler remaining full.

    If your concerned about water freshness run a tank full of fresh water through it on your return.

    We frequently go away for extended periods and don't drain the boiler, never a problem.

    Think about drowned electronics and cameras, on retrieval the first thing you do is wash it down then immerse it in fresh water to exclude oxygen then get the object to a repairer, moisture will result in faster corrosion than total immersion.

    Hope that helps.
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  28. #78
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Well yes and no. It's not like your boiler is full to the top with water, so there is exposed boiler full or otherwise. But I agree with your thoughts, and I guess at worst it makes no difference, and at best it will reduce the likelihood of corrosion.

    Long term, they do suggest emptying the boiler, so there is SOME merit in emptying it, even at a short length. JetBlack when I emailed them last summer suggested it'd be fine to leave water in for a week or two, but to drain if going into storage for 6 weeks.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that this is a stainless steel boiler. I haven't a clue if it makes a difference, but I'm sure that's something for someone more educated than I to advise about.

    So - maybe I change my tune: I'd follow after Yelta's advice, keep it full and change the water on return - but if you're away for more than two weeks, to follow the manufacturers advice and to empty it.
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  29. #79
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    For a couple of weeks its probably a case of 6 of one or half a dozen of the other Al, had not thought about the tank being stainless.

    On the other hand we are told to keep diesel fuel tanks topped up during long periods of idle time, reduces the volume of air on top of the fuel resulting in less (not eliminates) condensation and possible corrosion, although I suspect this is also because water causes big problems with diesel fuel pumps.
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    Thanks, Yelta and Readreal. I'll keep the boiler full, and refresh the water before using it again.

    Very helpful discussion.

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    Hi,

    It has been a while since my last post. For all ECM users out there, do you regularly descale your HX machine? I read two conflicting opinions. First says that you don't need to descale an HX machine as long as you are using good water filter, resulting in a soft water. The other opinion says otherwise. You need to descale regularly. The manual books suggests that you should regularly descale your ECM machine.

    I've been using my ECM for almost a year now and I've never descaled mine. Any thoughts?

  32. #82
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    That doesnt sound like two different opinions.

    Tell us about your water.

    You can always pull the mushroom and check for scale. Descaling an hx isnt for the faint hearted
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    I discussed this with the Australian importer of ECM machines just last week when i had to replace a leaking boiler element seal, my ECM Technika Profi is about 3.5 years old.

    Firstly and most importantly - exactly what trentski said, what is your water like?

    I was descaling mine about every 6 months, not because I had any problems just because I thought it was the right thing to do. I have soft water to start with and I also use a filter/softner. The descaling solution had degraded the seal causing a leak. There is also something in the descaling solution which is not good for your SS boiler. He also mentioned it has a bad effect on the some of the other parts in the group head.

    So my new cleaning routine now as suggested by the importer is (providing you are using soft filtered water) is to back flush with water once a day, back flush with cleaning solution once a month (but this would depend on how many coffees you make daily/weekly - I also clean the showerscreen reguarly) and descale every 2 years - but again as trentski said, I will be checking the mushroom every 6 months for scale, and when i do that I will also be checking the boiler water level probe.
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    Thanks for all of your replies. Appreciate it.

    I have been using bottled water since Day 1. Although I have never checked the hardness of my water, I am quite sure that it should fall under the "soft" category.

    I will try to check the mushroom. When doing so, what should I look for? I have been searching for a tutorial video on YouTube without any luck so far (found one but it was not really great).

    Thanks.

  35. #85
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    Thanks for all of your replies. Appreciate it.

    I have been using bottled water since Day 1. Although I have never checked the hardness of my water, I am quite sure that it should fall under the "soft" category.

    I will try to check the mushroom. When doing so, what should I look for? I have been searching for a tutorial video on YouTube without any luck so far (found one but it was not really great).

    Thanks.
    This is what you don't want to see.

    After descale.

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    Very interesting this. For what is worth, here in sunny GB, the consensus on the coffee forums dot co dot uk here is to use bottled soft water.

    In the UK there are only 3 main brands of water which will not scale up your machine, one of them being Volvic. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of bottled water is very hard an high in minerals.

    There has been tests done and, on a hard water area, a Britta filter will lose its effectiveness pretty quickly, sometimes as fast as 3 weeks.

    I personally use bottled water which I know it is soft (you can look into the water composition and work out), but as a general rule of thumb you want something below 110 TDS. However, ironically a tasty espresso needs water which is rich in minerals, so one technically goes against the other.

    I've checked my mushroom not too long ago and all is good (1 year or so from new). One member in the UK forum has been using Volvic for 2 years and the machine has no signs of scaling up.

    One forum member descaled his Rocket machine and the mushroom showed signs of corrosion.

    For me, when the time comes for descaling, I think I'll take the machine to be serviced at the authorised dealer and they can take care of that as they know what they are doing more than I do. :-)

    Some reading material on the matter:

    http://users.rcn.com/erics/Water%20Q...ater%20FAQ.pdf

    http://londiniumcoffee.blogspot.co.u...o-machine.html

  37. #87
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    A useful thread guys, thanks.

    For someone who has had a technika IV for just over 3 months this made for a great read.

    I have gotten a regular maintenance routine going thanks to this thread, backflushing every fortnight or so but am planning for the day I will need to go and do the group head seals. Does anyone know the exact sizing? Looking at a few websites it looks like they come in a few sizes. I'd like to have a stock of a some on hand so the machine isnt out of action at any point. Are there any other spares that are good to have on hand while I am at it ?

    Also considering doing some minor upgrades as well...shower screen...naked portafilter handle...new basket

    If this has already been discussed, please feel free to send links to the thread my way.

    cheers,
    andy

  38. #88
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammma View Post
    A useful thread guys, thanks.

    For someone who has had a technika IV for just over 3 months this made for a great read.

    I have gotten a regular maintenance routine going thanks to this thread, backflushing every fortnight or so but am planning for the day I will need to go and do the group head seals. Does anyone know the exact sizing? Looking at a few websites it looks like they come in a few sizes. I'd like to have a stock of a some on hand so the machine isnt out of action at any point. Are there any other spares that are good to have on hand while I am at it ?

    Also considering doing some minor upgrades as well...shower screen...naked portafilter handle...new basket

    If this has already been discussed, please feel free to send links to the thread my way.

    cheers,
    andy
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Andy.

    Most subjects get revisited regularly, try the search feature at the top right of the page, I just typed in Technika and got heaps of hits.
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  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffe4me2 View Post
    Great advice Yelta.
    Cheers
    JT
    Well done Andy/JT.

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