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Thread: Can I run a San Marino Lisa 2 group on a tank?

  1. #1
    Ami
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    Can I run a San Marino Lisa 2 group on a tank?

    I am picking up one of these machines for free on Monday. I have serviced and tinkered with various espresso machines for years, yeah I know they run hot and I can drop the boiler pressure to about 1 bar compensate. It's just for home use.
    (It may have the CTS/Thermosiphon, I am not sure yet, I am not looking that gift horse in the mouth)

    The technical manual states the following:

    WARNING
    If hydraulic connection is not to the water mains but to an external tank, it is advisable to place a non-return valve between the
    machine and the tank. The connection pipe between the machine and the external tank must not be greater than 150 cm.
    To me, that appears to support that it does or can draw water from a tank without an additional pump.. however it also says..

    The water mains must provide cold water for human consumption (potable water) at a pressure between 1 and 5 bar inclusive If the pressureis greater than 5 bar, connect a pressure reducer upstream from the pump.
    I just have a brita jug, I do not have a plumbed filtration system so would prefer to run the lisa from a tank. I can add a vibe pump if required, but would rather not if I can avoid it. Can anyone tell me if these models will work with lower input pressure (Gravity from an elevated jug) or will the lisa pump draw the water itself?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Hello Ami,
    I've had several commercial espresso machines,single<three group connected to water tanks,never had any problems however,I've always used an inline non return valve to prevent the rotary pump from gravity emptying.
    Cheap plastic units from B.......'s for around $20 works great,l always used pre flushed rainwater tanked water,no calcium ever!!
    Give it a try ,worked perfectly for me.
    cheers,
    Mick.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Can I run a San Marino Lisa 2 group on a tank?

    Could be a good score if you have the home bench space.

    Sounds like from the first bit you quoted it can happily draw off a separate tank. Similar instructions to my NS Appia II.

    I have a 20L and 10L water tanks from hardware store. Or you can source 20L tanks they use for office water dispensers. They state on the side they are AU made and designed for drinking water / camping.

    The no return valve should helps stop air lock. Ask Antony at Casa here or Bombora stockist for needed bits for tank setup.

    If you want some line pressure then search for flojet water system.

    If no line pressure (straight from bucket/tank) then your machine pump pressure will need to be adjusted too.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Can I run a San Marino Lisa 2 group on a tank?

    I seen some of those previous discussions on CS here panning these machines for running hot and that not being fixable. However I have seen and tasted coffees from a few places where they have tuned them to produce drinkable coffee - boiler pressure / heat / restrictors (?).

    For home and free and not for commercial use it's not the end of the world surely? 🤣

    CS Quote "A word of warning. Your coffee machine will run hot...these models always do, and no amount of boiler pressure adjustment will help. Seek advice from those who know...."


    And if it doesn't work out as a coffee machine you can alway have a go at up-cycling the frame in to a seat or coffee table.
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  5. #5
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Should be no problem drawing from a separate water supply.

    You wont need an extra pump and no need to have the supply higher then the tank for gravity feed.

    A one way valve on the intake is all that is required. There are a few little tricks to prevent air locks on supply change over

    Give me a call and I can give you some pointers and get a one way valve for you

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    (03) 9530 8992
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    CS Quote "A word of warning. Your coffee machine will run hot...these models always do, and no amount of boiler pressure adjustment will help. Seek advice from those who know...."
    San Marino Lisas, where the groups bolt direct to the boiler, have limited scope for tweaking via restrictors to adjust the temperature at the groups. But I've set a lot of these up for a particular roaster's customers over the years, and if you crank the boiler pressure setting down to 0.9-1.0 bar, they don't seem to have any issue with running too hot at the groups. And that pressure is fine for stretching milk.

    I've got no idea why Lisas are so often panned as unreliable burners of coffee- they are such a simple and bombproof machine, easy to work on, and really don't have any weak points in their design or construction. Brand new La Marzoccos can be more prone to issues than a 10 year old used San Marino.
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  7. #7
    Ami
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganGT View Post
    San Marino Lisas, where the groups bolt direct to the boiler, have limited scope for tweaking via restrictors to adjust the temperature at the groups. But I've set a lot of these up for a particular roaster's customers over the years, and if you crank the boiler pressure setting down to 0.9-1.0 bar, they don't seem to have any issue with running too hot at the groups. And that pressure is fine for stretching milk.

    I've got no idea why Lisas are so often panned as unreliable burners of coffee- they are such a simple and bombproof machine, easy to work on, and really don't have any weak points in their design or construction. Brand new La Marzoccos can be more prone to issues than a 10 year old used San Marino.
    That's exactly what I heard. Cheap parts too, definitely cheaper than my Saeco Talea touch.

    Thank you so very much everyone. I have 10l tank that should sit on top nicely and gravity feed. I will run a separate outlet from the tank so I can top it up as I go without interruption. I don't really want to store filtered water too long. I may even use a jug and store it in the fridge, filtered water isn't the best to be left out, I can easily fit a tap near the base of the jug if required.
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  8. #8
    Ami
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    Well it is sitting on my kitchen bench, I called an electrician and it should cost just under 200 to connect to the junction box behind the stove. It already has an isolator in.

    I THINK it is an 03 model, the label on the machine beneath the panel on the left hand side says "COMM 110703", it is the only number that seems to fit any date format. It does look much newer than 03 though, thankfully it has been serviced throughout it's life. (Certain parts are newer)
    It appears to have come out of a cafe trailer, needed a clean, but for the price...

    Definitely looking forward to getting it up and running.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Could the date be in reverse order? That's fairly common.

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