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Thread: Cloudy water in the boiler

  1. #1
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    Cloudy water in the boiler

    I have a Rocket V3. Great coffee, but today I refreshed the boiler and was surprised to get a jug of cloudy water.
    I will drain more out but what is causing this. The water is softened and filtered. It is just quite cloudy and stays cloudy but with no metallic shimmering.s.
    Any thoughts

  2. #2
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    If you run water now is it clear? I get that initially and have put it down to manky water in the hot water tap and plumbing. The boiler water comes out a little cloudy and then clears, i presumed maybe because it had been held at pressure.

    Other thoughts from anyone?

  3. #3
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I sometimes see this after heavy filtering, I haven't had much experience with it in coffee machines, but some filters leave tiny tiny bubbles in the water making it appear cloudy. Easy way to test for this is to leave the cup sit for 10 minutes. If it was just bubbles they'll be gone and the water will be clear, of not it will likely still be cloudy or have sediment on the bottom of the glass.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I've heard of this happening after steaming, milk finds it's way into the steam wand and is drawn into the boiler contaminating the boiler contents.

    From Alan Frew in 2004.
    "I've just finished the VERY disagreeable process of
    cleaning out 2 milk contaminated boilers. This happens when the
    steam wand of an espresso machine isn't flushed clean after use;
    as the boiler cools a vacuum forms and sucks the milk back into
    it. It can happen even with commercial machines, especially when
    steam wands are left inside water filled milk jugs to soak off
    dried milk. High temperature processing results in something best
    described as "Foul Gunk" (think rancid baby poo, in colour,
    texture and odour!) Fixing this is such a rotten job that the
    next one will cost $66.00 inc. GST, so be warned!"

  5. #5
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    I don’t think it is milk drawn back as I vent the steam after each steaming. I will evacuate the boiler again. I do that by tipping the Giotto slightly towards the hot water outlet side, turn off the unit and open the hot water valve and let the pressure nearly empty the boiler. I will do this several times. We will see!
    Thank you all for the encouragement. I means a lot to me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Please keep us informed as to the outcome.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    This happens when the steam wand of an espresso machine isn't flushed clean after use; as the boiler cools a vacuum forms and sucks the milk back into it.
    Interesting. An anti-vacuum valve stops any vacuum forming when the boiler cools. On a single boiler machine for example without an anti-vac valve where this could happen (or a machine equipped with a anti-vac that is stuck closed), how does the milk get past the closed steam valve into the boiler?

    In my experience of cleaning out milk contaminated boilers, I can only surmise that milk has somehow got into the machine's water tank.

    OP's problem wouldn't be milk contamination, the smell is intense and would be noticed immediately. It's probably one of the worst smells I've experienced.

  8. #8
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    Hi dumiya, I see that you're in Perth are you in the Northern or Southern suburbs? The water is sourced differently, and have different calcium Dissolved solids content Depending on your suburb.

    So it is possible that while you are softening the water, maybe it isn't being softened enough and you have calcium in the boiler?

    Have you taken the hot water nozzle off and checked for calcium deposits?

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