Post By TOK
Post By MorganGT
La Marzocco GB5 2 &3 group heads
I am very new to the platform and site.
I own a Coffee Shop in South Africa and I use the following coffee machines
La Marzocco GB5;
my question is after a year and and bit of trading.
what is the Pros and Cons of turning off the two machines after every business day.
my Primary concern is will it damage it in the long run and is it safe to do so?
Last edited by Javaphile; 9th April 2014 at 12:17 PM.
Others may give more in depth advice but until you get this, my last 4 x 3 group machine were never turned off overnight. I worked on the theory that reducing the amount of switching meant less wear and tear. Also the amount of electricity required to heat from scratch is considerable whereas hot water kept at pressure meant less strain on the element and did not require 15 - 20 mins to get to temp. each morning. I haven't used power saving models so they may differ. Has worked well for me.
If the equipment is left on 24/7 it is switching / cycling on and off even while you are not trading and are not there. That adds to unnecessary wear and tear and results in components reaching the end of their designed life cycles earlier than if they were being switched off overnight....so more cost in R & M over whatever period.
Additionally if you leave the machine on 24/7 you also have to leave the water on. Its not unheard of for the flexible water lines connecting machines to plumbing, to burst occasionally. If they burst while you are trading, you can do something about it pronto. If they burst when you are not trading, they run all night or until someone notices and maybe calls you, or until you open up next. It is not unheard of, for flooding water to make its way out of your shop, and into others shops or into valuable elevator gear at the end of your floor (if you are in a mall etc), where if it gets into the elevator hydraulics, you or your insurer are in for one hell of an expense, not to mention if you have to pay for damages to adjoining shops.
Most people with commercial espresso machines don't realise that if they turn the machine off when they leave, they should be turning off the water as well.....
I am fortunate enough (or UNfortunate as the case may be) to know these things through personal experience, so I'm for switching off whenever you are NOT there.
Also while I have not checked actual figures from using a metering device, I imagine any electricity you save from leaving the equipment on 24/7 and therefore not switching on from cold at full power every morning, you would lose by having the machine cycling all night while it is not in use....20 min on full in the morning VS 12 hours cycling all night....??? it must even itself out.
Main switches (as in On/Off switch) can go anytime regardless of more or less use and just need to be electrically rated high enough so they dont blow at the drop of a hat.
Really..... from my point of view....for commercial machine in situ its actually about the water not the power.
Whilst....for semi commercial / prosumer machines that are not plumbed in, using much smaller pressurestats, its about the power (leave a base grade prosumer machine on 24/7 and the small pressurestat may not last the year...
So...horses for courses.
I should have said, in our coffee bar we currently use a 4 group BFC Galileo TCI (PID) machine and it gets switched off every night especially the water. It has an "economy mode" but as stated above its not the power I'm concerned about over night when no one is there.
Last edited by TOK; 11th April 2014 at 06:01 PM.
I'd agree with this. Plus I'd agree with the idea of turning the water off at night too, although most installations I have seen have the water shutoff generally placed somewhere hard to reach, making this difficult. Ideally, the mains power supply outlet (or isolation switch if hardwired) and a decent quality ball valve for the water supply should be fitted in easy reach just under the benchtop below the machine, so both can easily be switched off. Of the many failures I have seen occur on a machine left on overnight, most have involved flooding and water damage to the premises, although a lot of those were electrical/electronic faults that caused the machine to run the groups, rather than actual burst hoses (although I have seen a fair few of those too). This raises the importance of having the drain hose from the machine running into a plumbed drain, rather than a bucket, since a properly set up drain will merely cause a slightly higher water bill if the machine starts running groups overnight or the expansion valve or 3 way valves start leaking, rather than an overflowing bucket and water all through the shop.
Originally Posted by TOK
A lot of people say espresso machines need to be left on permanently once installed, but this is a leftover from the 'old days' when boiler gasket/element gasket materials were more basic than the teflon currently in use on most machines, and repeated heat cycling and expansion/contraction of boilers and endplates due to being shut down at night would lead to leaks over time. Modern machines just don't have these issues.