Post By LRose
Post By TampIt
Breville BES840 - How Long Will it Last?
I'm after a machine that will last ideally 10 plus years and not sure whether I should buy a second hand Rancilio or similar machine or go for a new Breville BES840. How long do people here think a Breville or Sunbeam that will cost about the $500 last for? How long would a five year old Rancilio last for and what should I go for??
I am going to make 2-3 coffees per day.
My first Bes870 lasted 3 years of daily use which I was disappointed with. However on reflection I realised I had not changed the water filter every two months, only once a year as I couldn't see any problem . From my reading on CS I now realise water quality is critical for any machine. So my current thinking is to insist on extended warranty when buying an appliance machine. Also the advice of others to spend mostly on a top grinder and the rest on a machine appeals to me as a sound strategy. Good luck.
Hi WarrenK, thanks for the feedback. What is involved with changing the water filter? I have already purchased a Eurka grinder @ approx $500 which I'm really enjoying.
About $30 for 6 filters. I now have a two month reminder on my phone. Very easy to change . Good luck.
I would expect minimum 3 years, maximum 5. Rancilio Silvias are designed as 15 year machines. If it's been looked after for the first 5 years, and you continue to look after & service it I would expect another 10 years out of it.
Length of service: depends how well you maintain them. My 2008* and 2007 SB 6910s are still going strong with no reliability issues after initial havoc. Fail to maintain it properly and you can kill any machine (yep, even $20+K commercial ones) in three months. Feed it poor WA tap water directly and it will die very quickly indeed. I expect the Brevilles are similar as the ones my friends have are well looked after and many years old.
First essential step (if you haven't already worked it out) is to feed it properly filtered water. IMO those in tank filters do terrible things to the flavour of the cuppa so I do not recommend them at all - I removed mine before I finished unpacking the machine out of the box, and I have a firm "throw out on sight" policy for any friend's machine I work on. FWIW, I use rainwater filtered both into the tank and out of the tank - that may be extreme, however after 18 months there is no residual in the tank - although where I live has very clean "virtually salt free" air and therefore very good quality rainwater to begin with.
At an educated guess I reckon the 6910 will give well over 10 years and the Silvia ditto given a fair amount of TLC without going over the top. The 7000 would be about a year less - it is just not quite as solid.
Second essential step - no2 phillips head screwdriver and remove the showerscreens (yep, like some seriously upmarket machines the 6910 / 7000 has twin showerscreens, and preinfusion for that matter). I buy my beans in 250g lots (light to medium roast SO's I like variety) and do the showerscreens every time I change a batch. I could probably get away with 750g on most batches. Oily dark roasts - every 150g or even more often.
Third essential step - a quick preflush starts to dissolve any leftover gunk / warms the machine up properly. I do the standard preinfusion plus a couple of seconds. Ditto a post "current series of shots" flush - after I clean the p/f, I place it back in the machine and do another standard preinfusion plus a couple of seconds. I then wipe down the group area.
Fourth step - the 7000 has both a clean and a descale. I don't do the cleaning cycle at home (remember my rainwater is probably cleaner than most "store bought" distilled waters), however friends with worse water do a cleaning cycle every week or so (depends upon their usage). A descale every few months is a good idea "whether it needs it or not". Basically, if either the steam or the shot "go off the boil" then do a descale before faffing around trying to troubleshoot it.
Fifth step - Note: Especially when learning, it is fairly common to pollute the steam wand's internals with dried on milk. I use a "over half full of water" large milk jug and let the wand heat it up, turn the steam off and leave the jug in place for a couple of minutes (hint: use the drip tray as a stand). That will slurp up some hot water into the wand. Then remove the jug and turn the steam on full - after a splutter of water into the drip tray there should be a plentiful supply of even steam coming out. If not descale it. After your technique improves both the group and the wand will need a descale at roughly the same time.
Enjoy your cuppa - I do...
*my 2008 was supposed to be new in 2010, it wasn't and an initial botched repair followed by a proper repair in mid 2011 are its only initial issues. The 2007 6910 received an A to Z clean when I inherited it about 5 years ago. Since then, nothing for either 6910 - not even a seal. I had my Silvia for 9 trouble free years - the next owner took three years to kill it (like most dead Silvias, run it out of water once and pay around $500 for a new boiler / heater). If they had maintained my old Miss S correctly it would probably still be going.
See my post made just now--just going by feel, I'd expect the BES840 to wear out in less than half the time you'd get out of a Silvia. However, they're completely different types of machines--you need to consider what level of time and attention you want to devote to making your coffee.