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Thread: Is a water filter/softener required?

  1. #1
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    Is a water filter/softener required?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive read on CS that HX machines shouldnt be regularly backflushed with descaling solution (although i was told by the salesperson to do it weekly..?)

    But do I really need to go to the expense of installing a water filtration unit under my bench???

    My local supplier states water hardness is very low,at about 42 mg/L (CaCO3).. (can post more detailed info if required).

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    A_M
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B434D444451280 link=1249039307/0#0 date=1249039307
    Ive read on CS that HX machines shouldnt be regularly backflushed with descaling solution *(although i was told by the salesperson to do it weekly..?)

    But do I really need to go to the expense of installing a water filtration unit under my bench???

    My local supplier states water hardness is very low,at about 42 mg/L (CaCO3).. (can post more detailed info if required).

    Cheers!
    Go here as there is a little more on teh subject and further links..

    Step one... *Understand what is what... The sales person may or may not be talking the same..

    http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/hx.html

    http://www.espressomyespresso.com/

    People often say to me that their HD stopped working.. *When in fact their PC stopped and it was a Power supply.. *Thus information given and what may be understood can lead to MAJOR misunderstandings..

    Then here;

    A: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1248865393/3#3 *GW makes a good and simple observation... *

    For me a back flush (blind filter etc) every couple of weeks and that includes taking out the shower screen etc.. *This is more about cleaning coffee residue, not scale.

    As to a de scale of the boiler... *Maybe in 12 months or even 18 months.. *I use filtered water / softener and unless an inspection suggest that it is needed... *Why fix what aint broke.

    Then do a little more research and make you decision on good intelligence and not just a few comments... ;D




  3. #3
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Even a brita jug wouldnt go amiss - hardness is a measure of acidity/alkalinity rather than "Total Dissolved Solids". The problem with water is that almost anything will dissolve in it given enough time, and you dont know what organic compounds wont like being heater in a boiler for a long long time.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    I knew I needed a filter when I tried this experiement.

    I ran water through, then chilled it and drank it.

    the filter made a huge difference. I just put an inline one that removes sediment, chlourine, taste and odour.

    $35 plus $10 of fittings.

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Forgive me I am a coffee noob :-[ I am very interested to read what members have to say regarding this topic...our local (Perth) water is pretty ordinary and scaled up the inside of my new kettle in about 2 months so in an effort to try decrease the likelihood of this happening to my coffee machine I have only used filtered water in it....is this going to help?

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 454047455950350 link=1249039307/4#4 date=1249651062
    I have only used filtered water in it....is this going to help?
    Hi Purple,
    Sorry to say that in a word..."no" :( I used to live in Perth and found the water shithouse. To vary degrees depending on location, bore water is mixed with dam water to stretch it out a bit. Those mission brown stains over brickwork where bore water is used will tell you how many dissolved solids are present - heaps!

    A filter will remove particulate matter (sediment, powdered rust, etc) but not dissolved solids so your scale problem remains. I used Bombora (see site sponsors left) for a filter that both filters and softens the water.

    Good luck!

    Epic76

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 565354564A43260 link=1249039307/4#4 date=1249651062
    I have only used filtered water in it....is this going to help? *
    Yes it will help but not 100%.

    Im in Sydney where the water is supposedly better than Perths.
    I recently had my machine serviced (including a descale) at Di Bartoli after 2 years from new of only using filtered water.

    The mushroom of My Expobar is now on display in the shop to warn against complacency regarding scale.

    I will get it serviced again in a shorter time frame.

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    ...Thankyou...
    So as I are in an area that does not have dark brown iron stains on the fences and paths from the bore water I am assuming that our water here is at the slightly better end of sh!thouse water ::)...

    I shall go investigate this water phenomenon further and be glad I did not splash-out on a fancy coffee machine befire I inadvertantly filled it with scale.

    Is there an informative thread on here about de-scaling and/or cleaning these delightful coffee machines?

  9. #9
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 575255574B42270 link=1249039307/7#7 date=1249866745
    Is there an informative thread on here about de-scaling and/or cleaning these delightful coffee machines?
    Gday purple....

    Yep, lots of info about about that topic around. Use the "Search" tool at the top of the page and you should turn-up a wealth of useful pointers. Just be careful that you set the "This post was made in the last..." option to a longer period than the default 1 week.

    All the best :)
    Mal.

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3509140F050413060E05610 link=1249039307/6#6 date=1249710227
    Yes it will help but not 100%.
    Ahhh....nup

    "Charcoal (Brita filters etc) removes chlorines, odors, colors, and cloudiness, but does not affect the waters mineral content." Source: Jim Schulmans Insanely Long Water FAQ http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html

    Purple,
    The Water Authoritys Annual Water Report lists Perths hardness varying between 29 and 222ppm. Some variation! There is a not to expensive test kit you can buy (from water stores and also aquarium shops) to know where you stand.

    Best wishes.

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    "Charcoal (Brita filters etc) removes chlorines, odors, colors, and cloudiness, but does not affect the waters mineral content." Source: Jim Schulmans Insanely Long Water FAQ http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html
    The Brita filters DO remove some minerals and lower hardness. Currently, our filter is 4 weeks through its 8 week lifespan, and it lowered our water from 186 TDS out of the tap to 145.

    At Jims FAQ it does say, "Both Brita and Pur jug filters have ion exchangers designed to eliminate heavy metals, but which also remove some hardness as a side effect..," and additionally it adds, "Only about 2/3 of the hardness was removed when the filter was a few days old, and its performance dropped to 1/3 removal after three weeks. This probably is due to it being designed to remove heavy metals, rather than calcium. The NSAs refusal to allow Brita to advertise in the U.S. as a water softener is therefore not just bureaucratic gobbledygook, but justified by the facts."

    I use a Brita for our household drinking water, but do not depend on it for my espresso machines. I do mix some Brita water with RO to add a bit of hardness, not only for the boilers water level sensor but also for taste.

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    A 22% reduction is nothing to be sneezed at. I stand corrected!

    Epic76

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Oh Boy!...what a lot of info to digest and interpret :o...thanks so much for sharing the knowledge.
    The Bombora water people are local so it looks as if I need to take a short road trip down the freeway to fix my dodgy water.

  14. #14
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 555057554940250 link=1249039307/12#12 date=1249952563
    The Bombora water *people are local so it looks as if I need to take a short road trip down the freeway to fix my dodgy water.
    Excellent idea 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 596C757F2B2A1C0 link=1249039307/11#11 date=1249952010
    A 22% reduction is nothing to be sneezed at. *I stand corrected!

    Epic76
    Its still not good. It means that youll take 5 weeks to get as scaled as you would in 4 weeks without the filter.

    A filter only removes particulates. You need something else to remove dissolved compounds (ion-exchange, precipitation, reverse osmosis or sequestation).
    The analogy I can draw is: if you have a jar half full of sand and sugar mix. Fill it with water and run the liquid through a filter paper. The sand (particulate) will be removed from the liquid but taste the liquor and it will have sugar in it.
    Exactly the same thing happens with calcium and magnesium, which are dissolved, they pass through a filter. The trouble is that we force them out as solids, afgter theyve been through the filter when we heat the water (in our boiler) via the following reaction.

    M2+ + CO32- --> MCO3 (s)

    Where M = Ca or Mg (Calcium or magnesium, just in case you are unsure :))
    The CO32- is in the water from dissolved carbon dioxide (a fact that is helped by the municipalitys water authority pH control; high pH = low rust in pipework but also favours dissloution of CO2).


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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    I got caught the same as Thundergood, live in Melbourne where the water is good. *Only ever used filtered water in the VB. *Didnt worry about scale because of the filter, big mistake! *Checking the mushroom every 3 months now and also considering Bombora option.

  17. #17
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 110C14070606630 link=1249039307/15#15 date=1255746051
    I got caught the same as Thundergood
    Ouch! I hate thinking about it.
    Renzo now uses my mushroom as an example in the shop. :-[

  18. #18
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B263E2D2C2C490 link=1249039307/15#15 date=1255746051
    Checking the mushroom every 3 months now
    what does this mean? what exactly are you checking and where is it?

  19. #19
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    I put the Bombora system into my setup two weeks ago.
    I used their triple action clean machine descaler the day i put the system in. I hadnt used this particular descaler before but found an increase in steam pressure as a result of the full descale.

    My machine runs like a charm and we now have filtered water on tap and no need to keep using the Brita jug.

  20. #20
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    I live up the north of WA and I dont drink the water let alone pour it into my coffee machine ... Bambora is a hot tip!

  21. #21
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    which filter from bombora? eco pure?
    They dont seem to have the prices up, anyone knows how much they are?

  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Is a water filter/softener required?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 584C4A4A505C5B4C5D5D5158390 link=1249039307/20#20 date=1257463623
    which filter from bombora? eco pure?
    They dont seem to have the prices up, anyone knows how much they are?
    Welcome "jolt"..... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Bombora are wholesale distributors mate and while they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate options for your situation, they dont sell direct to consumers. You will be able to purchase the hardware and/or kits from one of many of our Site Sponsors or retailers listed on the Bombora website.

    All the best.... :)

    Mal.



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