Coffee machine servicing
I've been using an ECM Barista for the last 6 months, and of late, the flow has been pretty poor.
I think its time for a good descale.
Now, sending it for a service is going to cost a couple of hundred dollars, but I was talking to a water engineer who suggested acetic acid (vinegar) soaked overnight and then flushed through.
does anyone have a good solution they use, or can anyone point me in the direction of a home based remedy thats safe for the machine?
FWIW, with a 6 month old machine, I seriously doubt that scale will be the issue unless you live in Adelaide and run on tap water.
More likely that you have issues with coffee and/or technique.
My recommendation is to have someone who is experienced in these things look over your kit. You may also find value in a training session.
I've been using Cino Cleano as a cleaner, which I got on recommendation from my local coffee roaster. Suitable also for running through the steam wand. It made an immediate difference back when I first got the machine (not an ECM) and recently finally dislodged a blockage in my wand. Cheap enough to try it before going to a service solution.
(I'm presuming here that you have been getting good flow for the previous 6 months and the difference is noticeable recently? If it is something else, such as you recently saw a friend's ECM and noticed the difference to yours, see Chris' advice above)