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Thread: Black residue in water tank

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    Black residue in water tank

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So not sure if this question has been covered anywhere on the site in the past, but i notice at the bottom of my water tank of my lovely new VMB junior that i am building up a thin layer of black silt like stuff. It is coming from my water filter the cartridges, which seem to use some percentage of charcoal in them. My question is if this is a problem at all for my machine (or may cause a problem down the track)?

    i have always used the same cartridges for years on my old Silvia and this never seemed to create a problem.

    My theory is new machine, i really should actually get advice on these things ;)

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 57766178777A747F7661130 link=1281421078/0#0 date=1281421078
    So not sure if this question has been covered anywhere on the site in the past, but i notice at the bottom of my water tank of my lovely new VMB junior that i am building up a thin layer of black silt like stuff. It is coming from my water filter the cartridges, which seem to use some percentage of charcoal in them. My question is if this is a problem at all for my machine (or may cause a problem down the track)?

    i have always used the same cartridges for years on my old Silvia and this never seemed to create a problem.

    My theory is new machine, i really should actually get advice on these things ;) *
    Brita jug carbon? *:-?

    We saw a Diadema Elettronica a couple of weeks ago as a DOA...

    Apart from really severe scale, both the pump and solenoid were shagged. When I checked the boiler probes, they were carbon city and I then emptied the boiler and got black soup as well.

    I am at the point that I am recommending against the use of Brita jugs with espresso machines and advising that all owners with water hardness above 40ppm pursue a real coffee filtration solution.

    Chris

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Cheers Chris,
    yeah thinking i might need to look elsewhere for a solution to water filters, sadly i am renting so the option of getting a plumped in water filter is a no go :P. not sure what my water hardness is like in my area but i am guessing it might be better to swich back to tap for the time being. Lucky that i never killed my Silvia :)



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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Im in the same boat as ... errr .. derkdigler. Should I just use tap water instead of Brita water? Are there reasonably priced water filtration options for renters? Im all ears.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Planning on renting the same place for a while?

    If my tenant contacted me and said they were staying long term and can we have a plumbed in water filter, I would say no worries. Its a fitted item, adds value and isnt tax deductable. Some landlords are happy to keep good tenants that look after their properties.

    Also there are the type that fit over the existing tap? Not sure if they are any good though.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    I would be contacting bombora, I have a filter tap I installed with both hardness and normal filters,
    Does the trick and no more brit a jug

    Mal

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    Gra
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Bombora have these units that you can setup of your laundry tape.

    Cheers Gra..




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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    i too have stopped using brita on the coffee machine. Same as you, found the same black in my water tank.
    Also found it covers the probes with crap very quickly and then it no longer registers water in the tank, so have to clean the probe more often.

    I am just using tap water for now, need to get a kit to do a water hardness test then decide which filtration path to take

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Perhaps you could adapt this device from Bombora to suit a "Rental" situation.... :-?

    http://www.fridgefilters.com.au/prod...cat=478&page=1

    Mal.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 25080C000D610 link=1281421078/8#8 date=1281431694
    Perhaps you could adapt this device from Bombora to suit a "Rental" situation.... :-?

    http://www.fridgefilters.com.au/prod...cat=478&page=1

    Mal.
    We do that one all the time Mal,

    The other possibility is this one: http://www.clean-machine.com.au/product.php?productid=140&cat=8719&page=1 Perfect for a rental ;)

    Chris

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    I saw that one Chris but wasnt sure how it connected to the mains water system.... :-?

    Mal.

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Depending on the available taps either in the laundry or under the kitchen sink, other options would do as well, and be fully mountable when you get a more permanent place.

    One of the ones that has the usual outlet mounting on the sink could be easily mounted in the laundry on a wooden bracket secured with a "C" clamp, for instance.

    Greg

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Crikey, my water hardness is 18. Im going to start going unfiltered I think. Just carefully looked in a litre jug of water out of the filter and sure enough I could see two flecks of charcoal.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 10342E2C2338410 link=1281421079/12#12 date=1281476490
    Crikey, my water hardness is 18. Im going to start going unfiltered I think. Just carefully looked in a litre jug of water out of the filter and sure enough I could see two flecks of charcoal.
    Do you rinse the cartridge and run 3 jugs of water through to flush any charcoal dust, before using it?








    P.S. "Crikey" wasnt in my spell-checker *::) (tis now).

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 7448554E444552474F44200 link=1281421079/13#13 date=1281485931
    Do you rinse the cartridge and run 3 jugs of water through to flush any charcoal dust, before using it?
    i know i do and still get it. Mind you, it never use to happen, i would say only in the last 6-10 months maybe.
    What made me start looking was that i noticed black build up on the water tank probe. It happend very often in the last few months, causing it to not register water in the tank.
    Never had to clean it in the first 4 years of my machines ownership.
    Never payed much attention to the water inside the tank, as i would empty it out, wash it and refill every day.
    The other day though, prior to just dumping the water out, i noticed the same black stuff in there.
    Yesterday i filled the tank with plain tap water, will see if i find the same stuff in the tank or not

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Just a question. How do you test water for hardness? and at what point do you need to filter it? By the sounds of it a carbon based filter isnt a good thing?

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    i found these. Will order some and am currently doing some research on water hardness and when to use filters and which kind are best.

    I am sure some of the more experienced guys will chime in soon enough though and give you some advice

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    Gra
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    I picked up a GH & KH general & carbonate hardness test kit from a pet store used for testing aquarium water $23:00.

    Cheers Gra..

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Yeh i have been using aquarium test kits also.

    I do get the black carbon build up in the bottom of my water tank but assumed it wouldnt get sucked into the boiler since it sits on the bottom of the tank and my tubes are a couple inches above that... but i could be wrong!

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 605C415A505146535B50340 link=1281421079/13#13 date=1281485931
    Quote Originally Posted by 10342E2C2338410 link=1281421079/12#12 date=1281476490
    Crikey, my water hardness is 18. Im going to start going unfiltered I think. Just carefully looked in a litre jug of water out of the filter and sure enough I could see two flecks of charcoal.
    Do you rinse the cartridge and run 3 jugs of water through to flush any charcoal dust, before using it?

    P.S. "Crikey" wasnt in my spell-checker *::) (tis now).
    I have one of those 8 litre bench top filters. Before I used it I ran it empty twice. Thought it was doing a great job as the water tasted amazing. Not so happy with having a fleck or two of charcoal in each litre of water. Especially when Im using about 5 litres of water in the machine a week.

    The crikey comes from working with foster kids. I have a mouth like a sailor and have found a range of suitable substitutes. The trade off was sounding like Steve Irwin instead of Sharon Osbourne

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    I also use a Brita and have a black build up on the bottom of my tank. I assumed it was some type of slimy mold, but now I am thinking differently.

    According ot my towns typical water analysis my total hardness is 14-46 mg CaCO3 /L ( I think thats the same as PPM). Does this mean Id be better off with no filter at all?

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 1822252014283E3F4B0 link=1281421079/20#20 date=1281770149
    According ot my towns typical water analysis my total hardness is 14-46 mg CaCO3 /L ( I think thats the same as PPM).
    yes, mg/L = ppm. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 1822252014283E3F4B0 link=1281421079/20#20 date=1281770149
    Does this mean Id be better off with no filter at all?
    A filter will not remove hardness. A filter simply removes particulates.

    A carbon bed will remove organics and semi-organics (terrible and technically incorrect term but it gives you the idea :)). They are supposedly good at removing metals but ive yet to encounter one that does so effectively in water. Im an industrial chemist and if Im trying to remove metals from water I dont even consider a carbon bed. :P

    To remove metal (ions) that form scale (a process called softening) you need *ion-exchange bed/cartridges (chemical treatment works but youll die from poisoning :P).

    There are downsides to removing the ions, specifically taste. You have to decide where you sit with the idea of softening, taste, scale formation, de-scaling, time requirements V budget etc.

    14mg/L hardness is very soft, Ive seen water rcome out of softeners higher than that :). 50 mg/L is fairly typical of a towns water supply.

    Just for your info: there is a process called de-ionisation, this is softening on turbo-charge and can be done many combinations of ion-exchange, carbon filtration, distillation or reverse osmosis. It removes all dissolved species from the water. :) Dont worry about de-ioinsation, its not necessary and expensive. (And the water tastes awful - how I know that is another story ;D)

    ps. Ive come back to this because on the issue of softening V de-scaling it basically boils down to the answers to the following questions
    1) Does the idea of scale buildup scare you so much that you are prepared to pay money to prevent it?
    2) Do you find regular de-scaling scarey or a waste of your time?

    If you answered yes to either, get a softening system.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Thanks for the comments brewman... So I wont bother filtering, and the Barita probably was not making any differnce anyway.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 5D6D7A68727E711F0 link=1281421079/21#21 date=1281953892
    ps. Ive come back to this because on the issue of softening V de-scaling it basically boils down to the answers to the following questions
    1) Does the idea of scale buildup scare you so much that you are prepared to pay money to prevent it?
    2) Do you find regular de-scaling scarey or a waste of your time?

    If you answered yes to either, get a softening system.
    and...
    3) would you prefer to not have to pay for a replacement pump for your machine because the original one got so clogged with scale buildup that it finally choked... not that Im bitter about it or anything :-X ;D

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 57687262647360010 link=1281421079/23#23 date=1281963083
    and...
    3) would you prefer to not have to pay for a replacement pump for your machine because the original one got so clogged with scale buildup that it finally choked... not that Im bitter about it or anything :-X * ;D
    This comes back to point 2) ;)
    If you think you are the sort that wont regularly de-scale, then a softening system is like insurance.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    my kettle is at least 8-9 years old..and not one bit of sacle in it, the element is like new.. I based my decision on using tap water only, on this...

    where *I used to live { Kent , southern united kingdom} we had to replace our kettle every six months due to calcium buildup , the water in that area was laden with limestone

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    So how about the benchtop water filters like this one:

    http://www.mitre10.com.au/Housewares-and-Electrical/Kitchen-and-Dining/Stefani-Ceramic-Water-Purifier/?product=20994&catalogue=0

    Do these have the same residue problems as the Brita jugs? i use the ceramic for the coffee machine and for drinking and the brita jug for the kettle and cooking.

    What is the general consensus on Brisbane water quality?

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    I have the Stefani stainless steel filter. So yeah they put charcoal in the water too.

  29. #29
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 635344564C404F210 link=1281421079/21#21 date=1281953892
    1) Does the idea of scale buildup scare you so much that you are prepared to pay money to prevent it?
    Not in the least. ;)
    Quote Originally Posted by 635344564C404F210 link=1281421079/21#21 date=1281953892
    2) Do you find regular de-scaling scarey or a waste of your time?
    Not at all, I descale every 12 weeks, on my 3rd machine in about 12 years and yet to have a problem with scale.
    As a matter of interest Im from SA reputed to have the worst water in Australia. ;)

  30. #30
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Whats your thoughts on bottled water? * Coles sell 15L bottles for a few dollars. Could this be a good option?

  31. #31
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 050C00020F55630 link=1281421079/29#29 date=1282918780
    Whats your thoughts on bottled water? * Coles sell 15L bottles for a few dollars. Could this be a good option?
    No problem so long as it tests at <40ppm (mg/l) total hardness- i.e Calcium + Magnesium

    2mcm

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Are those who where using the Brita jugs using the old classic round filters or the newer style maxtra filters. The newer maxtra filters say they have an Ion Exchange system may get some test strips and test out how much they reduce the water hardness. In a rental property myself, so looking for a non installed water softening system if possible.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    I dont think you need worry about a little carbon in the water from your filter. It will probably be filtered out by the coffee grounds.

    You will get more carbon from your slightly burnt toast than from your coffee.

    A little carbon wont harm you. It is used in some forms to cure an upset stomach.

    I use one of the new Brita Maxtra filters.

    I dont believe in buying bottle water. I take my own filterd water with me.

    Barry

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Yes the maxtra have softening ion exchange resin, and according to my water tests after 2 runs through the filter the hardness is around 10ppm or 10mg/l, which is excellent.

    One run through and my water was still around 30ppm. I change my filter every month just to be safe. And have a softener in-tank in line with the hose.
    cafelazio likes this.

  35. #35
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Its really false economy to use the Brita Filter system for espresso machines you know....

    Bernard from Bombora really looks after us snobs when it comes to water filtering needs and I would highly recommend contacting Bombora for a quote then do the sums. I know I come out way in front... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    I believe that Bombora can also supply appropriate filtering for those people that are renting.

    Definitely worth at least making a call or sending an email imho.

    Alex

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    As a recuring cost the Bombora solution i use that filters and softens the water was on circa $130 for the year, while yes it costs more than that for the initial kit that also includes filters and the bench mounted tap, its just so much easier than stuffing around with the brita jug as I used to do.

  38. #38
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E7D6E6E65435869727F7D721C0 link=1281421079/32#32 date=1285035516
    I dont think you need worry about a little carbon in the water from your filter. It will probably be filtered out by the coffee grounds.
    I disagree Barry.

    We serviced a very dead Diadema recently with a good 4cm of carbon debris in the boiler. It killed the pump, solenoid and the control board as well

    A little carbon wont harm you. It is used in some forms to cure an upset stomach.
    Upset machines will cause you to have a much larger pain in your pocket ;)

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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D282522160A262F2F2C2C490 link=1281421079/37#37 date=1285065216

    We serviced a very dead Diadema recently with a good 4cm of carbon debris in the boiler. It killed the pump, solenoid and the control board as well
    out of interest what size machine was it? thats a massive amount to be in a boiler :o

    was it a HX (i am now assuming not) or single B unit?

    #i am all for water filters myself and run an inline 95% of the time

  40. #40
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 49525050523D0 link=1281421079/25#25 date=1282310708
    my kettle is at least 8-9 years old..and not one bit of sacle in it, the element is like new.. I based my decision on using tap water only, on this...
    I use my kettle as a guide for scale build up as well. Have had none in it since fitting a Bombora under bench system 8-)

  41. #41
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    Re: Black residue in water tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 343D31333E64520 link=1281421079/29#29 date=1282918780
    Whats your thoughts on bottled water? Coles sell 15L bottles for a few dollars. Could this be a good option?
    and
    Quote Originally Posted by 603F27313A313D343437373F333C520 link=1281421079/30#30 date=1282984515
    No problem so long as it tests at <40ppm (mg/l) total hardness- i.e Calcium + Magnesium
    At my place we use the filtered stuff that comes in the 15L jugs, not from Coles but somewhere else (wont specify as it may breach forum rules). The website quotes calcium at 1.2 mg/l and magnesium at 2.8 mg/l which puts the total hardnes at 4.0. This beats Perth tap water which is hard. The water is sourced in each state and the makeup varies, even from Nth and Sth Qld. So do make sure you find out the total hardness of the stuff for your area as it seems to vary depending on where they source it, if you go down that path.



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