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  • RO water bad for coffee machines?

    Just browsing the Cafetto website and came across an article that says that Reverse Osmosis water is actually bad for coffee machines. We have an RO water filtration system at home and I had been using that for the machine as I would have assumed that filtered water would be better than unfiltered. Should I switch to tap water?

    Reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment is a
    filtration technique that removes practically
    all particulate, chemicals and water scale
    elements from the water. It is, then, almost
    pure water. Four problems exist for using
    this technique to solve the water hardness
    problem.
    1. The equipment is expensive to install.
    2. It is very wasteful using large amounts of
    water in the process of delivering the
    RO water.
    3. Many coffee experts believe it imparts a
    “flat” taste to espresso. Ideally, some
    level of water hardness is desirable for
    taste.
    4. RO water has been found to be
    corrosive to equipment.The pure water
    has a tendency to take up elements and
    this causes corrosion of metals.

  • #2
    Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

    Originally posted by meglim link=1209725970/0#0 date=1209725970
    Just browsing the Cafetto website and came across an article that says that Reverse Osmosis water is actually bad for coffee machines. We have an RO water filtration system at home and I had been putting that into the machine as I would have assumed that filtered water would be better than unfiltered. Should I switch to tap water?

    Reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment is a
    filtration technique that removes practically
    all particulate, chemicals and water scale
    elements from the water. It is, then, almost
    pure water. Four problems exist for using
    this technique to solve the water hardness
    problem.
    1. The equipment is expensive to install.
    2. It is very wasteful using large amounts of
    water in the process of delivering the
    RO water.
    3. Many coffee experts believe it imparts a
    “flat” taste to espresso. Ideally, some
    level of water hardness is desirable for
    taste.
    4. RO water has been found to be
    corrosive to equipment.The pure water
    has a tendency to take up elements and
    this causes corrosion of metals.
    Thats correct. Unless its remineralised, RO water kills espresso machines. Its as simple as that.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

      Holy moly! Thanks for that, I hadnt realized. Have now emptied the reservoir and replaced with tap water. They dont tell you this in the manual!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

        They dont tell you anything in the manual! They want you to break it so you buy a new one lol

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

          Originally posted by meglim link=1209725970/0#2 date=1209726657
          Holy moly! Thanks for that, I hadnt realized. Have now emptied the reservoir and replaced with tap water. They dont tell you this in the manual!
          I think we have a failure to commun9icate here :

          Confusion, is in the term Filtered Vs RO Vs De mineralised.

          They are very different and for very good reasons.

          The problem with water with a high mineral content, is that it produces scale and other crap when subjected to heat.

          Filtered water should be removing most of the dirt and chlorine, but leaving most of the good minerals etc

          Water that is totally PURE, and has all the minerals removed is bad for you and most containers. As its natural state requires minerals etc. Thus if you drink it, it will pull many of your electorates out in an attempt to balance the system, thus you can get very sick. The same is if you place it in a metal container etc. over time it will eat the container away.

          The SM 6910 has its own little filter in the bottom of the water container... However it will clog over time and I use water from my FILTRATION system.

          If your home system has a couple of cartridges, Carbon and cotton type one... Then you are using a filter type system.. I doubt a TRUE RO system.. Even a UV light source does not make it an RO system.

          QUESTION: Why would you have a full RO system at home ? Dialysis treatment and Coffee is an issue.....


          RO waist lots of water... even a good system will struggle to produce a 50% recovery. In essence, water flows over a membrane, and most of it passes on and out to the drain, while some, that make it across the barrier, becomes the useful bit. Usually medical, manufacturing and scientific use...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

            If your tap water is highly mineralised (as it is in Adelaide) then a mix of RO water and tap should do fine.
            I used filtered rain water (very pure) in my machine for over 20 years and when it finally died, the boiler looked almost new inside--and had NEVER been cleaned.
            Greg

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

              AngerManagement.... I know what I have, it is an RO system. Description here

              Our reasons for using it are our own. We have set up a recycling system so that the waste water doesnt go down the drain. In any case our laundry and toilets run entirely off the rainwater tank so the house more than compensates for this small water usage.

              Thank you everyone else for replies, I will get a charcoal filter jug system for the machine.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                Besides possible corrosion issues, Demin tastes like crap !! (its the minerals that make water taste) and seeing your coffee is 99% water it will effect the taste
                Another issue would be for any machine that uses a conductivity probe for measuring boiler level it would simply not work as its the minerals in the water that give water conductivity.. result would probably be a blown boiler element

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                  Originally posted by meglim link=1209725970/0#6 date=1209781927
                  AngerManagement.... I know what I have, it is an RO system.

                  Our reasons for using it are our own. We have set up a recycling system so that the waste water doesnt go down the drain. In any case our laundry and toilets run entirely off the rainwater tank so the house more than compensates for this small water usage.

                  Thank you everyone else for replies, I will get a charcoal filter jug system for the machine.
                  OT: As a technical advisor within health, I appreciate that you may have very good reasons to have an RO unit. As others have stated and clearly publicised, if it is truly de mineralised then it will also leach impurities from any plumbing or containment vessels.

                  However the bottom line is, it is NOT healthy to drink, if it is a true High purity RO system. But it is your choice.
                  EOD:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                    Originally posted by AngerManagement link=1209725970/0#8 date=1209788524
                    OT: As a technical advisor within health, I appreciate that you may have very good reasons to have an RO unit. As others have stated and clearly publicised, if it is truly de mineralised then it will also leach impurities from any plumbing or containment vessels.

                    However the bottom line is, it is NOT healthy to drink, if it is a true High purity RO system. But it is you choice.
                    EOD:
                    Yep, Id use straight RO water ONLY in my steam iron (maybe my car radiator.... but not sure about that even!!)

                    You can buy special bottles of electrolytes which replace the essential minerals in the RO water and which render it good to drink again.... these also replace the magnesium and calcium salts which cause water hardness...... They also improve the taste of coffee which requires a degree of water hardness for the best flavour.

                    The other method used in the US is to add a percentage of non treated water back into the RO water.......

                    But Id be using a Charcoal filter and water softener..... far less expensive and wasteful of water!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                      Originally posted by AngerManagement link=1209725970/0#4 date=1209729922
                      Thus if you drink it, it will pull many of your electorates out in an attempt to balance the system, thus you can get very sick. The same is if you place it in a metal container etc. over time it will eat the container away.
                      I think you mean "electrolytes". Unless its election time where you live ...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                        Originally posted by philipmach link=1209725970/0#10 date=1209791924
                        Originally posted by AngerManagement link=1209725970/0#4 date=1209729922
                        Thus if you drink it, it will pull many of your electorates out in an attempt to balance the system, thus you can get very sick. The same is if you place it in a metal container etc. over time it will eat the container away.
                        I think you mean "electrolytes". Unless its election time where you live ...
                        ROFLMAO.. Either way the result is not so good ;D

                        Thanks for that, I needed a laugh today, a long weekend and I have 3 tenders to review and to have ready for Tuesday morning..

                        Topped up on Coffee beans and replaced the filters in my system. Oops.. Must remember to check the dates in future, 14months old. Brisbane water not so good with the low dam levels... They have upped to chlorine a fair bit :-) to boot.

                        At least this way, I can play with my new Naked PF next weekend...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                          Excuse me for asking in my ignorance, but how is rainwater different from RO water, in terms of mineral content? Rainwater is distilled water. It may pick up something as it falls through the atmosphere which changes its ph, but otherwise it should contain nothing in the way of minerals at all - is this right?

                          What is the natural mineral balance of water? Why does RO water pull minerals (or electolytes) from a metal container (like a brass boiler) to balance the system? What percentage of what minerals defines a balanced system? Quite aside from taste (which definitely requires some hardness), what will RO water really do to a brass boiler and element over time?

                          If one does not use RO in the boiler of an HX machine, what water softener system is best in the home environment?

                          This is a very important topic, and I would welcome informed feedback, as I know nothing about this.

                          Many thanks,
                          matt

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                            Originally posted by Dolcimelo link=1209725970/0#12 date=1209815445
                            Excuse me for asking in my ignorance, but how is rainwater different from RO water, in terms of mineral content? Rainwater is distilled water. It may pick up something as it falls through the atmosphere which changes its ph, but otherwise it should contain nothing in the way of minerals at all - is this right?

                            What is the natural mineral balance of water? Why does RO water pull minerals (or electolytes) from a metal container (like a brass boiler) to balance the system? What percentage of what minerals defines a balanced system? Quite aside from taste (which definitely requires some hardness), what will RO water really do to a brass boiler and element over time?

                            If one does not use RO in the boiler of an HX machine, what water softener system is best in the home environment?

                            This is a very important topic, and I would welcome informed feedback, as I know nothing about this.

                            Many thanks,
                            matt
                            Hi Matt,

                            For mine, rainwater falls on things, runs over or through things and gets stored in things- which often have a mixture of flora and fauna inhabiting them....Good way to pick up a few ions on the way I reckon ;-)

                            Chris

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: RO water bad for coffee machines?

                              Originally posted by Dolcimelo link=1209725970/0#12 date=1209815445
                              Excuse me for asking in my ignorance, but how is rainwater different from RO water, in terms of mineral content? Rainwater is distilled water. It may pick up something as it falls through the atmosphere which changes its ph, but otherwise it should contain nothing in the way of minerals at all - is this right?

                              What is the natural mineral balance of water? Why does RO water pull minerals (or electolytes) from a metal container (like a brass boiler) to balance the system? What percentage of what minerals defines a balanced system? Quite aside from taste (which definitely requires some hardness), what will RO water really do to a brass boiler and element over time?

                              If one does not use RO in the boiler of an HX machine, what water softener system is best in the home environment?

                              This is a very important topic, and I would welcome informed feedback, as I know nothing about this.

                              Many thanks,
                              matt
                              "it should contain nothing in the way of minerals at all - is this right?" - NO

                              Define pure water ? Rain is not that distilled.... In principle, may be. Steam rising and then condensing and falling back to mother earth. Even ICE from glaciers thousands of years old contain a mix of all sorts of "stuff", that how they can the age of it. Carbon dating and pollens etc can even define the seasons or if volcanos were active. However , in general it is more pure than the stuff that falls to day.

                              However that stuff that falls from the sky is not Pure.. Lots of ions, dust and particles etc all around :-)

                              One must remember that the same principles apply to many things, however many of us... Just want to believe in something good. That is why people that sell herbal weight loss tea etc make money. Just look a solariums they good for you and you can manage the dose of D :-(

                              Every thing in moderation EXCEPT coffee, lots of anti stuff in COFFEE ;D:-)

                              Osmosis for example is the way many things work when products have to cross from one medium to another, including parts within our own bodies.

                              If one is to accept that RO water will drag minerals from a coffee machine... Thus it has a proven affinity for minerals, what make people think they are stronger. We see more people in Pathology today with systems that have LOW minerals / electrolytes due to over ingestion of water, it is a laugh that some keep pushing 4L a day or RO as drinking water. People even die from this.

                              I will drink muddy river water, with dead things in it up stream (The world has for many years)... BUT my coffee has to be spot on ;D To boot, I think I will now go and have a lung lolly :

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