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  • Electronic timer

    May be a silly question, but lets try anyway.
    Is it safe to use an electronic time that plugs into the powerpoint to automatically turn of and on my coffee machine?
    I ask because sometimes I see the machine switch off whilst the machine has started to fill the boiler etc.

  • #2
    No such thing as a silly question.... :-D

    It depends on what sort of time parameters are being used and what type of machine. Plenty of CS'ers use timers, myself included.

    Mine goes on at 7am and off at 7 pm but I'm around most days. If I'm going out all day I will turn the machine switch off, not the timer.

    If your timer is set to turn off a few minutes after you use it, you could probably change it so that it turns off once it has

    become temp stable. Observing and timing the machine will help.

    If you want the machine on early, to be ready in the morning, you can use the timer to turn it on but then turn the machine ( not the timer) off manually, then

    turn back on at night, leaving the timer on permanently and ready for the next day.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply and advice.


      • #4
        I have my machine on a timer set to come on at at 5:45 to be ready for coffee making by 6:45. Turns off at 7:30. I just use the manual override on the timer to switch it back on if I want another coffee later in the day.

        Chokkidog's method is good but you'll have to remember to turn the machine back on at some stage so it can heat up for the next morning.

        If your timer switches the machine off while the pump is filling the boiler, it should resume filling when the machine next comes on. Something you also might consider is dispensing a bit of hot water from the hot water tap before making your first shot(s). This will cause the boiler to refill if low and also cycle some fresh water into the boiler.


        • #5
          Blokes, take care to fully understand the very possible ramifications of using a timer on any machine that has a mains water connection, because it means you have to leave the water connection on at all times.

          And over a period of years I have seen plenty of so called "reinforced" flexible inlet water lines on plumberd machines that have FAILED. Meaning, if a water line fails and you are not there to turn off the delivery tap (as in for example, over night), whether the machine fails as a result or not is practically immaterial because the repair cost to that will be insignificant when compared to the repair bill for flood damage to your shop / home / floor in a shopping mall, neighbouring liftwells etc including in neighbouring shops.....

          I am a firm believer in switching off the water supply to espresso machines which in turn means, that I dont use timers.

          Even in a machine that doesnt have a plumbed water connection, I would be hesitant due to any functions that may switch on while you are not there to manage whatever consequences may occur.

          All that said, readers are as usual free to take oprinions and then do whatever suits them best


          • #6
            I was told by the bloke who sold me my machine (or docs supplied at the time) to open the steam valve when turning machine off, and leave it open when turning on until steam appears, so the timer thing seems a bit pointless for me


            • #7
              Yes. That makes sure that you dont get a "false pressure" in a machine when you restart it, if the machine has a stuck anti vacuum valve....


              • #8
                There's always a flip side..... it's called Murphy's Law?? ;-)

                Although, TOK is probably right re plumbed in machines and turning the water off, I know of one 3 group Synesso that had its

                water turned off at end of trading.......... but not the power. Nor was the problem detected ...... until it became a bigger problem.

                I haven't bought a lot of coffee machines, 3 I think, but I have never been told or seen in any manual about the advice BO'W has related.

                A first for everything I suppose.


                • #9
                  Hi CD,

                  for starters, Murphy is alive and well and living in my shed......cant get rid of him !

                  All commercial espresso machines regardless of their brand should have a "water failure alarm" built into their electronics so that if a water failure is suffered, in addition to no water coming from the groups, all the LEDs on one or all of the touch pads will blink simultaneously. This is a "common" Gicar process that is copied by others. Switch off, turn water back on (or rectify a legitimate water failure / blockage), switch machine back on and whalla, reset and all's well.

                  How far a machine will "travel" with water switched off is dependent on the size of the water filter fitted, as the water pump will suck the available water out of the filter before it becomes apparent that it has "run out of" water and the alarm is activated...

                  I always recommend operators get in the habit of doing both water and power at the same time, morning and night. It becomes a habit, you dont do one without the other. This is exactly the habit that is insisted upon in the roasterie-cafe that I still own but do not work in or manage, where they use a 4 group BFC multi boiler machine. The 1/4 turn quick action stop cock is placed in a convenient position right next to and under the LHS of the machine and cannot be missed during clean up. It helps I think if people specifiy good gear and place it in convenient locations instead of placing it in places that are impossible to get to, as happens in many cafes that I think have not be well designed in terms of convenience for good operator management.

                  No one reads equipment owner booklets, however the contents of and how good they are or if they have a section on the common alarms that can be activated in a coffee machine, is really dependent on the individual manufacturer, and the quality of their translation departments.

                  Anf of course not all equipment salesmen are created equal and the level or comprehensiveness of the information any salesman may give you on purchase of a machine will vary widely.

                  Hope that helps

                  By the way, my Murphy is For Sale, free to good whom if you would care to come get him.....
                  Last edited by TOK; 4 September 2014, 03:27 PM. Reason: make betterer


                  • #10
                    Great topic. I'm just about to get a timer for my machine..


                    • #11
                      On this Synesso the groups are paddles and the PID's are out of sight under the drip tray, not sure about any other lights.....

                      The event was before I started roasting there but I was closely involved with the business through my prior occupation.

                      All I remember was someone getting their A kicked, the service tech was there half the day and no coffee was made.

                      The machine was routinely turned on around 4 am by the bakers, no-one else came near it until 9.30/ 10.00 am.

                      As you have piqued my interest, I will endeavour to find out what happened. I could have my memory knickers in a veritable knot. ;-)

                      p.s. good luck with getting a sale on Murphy!!