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Thread: Melbourne water - tap or not ?

  1. #1
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    Melbourne water - tap or not ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello

    I tend to put tap water in my Rancilio Silvia for last year or so.
    Previously I bought filtered water from supermarket but then one day I ran out and I tried the Melbourne tap water and I can't tell the difference either way.
    So I use the tap. I realise that tap water in other cities may not be as good.....

    What is the consensus re what water to use, specifically in Melbourne but also in other cities ?
    Should I install a filter on my tap that cleans it? Remove fluoride too?
    Any other water advice?

    thanks

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    Melbourne water - tap or not ?

    Really depends on your suburb. Your water company will have very detailed reports on their website for your suburb, so you'll be able to see the hardness, as well as a bunch of more worrying contaminants.

    Generally speaking, Melbourne water quality is pretty good, but it does vary. Also, just because the readings for your suburb are good (eg low hardness), that's no guarantee that the water on your street will match that good reading.

    You can test for hardness by sending water off, one of the CS sponsors (Bombero) specialises in this stuff.

    Ultimately, filtering your water will make your coffee taste better, but if the water is good to start with then the improvement will be small. On the other hand, if your water is bad, such as in Perth, the improvement will be enormous, literally huge.

    I'm just skimming the surface here as this is a big topic. Other considerations include how often you rescale your Silvia. I used to do mine every 6 months, and the water where I live is quite soft.

    Then there's the issue of having water that's too soft. Not an issue with tap water, but I believe that using pure water isn't recommended, again Bombero's site will explain this much better than I can.

    Cheers
    Jonathon

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Unless your local water tasted bad to start with I would doubt that there would be any noticeable improvement in the taste of your coffee by using filtered water as opposed to tap.
    The issue of contaminents in the water however is something else.
    I installed a water filter when I bought the machine as I was concerned about the amount of calcification that I find in all my household taps.
    There is also the fact that everytime we have a flood up here (pretty frequently recently) the mines discharge their contaminated water into the catchment from which we draw our drinking water.
    There are many different grades of filters depending on what you want to remove from the water and probably only an expert knows all the options. I do not have the silver impregnated filter that removes micro-organisms but whatever I do have certainly removes the calcium and makes the water taste a hell of a lot better when all the mine discharge is sliding down the river.

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    If you have an electric jug, look at the element to see how much calcification it attracts from your water supply.

    Additives and contaminents can be eliminated with a cheap water filter. It does remove the tapwater chlorine taste...but so does heating the water.

    Calcium, the main problem for the coffee machine, has to be removed by ion transfer. Some filters do it, plain charcoal ones don't.

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    TC
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    Just this week we had a Duetto II come in for service- circa 12 months old...

    It's in Melbourne and fed water exclusively from a benchtop filtration system. Significant scale and the first Duetto we have have had to descale.

    For mine, it's easier to have espresso machines on filtration rather than hope your water might be ok. We have evidence that hardness can differ from house to house in the same street so I feel that whatever a local authority might tell you about a suburb is useless information.

    Better to keep scale out of machines than regularly throw acid at a machine to remove it. It won't kill boilers, but it does make thin copper connecting pipework fail when it becomes acid leached and brittle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Just this week we had a Duetto II come in for service- circa 12 months old...

    It's in Melbourne and fed water exclusively from a benchtop filtration system. Significant scale and the first Duetto we have have had to descale.
    i just bought a DigiPure benchtop filter system with softener from bombora as reccommended by them. Have I wasted my money on something that's not going to reduce scale buildup?

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    Melbourne water - tap or not ?

    It's pretty easy to measure your own water hardness from the tap: it's not a full water purity test, but it will tell you if using it will give you a scale build-up.

    I tested my water at home and found the tap water was better than bottled water for hardness (Melbourne). I used to filter with a charcoal filter but now I don't bother filtering at all. No difference in coffee taste, and I've descaled twice without seeing any telling "white particles" in the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mellcrystal View Post
    i just bought a DigiPure benchtop filter system with softener from bombora as reccommended by them. Have I wasted my money on something that's not going to reduce scale buildup?
    That's what the "softener" bit means, it reduces water hardness, and therefore scale.

    Chances are that the "benchtop filtration system" the machine Talk_Coffee is referring to was connected to was either a simple carbon filter (like most filter jugs and the like) or not properly maintained (IX resin depletes over time and allows more Calcium through, need to replace the cartridges at regular intervals (the definition of regular here depends on usage)).

    I have a benchtop system which uses the same 10" cartridges which are used in commercial under-bench filtration systems, I use a three-stage cartridge in it which includes IX resin for water sofening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrewster View Post
    That's what the "softener" bit means, it reduces water hardness, and therefore scale.

    Chances are that the "benchtop filtration system" the machine Talk_Coffee is referring to was connected to was either a simple carbon filter (like most filter jugs and the like) or not properly maintained (IX resin depletes over time and allows more Calcium through, need to replace the cartridges at regular intervals (the definition of regular here depends on usage)).

    I have a benchtop system which uses the same 10" cartridges which are used in commercial under-bench filtration systems, I use a three-stage cartridge in it which includes IX resin for water sofening.
    I'd just like to say that this is my machine. When I bought it from Chris, I consulted Bombora and I was recommended this filter: Bombora Coffee & Water Supplies :: WATER FILTRATION :: DOMESTIC SYSTEMS :: Benchtop Filter System, inc CFS117R Softening Filter 5 Mic

    This filter has softening capabilities as well and I suspected that based on their advice I would be fine. I also tested the water with hardness strips and found it to be in the lowest hardness category. The filter has now only just been re-ordered at the normal 12 month interval.

    Now, what else could I have done to know that this would not be good enough??



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