Londinium L1 for home use

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Jwilly

Postby Jwilly » Dec 06, 2018, 3:00 pm

I posted this in the Londinium forums and so far not much feedback. Perhaps more lever lovers roam these waters.

This is meant to both get feedback from the community on the idea of getting a L1 for residential use in the US, and also as notes for others who might be thinking the same way as I am.

My current setup:
-La Spaziale Vivalid SII, Monolith Flat, home roasted light to medium blends.
-My favorite cups of all time have come from Slayers or Kees Spirit machines with beans/roasts that have a juicy/citrus flavor. Noble Cafe in Montreal would be a perfect example. I am unable to properly produce that flavor with my SO and blends, SO and blends from local roasters, Panther Coffee's West Coast Espresso, Ritual's Sweet Tooth, and various Ozo and Boxcar coffees. I want a machine that can do it. I don't want to upgrade after this, and I'm not sure I can afford/justify a Slayer. But if this machine won't do that, I'll keep waiting/looking.
-Do you think the L1 will produce the shots I am looking for? Other beans I should try to achieve the flavor I want?

My thoughts on L1 vs LR:
-LR is not tall enough for me. My cabinet height is not an issue, my counters are not tall, and I am 6'3". My Vivaldi sits is on 3" cups on the counter to raise it up and I love it, plus I've heard levers are a little easier to operate if they are on a tall counter.
-My Vivaldi is plumbed/drained, and that is what I want in a new machine. No need for a pump or tank.
-I want a big boiler. We drink mainly 3-4 caps per day plus the occasional caps/Americanos for guests, and we steam giant hot chocolates for the kids and regularly use the hot water tap for teas. Most of the time the Vivaldi can keep up, though back to back teas will bring it to its knees, and it has a 2.5L steam boiler. 7L seems like overkill, and something around 4L seems right.
-What is the duration between the "Pstat click"s for the L1 and how loud? [6 minutes is the answer] My wife is super sensitive to noises. I'm a little worried about this.
-L1 has a cup warmer, the LR does not. That is a big plus to me.

Making the L1 work in the US:
Based on my reading of this forum and asking Reiss, here is what I have gathered.
-You need a 15A 240V circuit. I talked to an electrician and an existing 120V circuit to the kitchen can be converted given that a) no other outlet is on the circuit and b) you have space for a 240V breaker in your box. You could also have an additional line run to the kitchen if you choose.
-The L1 comes with a UK plug, so you need to either cut the cord and replace the plug, or just replace the cord with one of these:
www.quick220.com/CORD104.html
It is a NEMA 6-15 plug so make sure the electrician puts in a compatible outlet.

Other thoughts:
-Leak detector, I haven't used one for my Vivaldi, but Reiss' paranoia in the threads I've read might be rubbing off on me. I found this link from a user but it is in Australia. Does anyone know of a similar US-based simple leak detector?
www.topargee.com.au/water-leak-detector.html
-I have my Vivaldi running on a Wemo to act as the timer plus the ability to turn it on with my phone. Does anyone know of a 240V/NEMA 6-15 smart plug option to do this? If not, could I keep the UK plug and go with a UK compatible smart plug and install a UK outlet?
-Or should I just forget the smart plug nonsense and just leave it on 24/7?
-Has anyone thought about a mod to mix cool water from the line-in with boiler water for the hot water tap? The GS/3 has this capability

bettysnephew

Postby bettysnephew » Dec 07, 2018, 11:30 am

If I may, you might look into a Bosco Sorrento as it is available in 120 volt. It has a 6 liter boiler which has ample steaming power. The price is higher than the L1 but I also saw mention of the GS3 in your post so if that is within your budget and you want a lever machine the Bosco is worth a look see. Another option might be the Profitec Pro 800.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586

sluflyer06

Postby sluflyer06 » Dec 07, 2018, 12:57 pm

Someone please correct me if needed, but I thought I had read on this forum that you cannot simply use 2 legs of a USA 120V line to make it into a 240v for EU machines as the EU machines see 240V on 1 leg.

Edit: I'm reading more and from what I can find using 2 legs is still 1 phase as there is no way to have more than 1 phase with 2 wires. However I've also read that if a machine has a single pole on/off switch that in the OFF position the unit would still be energized with 120V....I'm not electrician, this may be very wrong.

Phaedrus

Postby Phaedrus » Dec 07, 2018, 2:22 pm

sluflyer06 wrote:Someone please correct me if needed, but I thought I had read on this forum that you cannot simply use 2 legs of a USA 120V line to make it into a 240v for EU machines as the EU machines see 240V on 1 leg.


I'm very interested in this as well. A while back, I spent an hour with a master electrician trying to wrap our brains around how some people order 240V machines from Europe and wire them up in the US without using some sort of transformer.

bettysnephew

Postby bettysnephew » Dec 08, 2018, 10:48 am

Using a transformer would be very inefficient and expensive for a proper quality unit. Hooking a white neutral lead as a powered leg would be highly illegal and unsafe. The 240 volt is not so much the issue for operating the machines heater but the solenoids and Gicar units for water fill etc. may or may not react kindly to the 60 Hz. frequency of our power depending on their design. There may be buzzing or worse yet overheating due to not fully engaging when powered up. If you are going to run a Euro unit on US power, run a separate dedicated electric line and hope there are no problems from the difference in frequency.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586

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JohnB.

Postby JohnB. » Dec 08, 2018, 12:25 pm

Lots of 230/240v Speedsters in use in the U.S. The machines are rated 50/60hz. 9 years of use & no issues there. Blue & brown are used for hots & the yellow/green is ground when you install the U.S. plug. It's been over 9 years so I'm not sure but I may have had to switch one wire position inside the machine. Either way it was pretty simple & has worked fine on a dedicated 240v/15A (12g run) circuit ever since. The circuit is protected by a GFCI breaker.
LMWDP 267

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homeburrero
Team HB

Postby homeburrero » Dec 08, 2018, 1:28 pm

sluflyer06 wrote: I'm reading more and from what I can find using 2 legs is still 1 phase as there is no way to have more than 1 phase with 2 wires. However I've also read that if a machine has a single pole on/off switch that in the OFF position the unit would still be energized with 120V....I'm not electrician, this may be very wrong.

In the US, our 240V power is done via two 120V (with respect to neutral) hot legs that are 180 degrees out of phase, so you have a 240V potential between them. It is indeed single phase.

Inside the machine If you switch either leg off it will open the circuit, so you don't necessarily need double pole switches. Double pole power switches are advisable for safety reasons so that no wire inside the machine is energized with respect to ground when the power switch is off.

Any licensed electrician should know how to set you up with such a circuit, outlet, and plug, and may be able to pull it off without pulling new wire from the breaker box to the kitchen. It will need an appropriate breaker, and especially in the case of an espresso machine you should insist that it have a GFCI.

As John B. pointed out, typical espresso machines' electronics are fine with either 50 or 60 Hz. Even the popular Ulka EX5 vibratory pumps, which are frequency dependent, are 50/60 Hz. (They vibrate just a little faster at 60 Hz than at 50.)
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

sluflyer06

Postby sluflyer06 » replying to homeburrero » Dec 08, 2018, 4:41 pm

Good to know for the future since I already have dedicated electrical run to our espresso bar. Thanks for the information.

Phaedrus

Postby Phaedrus » Dec 08, 2018, 8:16 pm

At the risk of turning this thread into a course on the nuances of the U.S. electric grid, can you dive a bit deeper? In Europe if you measure across the "hot" and neutral, you'll get ~240v. In the U.S. if you measure across the "hot" and neutral, you'll get ~120v. But if you pull two "hots" from each phase on the panel and measure across you'll get ~240V. So a Euro machine would have the hot and neutral wired to both hot legs in the U.S.? Sorry for being dense, but my Google-fu has failed me. The articles I've found range from "can't be done" to "get a transformer."

homeburrero wrote:In the US, our 240V power is done via two 120V (with respect to neutral) hot legs that are 180 degrees out of phase, so you have a 240V potential between them. It is indeed single phase.

Inside the machine If you switch either leg off it will open the circuit, so you don't necessarily need double pole switches. Double pole power switches are advisable for safety reasons so that no wire inside the machine is energized with respect to ground when the power switch is off.

Any licensed electrician should know how to set you up with such a circuit, outlet, and plug, and may be able to pull it off without pulling new wire from the breaker box to the kitchen. It will need an appropriate breaker, and especially in the case of an espresso machine you should insist that it have a GFCI.

As John B. pointed out, typical espresso machines' electronics are fine with either 50 or 60 Hz. Even the popular Ulka EX5 vibratory pumps, which are frequency dependent, are 50/60 Hz. (They vibrate just a little faster at 60 Hz than at 50.)

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homeburrero
Team HB

Postby homeburrero » Dec 08, 2018, 11:34 pm

Phaedrus wrote: . . . can you dive a bit deeper?

I'll give it a try . . .

Phaedrus wrote: In Europe if you measure across the "hot" and neutral, you'll get ~240v. In the U.S. if you measure across the "hot" and neutral, you'll get ~120v. But if you pull two "hots" from each phase on the panel and measure across you'll get ~240V.

Correct.

Phaedrus wrote:So a Euro machine would have the hot and neutral wired to both hot legs in the U.S.?

Yes. On the euro machine, one side of the load wiring is truly neutral, and at roughly the same potential as ground. In North American 240 Volt there is no neutral wired into the machine - you have two hots - one to each side of the load, plus a ground wire (which is there for safety, never carries current unless you get a ground fault problem.) The potential between either of the two hot wires and ground would be 120V, but the potential across the terminals at the load would be 240V which functions the same as the UK or Euro situation -- the load doesn't know or care - the element gets hot the same. (Think of a log being sawed by a crosscut saw - goes the same if a big lumberjack is at one side or two half-strength lumberjacks are at each end.)

With respect to which side (hot or neutral) is switched inside the machine, that also doesn't matter that much. Both sides carry the current, and switching either one off (as with a pressurestat or safety switch) will stop the current flow. Also, in the case of non-polarized Euro plugs (Italian or Shucko) you don't really know which side of the load is actually neutral and which side is 'hot', because the plug might be inserted either way into the wall outlet. So these machines are generally designed to be safe irrespective of which side is hot, which means they should also be acceptably safe in the North American situation where both sides are hot.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h