Water Softener for Breville Dual Boiler

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

Postby mryanwalker » Dec 06, 2018, 10:24 pm

Does anyone know if those water softener pouches will work in the Breville Dual Boiler tank?

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Postby redbone » replying to mryanwalker » Dec 07, 2018, 9:59 am

At a recent event held by Breville last Saturday someone asked the rep if the new softener now found in the touch models would fit in the older machines that used the puck softener in tank. Rep responded with yes but a housing would need to be purchased from Breville in order to accept the new filter. She also described the new filter as having similar properties and results found in Zero water filters.
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Postby Danioro » Dec 31, 2018, 7:40 pm

I use a Zero Water filter, which removes virtually all the dissolved solids which would cause scaling and off flavors. Very happy with it


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Postby homeburrero » Jan 01, 2019, 8:11 pm

mryanwalker wrote:Does anyone know if those water softener pouches will work in the Breville Dual Boiler tank?

I don't think anyone has really answered your question, but I'll say that from a water treatment perspective a conventional softener pouch, in addition to the Breville's little carbon pod filter would work. It appears there is space in the reservoir for dropping in a pouch, and as long as the pouch doesn't mechanically obstruct flow I see no reason why not. In areas with scale-prone hardness it should reduce the need to descale, and that's a good thing. The conventional softener pouches from Rocket or Oscar will lower your hardness, increase sodium a little, but will not acidify your water or reduce the alkalinity. They work best if you make a practice of refilling your reservoir before going to bed, so the water in the reservoir has a long contact time before pulling your morning shots.

The BWT bestsave pad is a little different from the Oscar and Rocket pouches - appears to be a decarbonizing (WAC) resin. It should also reduce the need to descale, and would reduce both the hardness and the alkalinity. But it may not be the best choice if you don't have high alkalinity, especially if you also have chloride in your water.

The new Claro Swiss filter that they are using in the newest Oracle Touch clearly does have a softening capability, not clear what type, or how effective it might be.

If I wanted to be cautious, and if I lived in an area that had unknown or poor quality water, I think I'd just stick with bottled or simple homemade water. Zerowater (or distilled or RO) would be fine if spiked with a little mineral, for example 0.4g of potassium bicarbonate per gallon of distilled or purified (the 'rpavlis' recipe.) Straight Zerowater would not be good - it has practically no conductivity and may defeat the water sensors in the machine in addition to lacking alkalinity/buffer for corrosion protection.
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