Degraded espresso machine performance OR "The Scale Monster Attacks!" - Page 3

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#21: Post by RegulatorJohnson »

i guess i actually pulled out the gicleur screen/the smaller bolt and not the actual mushroom. the screen was very clean. no scale to be seen anywhere. i suppose i should get the larger wrench and check the actual shroom.

i did have a thought on a possible de-scale solution for a rotary. so i already have the blue thing that holds the filters. what if i removed the dead softener and filled the blue thing with de-scale citric acid solution. then screw the blue filter holder back into its holder. then restore the line pressure except now there is de-scale in the line inside where the softener cartridge goes. then i can refill the boiler and the HX with the descale from the filter holder. eventually all the descaler will be passed through and i can put in the new softener cartridge and rinse the system with the soft water. seems like it would work if i rinsed carefully, etc. i have a cut off in front of the filter housings so it would be simple as switching the filter. which im going to do anyway.

so this would solve the line pressure issue of ruining the rotary pump, yes? so then are there other concerns with descaling?

thanks for your time.

2012 BGA SW region rep. Roaster@cognoscenti LA

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#22: Post by HB »

edwa wrote:Dan, may I suggest Eric's instructions above be posted in the "How To" section for removing the mushroom?
Eric has done much more than that, check out Checking an E61 Espresso Machine for Scale.
Dan Kehn

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#23: Post by edwa »


Eric, thank you, again.

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#24: Post by RegulatorJohnson »

i got the softener and the carbon filter out and replaced.

it seems like the softener can have the end removed and the beads replaced. maybe i am wrong?

why couldn't i take out the beads and put in some citric acid in there or a cake of it? i guess basically it would be an inline citric acid cartridge you put in there temporarily to fill the boiler. than you put in the regular softener or filter cartridge and refill from that to rinse the citric acid.

i am thinking of siphoning the solution in and out of there through the Safety valve hole. seems easy enough to pull that safety valve, fill the boiler up. put the safety valve back in heat up the machine. then cool it off and pull the valve and siphon out the citric acid.

what do you guys think?

thanks for your time.

2012 BGA SW region rep. Roaster@cognoscenti LA

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#25: Post by erics »

I believe you need to have a good idea of what your machine looks like on the inside (mushroom removed) and some idea of the performance of the machine. By performance, it could mean how long after I pull one shot can I pull another? OR if I flush the machine to "X", how long does it take to recover to "Y" ?

Pictures would help the forum (before and after) also.

Personally, I noticed very little, if any, performance improvement by soaking the internals of the hx in vinegar for 30 minutes or so. I did it for fun - not because I felt I needed to do it.

Why not just drain the hx (via the lower fitting on the boiler), install the blind filter, remove the mushroom, and pour some citric acid solution into the chamber filling up all the important passages? Soak the mushroom in a glass up to the level of the chromed top nut.

Eric S.
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com