Espresso Machine On All Day?

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#1: Post by PeetsFan »

What's the word on how long you can keep a premium, prosumer dual-boiler machine running?

I keep mine on a timer from 6:00 or 7:00AM to 1:00PM. But, I never read that there's a reason why it can't stay running 24/7. The manual doesn't say anything about this.

My machine is a Bezzera Duo MN, a typical E61 dual-boiler.

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#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I see no reason to not leave your machine on for as long as you choose.

Like you, our machine is programmed to run from 8am till noon 7-days a week but at times it's been on from morning till night particularly if we're expecting company.

The only thing that I would caution, aside from non-scaling water would be a Leak Detector with automatic cut-off, if it's direct plumbed, in case of a water leak.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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#3: Post by SandraF »

My machine is preset to go into "Eco" mode after 90 minutes, but can be set for any amount of time. When it goes into "Eco" it is officially "off". To "reinvigorate" the machine, I simply raise the brew lever & that flips the machine back on (out of "Eco" mode).

When I'm done for the day, I turn the machine off by the on/off switch.


#4: Post by JRising »

Gaskets, silicone or rubber hoses and seals will age faster when hot. Scale will deposit faster, especially if there's any slight leakage to let the vapour out, but the fact is, it has to be on some times or it's useless, I used to leave it on if there was any chance at all I'd be wanting another espresso at any point that same day. On weekends it usually stayed on from 8:00 AM until perhaps 6:00. But there's no sense paying electricity bills for no purpose other than pumping all that heat into your house 24/7 in the summer. Sure, leave it on for when you'll appreciate it being on. It will idle 24/7 if it has to.

But think of it as any machine. Just because electricity is cheaper than gas isn't a good reason to waste it. Shut it down when you have no use for it to be on, like shutting off your car when you're home asleep at night. Leave it running for the moment you're at a red light if you want that convenience, but don't leave your car running all night while you're asleep and there's no way anybody other than a thief is going to be taking advantage of it. Good for the machine, good for your budget.
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#5: Post by HB »

PeetsFan wrote:I never read that there's a reason why it can't stay running 24/7.
Really? This is one of the site's top perennial questions, behind "when should I start timing the extraction?" and "does this puck look normal?" (puckology). :lol: Here's one of my first replies on the topic, dating back over 14 years: Leave it on, or turn it off?
HB wrote:I can appreciate the convenience of always-on espresso machines, especially for commercial units that demand hours to stabilize. But I've still not heard any compelling evidence tying premature component failures to on/off cycling. Simply put: What components are more likely to fail if a machine is run four hours a day versus 24/7?

In past discussions, I've read the following disadvantages of on/off cycling:
  • Inconvenient if one must wait, or added expense if one buys a timer; risk that machines without auto-refill with be turned on without water and burn out the heating element; risk that brew switch will be inadvertently be left in on position and burn out pump when timer starts it
  • Increases scale build-up at the boiler's waterline
  • "Stresses" connections of dissimilar metals (How does this manifest itself as a failure - boiler leaks? If so, from where?)
  • Electronic components are subjected to changing temperatures, which increases the likelihood of them failing. The argument that failures are more common with frequently cycled computers is often cited in the same context
  • Sensitive electronic components are subjected to electrical spikes when machine is turned on/off
I've read the following advantages of on/off cycling:
  • Saves energy
  • Increases the lifespan of gaskets
  • Reduced usage decreases pressurestat's carbon buildup, which is the leading cause of failure
  • Some "weaker" connections are made of nylon or plastic (tees, insulators). Exposure to less heat reduces their failure rates
  • Reduced exposure to high temperatures increases the lifespan of sensitive electronic components like controllers (note: applies mostly to prosumer / semi-commercial machines; they are located outside of the case of most commercial units)
Looking at the list above, the one that sticks out for me is the pressurestat. They cost around $40-$60. If I remember correctly, that roughly equates to the added energy cost of approximately two years' 24/7 operation. It wouldn't surprise me if 24/7 operation would decrease some pressurestat's lifespan by that much (e.g., CEME, MATER).

The calculations for a cafe are a lot easier. If the cafe closes at 10pm and reopens around 6am, realistically they have little choice but to run 24/7. For those with machines that warm up in 30-60 minutes, it's an option. Is on/off cycling a more economical option? I don't know for certain, but my guess is yes, it is for most prosumer / semi-commercial units.
Also see the back-n-forth in Leaving a Prosumer HX Espresso Machine On CAN SAVE ENERGY and similar topics.
Dan Kehn

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#6: Post by JohnB. »

I have my machines on timers set to come on at 6am & off at 6 pm everyday. I'm around all day so I want the machine up to temp when I want a shot. I alternate between the machines so only one is on each day. Both machines have insulated boilers which lengthens the time between heating cycles & saves some electricity. My 2011 Bosco has 10 years on the original Sirai P'stat so far.


#7: Post by Castillo2001 »

Everything has a mileage/time/use rating. Even things specifically designed to work under extreme heat will eventually wear out. Think about most TV today are rated at something around 10,000 hours on time. This will last you years if its only on during normal usage, but how many years do you cut off of its life if you were to leave it on 24/7 with a screen saver bouncing around. Same is true for the components in an espresso machine, yes they are designed to work at high temps, but eventually they will go out and the longer they are held at temp the sooner you will be doing some repairs. So the decision is for each of us to make, is the convenience of pulling a shot at any given minute worth it to you knowing that you are risking maintenance earlier in its lifespan. Some people are going to say Yes and some No, as long as you know the pros and cons you make the choice.