ADDENDUM: As I noted with the edit in the original post of this thread, the machine in question is a Nuova Simonelli Oscar (not the Tea as originally stated by me). The confusion was mine. In any case, the Oscar is not equipped with a vacuum breaker and so the pressurestat is likely to sense a false pressure upon first warm up and so I have been informed by the owner of the company from which the machine came that having an Oscar on a timer will not damage the machine, but because of the false pressure situation, a timer is a waste of effort.
Interestingly enough, the downloaded copy of the Oscar manual from the Espressoparts.com page
does not seem to mention false pressure or its consequences anywhere, including no mention of this situation in the troubleshooting section. If anything, the manual seems to indicate the opposite, as it states in two places to be sure that the steam valve is closed before use:INSTALLATION
18)Only if the steam valve (8) is closed, buttons (1 and 4) are not pressed and the line voltage matches the label requirements, plug the unit into the power supply outlet.
..and in the beginning of the section immediately following "INSTALLATION":SETTING UP THE MACHINE
After having completed the preliminary operations:
1) Make certain that the steam valve (8) is closed.
2) Press the main switch (1) to turn on the unit; the machine automatically feeds water into the boiler (initial time: approximately 3 min), once the water has reached the set level, the units starts heating and the heating light goes on. Note: the machine has an electronic level valve so it automatically feeds in water to the boiler as needed to restore the level.
No wonder resources such as dependable resellers with good after-sale support and home-barista.com are so valuable!
Timer vs. no timer is still interesting, so any more comments, facts, or actual photos of UFOs or spirits roaming the hallways are welcome.