How to drain double boiler for shipment - Page 2

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#11: Post by phreich »

I concur with Louis and Dave -- unfortunately, the suggestion to attempt to purge the boiler via the water wand won't work, and you'll wind up with a frozen machine -- most likely destroying the heat exchanger which would remain filled and other non-drained water components in both the boiler and HX water paths.

There are no shortcuts to prepping a machine for shipping in cold weather. In warm weather, what was suggested might save a bit on weight by reducing (but not fully removing) the water in the boiler, but, due to leakage potential, the package could get water damaged and fall apart -- you can't trust a "This side up" sign on a package to be followed by shippers....

You could not count on shipping insurance paying either -- they would say you improperly packaged the machine because water could damage the packaging and would deny the claim.

The best bet is to open up fittings, fully drain the HX and the boiler, open up the various lines that might have water in them and gently blow them out with compressed air. As Dave mentions, if there is a chamber in the group head(s) for a Glicer, that must be drained as well (E61 groups and Elektras have them, and others with similar designs).

On non-hx boilers, unless they have a drain port on the bottom, probably the best way to to drain them is to remove a top fitting and turn the machine upside down to drain all the water out, then open lines and blow the water out of them and any valves in the water path....

A final word of caution -- after having drained the machine -- the recipient of the package would need to follow whatever instructions the manufacturer gives for doing the initial filling of the boiler without the heating element from coming on. Failure to do that would likely cause the heating element to overheat and get damaged before it gets submerged by the water....

I hope this helps,


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#12: Post by floydo »

Re Dave, Louis and Phillip
I agree with blowing out lines and disconnecting plumbing at the brew tank, especially if frozen temps are expected....The Duetto is not a HX, and I believe the original question was for shipping, not freezing. To completely drain, I agree. The steam tank is over 90+% drained by the steam pressure. I have measured steam tank capacity and levels and peered into the steam tank after purging as described. It is essentially empty except for some small moisture in the tank bottom around the fitting for the element. For shipping that should be adequate, but not for freezing (for the steam side). For draining the brew tank the tubing must be disconnected. Blowing out is best, the fill tube for the brew goes through the steam tank.....

A bit delayed, but I have been out of town.....The machine should be already shipped, and hopefully making espresso somewhere :D Mine has been steadily producing very nice cups for a couple years now.


#13: Post by Louis »

floydo wrote:The Duetto is not a HX[...]
Yes and no. It isn't a HX class machine, but it does have a HX, to preheat brew water before it enters the brew boiler. See page three of Bella Barista Closer Look.