How to drain double boiler for shipment

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#1: Post by slowrey »

How do I drain a Duetto II for shipping? I knew how to do it with my Tea but I'm not sure now.


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#2: Post by HB »

I don't know the precise layout of this machine, but assuming it has over-pressure valves on the top of the boilers, remove them and siphon the water out. Draining an HX boiler for storage and shipping offers other tips.
Dan Kehn

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#3: Post by erics »

The only boiler I would be even a little bit concerned about (at this time of the year) would be the steam boiler. A potential leak path is via the vacuum breaker valve if the shipping carton is turned on its side.

So, remove the vacuum breaker, maybe just the top half, and syphon out as Dan suggested.

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

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#4: Post by HB »

I agree there's no reason to be concerned about freezing and the brew boiler is very unlikely to leak. On the other hand, you may save a dollar or two by draining the boilers dry since shipping companies charge by weight.
Dan Kehn


#5: Post by phreich »

I also agree with the responses indicating that it isn't really necessary to drain the boiler this time of year because it won't freeze when shipped via ground shipping, but a good point was raised about possible leakage if the carton is tipped on it's side or back via a vacuum breaker valve.

HOWEVER, just to make sure people are aware, if you are planning on shipping an espresso machine of any sort during months when mountain passes could be below freezing temperatures, you do need to drain the boiler. I mention the mountain passes, because -- you need to be concerned about the temperatures in the locations the machine will be traveling through -- not just the departure location and the destination. Freezing damage could occur anywhere along the way -- ground transportation is not heated. Think worst case scenario temperature-wise and plan accordingly.

As suggested, if the boiler doesn't have a drain in the bottom, you can remove the boiler safety valve on the top of the boiler and either siphon out the boiler or turn the machine upside down and let it drain out (after having removed all loose parts like drip pans, cup warmer trays, emptying supply tanks from pour-over machines, etc...). If you don't drain the boiler and it freezes, you will wind up with either a very expensive repair (boiler and any other parts that may have been frozen), or a worthless machine because the repairs are more expensive than the machine is worth.

In addition to being concerned about the boiler freezing, a person shipping a machine would be prudent to drain all lines by opening up the appropriate lines and draining them, or blowing them out with low-pressure compressed air. I have seen a number of ruined dosimeters on automatic machines due to freezing, as well as some burst tubing.

Bottom line, if shipping during potentially freezing weather in the high passes, and you don't feel comfortable about draining the machine yourself, take it into a professional or truly experienced amateur friend and have them prep it for shipping.

One last thought -- this also applies to machines being stored. I recently ran into a beautiful donated but ruined automatic two group machine because the church deacon had stored it in an outdoor shed over the winter. The machine basically was just worth the metal salvage value and whatever parts could be resold like the motor, electronics, portafilters, etc. When storing a machine, it is best to store it in a heated space -- then you don't have to worry about freezing.

I hope this helps,


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#6: Post by duke-one »

Does anyone know if the cargo hold on an airplane is heated? If the machine goes by air at any point in it's trip, it is always cold (very) up there.


#7: Post by phreich »

Ground shipment, by definition will be done by ground, whether parcel post or UPS ground. I think you would only need to be concerned if you ship via 3rd or second day air, or priority mail....

But, to the best of my knowledge, most North American commercial air transport is pressurized and conditioned. To make sure, contact the carrier you choose to ship with.... I can't speak to foreign carriers, especially in 3rd world countries, or way-out-of-the place locations like possibly areas of the Northern Territories in Canada, or some remote areas in Alaska.


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#8: Post by floydo »

To drain the big steam boiler is very easy.
Heat up the unit.
Turn off the power
Open the water wand....

Tank will drain itself.

For the brew side, probably the best way is to do via one of the fittings on the tank top and siphon or suck out...

If worried about freezing you should probably blow out all the lines in the pump brew lines.....that is a bit of a challenge given the pump & solenoids so selective loosening of the plumbing would likely help.

Oh, on commercial airlines, cargo areas are generally heated and pressurized.....I met a baggage guy that once got locked in and found himself in LA after loading in Seattle....he had a long day :)



#9: Post by Louis »

floydo wrote:To drain the big steam boiler is very easy.
Heat up the unit.
Turn off the power
Open the water wand....

Tank will drain itself.
Note that this will drain the steam boiler only down to the hot water tube on the side of the boiler. Depending on the machine, this could leave a good amount of water in the boiler.

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#10: Post by cannonfodder »

That will NOT drain your boiler. To do it right, you need to pull the case. Disconnect the boiler lines and let it drain out the bottom of the boiler. You also need to run compressed air through the system to get the water out of the tubing. On a HX, you also need to drain the HX line and on an E61 machine you must disconnect the thermosyphen and drain it or get it to drain out the Glicer by taking the nut off the top of the group and turning the machine upside down. Simply heating and opening the water tap will get you a frozen machine, or it will leak water everywhere and the box will fall apart and the machine get destroyed by the shipper.
Dave Stephens