HX-E61 with lots of scale on the mushroom, how should I descale the rest?

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ancamo

#1: Post by ancamo »

So after reading the HB thread about HX simplified descale, I finally decided to take off the mushroom from my Andreja Premium to see what it looked like down there.

And as you can see on the pictures, it ain't looking good.


I did soak everything in vinegar for 30 minutes as well as poured vinegar in the brew path and let it soak. Scrubbed off everything I could and reassembled the whole thing, looks much better as you can see on the pictures.



Now my question is, if the mushroom was soooo bad what does it tell me about the rest of the machine's inside, about the boiler, the pipes and everything?

I mean if it's just as bad in the boiler or close to that, how good is it to do a full boiler descale without taking it apart and getting inside to scrub it? How much build up would it really remove? I don't use the water from inside the boiler often so it may not be as bad, I don't know...plus I bought it second hand so I can't be sure either

I'd be willing to send it to Chris Coffee for a good professional disassemble and descale (and yes I would make sure this build up never happens after ;-) but the shipping back and forth from Canada would cost so much it's not even thinkable ;-(

So is it worth for me to do a boiler descale following the instructions in the HB thread, or should I seek a more professional job?

Thanks for your help and comments

Pascal

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erics
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#2: Post by erics »

Disconnect the steam line at the boiler and syphon the existing water out.
Using a baby funnel, add WELL DISSOLVED descaling solution to the boiler till visibly full.
Replace steam line and open steam valve all the way.
Power up boiler for 5 minutes then shut down and rest for 30 minutes or so. Repeat 5 minute/30 minute cycle.
Remove steam line and syphon liquid out. Reconnect steam line fitting.
Disconnect heating element at a convenient spot (thermal safety fuse, terminal 2/T1 on SSR, etc.).
Power up machine and observe that autofill initiates within a few seconds or so.
With the steam valve still open, remove the water level probe connection and let the boiler fill until water escapes from the steam wand.
Reconnect water level probe, syphon the water out of the boiler as before, and power up the machine for autofill.
Reconnect the heating element after you UNPLUG the machine.

Power the machine on, give it 45-60 minutes to warm up, and then make some coffee.
Skål,

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

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ancamo (original poster)

#3: Post by ancamo (original poster) »

Thanks Eric I will do what you are suggesting, since you seem to believe that it would be enough to descale the boiler that way. Now that would only leave the actual HX tubes that connect to the brew group to be descaled right.? I guess I could do it with a normal simple HX descale, or you think I should take them apart and soak them on their own in a container ?

Thank you do much for the detailed information in your previous reply, that is much appreciated

Pascal

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erics
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#4: Post by erics »

Syphoning water out of the hx circuit is a PITA . . . but it can be done . . . close to 100%. Removing those tubes is, of course, a possibility but that is a lot of work for little gain. Simply pouring white vinegar into the mushroom area and letting it sit for an hour or so works wonders. It flushes out quite readily.

See this - not that you need it now - Checking an E61 Espresso Machine for Scale

I am not a big fan of descaling although your mushroom results (and mine) speak for themselves - good job! The important surface is the "mushroom chamber" walls as that is a primary heat transfer area.
Skål,

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

ancamo (original poster)

#5: Post by ancamo (original poster) »

Actually I was thinking of doing the HX descale pretty much like a single boiler descale, adding descal solution in reservoir with only the feeding tube in solution run the pump to let descaling solution in the HX out of the brew head and let it sit and repeat. And do it all again with plain water to rinse descale solution. But i did pour vinegar in the brew group when I did the mushroom thing so this could be enough....

Now in your instructions for the descale you suggest disconnecting the heating element, is this to avoid to run the heating element without enough water in the boiler?

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erics
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#6: Post by erics »

. . . you suggest disconnecting the heating element, is this to avoid . . .
Yes, and likewise with using the machine's pump to flow descaling solution through the hx. Of course it has been done w/o problems many times . . . . It also has a fair share of sad endings.
Skål,

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

ancamo (original poster)

#7: Post by ancamo (original poster) »

Awesome, thanks, I like the way you approach the descale process and I think this should be a Sticky somewhere :D