Lelit Bianca User Experience - Page 143

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Don Task

#1421: Post by Don Task »

Amberale wrote:Hi folks.
I have a question for those who have plumbed their Bianca.
I have an in line adjustable pressure regulator which drops my pressure to 2 bar.
I have tested this at the connection that feeds the machine with a different gauge which also shows 2 bar.
However at rest my pressure gauge shows 3-4bar.
Everything works but I am curious about why.
Now I'm off to clean these filthy things. :)
Off the top of my head... considering both gauges are analog in nature and considering both would have had some form of factory calibration its understandable they may not have adhered to the same calibration standard. Also, its conceivable the older gauge you are using may have drifted or been knocked out of calibration over the years. If it was a huge concern and I was to suggest anything it would be to simply replace the pressure gauge with one that would allow for more granular readings... like 0-10 bar or better yet 0-5 bar (instead of your current 0-14 bar gauge).

I've included a shot of my gauge situation. As you can see both of my gauges are close to providing the same reading but I personally don't think you have an issue as long as you can use your regulator to dial down the pressure and the gauge on your Bianca registers your desired pressure setting. Just FYI: With my old Cimbali Jr as well as my Reneka Techno I was advised to set line pressure at 2 bar.

Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]


#1422: Post by Amberale »

Thanks for the reply Don.
I'll try another gauge on the restrictor and see how that goes.
IIRC, when cold the Bianca shows about 2.3(confirming that is Bar not PSI) but I have a smart power switch on it and it is already on and up to temp up when I get up.
I'm trying to work out if the increase on the gauge when it heats up is due to the hot water/steam in the boiler.
It did not do when I was running it off the tank.
I'm not concerned about the pressure as it is still well within the recommended values.
It has taken me almost four months to be curious enough to ask about it. :)
I was more considering whether there was enough water flow to fill the steam boiler when pulling hot water from it.
I have a drinking water outlet connected to the same water supply.
Both it and the Bianca use the same particle filter then the Bianca also has a hardness filter.
At current settings the water tap has a flow rate of around 2.4 litres a minute and it will slow significantly if I lower the pressure again.

Don Task

#1423: Post by Don Task » replying to Amberale »

Sorry... it's clear growing up in the US has skewed my worldly perspective when talking weights and measures. You are correct when stating gauge readings in question are displaying pressure in bars and not psi as I initially indicated. :oops: I have since corrected my original reply to reflect bars.

Ironically... we have "similar" installations. My coffee bar also has two sources for water 1) a drinking water faucet in the sink used when drawing water for a drip coffee pot. 2) the water line leading to my espresso machine. Like your installation, the water line leading to my coffee bar has a particle filter. After the particle filter the tap leading to my Bianca has hardness filter. The only possible difference in our installations is it appears you've indicated both your Bianca "and" your drinking water outlet are installed in the water line "after" your pressure reducer. In this case - as you indicated by reducing line pressure via your regulator then your drinking water tap pressure would decrease as well.

Yes... as your machine heats up from a cold start and approaches operating temperature you will see a steady increase in steam pressure on Bianca's gauge until Bianca reaches the desired steam boiler temp as set via the LCC. In regards to your observation when running off the tank versus plumbed there are two factors in play. 1) When using the external tank the tank water is warm due to its close proximity to the machine so the drop in temperature/pressure would be much less than when refilling the boiler via direct plumbed and pulling in cold service line water. 2) When using the external tank there is no line pressure involved. Its gravity fed and water is pulled in via the pump rather than being assisted (i.e., pushed in) via water line pressure.

In either case you'll also see a drop in pressure as the steam boiler cools. In regards to your "considering whether there was enough water flow to fill the steam boiler when pulling hot water from it" - Yes, even with a reduced line pressure (e.g. set at 2 bar) there will be more than enough water supply and pressure to satisfy the boiler refill. True, as you pull off hot water via Bianca hot water tap, the steam pressure will drop in the boiler due to pressure being released when you open the tap "but" eventually Biancas pump will kick to refill the boiler (i.e., adding cold water to the boiler) which in turn will further decrease steam pressure as the boiler cools. However, although you will eventually run out of hot water, the boiler will not run dry. It's easy to enough to verify... just open Biancas hot water valve all the way and leave it open. Biancas pump will continue to cycle on and off to refill the boiler as needed - however, eventually water coming from the hot water tap will be cold. Although Bianca has more than enough steaming power for making for back to back cappuccinos... it is not designed to provide non stop hot water on demand.

Anyway... you'll be fine if you want to keep the pressure at 3 bar, as to not starve supply from your drinking water tap. FACT: A lot of espresso machine owners don't even bother to install pressure reducers. My only suggestion for a solution would be would be (if its easily accessible) is to re-plumb your water tap line so it is located prior to your pressure reducing valve.

At the top of this photo is a rough diagram of how mine is plumbed:

Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]


#1424: Post by Amberale »

G'Day Ken and co.
Again, thanks for the replies and advice.

To confirm, I am referring to the pressure/temperature of the Group boiler not the Steam boiler.
My steam boiler gauge(the upper needle on the analogue dial) operates as expected and as you describe.

The lower needle on the other hand used to read zero at rest when connected to the tank.

The machine is currently set up in Eco mode with the steam boiler turned off.
When I got up this morning it had been turned on for about 2 hours and the Group boiler was reading 2 bar.
After I pulled a shot it was reading 3.5 bar.
After resting for half an hour it had dropped back to 2 bar.( I don't think it was dropping like this before I changed to Eco mode but I'll have to check).
I tried moving the lever to the 1/2 position to see if it opened a relief valve but couldn't discern any change.
This cycle occurred each time I pulled a coffee during the day.
I understand that it should read the in-line pressure but can't explain the time lag in the pressure drop.

I am just curious if other plumbed Biancas behave like this or if there is something odd in my pressurised circuit.
The machine works wonderfully hasn't given me any problems and I'd like to keep it that way. :)

My concern about the water from the steam boiler(when switched on) was that the pump/steam pressure might empty the boiler faster than the plumbed water pipe could supply it.
I reckon it would just shut off the pump before the boiler level gets too low and I'm not worried.
I only really use it to flush 250-500ml of water from the steam boiler once or twice a week.

WRT the low pressure drinking water supply, some vestigial memory tells me that carbon filters work best at a low flow rate so I am happy to keep it as is.
My sink water is at "normal" pressure.

Thanks again for your advice and I am keen to hear from others who have plumbed their Biancas.
Cheers Craig


#1425: Post by Espressoman007 »

what is the power consumption when both brew boiler and steam boiler are on, and what is when only brew boiler is on?
For Bianca, of course.


#1426: Post by Amberale » replying to Espressoman007 »

Sorry mate, no idea.
I don't do frothy milk drinks so I leave it off except for visitors or flushing once a week or so.

User avatar

#1427: Post by slybarman »

Per 1st-line, US version is 1000 watt brew boiler and 1400 watt service boiler. I assume 1400 is max at any time as these are routinely used on 15 amp circuits.


#1428: Post by Espressoman007 »

I forgot to write that it's Europe (220V) version, 1400 w brew boiler and 1400 w steam boiler. I did read some explanation about consumption, but again I was left with some questions. Someone said that the max consumption in both cases is max 1400 w. If you don't know anything about how it works, you would say that those two boilers, when they are ON (both heating elements working) would add up and that would be max 2800 w/h. But it's not. Max is still 1400 w? OK, that can't happen because of on/off cycles when heating. But let's say it is ON all the time. That's one thing I don't understand, because electricity to me is like Chinese or any language I don't speak (almost). The other confusing thing, and it's related, is that in the manual it's mentioned that the power consumption can be saved by running only brew boiler? How come?
I run Bianca on 20 amp (220V) circuit which is about 4500 w.
Where are those savings that are mentioned in the manual, if it's max 1400 in both cases?

If I am running two heaters at the same time, and each is 2500 w/h. If both are ON the whole time, consumption per hour (max) would be
5 kW and not 2kW.
Why is an espresso machine different?


User avatar

#1429: Post by slybarman »

I can't speak to the 220v version. Best I am able to tell, 110v version only energizes one heater at a time to keep total draw under 15 amps.

Energy savings = not using electric to heat larger service boiler.

Heaters don't stay on the whole time. The PID switches them on/off all the time.

User avatar

#1430: Post by skansen »

To reduce amperage (wattage) in some dual boiler machines boilers are heated consecutively. Bianca is an example. In such configuration coffee boiler have priority. This means that the steam boiler is activated only after the programmed temperature of the coffee boiler has been reached. As a result "momentary power demand" is lower, it allows home installation to handle machine with two boilers. But there is no impact on total power consumption (kWh) - what we see on electricity bill is the same as in machines without this configuration (with two boiler heated together).

When you switch off steam boiler only coffee boiler is heated. As a result total power consumption (kWh) is lower - you pay lower bill for electricity.