Manual filling plumbed in espresso machine?

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Postby CoffeeBeetle » Aug 22, 2016, 4:07 pm


I've been looking at some machines recently that requires plumbing in to run. Of course there's the alternative of using a flojet and a bucket of water, but i was wondering if it's possible to use some kind of hand pump to fill the machine instead of buying a flojet? I tried searching but couldn't find anything, maybe i'm not using the correct terms because i can't be the first person to at least consider this option?

Hopefully someone more experienced than me can tell me if this is possible, and why it is/why it isn't an option worth considering when looking at alternatives to plumbing in?

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Postby another_jim » Aug 22, 2016, 4:20 pm

You can simply run the pump suction side to a water cooler's dispenser bottle. Despite manufacturers not liking it, I've seen this done hundreds of times at shows. The pumps pressure adjustment will need to be reset, since they are usually set to boost a 2 to 3 bar input up espresso pressure. The manufacturers are probably correct that the extra strain on the pump is not good for three or four group machines; but I've never heard of anyone having problems with the single and two groupers used at shows.

But others may have more data on this.
Jim Schulman

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Postby CoffeeBeetle » Aug 22, 2016, 4:42 pm

I've heard about people doing that and seen that setup in a couple of pictures, but i must have put it out of my head at some point because i totally forgot about it. But if this is a viable option for single group home machines, why is a flojet seen so often? They don't seem cheap so they can't just be to take strain of the pump?
Maybe i should have made this more clear in my first post, but i was thinking of older commercial machines like the commercial Gaggia levers and the like. I didn't write in the lever forum since i thought it wasn't a "lever exclusive" question, but perhaps this changes things?


Postby Ellejaycafe » replying to CoffeeBeetle » Aug 22, 2016, 5:29 pm

With a lever machine there is no pump so I'm almost certain the flojet system is your best bet. It's not that expensive IMO. A little over 100 bucks plus the price of connections/bottle. Good thing with the lever is you don't need an accumulator.
LMWDP #544


Postby bugg » Aug 24, 2016, 1:23 am

Most people try to draw water up from a container but if you have cabinets above the machine you can likely use gravity to provide positive pressure by putting the container above the machine and running a tube down to the water input.

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Postby drgary » Aug 24, 2016, 1:26 am

I use a FloJet and water bottle for my Conti Prestina. I don't leave it attached and put a stopper in the manual fill to prevent leaks there. This works well, but I'm the only regular coffee drinker in the house.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!


Postby Nunas » Aug 24, 2016, 12:17 pm

Small cabin cruisers and RVs used to be fitted with a small hand pump. Perhaps they are still available. I'm quite sure you could use a longer pickup hose, as a few others have already mentioned in this web site. For what it's worth, the instructions that came with my Magister Stella indicated that i could drop such a hose into a jug of water placed below the counter. I have not had a look at the vibe pump in the Magister, but the one time I did open it up to see how it was built everything looked rather generic. I suspect the vibe pump is the same one seen in many other espresso machines.

I've recently installed a custom espresso bar in our house, which includes a spigot from our RO filter, which we use for espresso. I've been toying with the idea of getting a flexible hose, which I could push over the spigot, then just turn on the tap until the reservoir is filled.