Need recommendations on plumbing in espresso machine

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Mojoman

#1: Post by Mojoman »

After a whole lot of research, measuring, and flip flopping, I have finally decided to go with a Vivaldi 2 for my next machine. To accomplish this I am going to plumb in from the ice machine line to my fridge.
I have decided to use the Chris Coffee softening and filter system...

However, I am wondering a few things.

First, should I also add a line regulator and pressure gauge between the filters and my machine?
I was thinking one of these http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/hom ... latorvalve and one of these http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/hom ... ssuregauge

Also, someone on this site recommended adding a T adaptor (I assume one that lets you close one path and open the other) between the filters and machine to be able to flush the water when a filter change is needed.

Are these good things to do? Any other recommendations?

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HB
Admin

#2: Post by HB »

Mojoman wrote:First, should I also add a line regulator and pressure gauge between the filters and my machine?
I recently answered this same question in Pressure regulator on La Spaziale Vivaldi 2:

"The recommendations depend on the manufacturer. According to the repair technicians at Chris' Coffee Service, if the pressure is too high, the grouphead solenoid may fail to close (drip, drip, drip). They recommend a point-of-service pressure regulator to reduce pressure to ~2 bar. I agree with their recommendation, if only to assure a stable input pressure and to act as a backflow preventor (i.e., if mains pressure fails, water isn't sucked out of the espresso machine).

In our area, the main line pressure is around 110 PSI and the house pressure regulator reduces it to 55 PSI. Unless you plan to use lines pressure for preinfusion as described in How to Preinfuse; Extraction Pressure Redux, I would go with their recommendation of 2 bar. They've sold hundreds of Vivaldis and are certainly qualified to speak with authority on the recommended install. More generally, there's lots of threads discussing this question; below is a sample:
You could ignore these recommendations and hook it up directly. I have a dishwasher, ice maker, clothes washing machine etc. and none have a point-of-service water pressure regulator. Then again, none of them are fussy about the water pressure stability while in use; rotary pump espresso pumps are for the reasons provided in the last thread above, so I would follow the manufacturer's/vendor's recommendation."
Mojoman wrote:Also, someone on this site recommended adding a T adaptor between the filters and machine to be able to flush the water when a filter change is needed. Are these good things to do? Any other recommendations?
That sounds like a smart idea. You could also use the same setup for drawing descale solution from a jug (i.e., close the post-filter system stopcock; instead of purging the filter carbon particles into a bucket, the espresso machine pump draws descale solution from a jug).
Dan Kehn

dialydose

#3: Post by dialydose »

James,

First, congratulations on your decision. I predict large quantities of wonderful espresso in your future.

With respect to plumbing off the ice maker line, this is what I am currently doing, sort of. One thing to watch for is that some refrigerators have solenoids prior to the line that goes along the back of the fridge. If this is the case, there will not be any line pressure on that line. I learned this the hard way. I ended up teeing off the line that goes into the fridge at the tap. Works great.

I would also recommend a pressure regulator. I have very high pressure in my house, so that may effect why I needed one more than your situation, but it can't hurt. I didn't add the T to my line. It is something that can easily be added after the fact, but I simply disconnect the main line when I switch filters and purge water there. I may add the T at some point though.

Good luck with your new unit.

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JohnB.
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by JohnB. »

What size is the tubing feeding your ice machine? You will want a 3/8" line from the cold water feed source to the machines stainless line. Most ice machine lines are 1/4".

While I agree a pressure regulator is a good idea I'd set it at 3 bar not 2bar(28psi) if you want to get the most out of your programmable preinfusion which is limited to 8 seconds duration. I ran my S1V2 with a 40 psi feed pressure for several years with no issues & some owners are running up to 50psi.
LMWDP 267

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HB
Admin

#5: Post by HB »

JohnB. wrote:You will want a 3/8" line from the cold water feed source to the machines stainless line. Most ice machine lines are 1/4".
Thanks for the reminder. This was noted in La Spaziale Vivaldi II - Steam Boiler Fill Noise Issue. Quoting myself again:

"If you're teeing off a 1/4" line (e.g., a refrigerator ice maker stopcock), you will likely have the same problem since the tap is acting as a restrictor. A water accumulator tank prior to the final hookup would provide the necessary buffer needed to keep the pump from cavitating even if the line leading to it remains 1/4" (Shurflo makes a particularly small one for the Shurflo water bottle pump that would work nicely)."

That said, I agree with John that a better solution is tapping directly from a 3/8" feed, if possible. I've plumbed in vibratory pumps using 1/4" lines without cavitation problem, but the draw from a rotary pump during a boiler refill is much, much faster than that of a vibratory pump. Finally, for those who may find this thread in the future, How to Plumb In an Espresso Machine offers some related tips on Max adapters for plumbed-in water and installing a drain.

Image
Example installation for filter, pressure regulator, and purge line from Filter system for my Alex Duetto II
Dan Kehn

Mojoman

#6: Post by Mojoman »

Wow everyone - thanks for the wonderful replies. They are VERY thorough and thought out. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the guidance.
I apologize if I was unclear originally. I will be using a max adaptor, not the actual ice line itself. After speaking with CC this seems to be the best solution - connecting directly at the "tap".
I am going to take everyone's advice here and try to institute both of my thoughts in the initial post. Now just to research the gauge and valve!

CouleurCafé

#7: Post by CouleurCafé »

HB wrote:That said, I agree with John that a better solution is tapping directly from a 3/8" feed, if possible. I've plumbed in vibratory pumps using 1/4" lines without cavitation problem, but the draw from a rotary pump during a boiler refill is much, much faster than that of a vibratory pump.
Dan,
Not sure if I understood you right but what you said got me concerned about my set up:

3/8" main supply->pressure regulator with gauge->softener->carbon filter->braided hose->GS3.

Everything from the 3/8" feed line to the braided hose is connected through 1/4" John Guest tubing. I called Roger at Chris Coffee (where I bought the GS3 and the softener) and he said no problem with feeding the GS3 using 1/4" tubing when connecting the machine straight to the main supply. I then found a post by Bill Crossland confirming that: Plumbing in different sized filters and water lines

On a different note, I noticed that almost everyone places the pressure regulator after the filters. Is this to protect the regulator from clogging by sediments?

Max

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HB
Admin

#8: Post by HB »

When it comes to the GS/3, I certainly won't dispute Roger or Bill. The Elektra A3 cavitated loudly with 1/4" tubing; it was whisper-quiet once I switched to 3/8" tubing. As for the pressure regulator location, I place it post-filter since the filter itself acts as a pressure reducer. Sediment certainly isn't an issue, thanks to the carbon filter.
Dan Kehn

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#9: Post by cannonfodder »

A 1/4 inch OD line, like most ice makers use, would be like eating a sundae through a straw. It never worked for me. A 3/8 OD line has a 1/4 ID and works good. I would also put the regulator after the filters since they will drop your mains pressure. Make sure you put a pressure gauge on the regulator so you can see what you are getting. A stock regulator has 3 hook-ups, one in, and two outs. Put the gauge on one of the outs and the other to your machine.
Dave Stephens

CouleurCafé

#10: Post by CouleurCafé »

cannonfodder wrote:A 1/4 inch OD line [..] never worked for me. A 3/8 OD line has a 1/4 ID and works good.
HB wrote:The Elektra A3 cavitated loudly with 1/4" tubing; it was whisper-quiet once I switched to 3/8" tubing.
Did you guys hear cavitation noises after pouring water from the hot tap or during a shot? I have not used my tap on the GS3 because of a malfunctioning valve (more on that in another thread later). I'll definitely listen a lot more closely to the pump noise from now on. I'm still thinking that it might be better to just swap all the 1/4" fittings and tubings for 3/8" and just forget about it. BTW, I re-read the above-mentioned BillC's post and he does recommend 3/8" fittings and tubing.

I will definitely move the pressure regulator after the filters.