New La Marzocco GS/3 MP

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jun 14, 2018, 5:54 pm

I finally pulled the trigger last week on a new GS/3 MP. It's scheduled to be bench tested on 6/20, and ship the following day...and let me tell you, the wait is absolutely killing me! But I figure if I can chat about it here, it might be slightly more bearable. :)

In the meantime, I'm working on getting a head start on my water situation. I thought I might run on the reservoir for a while, but my water is pretty hard (11-13 grains/gal, according to my local utility). I asked Dave at LM about possible bottled water, and he suggested Poland Springs or Crystal Geyser from the CA bottling plants...unfortunately, neither of these seem to be available (from CA plants) in my area. I'm sure I could find something, but this really felt like a stopgap.

I then started thinking about the DIY 70/30 water (starting with distilled), which seemed easy enough...but then in another thread a couple of helpful folks helped me realize that plumbing this in probably wasn't going to be too bad in the location I have in mind. It's over a dishwasher, so I thought I'd have a problem with space under there, but after taking a closer look I think it's going to be ok. And I absolutely _love_ the idea of being plumbed in.

I ordered a water softener/filtration system from Clive (https://clivecoffee.com/products/water- ... ion-system), and installed it yesterday. From the strips that were included, here's my water hardness from the kitchen tap:

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After after the filter/softener system (from the drain valve):

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It's a little hard to tell exactly what the numbers are here, but it looks like we went from around 15-ish gpg to around 3-ish.

I have some LM test kits coming tomorrow, so I'm hoping that the overall water situation will be acceptable. Fingers crossed!

I'm seeing about 2 gallons/min output through the drain hose from the system, which sounds perfect. When I attach a hose to the output of the pressure regulator, and put my thumb over the end to stop the flow, I'm seeing about 45psi on the gauge, which also sounds perfect.

shong008

Postby shong008 » Jun 14, 2018, 6:19 pm

Hey Greg,

Congrats on your new machine. It sounds much like me about a month ago when I was waiting to get my Linea Mini to arrive. The wait is definitely worth it =)

BaristaBob

Postby BaristaBob » Jun 14, 2018, 8:58 pm

Greg,

Congrats as well. Is this a direct upgrade from the BDB?
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..."

smite

Postby smite » Jun 14, 2018, 10:20 pm

Welcome to the club, your machine will be there before you know it. It is a great machine that you will love. I put tape markers on the group head cover by the paddle to help mark when water starts dripping, another when pressure starts to rise and then when it goes from 3-4 bar pressure. It has greatly helped me when it comes to consistently pulling shots.

Good luck getting things all dialed in!

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jun 14, 2018, 10:26 pm

Thanks guys! Steven, you feel my pain! Hehe.

Bob, I am indeed upgrading from the BDB...it will hopefully find a new home.

smite wrote:I put tape markers on the group head cover by the paddle to help mark when water starts dripping, another when pressure starts to rise and then when it goes from 3-4 bar pressure. It has greatly helped me when it comes to consistently pulling shots.


That seems like a great tip. How much travel is there in the paddle between those marks? It's not really clear from the videos I've watched.

BaristaBob

Postby BaristaBob » Jun 15, 2018, 8:17 am

gr2020 wrote:
Bob, I am indeed upgrading from the BDB...it will hopefully find a new home.


Greg,
Do you mind me asking how long did you own your BDB, and did you have any problems? I'm exactly two years into my machine without fault.

I can't wait to hear your comments on the LM GS3 MP compared to the BDB. This is one machine I'm eyeing as well.
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..."

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jun 15, 2018, 10:30 am

BaristaBob wrote:Do you mind me asking how long did you own your BDB, and did you have any problems? I'm exactly two years into my machine without fault.


I bought the BDB in July 2016, so right about 2 years ago. The only problem I've experienced is after de-scaling, the de-scale indicator on the display won't go off. I have descaled twice, and both times the same problem occurred. The only way I have been able to clear the indicator is by resetting a few times, unplugging the machine from the wall for several hours, resetting again, and repeating that process for a couple of days. The first time it happened, I called Breville support, and they were useless - the person on the phone didn't even know about the reset procedure (which is in the manual).

Aside from that, no problems that I can recall...

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jun 15, 2018, 5:03 pm

Well drat. My plan seems to have been foiled.

Tested with the LM test kit today - everything seems fine, _except_ my Chloride (Cl-) is about 73 ppm. I called my local utility, and talked to a guy in the lab, and he said the current Cl is 72 ppm, and it ranges anywhere from 43-139 ppm.

La Marzocco recommends a maximum of 30 ppm. And they said the only practical way to reduce Chloride is with a RO system. Which the water utility guy affirmed as well.

The water calculator says "balanced but pitting corrosion possible in presence of chlorides" - and the LM guy told me scary stories about the difference between having to be descaled (which may be expensive service) and having to completely replace boilers and other components (which is much worse).

So now a few thoughts...first, I shouldn't have been so excited and ordered the filtration/softening system from Clive so soon. Now, it seems this is useless for my situation. Lesson learned, I guess.

It seems like my options are as follows:

1. Get a RO system, with remineralization, and plumb it all in. I called a local service place recommended by LM to ask them about it, but I'm not super confident. And it sounds complicated.

2. Use Poland Spring water. Sadly, this is unavailable in my area. But I found it at target.com, and I can order (say) 26 of the 101 oz bottles for about $25, plus $6 shipping. I have a hard time believing they will ship 160 pounds of water to me for $6, but it might be worth a shot - ha!

3. Get distilled water, and make 70/30 water as described here - 70/30 Water . I would love to hear about any experience anyone has with this - any issues with doing this?

Please send me any recommendations...I'm in a bit of a pickle now, and I'm not sure what to do!

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jun 15, 2018, 5:16 pm

Or another potential option - distilled plus third wave water sticks; downside is this would run about $1/gal for the water, and $1/gal for the TWW...

BaristaBob

Postby BaristaBob » Jun 16, 2018, 3:19 pm

gr2020 wrote:I bought the BDB in July 2016, so right about 2 years ago. The only problem I've experienced is after de-scaling, the de-scale indicator on the display won't go off. I have descaled twice, and both times the same problem occurred. The only way I have been able to clear the indicator is by resetting a few times, unplugging the machine from the wall for several hours, resetting again, and repeating that process for a couple of days. The first time it happened, I called Breville support, and they were useless - the person on the phone didn't even know about the reset procedure (which is in the manual).

Aside from that, no problems that I can recall...


Greg,

Well I'll carry on with my BDB. Actually I want to keep it just to determine how long these machines can go without a major failure. I look forward to a LM machine one day, just need Apple stock to reach $300 per share. When my display showed "Descale" recently, I decided to "take a knee", since my water hardness is around 1. We have a Coca-Cola plant in the area that prides themselves on not needing to filter the water here for their products.

I too had a little reset issue to clear the Descale from the display. Think I unplugged the machine overnight and presto, it went away for good.

Hope you solve your water issue before the GS3 comes!
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..."