Plumbed in E61, off for 9 months. What to do (rust in line, filter change, etc.)?

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dsc106

#1: Post by dsc106 »

Hi, I have a plumbed in E61 that has been off for 9 months. I did turn off the water line from the wall/filter to the machine, and it has been this way since. Before I turn it on, I understand that I need to change the filter to prevent any possible rust from entering the machine. What else do I need to do? Is it enough to simply flush the line that runs into the machine through a bucket for a couple gallons?

Someone else had mentioned getting rust particles from a machine that sat into the internals and I want to avoid that, as well as any other potential problems. Thank you!

DJF

#2: Post by DJF »

Did you empty the boiler prior to laying up? Either way a descale might be in order.
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I don't think so."

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mrgnomer

#3: Post by mrgnomer »

I would unhook the water line connection into the machine and check it for blockages that might have developed over time. Slimy water line growth plugged my machine when it stood with line turned off but still attached. If there's a sediment filter at the machine's plumb in connection pull it out to check and clean it if necessary. Before hooking back up flush the line into a bucket or something and check to see if the water's running clear. If there's slime keep flushing until it runs clear.

If you don't have a boiler drain plug there's no easy way to flush sediment out of the boiler that I know of without doing something like pulling out the heating element at the bottom and unscrewing the fill valve probe or pressure safety valve on top and dropping water down under pressure to stir up the sediment and drain it.

To be on the safe side, if your boiler is empty and you don't have a heating coil safety switch, unhook the wire leads to the element before turning the machine on. In case the boiler fill is slow or not running you don't want the elements to dry fire and burn out. Once you're sure the boiler's filled reconnect the leads with the machine turned off and unplugged. You can check the vacuum pressure release valve and heating elements when you turn the machine back on. It's a good time too with the shell off to adjust pressure stat settings and pump pressure settings if you want to change them. Run the pump with a blind basket in the portaflilter to check the OPV. Stock setting is usually 11bar which you can adjust down if you want OPV control of your line pressure or up if you don't.
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

dsc106 (original poster)

#4: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Thank you for the help. I did not empty the boilers, but my water is very soft in Portland (30ppm). Plus I had the homeland water filter from Clive attached filtering it more so.

How long does it take for slime or gunk to build up in an attached, but turned off, water line? I had my machine off for a couple months last year and when it came back on it worked fine for a while, but then started leaking from the bottom where the water line connects into the machine. So I turned it off again, and left the line connected but shut off all water flow. Time got away and it's not been 9 months (I've been busy playing with fellow ode grinders and drip, plus traveling).

I never knew you couldn't leave a like connected without issues, and others have indicated I should have no need to drain the boilers when leaving empty.

Hoping the leak is a simple tightening adjustment, and I can just throw a new filter on, purge the line, and go drink espresso?

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mrgnomer

#5: Post by mrgnomer »

I'm not sure how long it takes for slime to develop. My machine was shut off but connected for over a year. When I turned it on the pump ran continuously for a boiler fill. I unhooked the water line and checked the machine's input and it was plugged with slime. Luckily my machine has a woven metal plug filter in the input that stopped gunk from getting deeper into the machine but the pump ran dry for a while before I checked for blockages.

It's why I disconnect the boiler heating elements on the start up of a machine that's been sitting for a while. If your machine was sitting with the boiler filled there's probably enough water in it to cover the elements so it will probably be safe to start it up with the elements connected.

If the line connection to your machine is leaking tightening it is the first thing I would do. Since you're going to tighten it unhooking it first, checking for blockages and flushing the line before hooking it back up would be a good idea IMO. You may not have any slime. My slime might have come from a water filter canister not the water feed itself.

If your water is on the soft side scale and sediment won't be a big issue. There's a mushroom at the top of the grouphead that you can unscrew and check for scale buildup. If there's a lot of scale on it a descale is warranted. Some vendors have been saying to not descale because if you do it too aggressively you could damage seals. I think if you don't draw a lot water out of the water wand the water in the boiler doesn't refill and stabilizes over time anyway so hard water damage and scale there isn't a big problem. It's where fresh water circulates a lot like the heat exchanger if you have one or the grouphead that can get scale buildup.
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

Pressino

#6: Post by Pressino »

You might consider disconnecting the plumbed in line and feeding your machine with the reservoir until you've flushed out the boiler(s) (the brew and steam if your machine uses a dual boiler) and also flush out the plumbed line before hooking everything back up. That's what I would do. :)

dsc106 (original poster)

#7: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Thanks everyone, so all I have to do to get rid of slime is flush the line hose into a bucket for a while?

As for filling the plastic reservoir to flush out boilers, why? Why not just disconnect the line and flush it until good, then reconnect line, then flush boiler via steam wand/hot water wand/group head until it's all fresh?

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mrgnomer

#8: Post by mrgnomer »

Yes. Flush your line into a bucket and watch what comes out. If you see sediment or slimy stuff keep flushing until the line water runs clear. Empty the bucket and clean it if there's sediment or slime and run a bit more line water into the clean bucket if you want to be sure the line is clean.

Flushing plumb in lines helps keep an eye on your water quality and protect your machine. A gallon flush should also be done through a filtration system after you replace a carbon filter to be sure no particles from a new filter enter into your machine. If your water line is shut off for whatever reason and goes dry flushing it helps take the air and sediment out that might have collected before it enters your machine. Running a pump dry for too long is also not good.
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love