Rust or Scale? (UPDATED PHOTO)

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

#1: Post by Monsterzero » Sep 12, 2019, 11:37 pm

Hello,

I am a "barista newbie" and recently purchased a used Pasquini Livia 90, after trading in my Gaggia Acedemia, in hopes of getting a real espresso shot that isn't lukewarm.

After bringing it home, I started to flush it out with filtered water. The next day of continuing to flush it out, I started to notice dark sediment at the bottom of the measuring cup that I was using to fill the tank with. So, I took a coffee basket paper filter and tried to see if I could capture whatever was coming out of the portafilter and the hot water wand. Whatever it was still was coming out, as I saw it on the filter and at the bottom of the white coffee cup I was using. (see pics below)

I contacted the seller and shared my concern, along with photos of what had come out of the machine. He claims it's scaling, since the machine had been sitting for awhile, and not flushed/descaled. He also said that if I was so concerned about metal/rust that I probably should stay away from espresso machines in general.

Since I really do not know much about espresso machines or their maintenance, how can I tell whether or not it's rust or scaling? Please let me know if I am justified for my concern or if I really am clueless...

Image


Image

belegnole

#2: Post by belegnole » Sep 13, 2019, 12:04 am

On an older machine oxidation will happen as well as scale. But based on what I am seeing here, especially the picture with the filter paper, I would say that it is primarily scale.

Monsterzero

#3: Post by Monsterzero » Sep 13, 2019, 12:10 am

Thank you for the quick reply. May I ask, do the water tanks in these older espresso machines actually rust since they are copper?
I don't recall if rust happens in copper or if it only oxidizes? Ultimately, I just want to make sure I'm not "poisoning" myself if rust does exist in machines that are not cared for.

User avatar
guijan12

#4: Post by guijan12 » replying to Monsterzero » Sep 13, 2019, 1:52 am

Copper does not rust: it does not contain iron.
Only iron can rust.

Btw, welcome aboard. :D
Regards,

Guido

Monsterzero

#5: Post by Monsterzero » Sep 13, 2019, 11:29 am

Thanks Guido!

Alslaw
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by Alslaw » Sep 13, 2019, 6:28 pm

The first photo also looks like it may just be some coffee grime that is just coming loose from the shower screen/group.
LMWDP # 606

SJM

#7: Post by SJM » Sep 13, 2019, 6:47 pm

Monsterzero wrote:He also said that if I was so concerned about metal/rust that I probably should stay away from espresso machines in general.
A surly response like that would make me question pretty much everything about the purchase.

mgwolf

#8: Post by mgwolf » Sep 13, 2019, 7:33 pm

The first photo looks more like old coffee grounds from the filter screen. I would remove the screen and clean out the grouphead area.

I don't know if the Livia has a drain plug on the bottom of the boiler or not, but if it does, that would make it easier to descale the boiler.

User avatar
hankbates

#9: Post by hankbates » Sep 14, 2019, 8:56 am

No drain plug, but inverting the machine with the steam and hot water valves open and top and side covers off will work to drain the boiler.
If the scale is not interfering with operation, using rpavlis* water will slowly remove the scale. (*Distilled water with small amounts of potassium bicarbonate added for buffering and making the probes work)

Monsterzero

#10: Post by Monsterzero » Sep 14, 2019, 10:00 am

SJM wrote:A surly response like that would make me question pretty much everything about the purchase.
He even had a different machine pictured in his ad, since it had a different serial # compared to the one he was selling. He was kind of standoff-ish in his email reply when I asked if he was firm on his price, but sure didn't come across that way, when I met him face to face.

I was able to test it before purchasing it, but what got me concerned was seeing the sediment after I brought it back home.