Seeking Advice: Time To Plumb My Espresso Machine

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bcrdukes

#1: Post by bcrdukes »

Hi Fellow HB'ers,

Hope all is well!

It's time for me to plumb in a direct water line to my Rocket Giotto Evoluzione v2 and I am looking for any advice, guidance, and tips on how to best approach this project.

Context: We are looking to do a ground floor renovation so this entails a new counter top, cabinets, dishwasher, so this is a ground-up build. I intend to have a dedicated water line for my Rocket and the water comes from a Kinetico water softener system.

We plan to have the sink to the left of the wall only because that's where the water line is. See picture attached to post. Ignore the small water shut off on the right as it is a shut off valve for a garden hose outside.

My questions are:

1. Does it make sense to leave the sink there or relocate it?
2. Is it best I place my Rocket and grinder etc. closest to the sink? I plan on draining the Rocket directly into the sink / p-trap.
3. Should I move my dishwasher somewhere else?
4. Does it make sense to plug in my Rocket under the cabinet instead of on the counter plugs for electricity?
5. Any recommendations/feedback?

Thanks in advance!
LMWDP #685

Noplacetobe

#2: Post by Noplacetobe »

The sink in the corner is very strange . If you put the espresso machine next to it, where are you going to put dishes, vegetables etc.

I would also want to avoid to put electric appliances next to a sink. For plumbing it is not necessary to be next to the sink for water and drainage. Next to a dishwasher is also fine. More importantly is to provide room under the machine for water filter and pressure reduction.

JRising
Team HB

#3: Post by JRising »

I strongly suggest getting a proper water softener, designed for machines that release steam, for the machine's sake. I think of Kineticos as those "whole home" softeners that help you soap up in the shower and extend your water-heater's lifespan. I don't know if Kinetico also makes espresso machine quality water softeners. (If you already know that it's a proper water softener, ignore this).

I agree that you'll want a receptical under the counter to plug the machine in to, since you'll have a hole for the drain and waterline to go through, you might as well keep cord with them.

As for the sink next to a wall and then the dishwasher next to it seems awkward... Your elbow will be hitting the wall if you wash things in the sink. But I am probably over-thinking it. Just look at the dimensions of the dishwasher, make sure that your drain can easily run behind it while constantly maintaining a slope. Consider moving both the sink and the dishwasher to the right so that your coffee corner can be to the left. Again, maybe I am overthinking it.

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bcrdukes (original poster)

#4: Post by bcrdukes (original poster) »

Good call outs, folks.

We didn't think of this in our MSPaint.exe quality mock-up and have not yet shared this with our designer (I think we'd get smacked.) Thinking about it now, it makes sense to shift the sink AWAY from the wall and to leave some space to the left for stuff and some elbow room.

Ditto on the Kinetico - It's a whole-home water softener system along with a dechloriator and something else to remove minerals but not designed to be espresso-grade so I will consider a BWT solution. Thank you for the feedback!
LMWDP #685

OttoMatic

#5: Post by OttoMatic »

I've had a few plumbed in configurations and am used to having a sink to the left of the espresso machine, and the grinder to the right of the machine. While not strictly necessary, I'd keep it as close to the sink as possible, just to make it easy to work on the plumbing. I wouldn't say this is a frequent task, but when it comes up, it's a whole thing. My first setup ran the lines behind a section of cabinets that have drawers. If I wanted to pull the machine for any reason, I had to remove everything from the drawers, then remove the drawers themselves. Not impossible, but definitely an additional challenge.

Yes, I plug in electric for both esp machine and grinders below the counter just to keep a clean look. I intentionally created a gap that I can get into so that everything can run straight back and then down. I created a obfuscator (for lack of a better word) out of wood and a door sweep thing so that cables and water lines can go through in any position, but other crap won't fall through the opening. I'm not describing this very well, and I don't have a picture atm. In any case make sure you hole that doesn't look like crap, nor allow other stuff to fall through. And something perhaps that you can clean up/get rid of/hide in case you sell or get rid of your coffee stuff.

Use a timer, smart plug or whatever to turn it on before you get up. I got up early today and had to WAIT for the machine to get ready. Ugh. Mine turns on at 4:30am, but sometimes I'm up before that.

Deephaven

#6: Post by Deephaven »

I'd do something other than the Kinetico. Way better options for way less money.

Other than that, post softening solution you should run an RO system and a calcite filter after it. Measure your water both out of your softener and RO system to make sure you are in the realm you need to be.

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bcrdukes (original poster)

#7: Post by bcrdukes (original poster) replying to Deephaven »

Any recommendations on what to get? I can only think of BWT off the top of my head, but I am sure there are others and I am open to exploring options. It appears most of my local vendors sell BWT and pretty much have a plug & play setup for plumbing in a machine.

We have a Kinetico RO system upstairs on the main floor, but not one in the space we are building our new wet bar and where the Rocket will go. I don't feel we need one downstairs as we may re-use our old Kinetico "Kube" filtration system but I don't plan on connecting it to the direct line for the Rocket.
LMWDP #685

Deephaven

#8: Post by Deephaven »

I have one RO system and pipe it all over the house. If yours has a storage tank it is just a little 1/4" tube you need to get between spaces.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#9: Post by homeburrero »

bcrdukes wrote:Any recommendations on what to get?
To advise about that we would need to know about the water quality, especially the hardness, alkalinity, and chloride ion levels of the local water. I think your whole house dechlorinator and softener might be good enough on its own, and would be a reasonable pre-treatment if you were to go with an RO system - - If your water is very hard then it's a good idea to soften it before it goes into the RO unit. The specs of the RO unit will usually tell you the max hardness that is allowed for their system and warranty.

Whether or not you actually need RO will depend a lot on whether or not you have high chloride in your water. Note that your Kinetico dechlorinator removes chlorine, but does nothing to reduce chloride ion, which may be corrosive. RO is the practical way of reducing chloride, and I think the reason that most espresso people go with RO nowadays is because of high chloride in their water. La Marzocco and others recommend RO+remin when the chloride ion is above 30 mg/L. Synesso is more conservative about chloride corrosion risk and recommends RO+remin when the chloride ion is above 15 mg/L.


Deephaven wrote:I'd do something other than the Kinetico. Way better options for way less money.
JRising wrote:I don't know if Kinetico also makes espresso machine quality water softeners. (If you already know that it's a proper water softener, ignore this).
bcrdukes wrote:Ditto on the Kinetico - It's a whole-home water softener system along with a dechloriator and something else to remove minerals but not designed to be espresso-grade
I think that whole house softeners, including the Kinetico, do what they are designed to do -- soften the water -- very well. I may be missing something here about why they might not be considered 'espresso grade' and would welcome any data or info about that.

One thing that spooks me a little about any softener system that periodically regenerates the resin with salt is the risk of chloride ion being incompletely flushed at the end of the regeneration cycle. (These systems are regenerated by flooding the resin with either sodium chloride or potassium chloride brine.) I've never seen data or discussion related to that, other than an old post by rpavlis, who seemed to think it might be an issue. If you use a system where you replace the resin cartridge rather than regenerating the resin then you would not have this issue.
Pat
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Deephaven

#10: Post by Deephaven »

homeburrero wrote:One thing that spooks me a little about any softener system that periodically regenerates the resin with salt is the risk of chloride ion being incompletely flushed at the end of the regeneration cycle. (These systems are regenerated by flooding the resin with either sodium chloride or potassium chloride brine.) I've never seen data or discussion related to that, other than an old post by rpavlis, who seemed to think it might be an issue. If you use a system where you replace the resin cartridge rather than regenerating the resin then you would not have this issue.
I have dual softeners to make sure that the flushing is done with softened water. My well is hell however so any leak through would be bad.