What should I do with the BDB if my house is changing to soft water?

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yalag

#1: Post by yalag »

I vaguely remember that when I first setup my BDB I had to test the hardness of the water and set some thing in the machine.

I followed the instructions back then. But now my house is switching to soft water. Does anyone have the instruction for what I should do? Should I still use filter?

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BaristaBoy E61

#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I would suggest retesting the water after the change over and downloading the manual. You might not have to do anything but consult your manual first.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

yalag (original poster)

#3: Post by yalag (original poster) »

I cant retest it anymore I dont have those stripes

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another_jim
Team HB

#4: Post by another_jim »

If you are using a salt softener, you don't need to do anything, since the mineral content of the water will stay the same. If you're using an RO system, spend $25 on a TDS meter. Your water should run between 50 to 100 ppm TDS for a good balance of taste and no scaling; if your water is less, buy a bottle of Evian or some other high mineral water, and put a splash in your tank along with the water. The TDS meter will tell you how much. If you feel enterprising, you can mix up your own minerals -- google on "Pavlis water" for this site.
Jim Schulman

yalag (original poster)

#5: Post by yalag (original poster) »

it's a salt based system, so basically do everything as I would before?

That's surprising, because isn't the salt based system there to remove minerals (calcium, magnesium etc)?

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another_jim
Team HB

#6: Post by another_jim »

No, it replaces scaling calcium with non-scaling sodium or potassium (the amounts are too small to taste). This prevents scaling, but does not much change the taste of shots, or affect the brew boiler refill.

Your OK to follow your normal SOP except you won't need to descale the machine anymore
Jim Schulman

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homeburrero
Team HB

#7: Post by homeburrero »

When you first set up the machine, you tested the hardness with a test strip and set the hardness value to one of 5 settings (Hrd1 - Hrd5) according to that strip. Now that you have softened water you could set it to the lowest value, Hrd1, which is appropriate for 0 - 90 ppm as CaCO3 hardness. But I think to change it now you will have to do a full reset to factory default and then go thru and set all 10 factory settings -- your manual tells you how. But you don't really need to if that's a hassle -- the only thing that hardness setting affects is the frequency that you see the 'new filter' alert (and perhaps also the descale alert?) on your machine.
Pat
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BaristaBob

#8: Post by BaristaBob »

Oh boy...you are good. Never need to descale ever again! I believe you can go into the start-up menu and input 1 for hardness.

And if "descale" shows up in the LCD display, just ignore it. I believe it goes away after 7 or 8 start-ups cycles.
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

yalag (original poster)

#9: Post by yalag (original poster) »

cool and then in your opinion what should I do with the filter? Just stop using it? I'd rather not keep buying one if I dont have to

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homeburrero
Team HB

#10: Post by homeburrero »

yalag wrote:what should I do with the filter? Just stop using it? I'd rather not keep buying one if I dont have to
Typical whole house water softeners do nothing to take care of chlorine/chloramine, particles, off-tastes and odors, and those filters in the reservoir help take care of that for you. But now that your water is softened you can replace them less often.

If you have the new style I think the manual advises a change every 3 months or 40 liters at medium hardness levels. You can extend that to 6 months for your softened water. You generally don't want to use any of them them longer than 6 months because they may get microbes growing inside.

If you use water that has been filtered with a NSF-42 type charcoal and particulates filter (like a typical refrigerator filter or a pitcher filter) then I think you can ditch the in-reservoir filter.


PS.
The one that fits the newer style filter holder is on the right, and contains activated charcoal and a softening resin. The old style (on the left) has charcoal, and may or may not also have a softening resin.
Pat
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