Which is worse: Turn on/off espresso machine many times, or long duration of time left on?

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dsc106

#1: Post by dsc106 »

ECM Synchronika. I have a WEMO smart plug set to come on in AM and off in PM.

I tend to make an AM drink, *sometimes* an afternoon pick me up, and *sometimes* a PM dessert decaf. Somedays it is all 3, somedays it is a pick 2 type of a thing, other days just 1. Working at home these days, I just sort of decide on the fly so hard to predict.

First question - Is it better to turn the machine on/off multiple times throughout the day as needed, or better to just let it run for 12-14 hours per day? I could see an argument for minimizing thermal cycling - that seems like it would be the hardest on the boilers, pipes, components going from hot to cold. On the other hand, I am not sure about having the thing heating all day and how that could wear on components.

Second question - ECO mode - yay or nay on this one? I am not as worried about the power bill, just the on/off thermal cycling (or any negative impacts of leaving it on all day).

Third question - the ECM Synch is very serviceable. Does that extend to all of the electrical as well?

Apologies if I am overthinking this. I never dreamt I would spend $3k on an espresso machine...

nahau

#2: Post by nahau »

Don't know the particulars of your machine, but both my brother and I own Quickmill Andreja's. His machine is on a timer and left on/running from about 7am - 9:30pm, day in and day out. My machine, also on a timer, turns on at around 8:30am, then after warm-up, I make a coffee and I leave the machine on until I make my second cup at around 1:30 - 2pm... then I manually turn the machine off. I then turn it on again at around 6pm and after warmup, I make my last coffee for the day, then I shut the machine off again right after I make my coffee. Since it's on a timer, around 10pm, I turn the switch back to the on position so the machine turns on the next day at 8:30am. Both machines, although used differently, are no less for wear as far as I can tell.

People ask similar questions about computers being left on 24/7. I've been into computers for 30+ years and I turn my computer on/off everyday and whenever I leave the house. YMMV with computers and espresso machines! 8)

Jeff

#3: Post by Jeff »

It does take 40 min or so for a typical E61 group to come up to temperature, so convenience suggests always on if your espresso stretches out through the day. I turned mine on enough times mid-day and forgot to come back that I set up a cron job to turn it off after an hour during the day.

Power consumption may eventually drive you to consider cost. As I recall, my E61 averaged around 100 W idle. At $0.30/kWh, that's around $20/month.

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

This question comes up a lot. Do you leave your espresso machine on all the time? is from 2006 (!). Follow up question on leaving on 24/7 is from last year; I've excerpted my reply below:
BoulderMike wrote:For me, I use it daily in the morning, and leave it on 24/7. I only do this because the last advice I got from Chris was to do this to prevent issues with the boiler, etc. Others seem to have gotten different advice.
This topic comes up with regularity. Below is an excerpt of my most recent reply with links to prior discussions:
HB wrote:This debate has raged on for the last 12+ years of this site's existence. Leave it on, or turn it off? is from the FAQ. Leaving a Prosumer HX Espresso Machine On CAN SAVE ENERGY was an interesting review of the subject. According to Do you leave your espresso machine on all the time?, less than 30% of members leave their espresso machines on.

My rule of thumb: Power down if it won't be used in the next 4 hours.
Dick offers an interesting observation in How many hours per day an espresso machine can be idle?
Peppersass wrote:Glad to see someone else sleeps better with the machine off. In fact, I have mine on only about four hours a day, which is my coffee drinking window.

I happen to have a whole-house energy monitor that records usage on every circuit. When I kept my espresso machine on for 16 hours a day it was the third largest consumer of electricity in the house (behind the entertainment center plasma TV / class-A amps, and my large desktop computer.)
For what it's worth, I don't run any of my espresso machines 24/7 and I've never had any issues. Maybe I'm just lucky? :?:
Dan Kehn

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BaristaBoy E61

#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Our coffee drinking window is 3-hours so our WEMO is programmed for 4-hours that includes a 1-hour warm up.

Most electrical and electro-mechanical devices like to operate at a constant and stable temperature for reasons of stability and longevity. This includes espresso machines - particularly those with PID controlled Solid State Relays (SSR). How often has an incandescent light bulb burnt out once left 'ON'?

Regarding energy efficiency, particularly if you live in a heating dominated climate, leaving your espresso machine 'ON' for extended periods of time contributes to the heating of the envelope of your home at 100% efficiency and is only an HVAC negative when operating HVAC in Air-Conditioning mode.

This is off-topic but what is of greater consequence for those that have their espresso machines direct plumbed, is leak detection with automatic cut-off of unattended direct water supplies should your machine spring a leak - even for a 5-minute interval!
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

jevenator

#6: Post by jevenator »

I turn my machine on about 3-5 maybe 6 times a day. It warms up in minutes and I pull a shot and turn it back off.
But my machine doesn't have boilers so it's very different. All that's needed really is for the brass group to get up to temp and that's it.
LMWDP #643

Jeff

#7: Post by Jeff »

The incandescent bulb isn't really a good parallel due to the huge thermal changes (2000 C or more) and the frailty of the filament. Yes, they generally eventually fail catastrophically with a power-on event, but that's due to the typically thousands of hours of on time that degraded the filament.

Admittedly a single data point, but nearly 15 years of having an Anita on a daily timer and turning it on a later in the day several times a week, I never had a failure that I would attribute to on-off cycling. If anything, on time degraded the insulators and connectors due to heat.

Phil’s Neighbour

#8: Post by Phil’s Neighbour »

I used a timer with my old Bezzera BZ02 for a decade or so. Never had a problem with it - on at 5 am and off at 9 pm. But I've changed my routine with the new Sync. Now I flip the switch on in the morning and wait the 45 minutes for it to warm up. After two pulls and a cleaning, I flip it back off. I've got the Eco timer set for 1.5 hours in case I'm busy. When we have guests, I will turn it on again in advance. I thought about using a timer but I'd hate to leave it running unattended, even though it's not plumbed in. The ECM manual says to avoid that. I've read if you do use a timer, it's safer to leave the steam boiler off until needed. It's pretty quick to temp up on this machine.

Don Task

#9: Post by Don Task »

dsc106 wrote:ECM Synchronika. I have a WEMO smart plug set to come on in AM and off in PM.

I tend to make an AM drink, *sometimes* an afternoon pick me up, and *sometimes* a PM dessert decaf. Somedays it is all 3, somedays it is a pick 2 type of a thing, other days just 1. Working at home these days, I just sort of decide on the fly so hard to predict.

First question - Is it better to turn the machine on/off multiple times throughout the day as needed, or better to just let it run for 12-14 hours per day? I could see an argument for minimizing thermal cycling - that seems like it would be the hardest on the boilers, pipes, components going from hot to cold. On the other hand, I am not sure about having the thing heating all day and how that could wear on components.

Second question - ECO mode - yay or nay on this one? I am not as worried about the power bill, just the on/off thermal cycling (or any negative impacts of leaving it on all day).

Third question - the ECM Synch is very serviceable. Does that extend to all of the electrical as well?

Apologies if I am overthinking this. I never dreamt I would spend $3k on an espresso machine...
Discounting the replies that address warmup times and thermal management, I simply read your post as "which is worse" question as in which is more harmful to the machine. When thinking of a "filament style" light bulb, in every case... the bulb that is turned on and stays indefinitely will last longer than one that is turned on and off several times a day. In regards to espresso machines I can only provide my own personal experience. My previous machine was a 220V dual boiler Reneka Techno with twin 1800W boiler elements. I installed it, turned it on and then left on 24hrs a day, 7 days a week for 17 straight years and never had a problem with it until a seal failed on the brew boiler. Was it a waste of energy? Probably... (at least at night when I was sleeping) however... I was working at the time with a lot of hours in a home office, plus we had a lot of house guests during those years. NET: The ability to approach the machine and pull a shot whenever I wanted to and not consider warm up times or anything else... was worth it to me.
Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]