Do I need to empty lever machine's boiler each day?

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
User avatar

#1: Post by jamhat »

Greetings, Lever Users:
I've just made the plunge into lever espresso machine usage with a refurbished 8-cup Gaggia Factory (by La Pavoni). It seems to be a great machine so far. I am currently working on the proper technique for a good cup (thanks to all the contributions from h-b users like you!).

I have a question. Whenever I am done using the machine, do I need to dump all of the excess water out? The manual said nothing about doing it, and I have searched through the posts on this site and found nothing yet.

Here's what I am doing now. After the last shot, I turn off the machine and bleed as much water through the group as possible by lifting the lever all the way to the top and letting the water flow into a container. That gets all but about 3/4 cup of the water out of the boiler. Then, I remove the boiler cap, tip the machine upside down, and dump the rest of the water into a container. It just seems there must be a better way.

If I use the machine daily, do I need to completely empty the boiler? Is there another way of draining it (other than tipping it)?

If I am missing an obvious solution to this, please forgive me. I am a newbie.

Thank you for your help!


#2: Post by A2chromepeacock »

I never drain the water. I pull between 2 and 4 shots a day in two sessions.

I figure that the water gets low, i refill (or "freshen") it, and off I go.

Actually, thinking of it, the only time I've totally drained it is when I'm leaving town for a few days.

LMWDP #139

User avatar

#3: Post by HB »

I have a Elektra Microcasa a Leva and sometimes I'll empty it, but if I'm using it full time, I will typically refill before use and then empty it completely every few days. I think fresh water is always a good thing (e.g., I wouldn't reboil water in a tea kettle, I'd empty and refill each time). It's mostly me being lazy.
Dan Kehn

User avatar

#4: Post by Fullsack »

These posts may give you a little insight into why emptying the boiler periodically is a good practice:

Maintenance tip: Remember the bottom of the boiler
LMWDP #017
Kill all my demons and my angels might die too. T. Williams


#5: Post by grong »

At the end of each day I siphon out the remaining water in the tank of my Lusso. This is much easier and faster than turning this machine upside down over the sink. The process is simple and takes only a minute. For me it is worth it because I think fresh water is best.

User avatar

#6: Post by chopinhauer »

Hey Grong, what is your siphoning technique? In short how do you get the water out without turning the machine upside-down?
LMWDP #027


#7: Post by Jarno »

I'm kinda lazy. I only dump the water out of the boiler when cleaning. Otherwise, I only use distilled water so I don't have to worry about calcium buildup and descaling.


#8: Post by grong »

Hey Grong, what is your siphoning technique? In short how do you get the water out without turning the machine upside-down?
I use a 3-foot length of flexible plastic tubing from the hardware story. I coil it up, keeping the ends at the same height, and run tap water through one end of the tube and out the other until there is a full column of water.

Then I keep one finger tight on the drain of the hose, over the sink. The other end I lower into the bottom of the boiler of the espresso machine. At this point, most or all of the column of water should be intact inside the tube. If so, the drain end of the hose is lowered below the tank level, into the sink, in my case. With your finger removed from the drain end, the siphon effect takes place, and the tank will empty directly.

Let me know if I need to clarify this description.

User avatar
jamhat (original poster)

#9: Post by jamhat (original poster) »

Thank you all for the feedback to my question. It's great to have a website and an online community of users who are willing to share ideas and experiences.

I think I'll try emptying the water every few days since I use my machine a couple of times a day and can add fresh water often.

If I am feeling extra industrious, I will try grong's method of siphoning out the leftover water!

User avatar

#10: Post by chopinhauer »

thanks Grong, that explanation is pretty clear. I might give it a try sometime.
LMWDP #027