E61 HX espresso machine maintenance schedule

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#1: Post by ciaocaffe »

Just looking for some suggestions for a maintenance schedule in particular to an e61 HX machine (i.e Quick Mill).

How to keep it in top shape, so it will last longer of course.

Let's assuming 3 or 4x per day use, a cappuccino or two per day. 7 days a week.

- Daily:
- Monthly:
- Every 3 months:
- Every 6 months:
- Every year:

- Also, suggestions for long term storage (ie boiler draining, out of extremes such as freezing cold, humid summers, finish protection, etc.)?

- And taking out of storage for use again?

Thanks a lot for any help!

User avatar

#2: Post by cafeIKE »

- Daily: Fresh water back flush
- Weekly: Cafiza or equivalent chemical back flush. Clean reservoir
- Every 3 months: Descale boiler and HX
- Every year: Replace group gasket

ciaocaffe (original poster)

#3: Post by ciaocaffe (original poster) »

Nice, thanks. :wink:

What about storage, and resuming machine use?

Also, what particular parts to check up on every so x-months? (ie OPV, etc.)

User avatar

#4: Post by HB »

From the FAQs and Favorites Digest: Preparing an espresso machine for storage and Advice about bringing an espresso machine out of storage. Randy offered this succinct advice:
Randy G. wrote:I would:

before storage:
1. backflush and descale
2. drain and dry as best as you can
3. store in an area not subject to freezing and away from rodents and insect infestation (ants, roaches, mud wasps, etc.)

taking from storage;
1. open case and check for unwanted guests inside machine before bringing into house.
2. wash and fill reservoir
3. disconnect or disable heating element
4. flush boiler and HX to replace any stale water left in system
5. reconnect heating element and allow to come to temp (disconnect from power before doing any such electrical work!)
6. backflush again to clean out brew path
7. dispense hot water to clean hot water valve and wand
8. blast steam for a while to clean steam valve and wand.
9. check for leaks
10. make coffee
Dan Kehn

User avatar

#5: Post by cafeIKE »

Can't comment on storage, as I've never stored a machine.

The OPV may be fine for years or only months. Ditto pump and group gaskets. Service as needed.
Vacuum Break valve could be an annual item, depending on the type.

ciaocaffe (original poster)

#6: Post by ciaocaffe (original poster) »

Wonderful! Thanks guys!
Exactly what I was looking for!

I love the net! :mrgreen:


#7: Post by Joel_B »

cafeIKE wrote:- Every 3 months: Descale boiler and HX
I've actually been pretty curious about this. Is the frequency of descaling vary based on the water used? I use roughly 60/40 mixture of RO/bottled spring water.

I'm also unsure how to descale the boiler on an HX machine; I have an Astra Pro w/o a hot water dispenser. Does this involve using the steam to flush out the descaling solution? That seems it would take 3months to do. Are there any other options outside of removing the boiler?

User avatar

#8: Post by HB »

Joel_B wrote:Is the frequency of descaling vary based on the water used?
Absolutely. See Estimating Scale Deposition Rates of Jim's Insanely Long Water FAQ for details. A pragmatic approach is Eric's Checking an E61 Espresso Machine for Scale. When the mushroom shows scale buildup, it's time.
Joel_B wrote:I'm also unsure how to descale the boiler on an HX machine; I have an Astra Pro w/o a hot water dispenser.
Ian documents the steps in Simplified HX Descale. If the boiler has no water tap or drain plug, minerals left behind from steaming will accumulate unabated and the descale procedure is slightly more complicated. Drain the boiler via a siphon tube through one of the top boiler fittings. That is, the procedure is: drain the (cold) boiler, fill it with descaler, warm the boiler to speed descaling (not necessary to pressurize), wait, allow to cool, drain the descaler, fill with fresh water, drain; repeat last two steps as needed.
Dan Kehn


#9: Post by Joel_B »

Dan, appreciate the info. I'm pretty sure I don't have a drain plug, but syphoning from one of the fitting atop the boiler is a great idea; thanks!


#10: Post by quar »

Aren't you in the market for an Anita? If so, simply bring the machine up to full pressure and place a container on your counter under the hot water wand. SWITCH OFF the machine and open the hot water valve and place a phonebook or something under the left feet to raise it a couple of inches (or simply hold it up). As the hot water outlet is on the bottom right of the boiler, steam pressure will push most of the water out. Draining the boiler is this manner is good enough during descaling rinses. Not sure how much water is actually left in the boiler, so removing a fitting and draining with a syphon might be best for long-term storage.