Boil Water Notice and Espresso Machines

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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#1: Post by AndyinTexas »

The arctic cold in Texas has brought low water pressure (as a result of frozen equipment and pipes) and an advisory to boil drinking water as follows:
Bring water to rolling boil for two minutes, then cool before consuming.
Boil tap water even if it is filtered.
Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.
If you formula feed your child, provide ready-to-use formula, if available.
If you don't have power to boil water, you are advised to use bottled water only.
Anyone have any thoughts about water in espresso machines, which might in the boiler tank be at 200 degrees for an extended period, but never at a rolling boil for at least two minutes?

Seems as if I should forgo the espresso machine and wait for the boil water alert to pass, and then empty the tank either by engaging the actuators or physically emptying the tanks. In other words, it seems that 200 degrees for an extended period of time won't cut it. But I would be happy for someone to tell me I am wrong!


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#2: Post by HB »

From the USDA: Will hot water kill bacteria?
Hot water will kill bacteria and other microorganisms. However, the level of destruction will depend on the heat resistance of the bacteria and other microorganisms, length of time and the temperature that the bacteria and other microorganisms are exposed to in the hot water. In addition, the amount of organic material (e.g., food and plant particles) present will affect the level of destruction of microorganisms when exposed to hot water for a specific time and temperature. Finally, contaminated drinking water should be boiled for at least 1 minute (at altitudes above one mile, boil for at least 3 minutes) as recommended by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to kill most types of disease-causing microorganisms that may be present. If you have any further questions on this issue you may want to contact your local county health department or the EPA's website at
Presumably there's a contamination risk. :|
Dan Kehn

ECM Manufacture: @ecmespresso #weliveespresso
Sponsored by ECM Manufacture
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#3: Post by Willinak »

It seems like your best option would be to buy distilled for the machine use. Just re-mineralize with bicarbonate and epsom, and you've got non-scaling, safe water. Try Sparkletts...they deliver.

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#4: Post by emradguy »

Sorry for not seeing your thread earlier. I'm in the Houston area. When our pressure dropped, I converted my Duetto to reservoir mode and then used only bottle potable water. That's your best best if you have that capability. Don't count on the boiler to sterilize the water. Also, if you have filters in your home, whether at a tap, a refrigerator dispenser system or on your coffee bar, you should change those out.