When doing a major household renovation, we decided to include direct plumbing and draining of our espresso machine as well as a dedicated 20amp circuit for the espresso machine and grinder since we already had electricians, plumbers and general contractors on site. I thought it was going to be a relatively 'simple' job as all the electrical and plumbing originates in the mechanical room just below the kitchen where the espresso equipment is located. What I had not counted on or realized was that there was a major structural bean running across the building and obstructing the electrical and plumbing route. While the disruption to the kitchen was thankfully minimal, a dining room wall adjacent to the espresso wall had to be opened up from what I originally thought would be a small hole to that the size to be able to drive a motor cycle through! Renovations are always
fun. We did not have to cut through any counter tops, just went through back splash tiles that we have plenty of extras for.
The result has been worthwhile as in addition to convenience, we can now do line pressure pre-infusion with our E61 BD machine. This has improved the taste of our drinks and increased my enjoyment in pulling shots.
As has often been the case, an audio analogy best illustrates the effect of switching to 'plumbed in'. Many years ago, I was lent a pair of 'high-end' speaker cables to try out, as I was skeptical of the difference they would contribute to sound. I swapped out my 'zip line' for the 'Premium' cables and thought they were OK but no big deal - until my friend reclaimed his wires and I had to go back to my regular line cord speaker wire. That's when after less than 1-side of a vinyl album I had
to order from my same friend, an audio distributor, a pair of Directional, Linear Crystal, Oxygen Free, 'Time Compensated' (What BS 'Time Compensated' is, when the velocity of propagation through a transmission line is 2/3 the speed of light travelling for 30-feet!), 'Litz' speaker cables - at great
expense. Probably could have bought a great espresso machine or grinder for the cost of those wires!
Would we go back to reservoir mode on our espresso machine? No, as with the speaker wires, I wouldn't like to; spoiled by a better experience I guess.
Besides, I get to 'fool around' with a lower line pressure pre-infusion when the washing machine is filling up with water!
Next step would be adding a water filtration system that was planned for with appropriate space and cutoff valves but not yet done. I've just been descaling with citric acid when needed (after 4-years). Other projects would also include a 20amp timer for the espresso machine as I'm now using a 15amp WeMo, a leak detection automatic water cut off, a water line pressure regulator with gauge, and a water flow meter after the filter.
The attached pics shows a 3/8-in water line cutoff valve that is rather discreet. The drain hose and braided steel supply water hose are not visible. The only other feature worth noting is that the Pump Gauge always displays the current water pressure in the house; turn on any tap and the pressure drops as indicated by the espresso machine pump gauge. The 2-pics of the Pump Gauge are one at 3-1/2 Bar with the washing machine filling up and 5-Bar with no water running in the house.
What have your experiences, challenges or reservations to direct plumbing been like?
I'd enjoy reading about them.
Thanks for reading this rather long post.