Maintenance tip: Remember the bottom of the boiler

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Fullsack

#1: Post by Fullsack »

When I was wet sanding the inside of the boiler of the Cremina, I noticed almost all of the corrosion was within an inch or 2 of the bottom. Purging "all" of the water by using steam pressure doesn't completely empty the boiler, turn it upside down afterwards and you'll see. I don't like to make extra work for myself, but it seems that completely emptying the boiler by turning the machine upside down once in a while would be a good maintenance practice, especially, if you are not going to be making espresso for an extended period of time.
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Kill all my demons and my angels might die too. T. Williams

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mogogear

#2: Post by mogogear »

A great observation, If you think about it, the area below the tube that feeds the grouphead is always the "tails". The left over's if you will. Cycle after cycle it becomes higher in the concentration of any of the particulates and mineral content of the water that is constantly added.

If a boiler is a "distiller" that releases a purer vapor out via the steam wand- AND the pick-up tube keeps picking up water just above or right at the top of the element. It just makes sense Fullsack!

That pool of water at the bottom is going to contain whatever fallout of the many heating cycles that have occurred.

Even if the water you use is high quality it gradually contains all the stuff at the bottom and adheres to what is there.

Great logical connection that I have never really made.. Thanks FS.. I will be dumping if I ever get my Cremina(s) going again.
greg moore

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coffeefrog

#3: Post by coffeefrog »

mogogear wrote:A great observation, If you think about it, the area below the tube that feeds the grouphead is always the "tails". The left over's if you will. Cycle after cycle it becomes higher in the concentration of any of the particulates and mineral content of the water that is constantly added.

If a boiler is a "distiller" that releases a purer vapor out via the steam wand- AND the pick-up tube keeps picking up water just above or right at the top of the element. It just makes sense Fullsack!
Large particles will accumulate there (and not necessarily be all flushed out by pouring the last of the water out), but won't minerals in solution and fine particles tend to be mixed through the water as the machine is refilled?

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mogogear

#4: Post by mogogear »

True enough- I think the "fear" here is that since the water in the base is always present and added to each day, the concentration can just - through residual leftovers- slowly coat the element and the lower area of the boiler.
To dump the "tails " of the boiler every 10-20 fillings MIGHT slow down the build up - This in mind with using a good - low mineral content water source as your locale requires.

Keeping the scale out and not having to treat boiler walls and elements to harsh acids repeatedly will prolong the life of all of the above.....at least that is what we are hoping for....This is mostly logic- babble- cause we have all had too much espresso and we can't sleep..... :wink:
greg moore

Leverwright
LMWDP #067

coffeefrog

#5: Post by coffeefrog »

mogogear wrote:True enough- I think the "fear" here is that since the water in the base is always present and added to each day, the concentration can just - through residual leftovers- slowly coat the element and the lower area of the boiler.
It sounds like a reason for actually drying the boiler each day. The floor of the boiler would always be wet. The comment that started this thread mentioned corrosion.

I spent yesterday afternoon engrossed in a first series Faema lever group, which is an interesting beast in that the volume in the group above the piston appears to be filled with hot water which flows down below the piston when the piston is raised. Not sure how I could ever hope to empty that properly.

Mark08859

#6: Post by Mark08859 »

I dump the water out of my Europiccola after every brew session. Also, the cap stays off until the following morning to allow the boiler to dry. A check with a flashlight shows virtually no scale at the bottom of the boiler.

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mogogear

#7: Post by mogogear »

As a good "starting point" determine your local waters content or use a suitable "Spring" water and or also use a Brita - Portland water is wonderful- only to be out done by Peacecups water Juneau--

Know if your local water is a problem or not-
greg moore

Leverwright
LMWDP #067