Boiler descaling spring lever espresso machine

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
Mark_Israel

#1: Post by Mark_Israel »

I have a Londinium L1 that is about 9 y. old. I use filtered water, but I see some incrustations where copper lines connect with the boiler. I assume I should disassemble things and descale, but I don't really know how to begin without some guidance. I don't want to damage anything. Thanks for any advice.

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drgary
Team HB

#2: Post by drgary »

Mark,

Sorry this has gone unanswered for so long. What you're describing may be steam leaks at fittings that have gotten loose or gaskets have hardened or both. Scale will accumulate faster with leaking steam than it accumulates inside a machine. This doesn't mean you shouldn't inspect the boiler for scale. I've taken a number machines apart over the years to service or restore them. You start with the machine cool and unplugged and disassemble while taking photos of each step so you can find your way back. For guidance here, please post photos and ask questions about where you aren't sure how to proceed.

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Gary
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cyclezib
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#3: Post by cyclezib »

I think your first step should be to reach out to Reese at Londinium and ask for his advice.
Typically, single boiler lever espresso machines do not need descaling when quality water is used for brewing.
Yes, filtered water is a step in the correct direction. But you also would benefit from controlling the hardness of the water.

Scale is Calcium Carbonate deposits. If you use R. Pavis type water (distilled water plus Potassium Bicarbonate), or distilled water plus Third Wave Water mineral supplement, then you have eliminated Calcium from entering the picture.

I agree that if you are seeing scale build up around fittings, there clearly is some leakage of water or steam.

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drgary
Team HB

#4: Post by drgary »

Also, since Robert Pavlis was mentioned, he recommended an option of using distilled water in a machine that had accumulated some scale but was still functioning well. The scale would dissolve into the distilled water. Descaling otherwise involves use of a mild acid and can leach away some of the metal it contacts, especially chrome plating, brass, copper or aluminum.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!