Braided stainless tubing throughout

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harrisonpatm

#1: Post by harrisonpatm »

I have a dumb query that I want to pose. I'm aware its a dumb idea that won't work; what I don't know are the reasons why it's a dumb idea.

Normally you have braided stainless tubing running from the main line to the pump (on a plumbed in rotary machine), then braided stainless from the pump to the first intersection, whatever that may be. So, why not have braided stainless throughout? My uneducated brain thinks, more flexible connections and pathways, less reactive pathways that won't deteriorate as quickly. Can stainless not take heat as well as copper? I don't think that's the case, because stainless steel pots and pans are a thing, and some manufacturers are making their boilers out of stainless. Perhaps the thickness of the piping is the reason? I would appreciate anyone who would like to educate me on this hypothetical.

jgood

#2: Post by jgood »

I'll take a crack at this -- although I may be wrong! The braided stainless is in fact teflon, or something like that, tubing with a woven SS shield - a lot of the tubing in an espresso machine is copper (or solid SS in some machines) and therefore much more heat tolerant. So I wouldn't want a teflon tube say coming from the boiler.

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Marcelnl
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#3: Post by Marcelnl »

the inside of braided stainless hoses is indeed some plastic (depends on max temperature and pressure), which will deteriorate faster than a properly designed solid copper or stainless pipe.
LMWDP #483

caeffe

#4: Post by caeffe »

harrisonpatm wrote:I have a dumb query that I want to pose. I'm aware its a dumb idea that won't work; what I don't know are the reasons why it's a dumb idea.

..... So, why not have braided stainless throughout? My uneducated brain thinks, more flexible connections and pathways, less reactive pathways that won't deteriorate as quickly. .......I would appreciate anyone who would like to educate me on this hypothetical.
BTW, not a dumb query and it could work, just may not be cost effective.
Stainless Steel OVERBRAIDED tubing can be used throughout - it just needs to be rated for the media (fluid or gas), pressure (I've seen some that are rated for 10,000 psi!), and temperature.

You may be thinking of overbraided tubing which are typically flexible non-metallic material (rubber or teflon as an example) on the inside - not stainless; these are the ones that you see used in a house usually - cold/hot water source to your sink or washer are examples. There are instances where the inside is metallic but most likely it'll be a bellows type tube to allow 'flex', at which point it'll be more expensive than others for the ratings we need for espresso machines.

Flexible lines are not as reliable to be leak free as rigid tubing, hence most manufacturers prefer using it; they are harder to install initially and do require some engineering to ensure reactions aren't an issue.
LMWDP #162

PeetsFan
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#5: Post by PeetsFan »

harrisonpatm wrote:I have a dumb query that I want to pose. I'm aware its a dumb idea that won't work; what I don't know are the reasons why it's a dumb idea.

Normally you have braided stainless tubing running from the main line to the pump (on a plumbed in rotary machine), then braided stainless from the pump to the first intersection, whatever that may be. So, why not have braided stainless throughout? My uneducated brain thinks, more flexible connections and pathways, less reactive pathways that won't deteriorate as quickly. Can stainless not take heat as well as copper? I don't think that's the case, because stainless steel pots and pans are a thing, and some manufacturers are making their boilers out of stainless. Perhaps the thickness of the piping is the reason? I would appreciate anyone who would like to educate me on this hypothetical.
The "links" of water line to machine and pump to boiler are lower pressure, cold water. But the link of heated, pressurized water/steam is more demanding, and a copper pipe will probably have better longevity.

I use braided stainless for my washing machine, and they still recommend replacement every five years. That would be undesirable inside the espresso machine.

OTOH, my Breville machine just used silicone (oops! Teflon!) tubing throughout, not even braided stainless over it. So it works, but Breville machines aren't the most durable ones out there.

JRising

#6: Post by JRising »

PeetsFan wrote: OTOH, my Breville machine just used silicone tubing throughout, not even braided stainless over it.
He means "teflon".
(From Wikipedia)The commonly known brand name of PTFE-based compositions is Teflon™ by Chemours,[2] a spin-off from DuPont, which originally discovered the compound in 1938.

PeetsFan
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#7: Post by PeetsFan » replying to JRising »

Thanks for fixing me up!

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harrisonpatm (original poster)

#8: Post by harrisonpatm (original poster) »

Good to know, everybody. Thank you all.

I had this idea in my head: one of the (many) complexities to designing and building an espresso machine is fitting, shaping, bending all the pipes just so. It'd be neat if you just had entirely flexible options that you could swap out or pick out of a box of lengths. That's just be my, ahem, pipe dream for now.

JRising

#9: Post by JRising »

You can use PTFE tubing throughout for the pressurized parts and silicon for all the atmospheric pressure hoses. It's one way to keep a machine affordable as well as quieter than copper tubing throughout.

When I (Rudely) corrected PeetsFan earlier I had intended to write more so that it wasn't going to appear so rude, Sorry PeetsFan, and include a photo of a stainless braided hose I have somewhere that is severed and shows that it's a nylon braided rubber hose on the inside of that stainless mesh braid coating. But I can't find the hose anywhere, so I just sent the Wikipedia copy/paste and let it go.

Flexible hoses are only needed in places where you connect a vibrating (pump) component to the stationary (fittings) components to absorb the vibrations nice and quietly. It's classy to use a braided stainless hose like a Rancilio Silvia, but much more expensive Rocket Giottos and things just use a teflon hose bent in a big u-turn to absorb the vibration. I've seen both blow, but the teflon blows far more often, right at the middle of the u-turn, outer edge, usually when the expansion valve is calcified shut.

harrisonpatm (original poster)

#10: Post by harrisonpatm (original poster) »

How long do you think the PTFE would last if you use it for, say, the path from the boiler to the steam wand? I have no intention of doing it, just curious.