The hot-water wand emits water tainted with particles. The machine exclusively sees distilled water treated with the rpavlis recipe (addition of 100 mg/L of potassium bicarbonate). Although we use the steam wand every day, we rarely use the hot-water wand. After the Bianca was a few months old (maybe four months), the water from the hot-water wand began to come out loaded with dark particles. I think these particles are a problem, but I am not sure what is causing them to form.
I cannot detect them coming from the steam wand, although it admittedly is hard to draw enough water to be sure. I suspect that the particles are forming on the walls of the boiler. The particles settle quickly in water, so if the hot-water wand draws water from near the bottom of the boiler and the steam wand draws steam from the top of the boiler, it would make sense that the particles only exit the boiler through the hot-water wand. Hopefully no particle-laden lattes.
The alternative, that they could be forming in the hot-water wand, seems unlikely. The particles thin out during extraction, but after a short interval they then again come out intensively. It thus seems they come from the boiler.
Here is a video (warning, turn down the volume), initially the particles are intense, then absent. A second, immediate release is clear. After a short delay, it will again be contaminated.
[Edit: Uploaded video to YouTube on request, but not embedded so you still need to click the link] https://streamable.com/h5k6zz
Symptom No. 2
This morning when starting the machine showed error 03, the "steam boiler filling alarm." I let the machine sit for a couple of hours, then simply turned her off and back on. This time, she started up and behaved normally without reporting errors. If the particles are forming in the boiler, perhaps they are building up and starting to block the water intake.
- If the rpavlis water were leeching metal from the boiler walls, I suppose it should be in solution and not visible as particles that settle.
- The brew boiler shows no signs of containing particles. If the water is causing the issue, I suppose there should be signs of particles coming from the grouphead as well. One possibility is that the internal walls of the brew boiler are different than those of the steam boiler, another would be there is no way for the particles to exit the brew boiler.
- What could be causing the particles to form? Could they metallic or otherwise potentially harmful to health?
- Where might the particles be forming? If in the boiler, it seems likely this will eventually cause damage and lead to a need to replace the boiler.
- What steps could I take to help answer these questions? I would prefer to understand the issue rather than just bring the machine in for service.