Rocket Appartamento Scale Buildup

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
Barista Ali
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#1: Post by Barista Ali »

I have a Rocket Appartamento since 2019.

I do regular backflush. I use Nestle 5 Gallon bottled water to fill the tank.

I have never done a descaling before.

So this week I decided to do a descaling by a professional technician.

The technician told me that there are a lot of scale buildup and the boiler is damaged and needs to be replaced.

I use the machine everyday and I make 3 cups on average.

I am just wondering how to avoid this problem from happening again because the costs of replacing the boiler is around 25% of the cost of the machine.

Please advise.


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#2: Post by Marcelnl »

All I see is scale and salt crust on the outside, which means there was a leak for quite some time, saying the boiler needs to be replaced based on this is a bit strange since scale would be present on the inside of the boiler and on the heating element.
Should be possible to salvage the boiler by removing it, descaling, looking at the root cause of the leak/leaks and brazing any holes...unless the boiler became so thin it makes no sense to repair.

These days repair usually involves replacing parts, something like a boiler can be repaired. Yet do investigate your water composition befor using the machine again, it may be acidic, may have too much minerals and you may want to revert to destilled water with some Potassium Bicarbonate added (RPavlis recipe) if you do not want to have to worry about scale.
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#3: Post by Nunas »

I agree with Marcel. Apart from the second photo, which appears to show a pinhole in the weld (the brownish stuff), most of the repairs will likely be cleaning and tightening, and possibly replacing some seals. Usually, a pinhole on the weld is easily repairable, as the original weld adds thickness. (The problem is likely due to a poor weld in the first place). If you find any areas where the leaks are not near welds/fittings, that's when it gets dicier to braze. But, the bottom line, from the photos, is that you can very likely salvage this machine. I'd remove the boiler and all its fittings and soak it in descaler. Have a look at William's thread here New HX Rebuild ~ E61 Group Not Working for an example showing how he managed to rebuild his machine to like-new condition.

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#4: Post by Jeff »

On preventing it in the future, I'd look into water carefully. Bottled water is often just that, water in a bottle. Sometimes water out of your tap is better than what gets sold in the bottle and sometimes sufficient for use in espresso machines. Even spring water isn't necessarily good for espresso machines. There are a handful of waters that are OK, sometimes depending on which spring they came from. There are relatively easy ways to mix your own from distilled, RO, or DI water.

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#5: Post by borrik »

Except mentioned water recipe actions, don't forget that on HX machines water from the boiler should be consumed/replaced at regular basis. The water for your espresso is feeding from the water tank directly and this is not the same water as you have in your boiler, so you need to refresh the boiler via hot water tap.

If you're not consuming your boiler water and only do a backflush as maintenance action, this could be even a root cause for your problem, because without replacement, water becomes very mineralized due to evaporation via steam wand/vacuum vent valve.
These machines should last for decades with a proper water and maintenance.
Good luck!