Breville Barista water filter - is it necessary?

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
Fabchef

#1: Post by Fabchef »

Hi everyone, a few months ago I bought a breville barista espresso machine. It came with a charcoal water filter that goes in the tank. I was wondering if it's necessary, as we have a charcoal undersink water filter hooked up to out water line.
Thanks
Fabs

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#2: Post by homeburrero »

The newer Breville BWF100 filters are reportedly charcoal filters with some ion exchange resin (but not enough to reliably soften the water). They also filter out particles that may have dropped into your reservoir. If your water is already charcoal filtered and free of particles you can leave them out. If you do keep them in you should replace them every 2 months, partly to avoid possible microbial growth inside them.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Fabchef (original poster)

#3: Post by Fabchef (original poster) »

Hey there.... i have the BES870XL/E model.
I read there are ion things in there. Not sure how that
Effects the performance of the machine?
Maybe if it was just the charcoal, i could say I probably don't need it, but not sure about ion?
Fab

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#4: Post by homeburrero »

Fabchef wrote:I read there are ion things in there. Not sure how that
Effects the performance of the machine?
Maybe if it was just the charcoal, i could say I probably don't need it, but not sure about ion?
If your water is scale-prone hard, these little filters should help reduce the frequency that you need to descale but can't be relied on for that. If your water is soft and not scale-prone you don't have a need for ion exchange resins.

If your water is scale prone hard, you can either soften it with a real softening system, or you can periodically descale the machine. If it's hard and you fail to descale when needed, it will clog the machine and cause problems.

P.S.
I see you're in Toronto Montreal, Most Toronto Montreal area water is moderately hard (7 gpg) and would require periodic decalcifying per the owner's manual, with or without these filters.

[ Edit corrected to say Montreal. That's what I intended but typed Toronto for some reason. They reportedly have similar hardness: https://simplysmarthome.ca/wp-content/u ... Cities.pdf ]
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Fabchef (original poster)

#5: Post by Fabchef (original poster) »

Hi Pat, i'm in the Montreal area...so not sure if our water is hard or not. Thanks for the reply.
Fab

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#6: Post by homeburrero » replying to Fabchef »

I meant to say Montreal, not sure why I typed Toronto :oops:. Both have similar moderately hard water. The 2021 report for Montreal, https://portail-m4s.s3.montreal.ca/pdf/ ... _water.pdf , indicates a conductivity that would read around 150 ppm on an inexpensive TDS meter, and with calcium hardness and alkalinity levels high enough that you have reason to periodically descale.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Fabchef (original poster)

#7: Post by Fabchef (original poster) »

Cool thanks. I'm wondering what's the better (economical) route... add filter and do less descaling or no filter and frequent descaling? Hmmm...

Fabchef (original poster)

#8: Post by Fabchef (original poster) »

Pat...
Update....
Well i went to a store to pick up some Breville oem
Filters (box of 6), Descaler and cleaning tablets.
I decided to cut open the old filter (the one that came with the machine). All there was inside were the tiny, orange beads (resin). There didn't seem to be any dark, charcoal deposits inside.
I guess it does need the filter then?
At the same time i also changed my undersink charcoal filter. The coffee tastes good!
Fab

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#9: Post by homeburrero »

Thanks for reporting back, and good to know. These Breville BWF100 filters have always been a mystery to me. About a year ago I asked Breville USA support about them and the best I could get out of their support person was "I'm told that they filters consist of resin and charcoal". They appear to have initially been charcoal filters, then switched to this orange resin, and it seems impossible to learn much about what they are. They probably do tend to reduce scale, but there are no specs about their ion exchange capacity. To complicate matters, you do find a variety of 'BWF100' compatible filters on the market.

Many of the newer Breville machines use a different filter holder that takes a new Claro-Swiss filter
(https://www.breville.com/us/en/parts-ac ... 0nuc1.html ).
Larger, expensive, but as inscrutable as the BWF100 as to type and capacity of contents.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Fabchef (original poster)

#10: Post by Fabchef (original poster) »

Hi Pat, yes i have the first filter you mentioned. I'm ok if it has the resin, as i have charcoal filter under sink already.