A Flojet Alternative: Aquatec

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

#1: Post by hellojava »

I've had my machine hooked up the the water line for a few weeks. It's been driving me insane trying to remember if I've turned the water off, and whether or not I'll come home to a flooded kitchen. After deciding to move my lever machine from the water line to a less risky solution, I started to research different ways to get good water to my espresso machine.

Enter flojet. It's recommended everywhere. Clive's coffee down south has a great tutorial on how to set it up professionally. It's a highly rated product on Amazon, Home Depot, and even this forum.

However, I noticed, deep in the bad reviews and forum posts, complaints about noise and "water corruption".

One, the pump was too loud. Many espresso engineers recommended using accumulators (with rubber diaphragms) or tanks to maintain pressure and ensure minimal activation of the pump.

Two, many reviewers complained of a "plastic" taste in their water even after flushing the machine with gallons and gallons of hot water. In some cases people reported they were told to use... BLEACH?

I started to look at other systems when I found aquatec. I ordered the .7 gpm pump, attached it to my machine, and threaded it into a bottle of filtered water. WOW. While the setup to a bit longer to get the two poly 3/8 hoses cut to length and threaded into their respective places, the result was awesome!

The pump comes on immediately when my machine needs water, and most of the time I can't even hear it because it sits on rubber feet (included) under my kitchen cabinet. The pump operates quietly and quickly, and it turns off immediately after the "demand" has been met. It can operate at 60 psi, adjustable, versus 40 psi with the flojet.

I flushed it for 5 minutes before installing using my tap water. I can safely say that the water at the output tastes the exact same as the water at the input in the bottle.

Lastly, the manufacturer claims the pump won't burn out if it runs dry, so it doesn't need a the low water sensor that comes with the flojet. I will, personally, try to be careful with this as I'm sure running it dry for prolonged periods of time could shorten the life of the pump.

Total cost? 90 (pump) + 10 (fitting JG to my machine and 25 ft of poly)

yvrdennis

#2: Post by yvrdennis »

Have you got a link for the pump model number etc?

hellojava (original poster)

#3: Post by hellojava (original poster) replying to yvrdennis »

Sure! Aquatec 5851-7E12-J574!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007KDXH5U/

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AssafL

#4: Post by AssafL »

It is great that there are alternatives to flo-jet.

But in regards to the criticism - some healthy skepticism is due when reading the reviews: doesn't every popular product, buried deep within the 4.98 rating, a few bad experiences, a few bad vibes and even (I assume) some spite and competitive trolling.

In fact, having no bad reviews makes me (at least) suspicious of a product placement ad masquerading as reviews (so called paid reviews).

Some people may dislike LLDPE and HDPE. Some taste plastic everywhere. Some are very noise averse (strange as it is only operational when the espresso machine is pulling an espresso or autofills the boiler - maybe the noise complaint is from people who use it to pressurize a faucet?).

Anyway, as I said, it is good to have competition.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

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TheMadTamper

#5: Post by TheMadTamper »

That's an extremely different type of pump, more similar to a rotary pump in an espresso machine. It's meant as a flow booster installed in-line, much like an espresso machine rotary pump, but, can also be used to siphon from a reservoir....much like an espresso machine rotary pump.

I imagine it's a nicer experience by far once you get it all up and running though with quieter operation and higher pressure! Though for that type of pump I don't believe the "can run dry" claim though. So can a Pro-con. For about 30 seconds. I'd be careful about running out of water!

All in all it's not quite as "everything in a box, plug and play" as the familiar Flojet but it seems appropriately enthusiast :wink:

About the Flo-Jet - The bleach is in the user manual for sanitation - technically for NSF compliance you're supposed to bleach it (along with most other commercial appliances) regularly. It's a bit extreme, but it's a compliance thing. I'll never understand the "flavor" reviews, though keep in mind they've had a few models over the years, and the reviews are for all of them. It's basically an Ulka pump....a Silvia in a plastic box....there's not much in there to add bad flavors. If anything it's probably overpacked piston grease in the pump. I can understand the noise complaints. It's....basically a Silvia in a plastic box... Vibe pumps are noisy, but it really doesn't get in the way for espresso use. A faucet or ice maker sounding like a Silvia would be obnoxious though, especially to the RV users and such that are buying them for that purpose. Or lever owners. Though as I consider a lever, I find the idea of a pump running a comforting familiar sound. :D
LMWDP #642

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#6: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

I am also a fan of the Aquatec but my set up also involves an accumulator tank and holding tank as I make my own water now. For what it's worth I have been using the following with my Slayer and it works fantastic in my opinion. YMMV. The reason I went to this is that we moved from awesome water in CO to crap water in AZ. The Aquatec pump with this system only cycles every couple of days.


Holding Tank
6 gallon rectangular tank and John Guest 3/8 bulk head
https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item. ... mid=125271
Reducer Bushing from ¾ to 1/2
NOTE - US Plastic has high shipping charges.

John Guest ½ NPTF Straight Adapter 3/8 OD tubing
PP011224W 3/8" 1/2"

Check Valve to prevent backflow when refilling tank.
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... k-pressure

Pump
Aquatec 5853-7E12-J524 1.7 GPM 60 PSI 3/8 inch JG 120V Delivery/Demand Pump with Cord
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008GNFN82/

Accumulator - with a John Guest 3/8 adapter on top connects into pump line with a T.
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... nk-3-2-gal

J Guest Valve for Accumulator
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... x-1-4-nptf

John Guest T - one side to pump and other side to pressure regulator before espresso machine with T too accumulator
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... olypro-3-8

Pressure regulator
https://www.chriscoffee.com/Pressure-Re ... /334gg.htm

Great espresso at the end of the line.
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Artisan Quick Start Guide
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hellojava (original poster)

#7: Post by hellojava (original poster) »

How is the 1.7 gpm pump? I went with the smaller due to size and noise. Is the 1.7 loud?

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#8: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz replying to hellojava »

It's quick to fill the accumulation tank. Noise isn't a bother as I mentioned it goes off only every 3-4 days for 10-15 seconds. Either should be good. Key for others is make sure you get a John Guest model.
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Artisan Quick Start Guide
http://bit.ly/ArtisanQuickStart

hellojava (original poster)

#9: Post by hellojava (original poster) »

TheMadTamper wrote:That's an extremely different type of pump, more similar to a rotary pump in an espresso machine. It's meant as a flow booster installed in-line, much like an espresso machine rotary pump, but, can also be used to siphon from a reservoir....much like an espresso machine rotary pump.
The pump I posted is also a "demand delivery" pump which puts it in the same category as the flojet. Aquatec does manufacture booster pumps as well, but fortunately this isn't one of them.

hellojava (original poster)

#10: Post by hellojava (original poster) »

CarefreeBuzzBuzz wrote:It's quick to fill the accumulation tank. Noise isn't a bother as I mentioned it goes off only every 3-4 days for 10-15 seconds. Either should be good. Key for others is make sure you get a John Guest model.
That's awesome. I am currently buying bottled water as the city's well water can be a little high in PH. I've been looking at making my own, but for now I'll wait while I figure out what I want in a system!