RO water creates oxidation??? per a seller.

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
kris772
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#1: Post by kris772 »

HUH???
Just started using RO + .3gbking soda/gal a few weeks ago.
Was looking at a seller's site for the Lelit Elizabeth and saw this:
Do not use distilled water, purified water, nor reverse osmosis water as these types of water create oxidation with the metals and cause the same damaging effects as limescale.
Life is too short for bad espresso! - Thunk-ed, NOT stirred!

Smo

#2: Post by Smo »

After adding baking soda, your water is no longer distilled water.
Sent: lunedì 14 giugno 2021 19:26
To: NicoleAntimir <care@lelit.com>
Subject: Lelit Bianca

Ciao!
So che hai uno specialista dell'acqua.
Posso usare acqua distillata+NaHCO3 40mg/lit?

Hello,
in our opinion, it's better if you use 80 mg/l instead of 40.

Best regards,
Nicole​ Antimir​ ​.
CARE Department | LELIT-​ Gemme​ Italian Producers​ Srl​ - Italy​



John49

#3: Post by John49 »

The OP is using 80 mg/l.

kris772 (original poster)
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#4: Post by kris772 (original poster) »

It just struck me as strange that one of the top 3 or so retailers of espresso stuff in the conus would say that.

I just checked another of that seller's machines and saw (under "Notes") the same warning, so I assume it is posted for all machines.
Life is too short for bad espresso! - Thunk-ed, NOT stirred!

baldheadracing
Team HB

#5: Post by baldheadracing »

kris772 wrote:It just struck me as strange that one of the top 3 or so retailers of espresso stuff in the conus would say that.
It's true. You need to add stuff to those waters. Add the 'wrong' stuff and some machines might be more affected than others, e.g., Lelit Bianca, particles forming in boiler (rpavlis water)
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

kris772 (original poster)
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#6: Post by kris772 (original poster) » replying to baldheadracing »

So what is the "wrong stuff"? I was told sodium bicarb at 0.3g/gal was okay.

I was also told/suggested to run water out of the hot water tap occasionally (Normally I never use the machines "hot water" tap - if I need hot water I use the Keurig(Matcha and such)).

I just now ran hot water out of it and it was pretty much clear.

Bottom line:
Do I have a problem?
Do I need to change something?
If so, what?
I went with sodium bicarb because it is easy and cheap, I cannot find potassium bicarb at less than a pound (that would last me for many lifetimes). I do not personally have a sodium intake health problem and even if I did, that tiny amount wouldn't affect anybody.

Many thanks!
Life is too short for bad espresso! - Thunk-ed, NOT stirred!

baldheadracing
Team HB

#7: Post by baldheadracing »

1. Get a TDS meter
2. Test your RO water regularly to make sure the RO water is actually low TDS.
3. Regularly test your water after adding baking soda or whatever to assure that the resulting TDS hasn't varied.
4. Maintain your RO system.
5. Regularly draw out some water out of each boiler into glasses, cover the glasses and let the water get to room temperature, and taste the two waters against the same water that you've boiled in a kettle and also let cool to room temperature. If the waters don't taste the same, then I would say that you might want to address that.
6. Search and see what experiences people have had with your specific machine. Sensors/thermowells vary, boiler and fitting materials vary, control electronics vary, etc. What works in one machine might not work in another.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

kris772 (original poster)
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#8: Post by kris772 (original poster) »

Thanks much for your thoughts. I ordered a TDS meter and will see what it says. The RO water comes from target in gallon light-blue label bottles for $0.95/ I will post results (Jul 1).
Life is too short for bad espresso! - Thunk-ed, NOT stirred!

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homeburrero
Team HB

#9: Post by homeburrero »

kris772 wrote:The RO water comes from target in gallon light-blue label bottles for $0.95/ I will post results (Jul 1).
I believe the label says 'Purified Drinking Water' and it does NOT indicate 'with minerals added'. If so, you can trust that it's pure (only a couple ppm at most) and no need to verify with a TDS meter.

If you add close to 0.3 gram of baking soda to a gallon of that you should be perfectly fine. That would be 79 mg/L of sodium bicarb (just as recommended in the LeLit advice that Smo posted earlier). It would have an alkalinity of about 47 mg/L as recommended by SCA, and would be functionally equivalent to the R Pavlis water that is favored by many people on this site. It is NOT corrosive and would deposit no limescale in your machine. If you wanted to sanity check your final mix with an inexpensive TDS meter (NaCl calibration factor of 0.5) it should read about 44 ppm at 25℃.

P.S.
There is some boilerplate advice that a few vendors out there have picked up and posted:
General Espresso Machine Warning:

ELECTRICAL WARNING: To avoid electrical damage to this espresso machine which is not considered a manufacturer's defect, please acquire and install a single-outlet surge suppressor rated at 1080 joules or higher. With the lack of the recommended surge suppressor, the espresso machine can be damaged at the power switch, the electronics, the heating element, the pressurestat or the wiring inside.

WATER WARNING: To increase the useful life of and not damage your espresso machine, please use softened water. Softened water is water without calcium and without magnesium, but still has other minerals for espresso extraction. Do not use distilled water, purified water, nor reverse osmosis water as these types of water create oxidation with the metals and cause the same damaging effects as limescale.

DESCALING WARNING: We do not recommend descaling unless there is an issue with the espresso machine. The reason is that too much descaling can eat away at the metals and gaskets inside an espresso machine.
The water advice there about softening is OK, but the purified water advice is oversimplification, perhaps a bad translation. Overly pure water might be slightly acidic and corrosive, but the damaging effect of that is not at all the same as limescale. And, as others have pointed out, once you add some bicarbonate to the water or remineralize it with a calcite cartridge it no longer has the issues associated with overly pure water.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

kris772 (original poster)
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#10: Post by kris772 (original poster) »

Thanks Pat. Yes, I believe you have advised me well on this (water) for a number of posts. My problem with any vendors "boilerplate" is that it can then easily be used to deny a warranty problem. It seems confusing at best or downright wrong if believed implicitly. Be that as it may. Not here to diss a great vendor.(whom I buy from!)

As to ordering a TDS meter - it only cost about $11 or so and the Target water would be a good way to test the meter (rather than visa-versa! :) ). I would be very surprised if the Target water was "bad". It would also be fun for me to test the tap water here because it is supposed to be about the best in the conus, but it clearly (from my previous conversation about decalcifying) has a lot of minerals in it as water in boiler was quickly cloudy. Not so with the RO water - it stays pretty clear, though I understand the wisdom of pulling a cup or 2 out of the hot water tap occasionally just to be sure.

Again, thanks Pat as you keep looking in on this. I DO think my water is fine now.(RO + 0.3g baking soda/gal) Just thought I'd post this as one vendor clearly believes it is not.

A'he'hee
Life is too short for bad espresso! - Thunk-ed, NOT stirred!