When to descale my espresso machine / possibilities to soften the water?

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

#1: Post by romaen »


Right now, I have very soft water, because of that, I never descaled my machine (got it since ~8 months).
I will move soon and as far as I know, there is quite hard water (19°dH).
Any advice how to tell when I have to descale my machine? Which possibilities are there to soften the water?

Thanks a lot!


#2: Post by JRising »

Most super automatics and technology-heavy semi-traditionals can be set with the hardness of their water. They then use an algorithm based on the amount of brew water and water for steam consumed and tell you when they need descaling. Page 10 of the manual if you're talking about a BES920.
https://www.breville.com/content/dam/br ... manual.pdf

On traditional machines it's simple enough to open an easy to access and easy to open spot like the mesh filter on the gicleur or the boiler fill probe for examination. If the scale is forming on these spots you know it's forming throughout the system.

tracer bullet

#3: Post by tracer bullet »

For the best answer folks will also need to know what kind of machine you have (single bopiler, dual, HX), how often you pull shots (# times per day or week), and how often if ever you steam milk. All contribute to varying temps and water usage which affects scale build-up.