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Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
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cjbrubaker
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Posted Mon Nov 26, 2007, 12:52pm
Subject: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

I have a 2001 PID'd Sylvia and live in an area with really hard water. So I bought a cartridge water softener that plugs into the water intake tube, exactly as pictured in the link below. With the softener installed, the pump sounds like it's working harder. I fear the water softener is affecting the grouphead pressure by effectively restricting the water intake. I seem to be getting less crema than before, but there are too many other variables to tell if it's an effect of the water softener.

Has anyone measured grouphead pressure with an inlet hose water softener installed? I'm really curious how much resistance the softener adds, and if it's affecting my shot quality.

Here's the softener -> Click Here (www.espressoparts.com)

Thanks!
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xdavez
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Posted Mon Nov 26, 2007, 4:14pm
Subject: Re: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

little restriction actually, but I'd supplement it with a Brita pitcher or similar.

Be certain you keep up on descaling!

d
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I_bean_good
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Posted Thu Nov 29, 2007, 11:24am
Subject: Re: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

I'm also living with hard water so noted your post with interest.  I love the taste of my water as it comes from a deep well, but I know I'm getting build up in my boiler as I've disassembled my old machine and pulled spoonfuls of that white caky stuff out of there.

Re: results - Do you notice any change in the taste of your shots with the softener?  After experimenting with it has your crema improved?

Re: the filter - Is it only supposed to keep scale from building up in your boiler or do you have if for other reasons? How many shots is it supposed to be good for?

Thanks.

 
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Posted Thu Nov 29, 2007, 11:46am
Subject: Re: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

I_bean_good Said:

Re: the filter - Is it only supposed to keep scale from building up in your boiler or do you have if for other reasons? How many shots is it supposed to be good for?

Posted November 29, 2007 link

I've posted this info several times, but I have the Rancilio Silvia hose end softener & that one appears to be just a tad smaller. These hose end softeners are resin cation ion exchange type & are to be recharged with Sea salt/Kosher salt only, (table salt has added iodine & anti-caking agents) & after approx 60 liters of water have been run through them, or once per month depending on frequency of usage.

They last about 1 year.
Hardness is reduced approximately in Jim's case, from 150 mg/l or ppm to about 50 mg/l or ppm., a 66% reduction. My Toronto tap water is 9.5 grains per Imperial gallon, so with the softener that's reduced to approx 3.2 grains. 14mg/l or ppm = 1 grain of hardness in 1 Imperial gallon.
My water would then be 44.8ppm total hardness.

A must read: Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ. {:-D

CraigA: ResinIonExchangeFilter.jpg
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I_bean_good
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I_bean_good
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Posted Fri Nov 30, 2007, 8:48am
Subject: Re: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

Thank you Craig.  I had skimmed that water FAQ a while back but lost the link so I appreciate your re-posting it.  Very (perhaps too) informative.  I'd better get one of those hardness test kits!

But I now wonder - If you regularly descale per Schulman's recommendations, given that his best taste test came from boiled hard water, is there any reason to add a softener?

 
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Posted Fri Nov 30, 2007, 10:09am
Subject: Re: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

I_bean_good Said:

Thank you Craig.  I had skimmed that water FAQ a while back but lost the link so I appreciate your re-posting it.  Very (perhaps too) informative.  I'd better get one of those hardness test kits!

But I now wonder - If you regularly descale per Schulman's recommendations, given that his best taste test came from boiled hard water, is there any reason to add a softener?

Posted November 30, 2007 link

You're welcome Tom. I missed that as I don't remember it., but I know from my mineral water analysis sheet I have that doing a hard boil on our 133 mg/L/ppm (9.5 grains of hardness per Imperial gallon/14ppm = 1 grain) water that overall hardness is lowered to78ppm. Of that figure there's 84ppm of Carbonate hardness (CaCO3) that's reduced to 55ppm or approx a 35% reduction due to the hard boil & carbonate hardness precipating out as a white "fur" ring on the top water line of a kettle or big stock pot. & to the bottom of the vessel also.


Water hardness on my municipal gov sheet is listed as 9.5 grains per gallon. With the above formula, it's 9.3 so figures would have to be adjusted accordingly.

This boil treatment will result in my waters total hardness of 78ppm or 5.46 grains alone.
From my above post that I revised, my Toronto tap water is 9.5 grains per Imperial gallon, so with the softener that's reduced to approx 3.2 grains. 14mg/l or ppm = 1 grain of hardness in 1 Imperial gallon.
My water would then be 44.8ppm total hardness, or 3.1 grains.


So in conclusion:
  • Boil only treatment                78ppm or 5.46 grains of hardness
  • Hose end water softener       44ppm or 3.08 grains of hardness




Units of hardness are Clark's degrees. Cd = ppm x 0.07 for Imperial gallon
In the old measure that I'm quoting, 1 Clark degree is 1 grain CaCO3 per imperial gallon (10 lbs water @ 62F or 4.54 kg of water @ 17C.
A further complication arises from the American gallon being 8.33 lb of water @ 60F (3.78 kg water @ 15.5C).

One Clark degree is equivalent to 143 mg/L calcium ion, equivalent again to 0.7 millivals. (Calcium has an atomic weight of 40 & being divalent its equivalent weight is 20.)

A water with less than 2.5 millivals is considered soft.
2.5 - 5.0 as moderately soft
5.0 - 7.5 slightly hard
7.5 - 12.5 moderately hard
12.5 - 17.5 hard
Greater than 17.5 very hard.

 
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I_bean_good
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I_bean_good
Joined: 25 Jan 2007
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Location: Bergen Park, CO
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Espresso: Rancilio Railto (w/pid),...
Grinder: Vario
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Posted Fri Nov 30, 2007, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

OMG  Ask a simple question, get a cataclysm...  I guess that's what I should expect from a coffeegeek!

Can't say as I really understood what you wrote, even after several readings.  I'm gonna hafta study this much harder.  Schulman's hard boiled water was at 100mg/L but he also talks about the importance of alkalinity...   this is all so confusing :-O

I_bean_good: schulmantaste.gif
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,243
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Fri Nov 30, 2007, 12:20pm
Subject: Re: Sylvia in-reservoir water softener and pump output pressure
 

I_bean_good Said:

OMG  Ask a simple question, get a cataclysm...  I guess that's what I should expect from a coffeegeek!

Posted November 30, 2007 link

Sorry Tom! {;-D

I was quoting from a technical reference manual that I own, Malting & Brewing Science by J.S Hough, D.E. Briggs, & R.Stevens First published 1971 SBN 412 09970 5 (softening procedures).

Can't say as I really understood what you wrote, even after several readings.  I'm gonna hafta study this much harder.  Schulman's hard boiled water was at 100mg/L but he also talks about the importance of alkalinity...   this is all so confusing :-O

From my Homebrewing days starting in 1971, full grain all mash since 1983, I'm acutely aware of alkaline salts (Calcium Carbonate {chalk} CaCO3), acid salts (Calcium Sulphate {gypsum} CaSO4) among others for adjusting the brewing water to a particular beer style ie; a Mild Brown Ale versus an India Pale Ale.

Yeah, I certainly agree it's confusing & I make no attempt at even knowing or understanding even a tiny portion of it all. {:-)

 
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