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Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Leave on at all...  
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__________
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 1:31pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

calblacksmith Said:

Rob, what about machines that use COMMERCIAL Pstats?

I have no issue with my machine on 24/7 with it's commercial parts. YMMV!

Posted May 16, 2011 link

Yes - that's why I said "cheap pressurestat" in my post.  I don't think things like Sirai units come into the "cheap" category !
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JonR10
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 2:22pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

__________ Said:

I assure you that your measurements are wrong. They contradict the (second if I recall correctly) law of thermodynamics. In laymans terms, you only "pay" for the heat that you lose.  You lose more heat to the environment when a machine is hot than when it is cooler.Your machine is never in "steady state". It is always losing heat to the outside.

Posted May 16, 2011 link

Please check your reference.  Nobody ever said you can run any appliance for free.  



The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that "in all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state." This is also commonly referred to as entropy.

.

Perhaps you misunderstood my use of the phrase "steady state".  In this case I am referring to the steady operation of a machine after it has thermally stabilized.  It is not in equillibrium, but rather it operates with steady power consumption.

If you choose to operate an espresso machine then it will use energy.  There is no question that it takes more energy to heat up the machine from a cold start than to keep it heated after it has stabilized.  This has been shown numerous times.  How much additional energy depends on the size of the boiler(s) and the amount of metal which must be heated.  

The "break-even point" has been defined in terms of the DIFFERENCE between power draw required to heat the machine initially compared to the power required to maintain the machine once heated up fully.  If one has a smaller machine then this time period to "break even" is smaller, but still exists.  

As indicated by yourself and others, there may be more to consider than a few pennies in your pocket.  
IMO the expense is small compared to the convenience I enjoy (just an opinion).

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

moreshots Said:

I was wondering if there advantages / disadvantages to leaving the machine on at all times to reduce cycling time or cycling it all the time?

Thanks Bill

Posted May 16, 2011 link

Bill,

When you were a kid did your father tell you to turn the lights off when you were not in the room, or did he not give a damn?

There you go.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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DavecUK
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 3:57pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

JonR10 Said:

There are two sides to this argument: Yes - leaving the machine ON causes the group gasket to dry out so that it may need replacing more than annually (I replaced mine only once, after 18 months).  Other rubber items such as boiler seals will not be affected because they stay wet.

As already mentioned, one downside to leaving it on 24/7 includes some extra electrical consumption....but if you have it turn on a second time in the evening for a few hours then electricty is almost a wash.  Most calculations I've seen show the break even point between 3 and 5 hours of idle time for a machine with commercial-sized boiler(s).

Posted May 16, 2011 link

Jon, having been involved in the design of a few machines I can assure you that it's not best practise to leave them on. The Viton and other rubbers in a machine do degrade over time and this happens faster with increased temperature, this applies whether the rubber is wet or not. many components have a finite life, in many cases leaving the machine on reduces that life. There is the real risk of fire and leaks, or expensive motor damage in the case of rotary pumped machine should they spring a leak, then decide to continually auto-fill. We are talking about an appliance here with 124C steam, water, electronics, having this left on whilst not at home or asleep, really not a great idea.

The saving in electricity argument does not hold water either, because of the laws of physics (thermodynamics), turning the machine off for even a brief time saves energy overall.
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__________
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 4:51pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

Sorry, Jon.

It is never the case that it uses less energy to leave a machine on - for any length of time you choose - than to turn it off and then back on to achieve the same temperature at a later point in time.  This applies whatever length of time period time you choose, and whatever machine you choose.  There can never be a break even time for leaving a device switched on versus switching it off and re-heating.

You query my reference. It is a while since I last did physics, and I haven't checked it, but I'm sure it is a consequence of the second law, although it may not be apparent from just trying to read the law as defined in its basic expression.  

I'll leave it to anyone better able to explain it than me to chime in if they feel it worthwhile, but to advise people that it requires only the same or less energy to leave a machine switched on is misleading.
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JonR10
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JonR10
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 9:13pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

Perhaps you UK gents know sciences better than I, and you apparently assert that an espresso machine uses the same energy per hour if it's heating from a cold start as compared to operating fully warmed up.  

If you don't mind, could you please post some data or evidence to back up this assertion?  Perhaps run a Kill-a-Watt for 1 hour on a machine fully warmed up, and then do the same again in the morning as the machine starts up from being off all night and report the total energy use for 1 full hour at each condition.  

Regardless of the electrical result, I'll still leave mine on for other reasons mentioned.  


DavecUK Said:

Jon, having been involved in the design of a few machines I can assure you that it's not best practise to leave them on. The Viton and other rubbers in a machine do degrade over time and this happens faster with increased temperature, this applies whether the rubber is wet or not.

Posted May 16, 2011 link

Perhaps this is true, but won't the same Viton suffer ill effects from repeated temperature cycling?  I personally have left my machines on pretty much 24/7 for the past 6 years since I went plumbed in with virtually no ill effects such as boiler leaks etc. (the caveat being that I use commercial grade machines with Sirai pressurestats or PID on boilers).  

And by the way, wouldn't EPDM or Silicone be better advised than Viton for use in steam?  

Cheers,
Jon

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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JtothaR
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

JonR10 Said:

you apparently assert that an espresso machine uses the same energy per hour if it's heating from a cold start as compared to operating fully warmed up.  

Posted May 16, 2011 link

Isn't that like how a car uses the same amount of fuel accelerating from 0-60 as it does to maintain a constant speed of 60?

Oh no, that isn't correct...

-James

 
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Mon May 16, 2011, 10:47pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

I just glanced at this article, but maybe it can provide y'all some grist for your mills:

Click Here (www.fishnick.com)

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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DavecUK
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Posted Tue May 17, 2011, 4:19am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

Good article Len, the penny is finally starting to drop. A forum is not the place to complete peoples physics or thermodynamics lessons, so I'm not going to bother to give proof of something I KNOW to be the case. For those who doubt switching off machine saves energy, read newtons law of cooling, 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics....then think about it a bit.

As for the advice to leave the machine on all the time....I REALLY wish people would stop giving this advice on forums. People who are new may read the advice to do this and then get problems as a result. I repeat for all people new to this and any who are not but leave their machine on all the time whether at home or not. It's a safety issue, you really don't want the machine on when you are not at home or when you are asleep, please ignore advice to leave your machine on all the time. Your machine should only be on when your are AT HOME & AWAKE

All the people who want to argue with this advice, please just think a bit!
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TheMadTamper
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Posted Tue May 17, 2011, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

DavecUK Said:

Good article Len, the penny is finally starting to drop. A forum is not the place to complete peoples physics or thermodynamics lessons, so I'm not going to bother to give proof of something I KNOW to be the case. For those who doubt switching off machine saves energy, read newtons law of cooling, 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics....then think about it a bit.

As for the advice to leave the machine on all the time....I REALLY wish people would stop giving this advice on forums. People who are new may read the advice to do this and then get problems as a result. I repeat for all people new to this and any who are not but leave their machine on all the time whether at home or not. It's a safety issue, you really don't want the machine on when you are not at home or when you are asleep, please ignore advice to leave your machine on all the time. Your machine should only be on when your are AT HOME & AWAKE

All the people who want to argue with this advice, please just think a bit!

Posted May 17, 2011 link

I do agree with you on this, though I'll point out numerous manufacturers do approve if it being left on 24/7, many people on the forums have done it for a long time, as do many commercial establishments, and wear & tear of the machine starting from cold start (versus wear & tear of always on) (and/or lost profits/customer satisfaction in a commercial environment) versus always-on depending on usage habits is something that does factor into the cost.  Though I've never seen anyone say that it costs LESS to keep it on than to run it 24/7, only that the additional cost for convenience is incremental in comparison to the extra energy of a cold start.

Personally, I do think of it as a safety issue, and my paranoia prevents me from leaving such things on, even when I KNOW it's designed to be able to do so.  Even if I accidentally leave it on.  Even forgetting electrical expense.  But despite it being my preference, it's a little unfair to invalidate the matter entirely.

But a prime example, not espresso per-se, but I just bought a Bunn MCP.  Right in the instructions, interestingly, along with the safety and electrical section, tells users that this machine is designed to be left on, and the power switch does not need to be used except for cleaning the machine, moving it, or if you expect not to be using it for greater than 3 days.   To me this just feels wrong...and I intend to use the power switch each day.  Maybe that will burn out the boiler or break the switch.  But I feel wrong leaving it on.  It does have safety features (boiler dry detection, like an espresso machine), as well as low-power (reduced temp) mode after 6 hours idle, and shutdown after 26 hours.  But they go out of their way, right in the safety info, to tell you to leave it on full power for 6 hours of idle and reduced power for up to a day.  Since the machine is intended for office type use, that means after end-of-day, it spends 6 hours unattended at full power, then remains at reduced power until someone comes in and brews a cup in the morning or through a full day over weekends. Though this machine doesn't hold steam pressure in a metal tank like an espresso machine either, so it's a little safer inherently.

My point is, you and I may feel it's a bad idea to leave it on, however it seems some, including manufacturers and their product safety testers seem to disagree, so in terms of "safety", I'd say go with the manufacturers suggestions.   If your manufacturer says it's ok, then from a safety standpoint it's hard to argue with them.   I personally don't like it, but it's your machine and you're operating it within safety specs.  

From an energy standpoint, no, depending on your usage habits, it's not actually using less energy to keep it on, but if you turn it on often, you may not be saving as much as you think by turning it off either, or may not be spending as much extra as you think by leaving it on.  It's incrementally more, but it is more power leaving it on.
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