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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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Senior Member
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Sun May 22, 2011, 9:08pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

DavecUK Said:

...but the earlier point was to dispel the myth that it's more economical and that in some way espresso machines defy the laws of physics....

Posted May 22, 2011 link

Perhaps you missed this?

germantownrob Said:

N.S. Oscar usage for 1 hour from a cold start up = .28KWH
                   for each hour after that while idle = .11KWH

Posted May 20, 2011 link

It's an academic argument, and has no bearing on the main topic.

Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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Senior Member

Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,471
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 23, 2011, 3:47am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

JonR10 Said:

It seems that the condescending tones have not let up from the early part of this thread.  Too bad, because you have so very much to offer and this detracts from it.  In fact, because of your work, Dave, I just this morning ordered some polyester batting to use for insulating my new machine's boiler.  Thank you for pioneering that.

Posted May 22, 2011 link

Funnily enough quite a few people (on here and HB) said I was an idiot for suggesting that people insulate their boilers, especially as I did not not advocate some expensive super material?  I took the trouble of producing a Wiki to try and pass any knowledge I have on to others, so my attitude is not destructive or condescending. An espresso machine manufacturers tech department told me I was wrong in the design of a twin boiler espresso machine, especially in how it had to work, but I had them re-engineer it and lots of happy owners are the result. A roaster manufacturer asked me for design improvements to their roaster.... At least in the last 2 cases I received recompense for my consultancy and any hassle involved. I expect to be working on another new twin boiler machine soon.....hopefully I will put everything I have learnt on other machines  to good use.

You are so right Jon, I've a lot to offer and better things to spend my time on. I no longer post on Home Barista because it's unproductive and a hassle (some supplier relationships), looks like "deja vu" on here......Perhaps it's something I should have done a long time ago and I'll try not to let the door hit me on the arse on the way out :-)
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,265
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon May 23, 2011, 6:22am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

Good luck in your attempts to improve the world, may many blessings follow you the rest of your life.

End of addressing anyone specific, what follows is a global look at the world and is not intended to indicate anyone at all, just a pervasive attitude.

NOW, I really don't care a RATS BEHIND about carbon footprints, or anything anyone is telling me that I MUST do because it is good for the environment. I am not PC and I really don't care about those issues. If someone wants to save the world by using whatever product in place of brand X at three times the cost because you feel good about it, so much the better but don't force me to follow just because in one persons eyes, it is "the right thing to do"

+edited out a long rant+

Depending on the time you are switching off your espresso machine it may or may not save you money and energy. If the time it is off, saves less energy than what it takes to heat it back up again, then it is less expensive to leave it on for that set time. There can be no argument with that! Each machine will have it's own values and that set time will be different from other machines.

Do I care if anyone leaves it on or turns it off, NO, that is a personal choice. If the machine is one that has been designed to be left on for long periods of time then it is safe to leave it on.

Most consumer grade machines don't fall into that class though and if the manufacturer advises to turn it off or the machine does not poses the need controls to regulate it's self unattended, then turn it off.

Is a KW or so here or there going to bankrupt anyone? NO, will it destroy the world, NO. You can't store AC power. You use what is generated at that second and the next second it is gone.

If every espresso machine in the world was left on 24/7 regardless of the ability of the machine to do so, would it make a marked affect on the power grid? NO, there just are not that many machines to worry about in the grand view of things.

In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Senior Member

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 315
Location: IA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: La Spaziale Junior
Vac Pot: n/a
Drip: Cuisinart Grind & Brew
Roaster: n/a
Posted Mon May 23, 2011, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

I've had my NS Oscar on 24/7 since I got it. Lately I've noticed that the kitchen is a bit warmer during the summer and we try to keep it cooler by using our toaster oven more than the big oven. So I thought I'd start turning the Oscar off after my daily morning tripple cap...what I've learned is this;

I don't remember to turn my machine on at 5:45 a.m. so some mornings I have to pull shots from a relatively cold machine...not as good
If the figures quoted above are accurate, it costs less than a dollar a day to run my machine
It probably costs about the same to run the AC to cool the kitchen down to 74 degrees while my machine is on all day

For me it's the convenience factor of waking up, pulling a shot and not worrying about bleeding the steam from a cold machine.
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Senior Member

Joined: 2 Jul 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti
Grinder: Kitchenaid Pro Line
Drip: Technivorm Mocca Master
Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013, 7:04am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

Instead of creating a brand new thread - thought I'd revive this one.

I'm looking at buying a lower end commercial grade dual head machine myself - around $2,000-$2,500 - and wanted to see what best practice says around installation and operation.

Originally an engineer, I tend towards OCD and making it too good to fail... that said, whatever unit I get will be plumbed on both ends, sitting on a commercial style (raised drip flange) stainless countertop, with an integrated sink next to it.  Brick and tile back splash and surround.  I even have two sprinkler heads in my kitchen. In other words, the darn thing can catch fire and nothing too bad should happen - any leaks will drain into the sink.

My concern is NOT electricity or carbon footprint - a rodent's behind is what I don't give about that.  No, my concern is component deterioration and related maintenance needs - replacing a set of gaskets is more expensive than running the thing 24/7.

Also, from my automotive engineering days, it would seem that some of the lessons on this page are relevant to the espresso machines:
Note the o-ring failure causes - especially those that relate to excessive cycling.

After reading this thread, is it the consensus that *modern* commercial machines last the longest if on 24/7?

(insulating the boiler is a great idea that would meet the greenies halfway - and keep my kitchen cooler, which is what I like)
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Senior Member
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,083
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013, 9:41am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

My machine is a 110 low volume commercial machine and it came insulated.  I suspect that more and more new machines are insulated already. I am sure you can add more to any boiler.  I have heard that there is a Christmas tree skirt batting that is very good for insulating boilers.  Mine has a sheet of silicone on it as that is what was at hand when I modded my machine and the insulation was crumbling every time the boiler was touched.  After modding my machine I put it on a timer.  I am home all day and I don't get up at the same time every day so I have it on for a longer time than if I worked and got up and out the door at the same time every day.  I leave it on all day most weekends unless I am gone for the weekend - I do cut the machine off but leave the timer on. (too much hassle to reset it)

I left it on for the better part of a year before I modded the machine.  I was not overly worried about the thing on as it is a commercial rated machine.  It has thicker wires and connections.  Unlike home rated things not made to be on more often than they were off.  I am not worried about the o rings and stuff, I figure I will replace them all over time.

If people are worried there are water sensors and heat sensors they can place around the espresso machine that will trigger the alarm if it fails.  Even a cheap alarm systems will have these kind of sensors.


Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Senior Member
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013, 10:28pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

I keep my Technika IV on a timer. The machine may or may not have an insulated boiler, I can't figure out how to open the damn thing. It does have a thicker, stainless-steel boiler, which holds in a lot of heat. My machine turns on at 6AM and shuts off at 10PM, so stays on 16 hours per day, but I will be programming it with a more extensive rest cycle once I get into the swing of things at my new job. This morning was my first day so I had to get up much earlier than usual. The Technika was not scheduled to come online until 7:45, which would have been much too late, since I had to get out the door at 8:10.
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Senior Member

Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Posts: 124
Location: Ann Arbor
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Jul 19, 2013, 2:06pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

OK we might be going a bit off-topic here, but with your permission...

DavecUK Said:

...The average north American has twice the carbon footprint of someone in the UK and 5 x the world average...

Posted May 22, 2011 link

It will be impractical to attach the 10+ Mb report you are referring to, but this is a shorter version of the source, with the same data.  The point we need to take to heart from this is the fact that even the homeless, "... the people with the lowest usage of energy are still producing, on average, more than double the global per-capita average". This rate has nothing to do with leaving appliances "on" (since they have none...)  That is strictly due to infrastructure and other federal services available. In fact -- just being alive in the US without consuming any energy -- the available federal resources put you at a baseline consumption of twice the world average. So, to simply state that "The average north American has twice the carbon footprint of someone in the UK and 5 x the world average" might be a correct, cold statistical fact -- but it is misleading and incorrect in the context of the discussion here. If we can find what's the "baseline world consumption" we can draw conclusions about if, and how wasteful, the average American is.

JtothaR Said:

I wonder if it has something to do with this little statistic.
United States: 3,794,101 Square Miles of land area
United Kingdom: 94,060 Square miles of land area
Lets not forget how distances traveled may effect carbon footprint.

Posted May 22, 2011 link

Not really. More than 2/3 Americans don't commute more than 8 miles, and even if they do -- the much lower population density in the US when compared to the UK (about 7 times less), will make for less congested commutes, which will consume less gas, but then there's fewer public transport options available in the US... this gets really muddy real quick if we want to compare why and if one area of the world consumes more fuel (in relative terms).

Bottom line: One one hand, no matter how you twist and look at it, Dave is correct in saying that leaving it on will (1) waste energy, (2) increase maintenance costs, and (3) create potential hazards. But on the other hand, it's not as wasteful as to paint it like "The fat American culture vs. the Lean European one."  

I say be cognizant of energy in your own domain and environment, but enjoy life's comforts; After all, let's be realistic: how much wasted carbon footprint went into making the $2,000+ espresso machines which we could actually do without?...

{...climbing down my Hyde Park soapbox...}  :-)
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Senior Member
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Fri Jul 19, 2013, 5:23pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????

Run you machine when you home and drinking coffee and turn it off when your not home or home and not drinking coffee.

It cost what it cost and if it is not ready when i want it then what is the point.  I drink from coffee from the time I get up until about an hour before bed and I work from home mostly. As a result my Duetto is one from 05:30 until 22:00 and has been for 30 months provided I am home. All I have had to do so far is replace the OPV but if the thing melted into a puddle now, not likely, it would have cost me about $100 per month for the machine and power. If that is what the connivence and my hobby cost me so be it. I suspect in the end it will half that or less per month.

I totally would not recommend leaving the thing on when it is out of eye or earshot for safety. Likewise there would be no point in my leaving it on if i only drank coffee first thing in the morning and then in the evening when after returning from an office job etc.

Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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