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Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
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ganglia
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Joined: 30 May 2012
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Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Current: Nuova Simonelli...
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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 1:32am
Subject: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

Hi all,

I just got a Nuova Simonelli Mac 2000V, which I want to use without plumbing it in.

I see several referenced to a flojet, and just remembered that I have an RO DI unit for drinking (post RO) and reef aquariums (post DI): Click Here (item.mobileweb.ebay.com)
It has a pressure tank too.

Do I still need a flojet? Can I just hook up the "drinking water" line to the Simonelli's water intake?

I'll probably also add a Calcite filter post RO somewhere down the line.

Thanks!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 6:10am
Subject: Re: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

You can not (and should not) use RO water in an espresso machine. First, it makes very poor quality coffee. There are not enough minerals in the water (the whole point of a RO system is to remove everything from the water) and you need minerals in the water for taste. Second, you need minerals in the water for the auto fill system on an espresso machine to work. The system works by conducting electric current through the water in the boiler to a probe in the tank. If the probe does not get power, the machine thinks the water level in the boiler is low and tries to fill the tank until it DOES get electric current to the probe.  RO water does NOT conduct current so the auto fill system is not going to work properly.

SO, whatever than means to you about the pump. You CAN use RO water in a bottle if you add some regular tap water to it so that you add back minerals to the water but then you will need a pump to supply your machine (unless you want the water bottle on the same counter as the machine. Yes in theory, the pump should be able to draw the water from a bottle but the machine is designed to have positive pressure from the source and if you run your pump dry, you will ruin it.

 
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 7:14am
Subject: Re: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

The OP did say he was planning to add a calcite filter betweeen the RO and the espresso machine.  My understanding is that this is to remineralize RO water to proper balance for espresso.
Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com)

As to the question of flowjet ... I think you wouldn't need one as the pressure tank for RO system will deliver water to the rotary pump in your machine.  You won't have anywhere near line pressure (so you can't do line pressure preinfusion) but the RO tank will deliver water to the pump so it won't be running dry.  HOWEVER --- these RO units don't make water very fast (unless yours is a lot bigger than mine) ... only a gallon or two in 24 hours and my pressure tank is quite small holding just a little over a gallon.  Also, with the pressure tank under the sink and pushing the water uphill to countertop level, the first gallon comes out at a decent flow rate but continues to flow slower and slower as the pressure tank empties.  So you would have to be careful not to run it dry with flushing and pulling shots - because then you would damage your pump.

Disclaimer ... this is all educated guess from years of using an undersink RO system but never having had it plumbed into a rotary pump (though I have thought about it).  Also - I have not used the Calcite filter to remineralize ... I don't know how much restriction that will put on the already low pressure/slow flow the undersink RO systems put out --- so you'd be wise to ask Chris at chriscoffee.com or wherever you are getting your calcite filter.
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 7:56am
Subject: Re: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

In regards to water and espresso quality and machine function, see the above posts. I will add that RO water should not be used in any copper or brass vessel because the water is so "hungry" that it can dissolve the metal eventually causing leaks. That is why you need to use plastic plumbing and not copper if running RO water to an ice maker.

If your machine has a rotary pump (and I believe the Nuova Simonelli Mac 2000V dies) then it is best to supply the machine with a pressurized line. If you absolutely cannot plumb the machine then a flojet or similar system using an accumulator tank is best. So basically, you create the RO water, dispense it from the holding tank of the RO system, use that to fill a large bottle, put a flojet into the bottle, use that to pressurize another accumulator tank, to supply the machine. Rube Goldberg would be proud.  ;-)

 
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ganglia
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Joined: 30 May 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Current: Nuova Simonelli...
Grinder: Current: Baratza Preciso....
Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 10:38pm
Subject: Re: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

Thanks for all the feedback!!

Calcite filter:
- I started off with "adding it later", I'll move that up to "get it now".

Flow rate:
- This baby has a 100gal/day rate, so 4gal/hour!

Pressure from tank:
- Its 60psi. Is that comparable to tap water psi?

Plastic plumbing:
- Good point! I was so used to plastic plumbing for aquariums, it felt odd to see all this copper plumbing.
Will use plastic plumbing between RO and Calcite mineralization filter.

Hot water vs cold:
- The guy I purchased from (who got it from a closing restaurant) was running the intake off hot water for his pre-sale demo. Is this necessary?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
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 Tue Jun 12, 2012, 5:38am
Subject: Re: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

I think you are well down the road to a great setup. Use cold water only as the machine is not made to use hot water, not only that, hot water from your tank will taint the flavor, ALWAYS make your coffee (any brewing method) starting with cold water.

 
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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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,354
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

Is there some specific reason why you do not want to plumb the machine directly? it is not at all difficult. If you can install the Calcite filter you can plumb the machine.

I have two articles on my website which document plumbing a machine in with JG parts:
 Plumbing in an Espresso Machine - Part 1
  Plumbing in an Espresso Machine - Part 2

I would suggest that you add a pressure regulator to that setup for your situation.

 
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ganglia
Senior Member


Joined: 30 May 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Seattle, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Current: Nuova Simonelli...
Grinder: Current: Baratza Preciso....
Posted Wed Jul 18, 2012, 10:58pm
Subject: Re: Got an RO unit w pressure tank, do I need a flojet?
 

Update:

I had to abandon the Mac 2000V setup, due to *clearance*! I only have ~18" of height to work with under the kitchen cabinet :(
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