Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 2:37pm Subject: Plumbed Water Supply Line to the Rocket Espresso R58 (British Thread issue)
If you don't already know this, Rocket Espresso ships the R58 (as well as their other Evoluzione models) to the US with the correct electrical plug for North America, but all of the water supply line plumbing connection are British Standard Thread (different angles, different thread pitch) which will not connect to the US plumbing lines.
The manual doesn't provide information regarding this and visually you can't tell see as the differences are subtle to the naked eye. You discover something is wrong when you try to screw in connections and discover you can only take one or two turns on the threads before they bind. The end result in stripped threads and a leaking connection.
If you hire a plumber to make this connection, it is highly unlikely they will have the very specific and rare adapter with them to change the BST (British) connection to a NPT (North American) connection. A good plumber will stop and tell you that you need this part (and finding it, obtaining it, will be challenging and time-consuming). A not-so-good plumber will try to make it work with tape and glue and you will end up with a job that is not done correctly and will be prone to leaks.
Even if you are not a do-it-yourselfer, I'd suggest getting the parts below for your plumber to use. If you are handy, doing it yourself is not that difficult with the proper parts. The setup below presumes you will be connecting your espresso machine to a water filtration system that has an output in plastic 3/8 inch tubing.
First, go to McMaster-Carr (www.mcmaster.com) and order a British Standard Threaded Brass Pipe Fitting, 1/8 Pipe Size, NPT Female X BSPT Male Adapter (part number 4860K141). This costs $4.99 and will cost another $5 for UPS ground shipping. This is the "critical part" that is hard to figure out that you need this specific part and probably can only be obtained online from a large plumbing supply warehouse.
Second, go to Home Depot and purchase a Watts Quick-Connect Adapter 1/4 in OD x 1/8 in MIP (part number PL-3004), a Watts Quick Connect Coupling 3/8 x 1/4 OD (part number PL-3021), and a Watts Quick Connect Tee Connector 3/8 in OD (part number PL-3023). Also get some plastic tubing in 3/8 in OD size and some plumbing tape.
Using some teflon tape, connect one end of the braided hose (supplied by Rocket) to the back of the machine. Connect the other end of the braided hose to your brass British Threaded to NPT Threaded adapter from McMaster-Carr. Then, again using teflon tape, connect this to your Watts PL-3004 Quick Connect Adapter. Insert in a short segment of 1/4 OD plastic tubing from this to the Watts PL-3021 Coupling which converts the 1/4 OD size up to a 3/8 OD size. Then connect your 3/8 plastic tubing and run this all the way to the water filtration system, presumably under your kitchen sink. You can tie into the output line of your water filtration system by using the Watts PL-3023 Tee Connector.
I've attached an image that shows it all connected. Hope your find this useful. The brass adapter that ships with Rocket simply steps up the size to another British Threaded coupling, and is not needed by the setup above.
I am amazed that Rocket Espresso does provides a machine to the US market, that is designed to be plumbed in, yet it provides an incompatible thread type for the US. I think Rocket Espresso makes a great machine and I hope they recognize that this oversight can result in a negative impression to their US customers.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 6,855 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Fri Jul 20, 2012, 6:18am Subject: Re: Plumbed Water Supply Line to the Rocket Espresso R58 (British Thread issue)
Yes the threads are different and sadly it seems that the importers do not take this into account. There is another way around the situation though and that is to use a plastic female U.S. coupling. Like you said the threads are close and the plastic fitting will allow the threads to distort and you can usually get a good enough non leaking connection that does not damage the brass fittings on your espresso machine simply by tightening the plastic fitting onto the brass one. YMMV!
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