Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:55am Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
Wow. So I'm sure this is not the intent of any of these helpful posts, but I'm actually leaning towards a non-plumb-able machine just because plumbing it is starting to sound so complicated! And really, refilling the water reservoir is only a minor irritant for me, I suppose. But since it looks like we'll be staying in our house for the long haul, plumbing in made long-term sense.
It isn't difficult if you are at all handy. My machine has no tank option and requires the drip tray drain to be plumbed as well. I did all mine myself, including the drain for the drip tray which goes into the house waste water system - and I'm no plumber ! Because of where I live it is all done with European fittings and pipe dimensions, so I can't give you detailed advice on what to buy, except that good quality stuff always pays in the long run.
For most people the tricky part is getting the water supply to the area where you have the machine. If that is easy to arrange, you are most of the way there.
Fitting a pressure regulator is no big deal. You will need one if you have a machine with a rotary pump that does not have a balanced by-pass. Some people recommend them anyway for all machines. The manufacturer/supplier will be able to advise you on that. It fits in-line with the pipe work and will probably have simple compression joints or some may even be push-fit. An in-line filter is similarly pretty simple, as is a non-return valve (sensible - may not be essential, but your local regulations may demand one) and a means of turning off the supply to the machine. You may decide on a more complex setup which lets you by-pass filters etc.. With the right bits, that is also quite easy to do.
I'm old school and prefer copper pipework and commercial grade brass/copper fittings, but I have read others have used plastic stuff successfully. Once you have the right bits not a difficult job, and you would not regret it.
The simple filter versus softener question isn't complicated, although it may have been made to sound so. If you have hard water, soften it if you want to avoid frequent descaling, the same as you would with a tank. If you have soft water, don't. If you filter the water you drink, include an in-line filter. If you don't, a filter isn't 100% essential, but if you're plumbing anyway it is worthwhile fitting one.
There are lots of posts on here showing how people have arranged their plumbing. Some are very good. Others - well let's say, they aren't as neat as they might be - but they work ;o))
Very few things in life are "mandatory," but do you want to stand in front of your car with a crank to start the engine, or do you want to stick a key in the ignition? Heck, my wife's car has a key; mine has a button. Yesterday, I caught myself complaining to my daughter that I had to unbuckle my seat belt and unzip my jacket so I could reach into my pocket and pull out the key because I was in my wife's car and forgot . . . silly, right? But once you are used to pushing a button, having to pull out a key can seem like a pain. ;^)
Charity, you think plumbing sounds complicated? a) it's easy; b) replacing the filters periodically is easy; c) constantly having to re-fill the reservoir AND empty the drip tray is a real P.I.T.A.
No one I know who has a plumbed-in machine has ever said it was a mistake to do it. No one I know who has a plumbed-in machine would ever voluntarily go back to pourover . . .
But since it looks like we'll be staying in our house for the long haul, plumbing in made long-term sense.
Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012, 9:37am Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
LOL, thanks guys! I'll talk to the husband. since he and my father-in-law built our house and did the plumbing themselves, I'm sure they can figure out how to plumb in an espresso machine. Randy's helpful website articles should be a good place to start. :)
The Andreja is looking pretty good then, by default, since it's the only one I was considering with the ability to be plumbed.
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