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Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Gray water from...  
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013, 6:51am
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

Looking at an image of the heating element on 1st-Line's website, I don't see how it could be the source of grey water:

Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,462
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013, 8:06am
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

scanfield Said:

I've been using filtered water in the machine. I'm going to stop doing this because I'm thinking that the grey water could possibly be carbon from the filters.

Posted March 14, 2013 link

Yes, very likely indeed
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 499
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:52pm
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

scanfield Said:

1st-Line said I need to take the heating element out and inspect it. Not sure if I'll be able to do that.

They also suggested plugging the machine into a GFI outlet to check for an open circuit. It already is plugged into a GFI outlet, so I'm pretty sure electrically the machine is ok.

I've been using filtered water in the machine. I'm going to stop doing this because I'm thinking that the grey water could possibly be carbon from the filters.

Posted March 14, 2013 link

If you have the water softener attached, the carbon will probably not pass through the screen in the softener. With the GFI, we rule out that the heating element is damaged from a lack of water in the boiler.

Remove the water softener, and try adding some 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 tap water solution through the boiler. Remember, 4 oz of solution max through the water wand, let the pump refill, and then repeat. Then flush with tap water. Use tap and see if problem continues. If yes, another descaling should be performed. If not, the filtered water passing through the water softener may be too much and causing this problem.

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
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Blog: http://1st-line.blogspot.com/
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 499
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:55pm
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

scanfield Said:

Looking at an image of the heating element on 1st-Line's website, I don't see how it could be the source of grey water:

Click Here (www.1st-line.com)

Posted March 14, 2013 link

If the heating element was exposed to air (meaning low water level in boiler due to too much draining <more than 4 oz at a time> through the hot water tap), the heating element can go through a meltdown. When this occurs, the water can become muddy like what you show. However, the muddy water pic I have seen as limescale, as well.

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
Twitter: http://twitter.com/1stline
Blog: http://1st-line.blogspot.com/
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 499
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:56pm
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

scanfield Said:

On the weekend, I caught up on all the maintenance on my La Nuova Era Cuadra espresso machine. This included descaling the machine and replacing the softener unit.

The descaling operation took all day, but went well. When it was time to flush all the descaling solution from the boiler, it took three reservoirs of water before I didn't get blue-tinted water from the hot water wand.

This morning after pulling a shot, I flushed some water from the hot water wand and gray water came out. I flushed a few more cup fulls and it was starting to clear up but I didn't have time to keep at it.

Can somebody tell me what could cause this?

Posted March 5, 2013 link

Just to make sure, did you remove the water softener in the tank before descaling?

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
Twitter: http://twitter.com/1stline
Blog: http://1st-line.blogspot.com/
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JIsgren
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2002
Posts: 2
Location: Houston
Expertise: Advanced

Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

You didn't by any chance replace your carbon filter at the same time and not flush it out before connecting it back to your machine?  Carbon filters have a lot of fines in them that need to be flushed out, when I change mine I get water that looks like that until I run a couple of gallons through it.
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Mar 17, 2013, 6:31am
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

JIsgren Said:

You didn't by any chance replace your carbon filter at the same time and not flush it out before connecting it back to your machine?

Posted March 15, 2013 link

I had replaced the carbon filter a couple of weeks prior to the descale. After thinking about it, I'd be very surprised if this were actually the problem.

1stline Said:

Just to make sure, did you remove the water softener in the tank before descaling?

Posted March 15, 2013 link

Yes. I put a new softener in the tank after descaling was complete.

1stline Said:

If the heating element was exposed to air (meaning low water level in boiler due to too much draining <more than 4 oz at a time> through the hot water tap), the heating element can go through a meltdown. When this occurs, the water can become muddy like what you show.

Posted March 15, 2013 link

I've been very careful about this. I drain water until the pump kicks on then I stop and wait for the pump to stop before draining any more.

1stline Said:

Remove the water softener, and try adding some 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 tap water solution through the boiler. Remember, 4 oz of solution max through the water wand, let the pump refill, and then repeat. Then flush with tap water. Use tap and see if problem continues. If yes, another descaling should be performed. If not, the filtered water passing through the water softener may be too much and causing this problem.

Posted March 15, 2013 link

I'll give this a go. I'm going to do the vinegar+water flush then repeat the descaling operation, all with tap water.

Vinegar is a weak acid - is this different than just descaling again?

I didn't think it would be limescale because I have an in-machine softener and a whole house softener. Because of this, I've been doing a descale every 6 months. Maybe that's too long even with soft water.
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Mar 17, 2013, 6:33am
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

Jim, how do you recommend the water reservoir be cleaned? Is it dishwasher safe?
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sgreen
Senior Member
sgreen
Joined: 4 Apr 2011
Posts: 95
Location: Minneapolis
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Viblemme Replica E-61
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Sun Mar 17, 2013, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

I may be doing something wrong, but I have seen this once or twice after descaling various machines of various vintages.

I pull the safety valve, vacuum breaker and/or maybe the boiler probe, open the steam and water valve and simply hold the machine upside down over the sink to completely drain the boiler. This typically takes about 20 seconds. I fill the boiler again with a funnel, shake as vigorously as is practical and repeat a couple of times to make sure I rinse whatever was originally there.

Note to self, don't drop the machine.

The next morning, I'll draw water out of the boiler again. If it's cloudy, I'll continue to draw water until it's clear and/or repeat.
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Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sun Mar 17, 2013, 10:32am
Subject: Re: Gray water from boiler of HX descale (Cuadra)
 

When you installed your new carbon filter, did you flush about 5 gallons of water through it before hooking it up to your machine?

Whenever you install new filters, you need to disconnect the feed line to the machine, and run about 5 gallons through the filters into a sink/bucket, whatever.  THEN hook the feed line to the machine.


The picture yuo showed looks EXACTLY like the purge water from a new filter.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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