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perhaps bit off more than I can chew...
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Joined: 9 Nov 2010
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Location: Lincoln, NE
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Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 8:15pm
Subject: perhaps bit off more than I can chew...

Just fell into purchasing a Reneka Viva Espresso Machine.  It was used commercially (pretty low use-small town, less than 10 shots a day, if that) Anyway, I figure it's a move up from my KRUPS.  I know that it will require a direct connect to my water supply, but as I have been reading about this, it seems people have some problems.  

My main concerns are the pressure and the water filtration.  I am planning on connecting it right next to the water supply from the fridge, so I wasn't worried about adding an new line there.  Will that work? Do I need to have some kind of filtration system connected to this supply?  We do not have whole house filtration.  

Any articles, or information would be greatly appreciated!!

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Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 1:20am
Subject: Re: perhaps bit off more than I can chew...

Hello, Linda

I have a Reneka machine. It's a different model from yours, but I suspect their recommendations on some of these topics are going to apply to all their machines.  It isn't as daunting as it may seem, but like most things associated with espresso it can be made complex to the n'th degree if you feel so inclined.

1) Water pressure etc. - (and these 2 following sentences are the only bits extracted from Reneka's documentation.  The rest is based on my own experience of doing exactly what you intend) Reneka specify a static water pressure between 2 and 6 bar.  They specify a non-return valve to be fitted to the supply and a cut-off valve close to the machine.  If your water pressure is higher than that range, and in any event if there are other draw-off points in the plumbing, a pressure regulator is highly recommended to maintain a consistent pressure when other taps etc. are opened.  You need to ensure that the water flow rate is adequate.  I think a lot of North American fridges have only a very small bore pipe supply which could be a problem, although I've read posts from others on here who have used that without problem.  I am sure they will reply.

2) Filtration.  Hundreds of learned and lengthy documents have been written about water quality/filtration.  At base, if you have hard water and want to reduce the need to descale the machine, then fit a softening filter.  It will be argued that harder water makes better espresso though, so it's a matter of choice.  If you already have soft water, definitely don't fit a softening filter.  If your water is clear, safe and pleasant to drink - not too much chlorine etc. then you may not need any other filter.  If it isn't, then a non-softening filter is a good idea.  There are lots of water processing filters/systems to choose from.  Do you know the water quality where it was originally installed ? has it been serviced and/or descaled if necessary ?

3) you didn't ask, but the waste will also need to be plumbed.  Much the best is to get it to drain into your household drainage, with suitable air gaps in the pipework to avoid any nasty smells or even worse, back syphonage.  Some people drain into a large canister and empty that from time to time.  I wouldn't find that acceptable in my house, but it is an option.

It might be an idea to talk to a plumber if you're not that handy with this sort of thing, or, if you bought locally, contact the company that installed the machine in the first place ?

You'll need an adequate electrical connection too, of course.  I am guessing that unless it is a multi-group machine, it will be 230v single phase ~2100w That is the spec. of the current Viva range, although they've been around for a few years, so older ones might be a bit different.

Hope you get it all sorted.  Plumbed in machines are sooooo much nicer to use.  And, Reneka are very helpful people if you need direct advice - reneka@reneka.com   +33 (0) 388 494 050
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Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 6:35am
Subject: Re: perhaps bit off more than I can chew...

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

Visit My Website
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