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Teflon in the water path
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EM1
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Joined: 30 Apr 2014
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Posted Sun May 4, 2014, 10:11am
Subject: Teflon in the water path
 

So I have been doing a lot of reading on the BDB.  Looks like a really cool machine.  I have some reservations, one of which is the teflon water tubes inside?  I know not everyone shares my paranoia in this regard.  However, I have tried to remove teflon from my life to a reasonable degree.  I use cast iron or stainless cookware, glass food containers, and stainless travel mugs and water jars.  

Do the Italian machines -  Vetrano 2b, Duetto 3, etc. - use teflon like this too?  I really don't like this material personally and would pay more to avoid it.  Water in a plastic holding tank is one thing(not my favourite mind you), but teflon in a super heated water/steam path is another in my mind.  I think the no-burn steam wands are teflon, but that can be changed pretty easy.

The water pipes in my city are plastic, I know it is impossible to avoid.  But heating water and passing it through plastic/teflon/etc. is something I can still control....I hope...
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lparsons21
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Posted Sun May 4, 2014, 12:29pm
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

Here's a quote from the Wiki page about Teflon and the temps at which it could possibly have harmful effects :

"The pyrolysis of PTFE is detectable at 200 C (392 F), and it evolves several fluorocarbon gases and a sublimate. An animal study conducted in 1955 concluded that it is unlikely that these products would be generated in amounts significant to health at temperatures below 250 C (482 F). More recently, however, a study documented birds having been killed by these decomposition products at 202 C (396 F), with unconfirmed reports of bird deaths as a result of non-stick cookware heated to as little as 163 C (325 F).

While PTFE is stable and nontoxic at lower temperatures, it begins to deteriorate after the temperature of cookware reaches about 260 C (500 F), and decomposes above 350 C (662 F). These degradation by-products can be lethal to birds, and can cause flu-like symptoms in humans. In May, 2003, the environmental research and advocacy organization Environmental Working Group filed a 14-page brief with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission petitioning for a rule requiring that cookware and heated appliances bearing non-stick coatings carry a label warning of hazards to people and to birds.

Meat is usually fried between 204 and 232 C (399 and 450 F), and most oils start to smoke before a temperature of 260 C (500 F) is reached, but there are at least two cooking oils (refined safflower oil and avocado oil) that have a higher smoke point than 260 C (500 F). Empty cookware can also exceed this temperature when heated."

And the link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene

Given that the temps in the espresso machine are less than half the temps that are needed for this issue to arise, you may be making a mountain out of a literal mole hill.  From my POV this is a non-issue in the espresso machines whose top temps could reach below 210 degrees F.

 
Lloyd
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frcn
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Posted Sun May 4, 2014, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

While removing plastics from your personal food chain is not a bad thing, I would say that my only fear would be if I had birds in the house and there was a fire in the espresso machine. The vapros from over-heated teflon (like an empty, non-stick pan left on the burner) turns the home into a death-house gas chamber in regards to birds.

 
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EM1
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Posted Sun May 4, 2014, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

Thanks for the reassurance and the link, both are very informative.  Out of curiosity though, will Duetto or Vetrano use all copper or stainless pipes?   Or does pretty much everything have plastic or teflon pipes now?  I know it sounds like overkill, thanks for humouring me :)
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EM1
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Posted Sun May 4, 2014, 6:02pm
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

Here are some notes from a "Good Housekeeping" article.  I just wonder, what about 5 years from now?  After it has been descaled a couple times..


"Dont cook on high heat. Most nonstick manufacturers, including DuPont, now advise consumers not to go above medium. (DuPont maintains, however, that Teflon does not pose any health risks, and that its guideline is simply meant to maximize the life of the product.)

Since some people wont switch to medium, or will overheat accidentally if distracted, says Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group, we recommend that people simply phase out the use of nonstick pans.


If pans do chip or flake, they may be more likely to release toxic compounds, says Kannan of the New York State Department of Health. To prevent scratching, use wooden spoons to stir food, avoid steel wool, and dont stack these pans.

How long can you expect your nonstick cookware to last? DuPonts estimate, based on moderate usage, is three to five years. Some experts, like Kannan, advise replacing your nonstick cookware every couple of years. What should you do if the pan does become damaged? A clear answer, from Kannan: Throw it out."
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lparsons21
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Posted Sun May 4, 2014, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

EM1 Said:

Thanks for the reassurance and the link, both are very informative.  Out of curiosity though, will Duetto or Vetrano use all copper or stainless pipes?   Or does pretty much everything have plastic or teflon pipes now?  I know it sounds like overkill, thanks for humouring me :)

Posted May 4, 2014 link

I would imagine that most of the Italian prosumer stuff is all copper and/or stainless.  I know my Izzo Alex is, but it is about 7 years or so old.

 
Lloyd
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emradguy
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Posted Mon May 5, 2014, 7:44am
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

I haven't seen the inside of a Vetrano, but the Duetto uses very little teflon.  There's basically the one drawing water from the reservoir into the pump - and this, of course, is cold water.  If you plumb-in you bypass that. On page 23 of the Duetto 3.0 manual, you'll see a short invertyed U-shaped piece of teflon tubing at the vacuum breaker.  The Duetto II has the same piece. I don't recall any other teflon tubing inside the machine.

 
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PJK
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Posted Mon May 5, 2014, 8:33am
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

Not necessary.  I don't know about Canada but in the US there are places where CPVC is legal for hot water.  In my old house in San Jose CA my iron pipes started to leak.  I replaced the leaking pipes with PVC for the cold and CPVC for the hot.  I bought the stuff at a home improvement store and was told that it was fine.  I later found out that it was not code there and they should not have been selling it as such. It is legal somewhere however.  I later had it pulled out and replaced with copper.

Where I live now they use some plastic tubing called PEX which is supposed to be fine for hot and cold and even is tolerant of freezing.  I have become more provincial about this so my house is plumbed with copper.  Outside the house, down to the well is PVC.  While some of the water passing from the well to the house ends up as drinking water there are several decades of precedent for cold water and PVC so that I accept that.  I hope that some day I don't end up on my death bed with some cancer and the doctor telling me that it was from the PVC flavored water.  

Phil

EM1 Said:

The water pipes in my city are plastic, I know it is impossible to avoid.  But heating water and passing it through plastic/teflon/etc. is something I can still control....I hope...

Posted May 4, 2014 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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calblacksmith
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Posted Tue May 6, 2014, 1:00pm
Subject: Re: Teflon in the water path
 

There are a lot of reasons for me to not like the BDB but teflon water lines is not one of them. Teflon tape is use for most water connections that involve sealing threads. Yes there are some "old skool" who use pipe dope but tape is nearly universal. It does not cause issues and your water has already been exposed to one heck of a lot of it anyway.

 
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