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BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > BZ99 - Can I...  
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andreapdx
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Oct 2002
Posts: 45
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Bezzera
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2003, 9:21pm
Subject: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

I've had the BZ99 in the house for a few weeks now.  For most of the time I have been leaving it on most of the day, turning it off at night.

The other day I decided to leave it on overnight, to avoid the warm up time wait in the a.m.  I bleed off a little water in the morning and I am set to go.  

My question is this...what is better for the longevity of the machine.  Turning it off and on or leaving it on 24/7?  

Thanks
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svdl
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Location: Canberra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ99
Grinder: Quaha Lux
Posted Thu Apr 3, 2003, 1:49am
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

I think I read somewhere on this site about using a power point timer setting it so that that the machine comes on and of according to your needs.  I thought it was a good idea especially to avoid the morning warm up.  I plan to give it a go soon.
Cheers
Shawn
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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Thu Apr 3, 2003, 7:41am
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

andreapdx Said:

My question is this...what is better for the longevity of the machine.  Turning it off and on or leaving it on 24/7?  

Thanks

Posted April 2, 2003 link

You actually raise two considerations. Just because we can leave something on 24/7, should we? If we use something for an hour in the morning and are gone for 8-10 hours, do we need to spend the money for the energy while not there?

I am interested in your question as well on another front...there is an ongoing debate in the computer and sound equipment worlds about which is more more cost effective versus which is kinder to the equipment (more efficient).

In our recording studio, we turn equipment on at least an hour before a session and leave it on all day. There we have physical considerations that the vacuum tubes in preamps take 20 minutes to warm up and an hour to stabalize coupled with the fact that our equipment draws minimal power.

I wonder if anyone has conducted studies for espresso type equipment? All equipment wears out eventually, so if you constantly turn equipment on and off you stress anything in it affected by heat and cooling. Boilers are built with those on/off stresses in mind, but our newer espresso machines also have switches, thermostats and some even computerized circuits which may not fare as well.

Someone is here all day, and we use the espresso machine throughout the day, so we use a timer which turns our machine on at 5:30am (we are up at 6:30am) and off at a predetermined time at night each day. It cost $10 at a home building supply store, and can be set to go on and off twice in 24 hours. If we go out of town overnight, we just unplug our machine from the timer so it doesn't operate at all.

L a r r y \o/ J

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

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andreapdx
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Oct 2002
Posts: 45
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Bezzera
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Thu Apr 3, 2003, 11:50am
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

Energy consumption and the longevity of the machine are both concerns of mine.   Does it consume more energy to bring a machine up to temp from baseline "off" temps two or three times a day or does it actually conserve energy by keeping it on?

Who knows, so lets table that question for now.

Is it more beneficial to the longevity of the equipment leaving it on all day, or it is harder on the equipment heating it up and cooling it down a few times a day?  

If it is analogous to city driving/versus highway driving, one could argue that leaving it on may actually be better for the machine.  

Certainly, the timer mitigates the hassle of a warm up wait.   Still, the other questions remain!
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isaiah40
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9
Location: Enumclaw
Expertise: Advanced

Espresso: Bezzerra 40MPG
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: ? hippie on holiday?
Drip: drip down the lip
Roaster: Air Head, poppery 1&2
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2003, 3:17pm
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

I own a BZ40 and I do leave it on 24/7.
 The few reasons that I do this are:  
  1.  I feel it is far better for the mallable metals contained in the construction of the boiler(copper and brass)as they are not heating and cooling constantly causing expansion and contractions of the metals.  Eventually causing fatigue and stress cracks/fissures.
  2.  When I first purchased a commercial machine 12 years ago, for my former coffee shop, the installer/technician told me at the time if I could leave it on 24hrs, to do so! It is much better due to the above reasoning as well as the power used (30amp, 220v) was much greater to recover every day versus keeping it's range consistently steady.
  3.  He also said in his 20yr exp. that repairs to the shops/carts that shut down everynight vs. a shop that left the machine on 24hrs was probably 50 to 1 for the intermittent machines. (unconfirmed by me)
  4.  In the nine years that I owned the Astoria 2 group semi-auto, I only replaced the normal things such as gaskets in the group head, steamer wands and the pressure relief valve( was reduced in freq. when upgraded to silicone vs. rubber!) I did replace a rocker switch after about 10-12K cycles. Replaced the rotary vain procon pump at 5yrs.  I sold 300 to 400 shots a day.(amazing to me)I was never closed due to a broken machine
  5.  After selling the store, the next owner did not want to use the power 24/7, thinking this to be untrue(above) And over the course of two years replaced the heating elements, boiler gaskets, exchanger gaskets, two relief valves and had a solder/braze repair to a crack in the copper boiler!  The next year they replaced it.(with the same model)  I still believe it would be brewing if they had continued to leave it on every night!(they do leave it on now!)
    Also, clean the machine regularly, back flushing out the stale oils etc. Be sure to re-season after cleaning!(get rid of the residual cleaner)Throw those shots out even though you've have never seen more creme(partly the cleaner, partly being freshly clean)
    Hope this helps, certainly only my opinion, I have never seen anything ever written.  It did work for me in the shop and hope will hold true for my home BZ40.  So, if they say from the manufacturer it is OK, I say do!
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koffeekev
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koffeekev
Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 693
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Posted Tue Apr 8, 2003, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

Hi Everyone. Isaiah, great response. You are on the money here.

Semi commercial or commercial machines. You turn it on and forget about it. The only time the machine is shut down is for repairs or P.M.s.

If you plan on leaving any machine on 24/7 it is highly recommended to service it regularly. Keep your eye on the boiler pressure. Never let it get above 1.5 bars. Listen for unusual hisses. Most of the time when a machine is going to malfuntion you will be warned.

When you turn a machine on it will take as long as 20 minutes to get the boiler to temp. You need to wait a little longer to make sure the heat exchanger is hot enough and longer still (sometimes a lot longer) to ensure that the grouphead is hot enough. Then you make one coffee and shut it down until tonight or tomorrow. Then it's all over again. Your machine resembles a N.Y.C. taxi because of the constant abuse. All the alloys, seals and valves were designed for high temp use. Get it up to temp and forget about it.

It's your friend, always there for you. Always ready to please you with something delicious created from old world designs.

This may sound a little weird but I get to meet at least 20 new espresso machines a week. I make them breathe again. I don't care how old some of these things are they still manage to make some pretty great coffee. Parts are available for all the top names, regardless of age. Every once in a while I get to work on a LaMarzocco. A good day indeed. Another one I liked was a four group La San Marco. Nice machine.

Sorry I haven't been around as much. The new career is a blast. Kevin
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jhoang
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Nov 2002
Posts: 6
Expertise: Beginner

Posted Tue Apr 29, 2003, 3:12pm
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

Hello,

I have a coffee house and after reading this thread I decided to leave my espresso machine on 24/7. So far so good. Have not seen my electric bill yet though.

When I asked a parts dealer about this topic, he then asked me when I turn the machine off, how long would it be off? I said 8 hours. My shop opens at 7am and closes at 10pm. Closed on Sundays. He then advised that turning my machine off when I close would be better for the machine.

He also said that if I were to decide to leave the machine on, to leave the porta-filters in the group heads so that the gaskets do not dry out.

With that in mind, I would like to ask a some questions. What are all your opinions on:

1) Leaving on or turning off my machine based on my business hours?

2) Leaving the filters in the group heads all the time makes sense to me but if I were to leave the machine on 24/7, would it be better to replace the baskets in the filters with the closed baskets during the 8 hours idle time (the ones used for backflushing)? Would this be better in keeping mosture for the gaskets and will it harm the machine?

Thanks.
This is a great forum!
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isaiah40
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9
Location: Enumclaw
Expertise: Advanced

Espresso: Bezzerra 40MPG
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: ? hippie on holiday?
Drip: drip down the lip
Roaster: Air Head, poppery 1&2
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2003, 9:36am
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

JHoang,
Is think it still is best to leave it on.  You probably already know your average electical bill, give it month or so and compare.
As far as the portofilters go, I wouldn't bother with the backflush inserts, just make sure the portafilters are loose, the heat and compression combined are the culprits of gasket hardening.
If yours is a commercial application, you are probably changing the gaskets every two months, or should, the things are a real pain once they get so hardened that they chip out in pieces.  Believe me, it takes fives times as long and your neck will hurt.
Overall, the gaskets are about eight and a half bucks each, I would not worry too much about thier life span, it is short no matter, the compression heat thing is the biggest factor in my experience.
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pressurestat
Senior Member
pressurestat
Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 10
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Lever, Bezzera 2000
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Gaggia Bulk brewer for above
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2003, 4:42pm
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

Hello,

This is a topic that i have often thought about. I like ljguitar work in a recording studio and we leave all our gear on all the time. On the basis that the cost savings in maintenance due to thermal failure of components that are heat cycled is worth the offset in power bills. Interestingly our dual lever italcreme is turned off at night. But only because I have now had to replace two boiler elements because the runners forgot to turn the machine off and it doesn't have an autofill. So it runs itself dry and burns the element out.

I also use a Gaggia lever machine at home and I am making preparations to use this 24/7. This also needs a replacement autofill controller and solenoid. But the reason that I bring this machine up is that I am going to lag it with central heating boiler insulation. This will keep more of the heat in which has two benefits.

  1. Less power consumption, more off time from pressurestat.

  2. Cooler kitchen!!

From my experience with high power, high heat equipment I would say that without doubt the longer term cost savings are made by running your gear, whatever it is, 24/7

Cheers

Ben

Coffee is analogue!!
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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2003, 5:25pm
Subject: Re: BZ99 - Can I really leave the machine on 24/7?
 

pressurestat Said:

I like ljguitar work in a recording studio and we leave all our gear on all the time. On the basis that the cost savings in maintenance due to thermal failure of components that are heat cycled is worth the offset in power bills.

Posted April 30, 2003 link

I was reading some posts on this topic (I think I googled them off of alt.c*ffee) and there was a fairly detailed article by a guy who operated commercial equipment, and his point was that he saw less failures by running 24/7 than intermittent operation.

I will have to see if I can find the article. I don't know the level of scholarship, nor his expertise other than long time usage of pro-line commercial multi-head equipment.

If I can find it again, I will post the url.

L a r r y \o/ J  (ljguitar)

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
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