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Descale Question
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JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Breville...
Drip: Chemex
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 10:48pm
Subject: Descale Question
 

So I just got around to doing my first De-Scale on my Rancilio Silvia.  It's an older Silvia, and I think I'm the third owner.  When I bought it, I was told that it was descaled for sale.  Something maybe I shouldn't have trusted, but the guy seemed pretty honest and trustworthy.

I've been using water filtered with a Zero Water and a splash of my pretty hard tap water to reduce mineral leaching.  My use hasn't been crazy, averaging about a shot a day (some days none, some days more than one) for about 6 months.

I descaled with Dezcal, two full packets in a full tank, which is actually a little less concentrated than recommended by Dezcal, but seemed ok to me.  Anyways, I didn't get as much crud coming out of the grouphead or steamwand as I would have expected.  After running through the whole tank and refilling with clean water, I was brushing my grouphead screen with a Pallo brush while running clean water and a ton of "stuff" was coming out, but only if I vigorously brushed the screen.  I ran about two full tanks of clean water through the machine.  Afterwards I backflushed with Joe Glo.  

Now I'm finding that the water coming from my machine has a sort of eggy smell to it.  Pretty pronounced.  I don't think it was there before, however I wasn't really looking for it.  What could possibly be causing this?  It's really unsettling not knowing what is happening inside my boiler, since the machine has been around so much before me.  Anyone experience this type of smell before?  I'm going to run another tank or two of clean water tomorow and see how that helps.  I may even descale again, lest I missed something.  Other advice?

EDIT:  I'm pretty good about always flushing my steam wand after steaming, so I don't think I've stored any sour milk on my heating element in my boiler...
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 477
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 4:09am
Subject: Re: Descale Question
 

That sulphuric stink is coming from the remaining minerals in the boiler that are still reacting with the acidic descaling solution that they've absorbed.  I would suggest removing the group-head shower-screen to allow the crud to flow out more easily. There's no need to descale the shower if you don't see deposits on it. The water is always getting cooler as it passes the screen and will leave almost nothing behind.
Descaling further will remove the deposits still clinging to the sides or lying on the bottom of the boiler.

If you can, you might want to drain the boiler between flushes.
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JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Breville...
Drip: Chemex
Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 7:28am
Subject: Re: Descale Question
 

I'm going to do that, just because it sounds like a good idea.  However, now I'm not even sure the smell is coming from inside my machine.  Water from my tap as well as out of my filter also has that smell.  I think it's the gross water in my town.  Smells somewhere between sulphur and sewer water.  Bleech
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