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Water for machine......

edited May 2015 in Accessories
Hi everyone, well today is the day, I am off to look at and probably pick up my new machine this afternoon. I am, however, a little concerned about the water that goes into it.  Having a filter system installed is not really an option right now. I have read of people using bottled- Mt Franklin water- but hubby says it doesn't make sense to him due to mineral content and what not and I am not sure that Adelaides tap water is the best option either.

What would you suggest?

Thanks, Sue :).


Edit; I just took a look inside my kettle, it is about 14 years old, a Genuine Italian made DeLonghi, and there is hardly any scale in it whatsoever. Maybe Adelaide water isn't as bad as they say.
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Comments

  • That is very unusual to not find any scale in a 14 yo kettle - especially in areas of higher sediment and "hard" water. My memory of Adelaide tap water is rather unpleasant - but that is 12 years ago. It was not "clear" - but things may have changed. Generally speaking, people who reside in areas like WA, SA and the western areas of NSW, QLD and VIC may need to take extra care with the water they use for their machines. I am no expert on water, so I can't advise what to do about rainwater and tanks, etc. It is common knowledge in the commercial environment that cafe machines installed in WA and SA without the best types of water filtration systems have higher probability of earlier than expected failure resulting from the water. The anecdotal evidence from technicians is quite compelling. Brand new commercial machines installed in Mildura, with industry standard (but not well designed or appropriate) water filter systems unable to last 2 years - compare that to a similar machine in Melbourne lasting > 6 years. A kettle is quite different to an espresso machine. You don't have small diameter pipework or flow restrictors measuring 0.6 to 0.7mm that can easily clog. Suggest you visit a local water filter expert and hear their opinion. Failure rates are directly related to duty cycle and care. Personally, I would always attempt some level of water filtration for a coffee machine.
  • Great reply Jeff!  Please ask what they recommend at the shop you're purchasing from.  I'm in Brisbane and even with ZIP scale reducing all in one filter I'm still on 40ppm. Test strips are you're only way to really know.  Your guys will have these too!
  • Thank you both gents. I am now the proud owner of a Unico Splendor  ;D. Mycuppa, hubby was quite shocked too when he looked in the kettle and it was as clean as it is. Brett, thanks for the test strip idea, I will try and get hold of some. I asked about the water when I picked up the machine and was told filtered or Pura water from the servo/supermarket. I might look at getting a filtration system put in but at the moment it really isn't an option. Thanks again :).
  • I highly recommend a liquid titration test kit over strips. Much more accurate. The API GH and KH hardness test kit is great value. Not sure if I am allowed to post ebay links here, apologies if not. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/231187027587?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=107&chn=ps If you cant spring for full on filtration system, at least get a Brita filter jug and  combine with an in tank softening resin filter should hopefully get you down to around 40 to 60ppm depending on your starting water. 
  • Links are fine Steve!  Good info, thanks!
  • Thanks for the link Steve82, I popped one on my watchlist. I am all spent out at the moment :D.
  • As an update I let my fingers do the walking and came across bottled RO water called Pureau. I quickly found that the local Coles stocks it and went a grabbed a couple of casks to get me started.
  • on 1432510525:
    As an update I let my fingers do the walking and came across bottled RO water called Pureau. I quickly found that the local Coles stocks it and went a grabbed a couple of casks to get me started.
    Hi Sue, a word of caution regarding water that is too pure for an espresso machine. RO water could give a flat taste because the coffee's aroma particles will not completely transfer to the water. Therefore you will affect the taste of the coffee. The bigger issue regarding the espresso machine is that some HX machines use electromagnetic sensors to detect water levels and these machines will not function properly with this type of water. Best to check/research if your Unico uses an electromagnetic sensor and if it does then a word of caution as your boiler might not refill. The other concern is if the RO water is pH. Depends on the product but ‘usually’ this kind of water is actually considered corrosive due to its lower pH levels. What this could mean is that the water will try to return to its neutral pH state and this could happen by the water ‘sponging’ the brass/copper etc from internals of the machine. Eventually, it could cause internal leaks or shorts. Just some food for thought. I personally would not use RO water unless it has gone through remineralisation as espresso machines rely on water conductivity to sense the presence of water.
  • Thanks for that GeekKopi, I will have hubby check it out further. It looks like it is back to the drawing board  :-[.
  • This is their blurb if it makes sense to anyone. Noble Beverages uses a proprietary three-stage filtration method for its water called the “Pureau Process”. Absolutely no treatment chemicals are used during the process, nor is ozonation, chlorine or UV. It’s also important to note that Pureau is not distilled water – distillation is not part of the Pureau Process. The first stage consists of various filters which remove chlorides, metals, sodium, fluoride and inorganic minerals like nitrates. These filters include various types of carbon and other media we have developed over the years to purify and soften the water for the great taste that is unique to Pureau. In the second stage, the water undergoes reverse osmosis. At a high-pressure, the water is forced through membranes which once again remove any remaining water contaminants down to micron levels. The third stage consists of biological filters, which can remove substances down to 0.2 microns. As the reverse osmosis is so incredibly effective, these filters are used primarily as a security measure to ensure the water is 100% pure. In addition to the filtration process, all piping is food-grade stainless steel. This piping is steam sterilised every morning for 45 minutes prior to production commencing. To ensure the purity of our water, samples of Pureau are sent daily to Sonic Laboratories for testing. Sonic is an independent government accredited laboratory and they provide us with a full biological report confirming the absence of impurities prior to the products leaving our facility. The end result of the Pureau process is water that’s 100 times more pure than the purity requirements of the World Health Organisation and the Australian National Food Authority Standards. Because of Pureau’s purity, we are the only supplier of survival drinking water to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) via their Aircraft Life Support Equipment Division.
  • sounds all good but folks i know with cafes in adelaide also use remineralization with their RO water to add some mineral properties back into the mix Not to clear on this but RO water can I think strip minerals from your machine? if so long term use is probably not recommended Best, Pat
  • I use one of these http://www.clearchoicewaterfilters.com.au/white-countertop-water-filter-with-coconut-carbon-filter/ and get these cartridges. They are dual particle and dirt filters. If you only get the particle .. the dirt clogs them up and they have a shorter life. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/130861613530?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT If you were going for the under counter (in the cupboard) type .. to hide them - best to get the twin cartridge type .. the first removes the dirt .. the second .. finer particles/chemicals... then you replace each as required
  • Eeep, I now too scared to use it  :doh:. Thanks for the info Pat and Mr Moon. I have bookmarked the filter you posted Mr Moon and the ebay link so thank you for that :).
  • on 1432516744:
    Not to clear on this but RO water can I think strip minerals from your machine? if so long term use is probably not recommended
    And god knows what it does to your body. Personally I think this subject gets far too much traction on forums.  A lot of water filter distributors and their forum followers seem to like keeping us worried about machines breaking or being destroyed because it's not fed a certain type of water.  If you can get your water tested which I did, and also try your local water board who will usually publish water quality information from your area online.  Easy to read and see what your dealing with rather that subjecting yourself to sleepless nights and worry about damage to your investment. Australia is a big country with varying water quality from borers, or spring fed water, so do some research and use your own observations. FYI here on the Sunshine Coast, I contacted the guys that sells me my fridge taste/odor filter for my fridge, and he doesn't even stop anti-scale filters because they are not required in the area.  He told me to just use a taste/odor filter and save myself some $$$.  That's for my area, but do your own checks. :)
  • Hi Lacehim, I too think the subject is probably overdone and maybe too much emphasis placed on it by people serving their own interests. I know if I called out someone to install filtration they would try and baffle me with bs purely for the purpose of lining their own pockets that is why I thought I would ask here. Personally I would be happy with just using unfiltered tap water and descaling whenever suggested.
  • What I've been doing is just using tap water. My water hardness is at 22ppm. Good enough and I'll just descale when needed.
  • That sounds like my kind of solution GeekKopi. I think I will grab one of the filters though that Mr Moon linked to for some extra help and then whatever will be, will be.
  • on 1432524506:
    That sounds like my kind of solution GeekKopi. I think I will grab one of the filters though that Mr Moon linked to for some extra help and then whatever will be, will be.
    Probably worth while to test your tap water at home. Get a water test strip from a pool supplier then you can establish your water hardness to determine appropriate filtering/softening requirements.
  • I'll do that too GeekKopi, I have a test kit on my ebay watch list. My sister has an aquarium test kit so I might whip some water around to her when hubby gets home and have her test it.
  • I lived in Adelaide for many years. The tap water is vile and putrid. Understanding how it is collected, stored and purified for consumption, will reveal to you why it is so bad. It has a horrible taste, and will destroy your coffee machine. The best option is to use properly filtered rain water like I used to, and many members of my family still do. The other option is to buy a filter system that also softens the water. You really need to talk to someone who is familiar with Adelaide water. A system that has a sediment filter and a carbon filter is a good start, but will not protect your machine from scale. the water has to be softened. There is a very good Brita (150 I think) system that is suitable.
  • Yrp, I'd be seeking local advice!  You are spot on with self-serving opinions being rife in regards to this subject.  Local advice and make one decision and one investment.  The rainwater sounds good... Hmmm.... Got me thinking....
  • on 1432539500:
    I lived in Adelaide for many years. The tap water is vile and putrid. Understanding how it is collected, stored and purified for consumption, will reveal to you why it is so bad. It has a horrible taste, and will destroy your coffee machine.
    I'd be destroying your cup of coffee. Crikey .. if I lived in Adelaide a water filter would be an essential to drink water from the tap. If you get one .. fill up a glass of water from say the bathroom tap and put it next to a filtered one. Check the colour .. smell it .. and then taste. The filtered one will have no odour .. will be clear and have no taste .. other than a detectable sweetness .. well, that's what mine's like in Melbourne. $85 for the countertop and $22 for a cartridge that they say should be replaced every 6 months is good value for clean water. The last cartridge I used was a Doulton Ultracarb ceramic that cost around $70 .. the water volume dropped to a trickle .. and when I opened it up .. there was a thick layer of sludge/mud choking it .. it was a washable one .. but ditched it anyway and got a new one. I use filtered water in cooking as well as drinks. You'd be amazed how much dirt is in tap water that would sit on the bottom of your coffee machine boiler. You could give the machine a bit of a shake every few days .. week to mix it into the water so that it ends up in your coffee and doesn't accumulate in your coffee machine. Spose it would add a little 'earthy' flavour to your cuppa .. yeah? :thumb:
  • Thanks Lwowiak, it looks like I have heaps of reading to do. I did my head in over reading things last night and it is safe to say I am more confused than ever  >:D. Meantime I am mixing tap water and the pureau water, the idea being that there are some mineral present to keep my machine happy........hopefully. I found a filtration system that is recommended for WA and SA water so I will show hubby when he gets home. From my understanding some of the Brita filtering jugs could be a temporary solution too but you need to get the right one. Taste wise I have never thought the tap water bad tasting, I regularly drink 8 glasses of it a day  :P. Sue XX
  • Not sure if it's industrial enough but I've used a brita water filter jug to great effect in the past and the (Melbourne) tap water tastes clean as a whistle with this application Just as an aside I have one of those desktop 7 layer water filtration devices at home - the water passes though a soap stone 'dome' first to reach those 7 layers and even with Melbourne tap water being pretty good I still need to scrub that dome every couple of weeks because it becomes blocked with 'solids' - which id rather not be putting in my body  :stir
  • I never liked the taste of tap water in Adelaide. In some suburbs it is worse than others. We always drank rainwater or spring water as a preference. The spring water business in SA is huge. Even 2 stage filtration with ultra fine carbon filters still left a particular taste in the water. There is extensive reading on the geology of the reservoirs in SA, but the fact that they are topped up with Murray River water, does not help. Bore water ranges from excellent to extremely hard. I have seen shower heads scaled up in under a year. SE QLD has magnificent water. Unfiltered it is better than highly filtered SA water. I use a simple 2 cartridge set up. A basic sediment filter, and a carbon filter. The carbon filter is made from coconuts, and makes the water a bit sweeter. I have even used a system with two carbon filters, as the sediment filter was always clean. Trick is to change filters every year. The Pura Tap business is an over priced proprietary system that should be avoided. These guys sell the same thing for half the price: http://www.filtersystemsaustralia.com/ They have evolved into specialists, and have a great range of products at very good prices. They also have an ebay store under the name of magnetic world. http://stores.ebay.com.au/MAGNETIC-WORLD I use an earlier version of this kit, here in QLD, plus an inline magnet (something ridiculed by a certain know it all Melbourne coffee equipment retailer, who ridicules anything he can  not sell for a $). http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PLATINUM-Twin-Undersink-Water-Filter-System-MAX-CHEMICAL-REMOVAL-1-46PLAT-/251702812879?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3a9aa820cf This system is the best value one for rain water, as it includes the UV light to kill bacteria. I am buying one for my parents in SA. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Triple-Undersink-Water-Filter-System-UV-Light-Kills100-Bacteria-Virus-1-38TUV-/251885340002?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3aa5894562 Give them a call, they are very good, and only sell you what you need. The reason I prefer this company is that their filters are reasonably priced, and a standard size. And yes they are cheaper than Bumrings.
  • on 1432567211:
    You could give the machine a bit of a shake every few days .. week to mix it into the water so that it ends up in your coffee and doesn't accumulate in your coffee machine. Spose it would add a little 'earthy' flavour to your cuppa .. yeah? :thumb:
    :D Reminded me of that old joke: "This coffee tastes like mud!" "That's because it was 'ground' this morning!"  :doh:
  • Hi Lwowiak, I did find some Brita jugs that claim to reduce scale but I will have hubby look at it, he is much smarter about these things than I so I will have him check them out when he gets home. I planned on having my sister test my water with her aquarium test kit but the one she has doesn't test for hardness.
  • on 1432604290:
    I never liked the taste of tap water in Adelaide. In some suburbs it is worse than others. We always drank rainwater or spring water as a preference. The spring water business in SA is huge. Even 2 stage filtration with ultra fine carbon filters still left a particular taste in the water. There is extensive reading on the geology of the reservoirs in SA, but the fact that they are topped up with Murray River water, does not help. Bore water ranges from excellent to extremely hard. I have seen shower heads scaled up in under a year. SE QLD has magnificent water. Unfiltered it is better than highly filtered SA water. I use a simple 2 cartridge set up. A basic sediment filter, and a carbon filter. The carbon filter is made from coconuts, and makes the water a bit sweeter. I have even used a system with two carbon filters, as the sediment filter was always clean. Trick is to change filters every year. The Pura Tap business is an over priced proprietary system that should be avoided. These guys sell the same thing for half the price: http://www.filtersystemsaustralia.com/ They have evolved into specialists, and have a great range of products at very good prices. They also have an ebay store under the name of magnetic world. http://stores.ebay.com.au/MAGNETIC-WORLD I use an earlier version of this kit, here in QLD, plus an inline magnet (something ridiculed by a certain know it all Melbourne coffee equipment retailer, who ridicules anything he can  not sell for a $). http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PLATINUM-Twin-Undersink-Water-Filter-System-MAX-CHEMICAL-REMOVAL-1-46PLAT-/251702812879?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3a9aa820cf This system is the best value one for rain water, as it includes the UV light to kill bacteria. I am buying one for my parents in SA. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Triple-Undersink-Water-Filter-System-UV-Light-Kills100-Bacteria-Virus-1-38TUV-/251885340002?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3aa5894562 Give them a call, they are very good, and only sell you what you need. The reason I prefer this company is that their filters are reasonably priced, and a standard size. And yes they are cheaper than Bumrings.
    Brilliant Lwowiak, a wealth of info there :). I am pretty sure which know it all you are referring too, I can only imagine how many sales he dips out on with his crap attitude. Lol at Bumrings, I hate that place with a passion  ;D.
  • I like Bunnings .. cause they give lots of jobs to young people .. as well as some mature age who most likely wouldn't get a job elsewhere. priorities for other Companies are to cut staff to make savings (think Coles/Woolies) Bunnings on the other hand could easily .. but choose not to.
  • You're right Mr Moon, they certainly do :). Maybe I should have worded it differently, I find all hardware shops as boring as bat poo. I am not the diy/gardening type. My sister could spend all day browsing in them and often does, me on the other hand, no chance.
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