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Filtering out faults

Its all about the filter

All you need to know about filtration and matching the correct type to your machine to gain maximum protection
Your espresso machine contains quite a lot of components that like to be treated well to maintain a long life. Whilst the UK water authorities do supply very high quality water for domestic use, sadly certain impurities can not be helped, and its these we need to be concerned about.
Number one on our hit-list is water hardness, commonly referred to as 'limescale' which has the most devastating effect on all espresso machines, and slowly blocks up the internal workings.

We also have particulates in the water supply which can cause machine wear and tear.
Water hardness is measured in PPM (parts per million) of dissolved mineral deposits in the water.

Less than 60ppm = Very Soft water

More than 180ppm = Very hard water

Matching the correct type of filter system to your water supply, starts by knowing this magic PPM value.
There are lots of water hardness maps available on the net which show generalized hardness zones. But as water is moved around the country, it is always best practice to check the quality using your local providers web-site, links to all UK suppliers can be found below.
Once you have checked your local water authority, you will now know the actual PPM for your supply.

<60ppm - soft water is great, but still requires treatment, and in this case installing a basic carbon based filter will do the trick. Most carbon filters will happily treat 20,000 litres of water and only require changing yearly.

>60ppm - time to step up the battle and install a resin based system. Any of the quality brands out there, should contain not only resin but also a carbon block to cover all the bases. This type of filtration will only treat a certain quantity of water depending on the size of your chosen softener.

Check your water supplier for the facts

Links here to all local authority water boards for checking the water hardness where your machine is located. In most cases only your postcode is required to check your water supply quality.

Common Filtration Systems

CARBON FILTERS

Low cost and compact size and ideal for offering great protection in soft water areas only. The granulated active carbon filters will remove chlorine, taste and odour, as well as particulates down to 5um. Not only do they improve the taste and appearance of your coffee, but also offer greater protection to the moving parts inside your machine and assist in extending the working life expectancy of your equipment.

WATER SOFTENERS

For regions that have a reading of more than 60ppm and scale could cause problems, we recommend a resin based water treatment system to protect your machine. These are available in several versions from a wide range of suppliers, but look out for ones that combine separate resin and carbon based sections for better performance. A good quality system should should also incorporate an adjustable by-pass to allow the softener to be calibrated for your site in terms of the amount of softening and also the PH level, this will maximize the throughput of the system and offer the greatest protection.

Over softened water can cause the treated water to become acidic (lowered PH level), which will cause corrosion in areas of the machine that combine different metals.
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