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How your machine ticks

Understanding whats in the box

These little insights into how your machine works in order to produce an espresso, will help you on your steps to self service.

Did you really know?

That basically, all traditional machines are based on decades old technology, with just a few bells and whistles added to bring them up to date, and of course make you upgrade. But turning water into espresso has to follow a set format. Time to ignore the hype, and learn the fundamentals. 
Basic overview
How your pump works
What does the group head do
Heating circuits
Safety devices

BASIC 2 GROUP STRUCTURE

As with all everyday items we use in life. No matter how fancy your espresso machine looks on the outside, the internals will have to follow the age old basic structure to produce your espresso. Fundamentally, a £20,000 machine will produce espresso in exactly the same way a £1000 machine will do, its just glamour cost money.

1- FILTRATION

I know, its not inside the machine, but never overlook this vital add on, its the main part to keep the rest of the parts your going to learn about keep working smoothly.
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2 - PUMP

Espresso requires to be extracted at around 9 bar pressure, as most UK water supplies range from 1 to 6 bar, the pump's function is to increase this incoming pressure up to 9 bar.
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3 - INLET VALVE

Used to allow water fresh mains water into the main boiler on the machine, think of it like a light switch to turn the light on and off. 
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4 - FLOWMETER

This cleaver little device sends pulses to the controller so the machine can calculate how much water is going into the cup.
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5 - PRESSURE SWITCH

Can be mechanical or electronic and allows the boiler to maintain the correct operating pressure for producing steam and the hot water temperature.
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6 - HEATING ELEMENT

What it says on the tin, allows the machine to heat up the water in the boiler to the set point of the pressure switch. 
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7 - HEAT EXCHANGER

This stage is where heat is transferred from the hot water in the boiler to the fresh incoming water that is used for making your coffee.
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8 - BOILER

Different sizes on all machines but used to store the hot water and generated steam under pressure.
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9 - ON/OFF SWITCH

From a simple rocker switch to a rotary switch, you need to be able to turn the power on and off on all machines. 
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10 - VACUUM VALVE

Stops the build up of negative pressure during the course of the night when the machine is switch off.
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11 - LEVEL PROBE

This enables the machine to fill the boiler up to the correct level by detecting the electrical resistance of the water in the boiler.
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12 - SAFETY VALVE

Just in case anything should happen to the control circuits and the machine keeps heating, we all need a way to let of steam. 
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13 - GROUP SOLENOID

Similar to the inlet solenoid, but this one allows fresh water to flow from the group head into the cup.
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14 - STEAM VALVE

Variably operated valve that allows steam from the boiler for frothing milk under precise control  .
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15 - GROUP HEAD

Where all the magic happens to make the water temperature perfect for your espresso. 
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16 - HOT WATER VALVE

Mechanical or electrical operated and allows pressurized hot water out from the boiler for making Americano, but also used for tea.
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This is Espressocare.

Coming soon will be self guiding help pages to assist in fault finding on your traditional espresso machine.
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