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To plumb or not to plumb.

November 25, 2011


To plumb or not to plumb.


One dream I have always had is of a plumbed in espresso machine.  Most espresso machines that the average user might have at home have a tank that must be filled manually.  If you forget that it is running low on water you can run into trouble in the middle of a shot when you run out of water.



Machines like the Quickmill Vetrano are designd to be plumbed in...



http://www.roaste.com/product/ChrisCoffee/Vetrano-Espresso-Machine 



As a matter of convenience it would be great to have the magic of an automatically refilling machine.  





There is an obvious problem with plumbing in a machine, which is that you need a source of water with pressure coming in.  This usually requires poking a hole in a counter or a wall to run the plumbing and that has been yet one more reason why I have never been able to do it.  


There are options if you cannot do this, though.  One method is to run a tube into a huge bottle of water like the kind they have attached to water coolers,  but I have never been able to figure out if you can get away with doing this without hurting the pump for the espresso machine because it will not offer water coming in under pressure like it would if it were connected to the wall.  


SonTon posted about an issue he had with his Musica that may be resulting from this style of sourcing water.  This got me thinking about plumbing in again and if this is a dream I should keep or if it is too much to ask for at home (or at least my home).  



http://www.roaste.com/CoffeeBlogs/sontondaman/Another-Machine-Problem-Nu...



There are still interesting options even if you want to run from a water bottle which allows you to have positive pressure.  One option is to have a water source above the machine and let gravity help out.  The drawback here, of course, is that your espresso machine then runs the risk of looking a little like a patient at the hospital hooked up to an I.V.


Another is a FlowJet.  These are available, for example, from Chris Coffee Service

http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/home/plumbing/flojet


the two drawbacks here, of course, are that they are not cheap and they are not silent like it would be if it were plumbed in from the wall.


I’m curious if those with more engineering background than I have opinions on how running a plumbed in machine, not hooked up to the wall would be best done.






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