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What happens if you don't backflush
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > What happens if...  
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sgemmett
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Joined: 7 Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Location: San Jose CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 1:16pm
Subject: What happens if you don't backflush
 

I found a Pasquini Livia 90, used, which is said to be about 8 years old. When I was talking to the seller asking what came with it I mentioned the blind basket to which he answered 'the what?'. So it comes out it has never been backflushed in 8 years of daily use. What happens if you don't backflush for this length of time? Is it just putting the 3 way solenoid at risk or is there potentially additional issues which I should factor in on an offer price?

It was never de-scaled either, although he claimed he used bottled water only, not that this means he shouldn't have done that also. Should I run away fast?

Thanks!
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
Location: Northern California
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Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: What happens if you don't backflush
 

If it still works, not backflushing is no big deal. It Just means that there is some cleaning to do. A prolonged chemical backflush is in order.
But not descaling? That is another matter. The state of the boiler depends on the mineral content of the water the owner was using. You could open it up and pull the water level sensor in the boiler to tell if mineral buildup is a problem. The boiler and heating element  may be fine... or not.

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 2:13pm
Subject: Re: What happens if you don't backflush
 

Yep, like he said!

 
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
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Location: Germany
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Posted Sat Aug 4, 2012, 2:10am
Subject: Re: What happens if you don't backflush
 

What happens when you don't backflush is that there's a build-up of coffee oil residues that go rancid over time and compromise taste, but there's no harm done to the machine.

Not descaling, like frcn said, is a different thing and can destroy the machine. After 8 years without any maintenance, it might even be advisable to get a professional cleaning!

 
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sgemmett
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Joined: 7 Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Location: San Jose CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 12:36pm
Subject: Re: What happens if you don't backflush
 

Thanks, that was really the question, does neglecting to backflush cause harm, aside from the taste. I ended up getting it, along with a Moka 90 grinder. Everything looked in good shape and the price was right so I took the plunge. Bye bye SBDU, hellow HX!
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