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Leaving it on....
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Leaving it...  
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 653
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 10:17pm
Subject: Leaving it on....
 

OK, I thought this might be the right forum to ask this question on...

At home, I leave my computer on 24/7 because I use it on a daily basis. I personally find that
if I'm going on vacation or whatever, I shut it off.. but normally the lack of power cycling makes the
components last longer because there isn't any thermal contraction and expansion which can
shorten their lifespans. This is just due to personal experience.

How does that apply to espresso machines?

Reading a bunch of stuff on the net, it's a very bad idea to keep a SBDU machine (Like the Silvia) on all the time
due to their small boiler and their lack of auto-fill, which can potentially let the boiler run dry. (Is this right?)

What about Heat Exchanger and Dual Boiler machines? What about Non-E61 vs E61 machines?

I realize that the electric bill would be higher, any experiences as to how much more?

My other thought.. By turning on and off the machine every day, how can thermal expansion and
contraction cause components to fail? (Other than the electronic ones.)

I read somewhere on these forums that HX/DB machines with E61 brew groups have issues with the
portafilter seal drying out and getting crunchy/brittle due to the constant heat. Are they cheap and
easy to replace? How often do they need to be replaced in this scenario? (Verses say, just only keeping
the machine on when it is needed?)

Opinions? Flames?

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,393
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 10:43pm
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

A Kill-O-Watt meter can tell you if it's worth it. And in regards to the computer, it will be obsolete before turning it on and off will damage it, most likely.

But the Topic title here made me do a double-take...

Leaving it in....  (portafilter handling)
Leaving it out......  (coffee storage)
Pulling it out...  (water-level probe examination)

 
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,041
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2012, 1:49am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

You can leave a prosumer HX machine on without damaging it. However, the heating element consumes up to 1,500 W, which might make your electricity meter running. However, depending on your use of the machine it might be cheaper (and more convenient) to keep the machine on brewing temperature during the day than to heat it up from scratch several times a day.

 
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"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2012, 6:10am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

My take is that consumer/prosumer machines with autofill, whether tanked or plumbed in, are a turn it on first thing in the day (or a little earlier if you can run it on a timer) and off at the end of your last shot pulling session for the day proposition. Mostly, this is to promote stable temperatures so it can be as close to "walk up and pull a shot" as possible. Making sure the boiler's insulated makes for less wasted electricity. You just have to stay on top of it with a pourover/tanked system to make sure that your reservoir doesn't run dry.

I believe most plumbed-in, pro-level, large-boiler machines are left on 24/7, except for mantenance that requires power down, but I can't say for sure, never having worked in a cafe.
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,150
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2012, 6:46am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

I leave my NS Oscar on 24/7 for over 3 years now. Somewhere around here I posted some readings from a KillaWatt for consumption cold to stable vs hot cycle, the results for my machine was a machine left on draws more energy then turning on and letting stabilize ( about 45 min for the Oscar) but it was not enough consumption to make me not leave it on. I would have to turn it on and off something like 10 times a day to be more energy then just leaving it on.

The pressure stat takes more wear by leaving on 24/7 , my first PS wore out all connections in less then 2 years but the $100 replacement has shown no problem in over a year. I replace my group gasket at least every 6 months since it dries out much faster in my opinion then a machine that is not on 24/7. Other then those things I have not had any other issues with the Oscar from 24/7 operation.
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 898
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
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Roaster: None
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2012, 7:25am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

It doesn't matter how often it's turned off, the machine must use less power as a result.  Even once.

However, if we're talking about turning it off for a short period only, the power saving will probably be negligible.  

To compound the issues if your power company charges different rates at different times of the day, it's possible that it may indeed be cheaper to leave it on 24/7, even though more power is used.  My power supplier charges about 40% less for power used overnight up to about 08.00.

If I'm going to be around a lot, I often do leave my current machine on 24/7, but in its lower temperature standby state - it then takes only a few minutes to stabilise.  However, it has electronic temperature controls on both boilers, rather than mechanical pressurestats or thermostats.

I never felt comfortable leaving my old HX machine on all the time because of its cheap pressurestat. Probably it is safer in 110v land where the pressurestat normally only switches the power to an SSR, but in 230v land some domestic machine manufacturers cheap out and omit the SSR. The pressurestat switches the heater directly. Mine used to sizzle nicely with that sort of amperage going through it.  I'm sure the more heavy duty commercial p/stats would stand up better.
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JonR10
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JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2012, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

__________ Said:

It doesn't matter how often it's turned off, the machine must use less power as a result.  Even once.

Posted August 18, 2012 link

Here was Robert's measurement posted in another thread:

germantownrob Said:

N.S. Oscar usage for 1 hour from a cold start up = .28KWH
                   for each hour after that while idle = .11KWH

Posted May 20, 2011 link

There's no need to debate, folks can do the math if they choose.  


__________ Said:

However, if we're talking about turning it off for a short period only, the power saving will probably be negligible.  

Posted August 18, 2012 link

At least on this, we agree  :)

As noted, other concerns may outweigh the electrical savings.  Powering up and cooling down multiple times through the day may cause additional wear on certain components.  Leaving the machine on 24/7 certainly dries out rubber items more rapidly, and there may also be safety concerns associated with leaving a hot, pressurized boiler unattended for periods of time.  

So it becomes a decision point for each person.  

When I had a typical home HX machine I used it on a timer and left it off through the day and overnight.  My current machine is more robust and I leave it on overnight, but I do shut her down if I'm leaving for more than a day.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,050
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2012, 8:15am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

I have my machine on a timer, why I didn't do this with my Silvia, I have no idea.  It comes on at 5:30am and then goes off at 10am M-F, and 11:30am S-S.  Most often, if we need/want coffee outside of that range, we just turn it on and let it come to full warm up (yeah, about 45 min or more). It works well for us.

I used to leave my Silvia on all day on occasion.  When I did, I'd simply run a few ounces of water through the wand and make sure the reservoir was full, every couple of hours.  That way, I didn't have to worry about letting the boiler run dry.  It never, ever, ever seemed anywhere close to being in danger.  I never left it on overnight though.

I've read posts on here in the past where HX/DB users have left their machines on for up to a year, of course they're plumbed in machines.

The group gaskets are less than $10, and as Rob said, if you replace them every 6 months, they will still be in good shape.  This is important, because it makes them easy to remove.  Trust us on this one, you don't want to have to remove one that should have been replaced a long time ago - been there, done that - took about 2 hours to get ALL of it off (vs about 2 minutes for one in good shape still).  My first gasket replacement was on my second Silvia after using it for upwards of three years (long story, but I had two Silvia for two habitations, which overlapped a couple of years, so when I got rid of my surplus machine, it went to a friend - old gasket in place).  You can see why I had such problems with that.  I swore never to do that again, and was close to dong the replacement when I upgraded my machine.  I've had my Duetto for about 8 1/2 months and just replaced the gasket for the first time - easy as pie.  The recommendation on 1st-line to use a standard bottle opener worked like a charm on my E61.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

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 Tue Aug 21, 2012, 9:40am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

Just to pile on an almost dead thread.....
My personal thinking is that no non autofill SBDU machine should be left on for long periods of time. A machine that is plumbed in and has autofill should have no problem handling being left on.
My HX machines are on for as long as I need them. For me, they are operated on a timer. I am the only one to use them so I have them (it) come on an hour before I wake up, I make my morning shots/drinks and turn the timer off so that the machine will self start the next morning. On weekends, more times than not, they are on 24/3 so that they are up and running whenever I may want something to drink.

I also have a Sylvia (I use for travel when going to Yosemite and sometimes at work) and I don't even think about leaving it on for much more than a few hours at a time or as need. The chance of running the boiler dry is something I don't want to do, if the steam wand or any valve has a slight leak, there is no system in place to maintain a safe level of water in the boiler.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
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Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:32am
Subject: Re: Leaving it on....
 

JonR10 Said:

When I had a typical home HX machine I used it on a timer and left it off through the day and overnight.  My current machine is more robust and I leave it on overnight, but I do shut her down if I'm leaving for more than a day.

Posted August 18, 2012 link

Agreed.  With a 6.0L boiler, I leave my machine on 24/7, though shut it off if I'm leaving for more than a day.  In over 4 years, aside from routine maintenance, I've had no problems aside from replacing one pressurestat last year.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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