The direct plumb option was part of the original purchase. I ordered it, payed extra and received it ready to be connected to the water supply. This is one of the reasons I chose this machine over others. Take a look at the bottom of the page where it says water reservoir on the following link:
I think the problem is that there is no brew pressure regulation on the machine. The new more powerful pump and the additional pressure from the water connection are making this problem worse. However they are not the problem. This was not a cheap machine and it should have brew pressure regulation.
I don`t think your machine is a direct plumb in. Vibe pumps as the manuf. keep telling me are designed to draw from a static supply up to 9bars. Rotary pumps can of course accept mains under pressure and still achieve the desired pressure because of the adjustment screw.
Usually if I specify a direct plumb in machine with a manufacturer they do indeed charge me (the agent) more as they rip out the water reservoir and vibe and slap in a procon and motor.
I am not sure I would be comfy with a machine that when at rest has a pressure reading. La Marzoccos do have a reading at rest but this is mainly a false reading due to boiler heating ( the reading will wander at rest) and the position of the pressure gauge in relation to the pipe system. I would have thought that if it was indeed a plumb in machine there should at least be a 2 way solenoid valve controlling water into the HX or boiler which should therefore give you a zero reset reading after brewing.
Just my thoughts as I have not used a Salvatore - great looking machines though.
I would have thought that if it was indeed a plumb in machine there should at least be a 2 way solenoid valve controlling water into the HX or boiler which should therefore give you a zero reset reading after brewing.
That's how my machine is setup. There's a solenoid on the supply line leading to the pump and another one before the group. I believe such a backflow device is required by our local plumbing codes to prevent any water from the machine returning to the supply line (a check valve can serve the same purpose). The pull pressure gauge returns to zero as soon as I cut off the pump. It will "wander" back up a little if the machine is idle as the water expands.
I understand that Ulka vibe pumps are technically not spec'd for positive pressure; all the more reason I put in a pressure regulator to reduce it to 14 PSI. The added pressure might increase wear and tear on the pump but I'm willing to chance it for the convenience. If the pump blows a little earlier than it otherwise would under no pressure, it's not a big cash outlay for a new pump. Over a year of daily use without problems. :-)
Paul: After re-reading your post a few times I think I understand what you mean. You are saying that this machine should not be sold as nor considered to be a plumbed in machine as it is missing important elements that are critical for it to work properly when connected directly to a water line. Please excuse me if I misunderstood what you posted. Thanks for your input
Easyrotor, in any of your instructions from or conversations with Salvatore, did they mention the need for a water line pressure regulator? Certainly, cutting the line pressure from 40 to something like Dan's 14 psi would help, and may be a wise decision regardless of its effect on brew pressure. With inlet pressure running at 40 psi (2.66 bar) you're not far off the overpressure safety valve on your boiler. I don't know how much your inlet pressure varies, but it's conceivable that it could crack the overpressure valve, flooding your home.
Now back to the matter of brew pressure.
As discussed previously, even subtracting the 40 psi inlet pressure, you are still brewing 2 oz. in 30 seconds at 13.3 bars; which is 48% above the recommended pressure. It would be interesting to compare the pump curves of the old 41W pump Salvatore previously used in their machines with the curve for the new, more powerful pump. It is possible that this comparison may explain a significant amount of the excess pressure, which could also be an explanation of why the Salvatore does not have a pressure adjustment -- they could have changed the pump without considering effect of the more powerful pump.
Let's assume for a moment that your problem can be solved by adding a pressure regulator to your water line, and reducing pump pressure. A couple of solutions open to you include installing a different pump with appropriate pump curves, or installing a pump pressure relief valve between the pump and the brewhead. Here's a link to a post by the ultimate Silvia modifier, Greg Scace, who retrofitted a pump over-pressure relief valve to his machine as he describes on alt.coffee.
Rick: Actually there is some kind of device on the input already, see pix. No, Salvatore did not mention anything about using a regulator. I would have no problem providing one if there is a need.
When I said I agreed with Salvatore in an earlier post that the pack and grind would impact on the pressure issue I did not mean that I thought it would have a positive effect on the pressure. I have tried a variety of different packs and grinds but as you noted it could not work. The simple fact is that anything I do that lowers the pressure, speeds up the the pour. It is my opinion that the high pressure is making this process hyper-critical, even worse than normal. The difference between choking the machine and a 25 second 2 oz pour is tiny. On the bright side though, the problem has really tuned up my awareness of the factors that effect the pour and how to control it. I sure have gone through a lot of coffee. Again, the bright side is that I have tasted a ton of different coffees in short period. Today, a couple of 1/2 pounds of Vivace showed up. I also have found that some of the bitterness I was unhappy about is my fault as I was pulling too long of shots. Still experimenting with this factor as with most factors it changes with humidity, coffde brand, sunspots and my attitude.
I think your and my thinking regarding the overpressure issue are running on the same track. In an earlier post I mentioned that I'm not going go the pump (rotory) route as thats too expensive. I figure minimum $350 and I don't know what else I have to get besides the motor and the pump. I have already ordered the regulator, gauge and fittings to do the Greg Scarce Mod as had I read this article already and it appealed to me. It adresses a few issues that bug me about the machine. I'll document it but I won't reccomend it until I am sure it really helps. I'm not completely convinced that it will. It will also force me to complete the drain project I started when I got the machine as I think there may be a little (lot) more water going into my tray. At the moment I am stalled on a very tight 4" leaded sewer plug that is in a very tough spot. Thanks for your input. This thread has been a terrific help.
easyrotor Senior Member Joined: 23 Mar 2004 Posts: 63 Location: Brooklyn, NY Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: LaCimbali Junior Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sun Jul 18, 2004, 7:58pm Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
In a previous post I mentioned that there is always some pressure in the brew circuit that may be related to the water pressure from the direct plumbed line. What is preventing this pressure from forcing water out through the group? My ignorance of the brew circuit is showing. I have a gauge tapped into the top 3/8'" line to from?) the group. Thanks.
I have a Salvatore as well and I purchased it about a year ago. I just checked the preasure at the portafilter and it goes to 16bar but I am able to release the handle after the preasure is released through the three-way valve. My machine is not plumbed. I also have noticed what a difference fresh beans makes. I currently get my coffee, roasted from Espresso Vivance. When the beans first arrive I have to adjust my Mazzer to a more course grind to keep from totally clogging up ol Sal. As time goes on (I usually use my my supply every month) if I don't adjust the grinder to a more fine setting them I am having to tamp more and more hard to get the same results.
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