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Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Nuova Simonelli...  
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8pointer
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Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 4:51pm
Subject: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

Hi everyone,

Just made a purchase on a used Nuova Simonelli Oscar, decided to give it a backflush and descale before it's second life (previous owner used it for a year and then stored it for more than half a year).

Went to a reputable local espresso machine shop today to buy some blank basket and detergent for backflush; told the sale my situation. The sale told me that my machine would only need backflush and descaling is not necessary, and indeed not recommended on heat exchanger.

I was a bit confused since the sale's response is a contradictory to what has been posted on this forum / online. I'm in Vancouver, BC, Canada and the water here is very soft; but still since the machine has been out of action for a period that's the only reason I'm looking into descaling.

My question is: do heat exchanger machine, NS Oscar in particular, needs descaling?
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ECM
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ECM
Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
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Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano 2B
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Roaster: Fresh Roast+8,  i-roast and...
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 5:35pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

I hve a Giotto P and as far as I know any HX should be descalled occasionally.  I do mine one a year as I use bottled water.

Rob
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Markarian
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Markarian
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Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 5:43pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

Check out the video we just posted in the next topic and see for yourself! Have you opened the machine yet and taken a peek inside?
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fnacer
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Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 7:51pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

Actually, I got similar advice from a Simonelli service technician I was chatting with many years ago. He explained that if an Oscar ever needed descaling, he preferred to take the boiler out instead of descaling in-situ.

I think his reasoning may have been that it's easy enough to control the quality of the water you put in the tank. Or that not a lot of water goes through a machine that doesn't have a hot water spout. Either way, if the boiler gets bad enough that it needs to be descaled, then a rebuild is in order.

Edit: The above isn't to say that that taking the machine apart is the only way to descale an Oscar. To descale the boiler, you can simply unscrew the fitting that holds the level probe at the top of the boiler and fill/empty the boiler that way. Plus you'll get a chance to check for any scale on the probe.
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8pointer
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Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:16pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

I need a bit of time to dig through the whole video; very informative video about the machine!

I did took apart the top cover to take a peak inside but I don't really know what to look for. I'm pretty new to the espresso world and this is my first HX machine...I can see the heat insulation around the boiler has cracks on it and that there are traces of dried coffee puddles on the left and right side of the bottom body cover (overflow the drip tray by previous owner perhaps?). Other than that the inside looks alright, no rust on the frame nor the electric components/wires...

Markarian Said:

Check out the video we just posted in the next topic and see for yourself! Have you opened the machine yet and taken a peek inside?

Posted February 12, 2013 link

fnacer Said:

Actually, I got similar advice from a Simonelli service technician I was chatting with many years ago. He explained that if an Oscar ever needed descaling, he preferred to take the boiler out instead of descaling in-situ.

I think his reasoning may have been that it's easy enough to control the quality of the water you put in the tank. Or that not a lot of water goes through a machine that doesn't have a hot water spout. Either way, if the boiler gets bad enough that it needs to be descaled, then a rebuild is in order.

Edit: The above isn't to say that that taking the machine apart is the only way to descale an Oscar. To descale the boiler, you can simply unscrew the fitting that holds the level probe at the top of the boiler and fill/empty the boiler that way. Plus you'll get a chance to check for any scale on the probe.

Posted February 12, 2013 link

I did came across the youtube video where the guy tip over his machine, drain, and descale the boiler; but I also came across a thread in this forum where the machine become troublesome after descale...well, really not sure if it's really a good idea since the machine is running fine right now...
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:23pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

Unless you do the full tear down descale like on the video so the stuff goes in a bucket/drain, a bit of scale can get loose and stuck in the tiny hoses and cause more trouble than you have right now.  I would get more comfortable with the machine for a week or 2 before deciding to do anything major.

We have soft water that is not to bad on build up on shower heads and taps. My Oscar was two years old and not used much according to the old owner, (for what that is worth) and I used it for a year.  So, in 3 years, I don't believe the scale was all that bad on mine you can see the photos of my oscar's guts.  It could have gone another year or 2 easily I believe.  Not that I am recommending that but there is no rush if it is working to jump in to descaling.

 
Coffeenoobie

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dyno
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Joined: 20 Nov 2011
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Location: Canada
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Espresso: Salvatore The Club/Oscar
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Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 2:51pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

Our water is extremely soft but there can still be a bit of buildup in the boiler, particularly on the tank level sensor.  The pump begins acting weirdly and the overpressure will occasionally blow.

I did what fnacer suggested and siphoned out the tank via the level sensor fitting.

I don't think it's particularly critical to descale unless the pump is cycling randomly.  The shower screen and other grouphead parts will probably need some attention though.
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8pointer
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Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 7:54pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

ok I just watch the video and what they did is beyond what I can manage...

I'd probably just enjoy and experiment my new-used-machine a bit before considering a descale.

Thanks everyone.
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8pointer
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013, 2:32am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

I just realized that when I backflush the machine, fluid is only coming out on the right hand side hose....is that normal?
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013, 2:46am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar | HX Machine--Descale Dilema
 

The right hand side as you're looking from the front? This is completely normal. The left hand hose is your Neplax valve, which is only there to open in case of too much pressure during brewing/backflushing. This valve is really fragile, not adjustable, and should be left alone, unless it's opening during your brew cycle. Water just whooshing out the right side is right where you need to be.
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