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Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Mon Jul 1, 2013, 8:58pm
Subject: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

Just a quick thing, I just got my Technika and it's amazing. However, the softener packet they gave me was the 90, rather than the 150 (BILT Oscar), so I need to send it back to get the right one. In the meantime, I wanted to try out my machine, so I simply filled it with Pur-filtered water from my tap. Is it okay to use unsoftened water for a week or two, or will that destroy my boiler?? Sorry, this thing is so intimidatingly beautiful I'm terrified I'm going to mess it up.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013, 9:38pm
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

I don't think you could have that much scale in a week or two.  Unless your water is crazy hard.  If you are still worried, cut the tap water in half with RO water.

 
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,354
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013, 9:48pm
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

I wouldn't worry, nothing will happen in a week or two, unless you literally have the hardest water in the world lol. FL has hard water and i go months and months till descaling.
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Mon Jul 1, 2013, 10:34pm
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

Well it looks like a false alarm--Jim told me to look inside the box and sure enough, the correct packet was inside, even though the outer label was incorrect. Whew.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,951
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 Tue Jul 2, 2013, 6:58am
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

glad to see you have the right one...as others said, you needn't worry about not having a softener for a couple of weeks.  Some people don't bother with a softener at all, but rather do a full descale more frequently.  As long as you take good care of your machine on the "right" schedule, it won't matter.

You might want to invest in an API GH/KH test kit.  They're pretty inexpensive and very good quality.  you can find them at some pet stores or aquarium supply stores, or online.  Then you'll know for sure how hard your water is.  

On that note, I contacted Whirlpool and Pur around when I got my Duetto to see if the fridge cartridges did any softening (since they claim to remove just about everything else).  After a fair measure of persistence on my part, I finally got a decent reply from one of their science guys (instead of the dumb reps I kept getting idk responses from) at Pur (they're the manufacturers).  He told me, no, the filter isn't designed to do any softening at all, and so, they don't measure its effects.  Well, after I got my API kit, I tested samples from my tap and my fridge and found there was a considerable difference between the two in both general and carbonate hardness - with the fridge filtered water much lower on both counts. Recently, I retested both sources again, using two samples from each.  One sample from each source was run through a Brita personal bottle, so I was not only re-comparing tap and fridge filtered, but also seeing if a) the Brita bottle did anything to either sample, and b) if it made a difference at all whether I drew fridge water or tap water for the Brita bottle.  Results again showed a considerable difference between tap and fridge filtered, but there was no change to either sample's hardness (general or carbonate) after running them through the Brita bottle.

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Tue Jul 2, 2013, 9:55am
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

Wow, Emrad. That's really interesting to know. So I'm not just wasting my time and money using the faucet-mount Pur that I've been using to fill my Oscar to this point. I suppose that, combined with the little softener bag I threw in my reservoir might more or less do the trick.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,951
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 Tue Jul 2, 2013, 9:59am
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

well, again, that depends on your source water.  The kits are pretty cheap, so I think it's worth testing what you have on both sides of the equation (pre and post treatment).  Then you'll know what you have, without having to speculate.

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,354
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013, 10:52am
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

emradguy Said:

glad to see you have the right one...as others said, you needn't worry about not having a softener for a couple of weeks.  Some people don't bother with a softener at all, but rather do a full descale more frequently.  As long as you take good care of your machine on the "right" schedule, it won't matter.

You might want to invest in an API GH/KH test kit.  They're pretty inexpensive and very good quality.  you can find them at some pet stores or aquarium supply stores, or online.  Then you'll know for sure how hard your water is.  

On that note, I contacted Whirlpool and Pur around when I got my Duetto to see if the fridge cartridges did any softening (since they claim to remove just about everything else).  After a fair measure of persistence on my part, I finally got a decent reply from one of their science guys (instead of the dumb reps I kept getting idk responses from) at Pur (they're the manufacturers).  He told me, no, the filter isn't designed to do any softening at all, and so, they don't measure its effects.  Well, after I got my API kit, I tested samples from my tap and my fridge and found there was a considerable difference between the two in both general and carbonate hardness - with the fridge filtered water much lower on both counts. Recently, I retested both sources again, using two samples from each.  One sample from each source was run through a Brita personal bottle, so I was not only re-comparing tap and fridge filtered, but also seeing if a) the Brita bottle did anything to either sample, and b) if it made a difference at all whether I drew fridge water or tap water for the Brita bottle.  Results again showed a considerable difference between tap and fridge filtered, but there was no change to either sample's hardness (general or carbonate) after running them through the Brita bottle.

.

Posted July 2, 2013 link

interesting, as I use a Brita pitcher filled with filtered fridge water and was also told there was no point to that. I haven't tested but I was thinking what you ended saying as well, no difference. I can tell a taste difference if filled from tap (but then again in this day and age how many people do that and don't have a fridge with filtered water or filter setup on their sink, pry a very small %), but I can't tell any difference between it and the fridge water which would make sense since the fridge has a large filter that will remove chlorine and other impurities, except for hardness which nothing will really do except for some softener setup.

Not gonna bother using my Brita anymore lol
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1stline
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1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 491
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013, 12:12pm
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

CMIN Said:

interesting, as I use a Brita pitcher filled with filtered fridge water and was also told there was no point to that. I haven't tested but I was thinking what you ended saying as well, no difference. I can tell a taste difference if filled from tap (but then again in this day and age how many people do that and don't have a fridge with filtered water or filter setup on their sink, pry a very small %), but I can't tell any difference between it and the fridge water which would make sense since the fridge has a large filter that will remove chlorine and other impurities, except for hardness which nothing will really do except for some softener setup.

Not gonna bother using my Brita anymore lol

Posted July 2, 2013 link

Several years ago, I tested a Brita pitcher system for water hardness levels. NJ water out of the tap did hover around 7 French degrees. In the first week, it took out most of the magnesium and calcium. In the second week, it took out about 50%. By the third week, it was no longer softening.

This was several years ago, and we did stop recommending Brita since most customers did not want to replace the cartridge every 2 weeks.

 
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,354
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: Temporarily without softener - Is it okay?
 

1stline Said:

Several years ago, I tested a Brita pitcher system for water hardness levels. NJ water out of the tap did hover around 7 French degrees. In the first week, it took out most of the magnesium and calcium. In the second week, it took out about 50%. By the third week, it was no longer softening.

This was several years ago, and we did stop recommending Brita since most customers did not want to replace the cartridge every 2 weeks.

Posted July 2, 2013 link

yeh I'm just gonna use it as a water pitcher now w/o the filter lol, it's the slim one so it fits nicely in the fridge.
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