I have been using a standard float valve to auto fill my reservoir but find it is temperamental. It seems I am always working on some sort of leak or another and today it failed and overfilled all over the counter & floor. So I'd like to look at using a solenoid valve with a float switch and can't seem to find any solid info on what parts to purchase. There are many many solenoid valves but I also don't want to spend a fortune for this setup. I have also tried to locate other articles in this forum and came up empty.
Has anyone ever done this before and what did you purchase?
SStones Senior Member Joined: 24 Nov 2012 Posts: 518 Location: Canada Expertise: Professional
Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket... Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best Vac Pot: No :( Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Sat Nov 16, 2013, 8:10pm Subject: Re: Solenoid Valve & Float Switch?
A toilet-valve, or float valve is not an ideal set-up in a reservoir, due to the fact that the reservoirs don't have an overflow drain to prevent them from flooding your house. While you could do anything as easy as connecting the existing float to a mercury switch for electrical flood-prevention redundancy, I would suggest considering machines designed to be properly plumbed in. Some people may prefer their GPS device to be a separate entity, not a part of their car's original package. There are very good reasons to DIY on the extra features of the devices in your life, but really understanding them is a good idea if you're interested in relying on them.
If you understand how a 2-way, 120V solenoid valve and a mercury switch is an effective back-up your existing toilet-valve reservoir set-up, then you're obviously in a position to benefit from thinking of it. Redundancy isn't a bad thing, even when you're dealing with spills as safe as cold water.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,153 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 Sun Nov 17, 2013, 5:57am Subject: Re: Solenoid Valve & Float Switch?
Stephen did a good job of pointing out why float systems are not used on espresso machines. On machines that DO have a tank and also have plumb in connections, either there is a bypass switch and a valve involved where you disable the tank system and switch to a hard plumbed !one where overflow can not happen or as in the case of the LA Chimbali I have, there is a 120 v valve connected to an electronic current sensing probe setup where the probes are well down the tank level and the system is fail safe so the normal state is no water flow to the tank if the sensors can conduct current through the sensors. These systems can not use too pure of water as it mist conduct current, too pure of water can not conduct.
As Stephen said above, the best thing to do is to save your money and buy a machine designed for plumb in when you are able to and live with pouring water in manually until then.
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!
Although I appreciate the sound advice, I already own my machine and am not about to go buy a new one that is equipped for direct plumbing. After a bit more research, I ended up purchasing and installing a solenoid valve with float switch and relay from www.autotopoff.com. Paul was very helpful and responsive to my endless questions. Now, I have my water source regulated with the float and solenoid valve (normally off, fail safe), then through a mechanical float valve as backup. Works like a charm! And cheaper than buying a new $1700 machine.
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