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Espresso: Questions and Answers
Setting line pressure correctly
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Setting line...  
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pouxf
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Minnesota
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali Junior
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012, 6:39pm
Subject: Setting line pressure correctly
 

I have just purchased a new pressure regulator from Chris Coffee as my old Watts regulator was constantly leaking. It was easily installed and by turning the screw counter-clockwise I was quickly able to reduce my line pressure from 65 to the recommended 30 psi. My concern is with the great fluctuation in line pressure when the pump kicks in. On my first attempt at getting the pump to draw water, the pressure immediately dropped to zero with the pump very quickly running dry. For obvious reasons, this is something I want to avoid given that my machine runs on a timer. So my question is simply this - given that the pump seems to reduce inlet pressure by about 30-40 psi, how can I keep line pressure in the desired 20-30 psi range when brewing without risking damage to the pump when drawing water?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Fri Oct 12, 2012, 5:35am
Subject: Re: Setting line pressure correctly
 

I have not used that exact regulator (whichever one it is) but I adjust pressure with water (or gas) flowing so that when the system is in operation, you will have what you expect to see. Many times, a  regulator is not accurate when adjusted in a static condition, I can see how it may have even been adjusted to 0 though reading pressure on the gauge.

Give adjusting in an operating state a try, you have nothing to loose.

 
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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pouxf
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Minnesota
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali Junior
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Fri Oct 12, 2012, 7:29am
Subject: Re: Setting line pressure correctly
 

Thanks for the suggestion - I have adjusted the pressure to 40 psi now, when brewing and when the pump draws water, it now dips to around 30 psi for a few seconds and goes back up to 40 which seems much more normal. I might try again dialling it down to 30 psi but will probably give Chris a call before doing this. Will post if I learn anything useful from the conversation.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,454
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 Oct 12, 2012, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Setting line pressure correctly
 

How long of a run is it from the source, to the gauge, then to the machine? What diameter and type of tubing are you using?

 
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pouxf
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Minnesota
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali Junior
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Fri Oct 12, 2012, 5:52pm
Subject: Re: Setting line pressure correctly
 

The line from source to gauge is about 120 cm and from there about 200 cm to the machine, I am using 1/4 copper piping. In the meantime and after playing with the set-up I was able reduce the fluctuation of line pressure to a more moderate range of about 10 psi. I was able to set pressure to 30 psi on the operating machine, dropping to about 20 psi when the pump kicks in. However, at this pressure the pump - at least to me - sounded a little strained. It was noticeably nosier than before so I decided to put the pressure up to 35 psi which seems to work fine, so I suppose I can consider my problem solved. Especially since none of all this fiddling seems to have affected the coffee in the slightest ....

I also called Chris Coffee Service and talked to a technician on the phone. The advice I received was somewhat contradictory - I was told to dial in the pressure regulator with the line pulled out of the machine and draining into a bucket. Yet this yielded at most a regulator reading of about 10 psi, no idea how this procedure is supposed to yield the recommended pressure reading. The manual Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com) on the other hand states that one should adjust the pressure with the machine connected and "with water running through the espresso machine."
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Mon Oct 15, 2012, 5:40am
Subject: Re: Setting line pressure correctly
 

Those two things are not so much at odds and are in harmony with my statement that the pressure should be adjusted with water flowing, which is the real key, you are adjusting the pressure of the FLOWING water regardless of if it is flowing into a bucket or through the machine. Static pressure is different than flow pressure.

 
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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