Posted Sun May 11, 2014, 8:59am Subject: Re: Touch-N-Fill Auto Filler?
No thought, opinion, or comment about the device's suitability for a Keurig. But a less than good idea for an espresso machine.
Espresso machine reservoirs should be completely emptied and refilled (to whatever level is appropriate) on a regular and frequent basis. Biweekly is good, every other day better, and daily better still.
Reservoirs should also be washed with hot water and soap on a regular and frequent basis; weekly is probably the absolute minimum; but "safe food handling practices" suggests more often.
When I last owned a reservoir fed espresso machine, I ended up removing and emptying the reservoir every other day; and since it was out, wotthehell wotthehell, might as well wash it too. It's not like it needed to dry before going back into the machine and getting refilled or anything. It was a lesson learned the hard and disgusting way. Lower frequency than once a week meant weird stuff floating. Sadly, weird stuff floating doesn't just mean "wash me," it also means "you're waiting to long."
That the reservoir should be removed at least twice a week, if only to be emptied, is reason why an auto-fill is not much of a convenience. How much more of a problem is it to schlepp a pitcher to the machine along with your freshly emptied reservoir than just schlepping the reservoir itself?
Some people find the thought of changing the water and cleaning the reservoir as often as I'm suggesting to be controversial, unnecessary, onerous, insulting, etc. But ask yourself this: If you were served coffee at a restaurant which ladled its water into the machine from a loosely covered vat held at room temperature, how often would you want that vat completely refreshed? How often would you want it cleaned?
Last, not many communities in the US supply tap water that's right for espresso. Most people need some kind of filtration, or use bottled water... So...
Posted Mon May 12, 2014, 9:33pm Subject: Re: Touch-N-Fill Auto Filler?
Sorry it took me a minute to get back on this thread.
Rich--I see what you're saying, sort of silly on my part for not putting that together. I'm sort of surprised I didn't come across more of such discussion when I was researching a float-valve setup (didn't end up doing it...hopefully someday I'll have something to plumb in directly). Perhaps people were already in tune with cleaning the tank, or just attempt to ignore it. I'm sort of a neat-freak and enjoy doing regular maintenance so I'm going to try and be more regular with my tank washings.
Hi Mikeh9, thanks for joining the conversation. It's really nice to get input on new stuff from the people that did the creation. The above post sort of answered some of my concerns (most people on this forum are espresso machine users, so there may be some delta between your design and what you may have designed with espresso machines in mind). That being said...it's a great idea and seems to simplify a lot of stuff compared to other methods of auto-fill. After installation, how easy would it be remove the device from the tank for cleaning purposes? The water tanks I'm talking about are housed within the walls of the machine (water inlet holes for tubes are present), and covered by the top of lid of the machine. Thanks, and good luck with the kickstarter!
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