View Full Version : Descaling a heat exchange machine

04-03-2013, 06:59 PM
After 5 years, I decided to descale my HX machine.
With my old Gaggia, it was a breeze and I knew I was in for a much harder job.

I've always used purified water and a look inside the brew head showed little scale but I read up and watched videos and prepared for the job.

It's a long process of filling the resevior with Desale, filling the boiler with 1/4 of the tank, letting it run through the hot water wand and repeating for about 4 hours and tilting the machine to overfill the boiler above the normal fill line and flushing with 2 tanks of clean water.

I could tell by the blue green tint that I had accomplished a good cleaning and am glad I did this job instead of shipping off my machine for what I felt was good preventative maintainable.

04-04-2013, 04:34 AM
Any particular reason you waited 5 years to do it?
Was the performance of your machine suffering?

I'm dreading the day when I have to do mine, but if I can get away with doing it once every 5 years, I'd feel better about it. :)

04-04-2013, 08:56 AM
No real loss in performance, but I guess I wanted to take on the challenge and do some maintainance.

One factor was the fact that I returned from vacation and my machine wouldn't turn on and I was looking for service and found out the closest place was an hour away and a week wait.

After opening up the machine and checking inside, I discovered my low water float was stuck and it was not allowing the machine to turn on.

I had broken out my old Gaggia to use and realized how much I need my machine to work.

Some manufacturers discourage descaling a hx machine and say it can dislodge scale and actually cause problems while many owners recommend it.

Most everyone agrees that if you are using purified water, it's not something you need to do regularly like back flushing.

Seattle Coffee gear does great YouTube videos and after watching the descale video, I was much less hesitant than I was prior

04-04-2013, 09:24 AM
This is the video I followed to do the descale.

It was a lot less intimidating than the threads on Coffeegeek that had you removing the ground wire on the pump to overfill the boiler and other scary things for a novice.

In the end, it's not that bad of a process and I believe it to be worth it, considering the investment required to have a heat exchange machine and the pure joy that comes with it.

04-04-2013, 12:02 PM
Luckily, Boston tap water doesn't scale very much. What a pain for locales where this is a routine procedure.