Harsh water makes the coffee taste very weird and bitter. If you want the authentic and no filler taste of coffee, then avoid using harsh water. Some of us aren’t lucky to have the natural flow of soft water; in those cases, you need to install a water softener in the expresso machine.
Ensuring proper filtration and soft water is the first step towards taking care of your espresso machine and giving it a long, happy life.
But, how to install water softener with espresso machine? I will tell you the step by step process of that. Before doing so, you need to know why should you even avoid hard water in the first place.
Why Do We Need to Soften the Water?
With naked eye, water can be just water. But your source of water in the house can contain more than just hydrogen and oxygen. You can find minerals from the limescale in your local supply of water or tap water.
These timescales can be made of magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate or so. What happens is that constant flow of water through the machine or even the tap of your house can accumulate these limescale particles.
After a few days, you can find a build-up of limescales, and that can potentially ruin your precious machine.
You might have to pay a fat stack to get this problem fix. Now, there will always be minerals in the water, but what’s the concentration? That’s what matters here. So, the solution here for you is to make sure your coffee machine has a water softener to save you from these expensive repair trips to the technician.
There are several water softeners kits available in the market. Chose the one that goes well with your machine and your pocket, and install it. Yes, it is as simple as that.
The Installation Process
Here’s how to install the water softener explained in steps.
Check the Connection
Makes sure that you have a direct connection to the water. Meaning your machine should be directly connected to a water source; there should not be a secondary base in between.
Get the Line Off of Your Sink
If you plan to get the line off of your sink or refrigerator, then you need an additional tool — an angle stop. Don’t forget to leave the angle stop valve closed before you get the whole system of softening water up and running.
Attach the Valves
Now, you need to attach the valves given with your kit. One will go to the outlet end, and the other will go with the cartridge.
Mount the Assembly of the Cartridge
In this step, we are going the mount the cartridge assembly. Take note; you have to install the cartridge upright because it’s very important for the cartridge to stay that way; otherwise, there can be a problem regarding water flow and leakage.
Use the appropriate tools to mount the cartridge in the wall correctly. Remember to keep it upright and also leave some space underneath. This extra space will let you remove it easily if needed so.
Connect the System
Now you have to connect the whole system together. In your kit, there should be a 3/8 inch thick tube included. You have to make a clean cut around the connecting points. Use a sharp cutter to achieve the best results. Make sure the cut is sharp and sleek, and you haven’t botched it in any way.
The cut should be a clean 90 degree angle cut, and make sure to leave enough space or enough wire for some extra room if needed later.
Inserting the Tubing Into Push Connect Fitting
Now you have to insert the tubing into the push connect fitting of the kit. Push the wire into the valve properly and tug this a bit to ensure that the connection has been properly made. At first, connect the water line to the water softener inlet, start with the left side of the cartridge.
Connect the Pressure Regulator
In this step, you have to get the pressure regulator connected. With a short tube that you had initially received with the kit, just cut a small piece of that. Now connect the inlet side of the valve with the pressure regulator, which has its inlet and outlet marked on the back.
Connect a second tube to the outlet of the pressure regulator. This will be leading to the braided line of your espresso machine.
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And on this step, connect a tube to the downward facing valve of the cartridge’s outlet. This will be serving as the main connection to draining the bleed valve, and it will let us direct it into a container of a drain.
And the installation process is completed with this step.
Before you start using the whole water softener system, you have to dump out at least 3 to 4 gallons of water. To do so, you have to open the bleed valve that you have installed lastly and turn off the in-line shutoff valve that leads to the espresso machine. While that’s running, open the angle stop valve to allow water through.
Let the water run through this and let some water drain.
Once you are done flushing 3 to 4 gallons of water, open the in-line valve and close the drain or the bleed valve and water through the connection. This will be leading water to your connected espresso machine.
One more word of caution before you go ham with your new and freshly installed water softener system. Please do check for leakage or weak connections around the system. If you, unfortunately, find any leaking problem anywhere, then cut the water from the source and reconnect the joints with care.
And test one more time; if there is no leaking of any sort, then congratulations! You have successfully installed a water softener system all by yourself. Do check the hardness of the water before and after the installation.
Finally, how to install water softener with espresso machine is a very frequently asked question by many coffee enthusiasts out there. So, I hope the provided information and step by step guide will help you with this.