The last decades, coffee makers are among the most popular home appliances in the modern kitchen. Of course, their huge popularity stimulates fierce competition among manufacturers. As a result, companies are constantly improving their models, expanding their functionality, which directly affects the choice of coffee machines. Therefore, almost all modern models use many different innovative solutions, including design, digital technology, etc. Innovative Saeco Xelsis, Delonghi ECAM 650, Melitta Caffeo Barista, Siemens EQ.9 or Jura Z6 Impressa coffee machins eperfectly illustrate this trend.
Unfortunately, everything has its price. Any complex expensive device includes many different components, each of which requires regular and proper maintenance. On the other hand, the observance of these fairly simple rules ensures their long and reliable operation.
The list of basic aspects includes descaling, cleaning the brewing unit and dairy tract.
Depending on the operation intensity, modern coffee mashines can work from 1 to 3 months after the warning about the need for descaling. But, of course, this mode has a bad effect on the device and the coffee quality. In particular, the heater under scale slowly heats the water and constantly overheats. Of course, this can cause a breakdown of the coffee machine.
Of course, descaling is one of the main points of coffee machine care. But today the market is abundant in offering various anti scale agents at an affordable price.
Some capsule coffee machines use special capsules.
Almost all modern coffee machines automatically control this task. As a rule, the device activates the corresponding LED indicator or generates a message on the screen.
But really, the device does not have sensors to detect scale. Instead, the control algorithm simply counts the number of prepared coffee, which is set at the factory. Accordingly, the device generates message, for example, after preparing 200 cups, regardless of the actual boiler state. But the intensity of the scale formation, for example, on the heater surface directly dependents on the water hardness. Therefore, many modern models have the function of programming water hardness, which corrects the factory setting. Often, companies complete their models by test strips to determine the used water hardness. But the market also offers them at an affordable price.
In fact, the user must determine this value and enter it into the appropriate program. But, of course, this algorithm does not provide for automatic correction in case of changes in water hardness, for example, due to the installation of an additional filter. Today, companies also offer them in a wide range.
This situation requires additional adjustment of the program in manual mode. By default, the plant often sets the value of the maximum hard water.
The use of purified and softened water provides the most effective solution to the problem. In this case, the user simply programs the coffee machine to the least hard water, increasing the length of time between descaling cycles. Moreover, this solution is economically justified even for models with built-in filters due to the relatively high price of their cartridges. For example, the cost of the cartridge for Philips Saeco reaches $ 25, and for DeLonghi – $ 35 and higher.
Additionally, it purifies water for other purposes. Moreover, some models with built-in water filtration do not support the automatic contro. Their algorithm suggests highly efficient water treatment with the help of built-in filtering. Of course, a decrease in the cartridge effectiveness due to too long operation provokes the scale formation. But even softened water will form scale after a certain period.
In recent decades, the market offers reverse osmosis home water systems that purify water by passing it under pressure through a semipermeable membrane.
This technology provides purification of even sea water, catching almost all trace elements and microorganisms with a membrane. But some experts express doubts about its usefulness due to an excessive degree of purification. All the same, the human body is adapted to water, which contains a number of different microelements. The video at the end demonstrates the operation principle of modern reverse osmosis water systems.
In any case, experts recommend descaling at least once a year, regardless of the used water quality.
By the way, setting the message on the use of branded filter in the menu will significantly reduce the frequency of warning messages. This is convenient when using softened water.
1. Almost all modern models support the automatic control of scale formation. Softened purified water reduces the descaling frequency. Setting in menu the use of branded filter and softened water will increase the time between reports of the need for descaling. In addition, activating the descaling program will reset the portion count.
2. Today, the Internet offers step-by-step descaling instructions, including videos, for virtually any model. Usually, the required descaling time varies from 15 to 30 minutes.