Commercial Espresso Machine Basic Plumbing Installation Requirements

Check out our home plumbable espresso machines, office plumbable espresso machines, and commercial cafe espresso machines! These recommendations apply to installation in one’s home or office environment.

Water Connection

It is very important to install a cold water supply line that is right under the unit or within 4 feet of the machine. A separate shut-off valve on the water line for the machine is strongly recommended for any emergencies, future preventive maintenance, or possible servicing.

The water line should also have a backflow preventer as determined by local building codes. Customers should seek the advice of a local licensed plumber as 1st-line is not aware of all local laws.

In addition, pressure reducer should be installed and set to maximum 40 pounds of water pressure – the reason is that on some espresso machines, the water pressure in excess of 45 pounds may open the internal valves and cause major water leakage.

On commercial espresso machines, the water connection always consists of a 3/8″ diameter water line. It can be attached by using a 3/8″ compression by 3/8 NPT male thread fitting. To ensure a leakproof thread, wrap thread seal tape around the NPT threads. Stainless steel hoses supplied with each commercial espresso machine are British standard BSPP measure; Therefore, the fit between the hose and fitting (NPT side) will be very tight and may need slight cross-threading. Tighten the hose nut until the hose no longer swivels from the nut. Otherwise, purchase an optional adapter and run John Guest flexible tubing.

We strongly suggest purchasing our BWT water treatment system for optimal protection. Size S, M, or V is good for the home. Larger sizes for office use. If you do not use BWT, please do not cry to us when you have costly limescale damage issues with your espresso machine. The BWT system was designed for espresso machines! There is a flush valve so the paper sediment from filter manufacturing does not clog your Bianca’s internal valves, and the meter can be programmed to measure the amount of water you use so you can change the cartridge. Try to select the cartridge that will be changed about every 6 months as you want to avoid mold build-up that can start at the 6-month mark.

Drain Connection

It is important to locate the unit as close as possible to the drain, preferably a floor drain.

The drip tray usually drains into a black box (known as a catch basin), which in turn, drains into a vinyl tube. The vinyl tube from the black box must be kept as vertical (steep) as possible since there are always coffee grinds that will drain. In general, for every foot of drain hose that goes horizontal, the drain hose needs to drop one inch in the direction of the drain. If the vinyl tube is installed horizontally for more than one foot without the one-inch drop, there is a greater potential for the vinyl hose to clog with grinds. This usually occurs when the vinyl hose is installed horizontally between the machine and the counter. Keep the vinyl drain hose from being pinched and connect it to the floor drain.

Electrical Connection

It is vital that proper power is readily available prior to installation. Please note that grinders require 110-volt receptacles to be located nearby with a connection to a circuit breaker independent of the espresso machine circuit breaker. For proper operation and uninterrupted operation, all commercial espresso machines should have dedicated circuits.

  • 110 Volt Machines (15 amps or less) – Utilize standard 110-120 volt power supply with 110-volt plug and a twenty (15) amperage rating. Standard plug on the cord is that found on many household appliances. Three-prong plugs, including one for ground, is required.
  • 110 Volt Machines (20 amps) – Utilize standard 125-volt power supply with 125-volt plug and a twenty (20) amperage rating. Standard plug on the cord is NEMA configuration L5-20P. Three-prong plugs, including one for ground, is required. One of the 3 terminals on the plug is horizontal.
  • 220 Volt Machines – Two grouphead units require single phase power that utilize a NEMA configuration L6-20 type plug and a twenty (20) amp dedicated circuit. Three Grouphead units require single phase power that utilize a NEMA configuration L6-30 type plug and a thirty (30) amp dedicated circuit.

Space Requirements

Most espresso machines offer measurements at the base of the unit. These measurements DO NOT INCLUDE extra working space needed for outward steam wands, portafilters, groupheads, accessories at the top of the machine, etc. Therefore, when planning space for an espresso machine, please make sure to add an extra 4 inches of space from the back wall of the espresso machine or grinder, minimum 12 inches for each side, and minimum 6 inches in front of the espresso machine. This recommendation is only a general rule of thumb, and the measurements could be more, but usually not less.

Also, the countertop should have a minimum 3″ hole for the plumbing hose, one or two drain lines, AND the electrical cord. This hole should be made AFTER the machine is delivered so you can decide where to place the hole.

Note: For specific machines, we usually do not post due to the following reasons:

  1. We sell many different models, and it’s difficult to keep track of any changes by manufacturers on different fittings that can be used.
  2. Our different models include home espresso machines, office espresso machines, office espresso coffee grinders, cafe, and restaurant espresso machines, and cafe and restaurant espresso grinders.
  3. All manufacturers have a tendency to change without any notice to their distributors and dealers.
  4. We do not check every machine that ships because sometimes within the same batch of machines delivered to us, there could be a difference.
  5. Local building codes and ordinances prevail as our instructions may not cover.
  6. All in all, to put something in writing makes us responsible (2nd plumber visit, etc.) and the manufacturer does not reimburse us. We have had manufacturers make changes in this area of direct water connections. We have received differences in water connections within the same batch of machines delivered sometimes. Two examples…. one manufacturer made the same model with 2 drain hoses and the other with one drain hose. another manufacturer had a 3/8th male BSPT fitting and it was changed to a male 3/8th NPT filling. In both cases, there was no notification to us. Unfortunately, this is industry practice in Europe. This is why we ask every customer to wait for the machine to arrive and then proceed with the install.

Please note the above information is subject to copyright. It cannot be published by any means without the expressed written consent of 1st-line Equipment, LLC.