Descaling Instructions – Heat Exchange (HX) Espresso Machines

Disclaimer:

This technical support is provided for information purposes only on descaling heat exchange espresso machines. 1st-line Equipment, LLC is not responsible for any injury or damages resulting from such information. Please note that we are unsure whether any solution can damage certain types of counter or sink materials.

Caution:

  • The cleaning detergents listed below are harmful if swallowed. If ingested, drink large amounts of water. In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with water. Contact a physician in either case. Avoid excessive skin contact. KEEP OUT OF REACH FROM CHILDREN AND PETS.
  • You should also NOT use glass to capture any hot liquids from the machine during this process.

Purpose:

To remove limescale deposits from the internal workings of heat exchange espresso machines. There are two separate areas to be descaled: the heat exchanger/grouphead and the boiler. This procedure will not always descale the pressure regulator, nor will it always correct heavy limescale issues. If you wish to have your machine professionally descaled with a commercial-grade descaler, it would need to be performed by a service center, such as 1st-line Equipment, LLC.

Machine identity:

  • These instructions are provided for descaling heat exchange espresso machines with a water reservoir. Please consult with your technical service agent for direct water-connect espresso machines as these instructions will not apply.
  • Your espresso machine must have a single internal boiler with a heat exchanger. The boiler provides hot water and steam on demand, while the heat exchanger at the same time provides hot water for espresso extraction. This machine typically has no separate switch for activating steam mode.
  • The machine MUST have a separate hot water wand and valve for this procedure to work. This procedure will not work on heat exchanger espresso machines that do not have a hot water spigot (i.e. Nuova Simonelli Oscar), nor will it work on lever espresso machines or the Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica.

Notes / Requirements before you start:

Descaling Heat ExchangeIf your instruction manual has specific instructions for descaling, we highly recommend using those instructions as the primary instructions. Use the following as secondary instructions.

  • Espresso machine – cold, powered off, plugged into an outlet
  • Descaling product – we sell Puly Cleaner
    • Make sure not to get any solution on any of the machine finishes as it can ruin it permanently. If you do, completely wipe the solution off with a damp terry cloth.
  • Container/pitcher – for mixing the descaling solution
  • Cup(s) – (2) 12 oz or larger, (1) 6 oz or larger, for dispensing the descaling solution.

Instructions – Descaling Heat Exchange:

  1. Firstly, empty the water tank and remove any water treatment devices (ie water softener, osmotic pack, etc) from the tank or intake hose.
  2. Follow the instructions on the descaler product for a proper solution ratio and pour the descaling solution into the water tank.
  3. Attach the portafilter to the grouphead and place a 6 oz or larger cup underneath.
  4. Place a 12 oz or larger cup under the steam wand and a 12 oz or larger cup under the hot water wand.
    • Routinely empty these cups during the next steps below.
  5. Power on the machine and allow it to heat up to full operating temperature.
  6. Run water through the hot water wand. Only let about 4 ounces of hot water escape at a time, then close the valve knob until you hear the refill pump stop.
    • When water exits the water wand, the water level in the boiler should be dropping.
    • When the water level drops to a certain point, the machine should begin to engage the pump to refill the boiler with descaling solution.
  7. Allow the machine to warm up again to full operating temperature.
  8. Repeat steps 6-7 two more times.
  9. Run water through the grouphead in order to allow the descaling solution into the boiler.
  10. Stop the pump when your cup is filled.
  11. Repeat steps 9-10 until the machine shuts off due to the lack of solution in the water tank.
  12. Power off, unplug the machine (to avoid heating element damage), and temporarily move your cups.
  13. Tilt the espresso machine about 30 degrees to the right and 30 degrees to the left.
    • This will get the solution up onto the side of the boiler wall.
    • Do not flip the outside down as it is possible to have the solution leak out of the boiler through the bleeder/vacuum breaker valve.
  14. Wait 30 minutes for the descaling solution to remove the limescale.
  15. Empty and rinse the water tank and wipe down the water tank hoses with a clean wet rag.
  16. Fill the tank with fresh water and place it into the machine and put your cups back in place.
  17. Power on the machine and allow it to heat up to full operating temperature.
  18. Run water through the hot water wand. Let about 4 ounces of hot water escape at a time, then close the valve knob until you hear the refill pump stop.
    • When water exits the water wand, the water level in the boiler should be dropping.
    • When the water level drops to a certain point, the machine should begin to engage the pump to refill the boiler with fresh water.
  19. Allow the machine to warm up again to full operating temperature.
  20. Repeat steps 18-19 until the machine shuts off due to the lack of solution in the water tank.
  21. Power off, unplug the machine, remove the water tank, and tilt the espresso machine about 30 degrees to the right and 30 degrees to the left to rinse the inside walls of the boiler.
  22. Place the water reservoir back, plug it in, power it on, and allow the machine to warm up again to full operating temperature.
  23. Repeat steps 18-22 until the reservoir is emptied.
  24. Repeat step 23 (meaning 18-22) for 4 additional reservoirs full of fresh water.
    • It usually takes 2 full reservoirs, but 4 reservoirs full of fresh water are safer.
    • There should be a minimum of a one (1) hour wait time between each tank full to avoid pump damage or overheating.
  25. Fill the water tank.
  26. Attach the portafilter to the grouphead and place a 6 oz or larger cup underneath.
  27. Run water through the grouphead. This rinses out any descaling solution left.
    • About 1/2 of the water tank of fresh water should be pumped through the grouphead to effectively rinse the heat exchanger/grouphead.

 

The machine has successfully been descaled and rinsed.

Mihai C. from United States (US) purchased

Lelit PLA570V 57mm VIP Handle Bottomless Portafilter

20 hours, 49 minutes ago