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Topic: Silvia Part (14 msgs / 314 lines)
1) From: Joe Screnock
I purchased a used Silvia a few months ago and am still on the "up" side 
of the learning curve.  However, I have a question that I haven't been 
able to figure out.
There are two hoses that terminate in the water reservoir.  I am fairly 
confident that one is for the water supply to the boiler, and one is for 
pressure relief (returning excess water to the reservoir).  One of these 
hoses has a white cartridge attached to it.  Prior to this past weekend, 
I had assumed it was some sort of water conditioner attached to the line 
going to the boiler.  The cartridge smells a bit funny (a bit musty?), 
but I assumed it was there for a purpose, and my espresso didn't seem to 
have the flavor or smell.  I left it there.
This past weekend, I ran some de-scaler through the boiler, so I 
disconnected the cartridge.  Imagine my surprise when I realized it was 
attached to the RETURN hose, not the supply hose.  Now, what purpose 
would THAT have?  When I shook the cartridge, it seemed to be filled 
with something that sounded like wet sand.  I've left it off for now.
To my questions:  What is the cartridge?  What purpose does it serve? 
Will I be harming my boiler by not using it?  Was it really supposed to 
be attached to the return hose?  If it smells musty, it it time to 
replace it?  If so, where can I get one?  (I don't see any replacement 
parts on the SM web-site.)
Thanks in advance for any help.  I hope to be less of a lurker on this 
list now that I have POP access.  In fact, I think I'll go wax poetic on 
another thread where I actually have some knowledge...
Joe

2) From: Barry Luterman
Sounds like the previous owner added the part. That is not how the Silvia 
comes standard. If I had to guess it is probably a water softener and should 
be attached to the supply hose. If it is an inline water softener it should 
be recharged every three months or so. Just attach some tubing to it, place 
it in a gallon of water with 1/4 cup of salt added and siphon the salt water 
through the softener. Repeat twice more with clean water and then replace it 
on your supply hose. Or just throw it in the garbage and use the Silvia as 
it was designed.

3) From: Joe Screnock
Barry,
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.  I will do some research 
and see if I wish to continue using it.  Then again, it was attached to 
the return hose, so I may need to start from the beginning with testing.
When you say to siphon the water through, you don't mean just to place 
the softener in the water, but actually pull the entire gallon (1/4 cup 
of salt) through the unit, right?  Also, can you give a source for the 
1/4 cup salt in a gallon of water?
Thanks again.
Joe
Barry Luterman wrote:
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4) From: Barry Luterman
Yes pull the salt water through the water softener using a siphoning action. 
Place the gallon container on top of the sink counter let the tube go below 
the level of the bottle into the sink. Suck on the tube till the water 
starts to flow and put the tube in the sink.http://www.brewtusgroup.com/rt/fileroom?&layout=bg&top.title=&main.fileroot_id3&main.fileroot_name=documents&main.id133&main.ctrl=filemgr.detail&main.relative_path=%5CBrewtus+Manual&main.view=fileroom.detail&top.title=Brewtus+Operating+Manual+Version+1.6+first+final+proofLook under recharging water softener.

5) From: gene nandrea
On 2/14/07, Barry Luterman  wrote:
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Joe:
I have what sound to be the same water softener and I use a smaller amount
of salt water (3 tsp Kosher salt/ cup of water); however a larger amount
won't hurt anything just takes longer. Add the salt water from the large
diameter side and let it drain out the tube connection. When rinsing make
sure that the water rinse is no longer salty, if it is keep rinsing.
Gene

6) From: Angelo
The directions I got with my cartridge was to submerge the cartridge 
in the salt water solution for about 15-20 mins. I usually left it 
for a half hour. Never saw anything about having to "pull" the water through...
A
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7) From: Barry Luterman
Seehttp://www.brewtusgroup.com/rt/fileroom?&layout=bg&top.title=&main.fileroot_id3&main.fileroot_name=documents&main.id133&main.ctrl=filemgr.detail&main.relative_path=%5CBrewtus+Manual&main.view=fileroom.detail&top.title=Brewtus+Operating+Manual+Version+1.6+first+final+proofPage 13

8) From: Angelo
I was under the impression that we were talking about the Silvia, 
which is what I, and the original questioner, own. It looks to me 
that the softener supplied with the Brewtus comes with a plastic hose 
to be used in the siphoning. No such hose came with the Silvia product.
My point was that it is not necessary to "draw" the solution through. 
As I understand it, the solution only has to be in contact with the 
granules inside for them to be charged. A good soaking would serve 
the same purpose.  At least, it has for me for the last 5 years...
Time for the chemists to chime in...:-)
A
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9) From: Barry Luterman
The Brewtus doesn't come with a tube either. You get it in a hardware store 
for $.79. The important part is the chart at the bottom of page 13 or top of 
page 14 as to how much salt to use.

10) From: Greg Scace
Dunno if this has been answered, but it sounds like the part you 
mention is the water softener from the commercial S-24 pourover 
commercial 1-group.  It's a useful thing to have installed on your IN 
line.  Sounds like the previous owner got his ins and outs 
confused.  There's a regenerateable softening material in the body of 
the softener that sounds like wet sand, and gets regenerated by 
pouring a solution of table salt and warm water through the softener 
once a month, then following it with cool clean water until no salt 
taste is detected.
I used to use one on my Silvia.  It's worthwhile protection if you 
have hard water.  FWIW, Brita pichers do a reasonable job of removing 
water hardness, and you should use one.  Don't use PUR.  PUR does not 
remove hardness as I recall.
-Greg
At 04:05 PM 2/14/2007, you wrote:
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11) From: Robert Joslin
Ion exchange resins are recharged in saline solution....concentration isn't
important so long as solution is saturated.  Most efficient recharge is
accomplished in "cartridge" configurations with a slow moving stream of
saline solution through the cartridge.
On 2/15/07, Greg Scace  wrote:
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12) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
So the answer is it is better to siphon the salt water through the =
cartridge rather than soak the cartridge.

13) From: Joe Screnock
I think I'll chime in here and thank everyone for their help.  One thing 
this list doesn't need is another religious war: "Siphon vs. Soak".  ;-)
I did the "soak" last night, based on some info I found yesterday. 
Perhaps next time I'll try the "siphon" method.
And to whoever posted the PVC-Tamper hint, THANKS!!  I picked up one of 
each (flat and not-flat).  I don't know if they fit much better than the 
"stock" tamper, but they certainly aren't worse.  And for $0.70 each, 
there isn't much downside.
Joe
Barry Luterman wrote:
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14) From: Robert Joslin
Peace Brother!! I'm sure that soaking, especially with smaller containers,
will work fine. I'm just saying that for MOST EFFICIENT recharge...that is
most complete exchange for sodium ions in least amount of time should occur
with a steady flow of fresh saturated solution over the zeolite. Ite, missa
est!
On 2/15/07, Joe Screnock  wrote:
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