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
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.
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: <Snip>
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.
On 2/14/07, Barry Luterman wrote: <Snip> 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
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 <Snip>
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 <Snip>
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.
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: <Snip>
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: <Snip>
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.
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: <Snip>
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: <Snip>