Espresso Water Filters Explained

Getting a decent water filter for your espresso machine is absolutely vital in keeping your machine running smoothly and producing a high standard of coffee. If you do not have a water filter in your machine, limescale will build up inside and clog up and damage parts of your machine- particularly the heating elements, boiler and group heads- and you will end up having to pay large maintenance and repair costs.

What is limescale?
Limescale is a hard, greenish-white substance that forms when ‘hard’ water is heated or boiled. It is mainly made up of calcium (and often magnesium) carbonates, which is found in hard water and does not dissolve as easily in hot water as in cold water- so when the water is heated, the calcium carbonate is left behind in the form of limescale.

How can a water filter help?
A water filter softens the hard water by reducing the calcium and magnesium in it so that when the water is heated, calcium carbonate does not form as easily or in such high quantities, avoiding a limescale build-up.

Does a water filter require any maintenance?
Just like most pieces of equipment, water filters do require regular maintenance. However, this will not work out as expensive as having your espresso machine maintained because of limescale build-up, so it is well worth getting a filter for your machine. The company that you buy your water filter from should be able to give you a recommendation as to where and how often you should have your water filter serviced.

Is there anything else I can do?
You should of course still clean your espresso machine regularly, and it is also worth using a descaler on a regular basis for added defence against limescale. Descalers are cheap and can be bought easily online.

Remember, a clean machine saves you money and produces better coffee- which will mean happier customers!

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