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Coffee machine project

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Ian Parkin02/02/2021 16:22:19
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972 forum posts
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We have a coffe machine in the kitchen it sits in a space well and works great...but the inbuilt water tank is always empty when i come to make a cup...then its a performance to lift it out remove the tank refill at the sink then refit and go...

So how feasible is it to from the cold tap feed tap in and fit a pressure regulator then a 4mm nylon pipe running under the counter top to the coffee machine and then a small float valve to keep the tank filled?

is this asking for trouble with leaks/overflowing/hygiene?

sort of the system used on fridges with cold water/ice makers.

has anyone experience with a small valve to automate filling or i suppose a small on/off valve to manually fill without removing the tank?

Mike Poole02/02/2021 17:03:10
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3055 forum posts
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Someone has a serious coffee habitlaugh

Mike

Bob Mc02/02/2021 17:23:54
190 forum posts
17 photos

Hi Ian...

I don't know about filling a coffee machine water tank but I was contemplating filling the toilet cistern from an outside rainwater tank, there are some 'off grid' people who have already done this sort of thing but you will have to look for them on the intnet...

I think it would be quite easy to fit a level indicator and an inlet valve system, perhaps an overflow for if it all goes to pot... or an alarm.

rgds..Bob.

Dave Halford02/02/2021 17:26:59
1665 forum posts
19 photos

Use a measuring jug to fill it?

Mick B102/02/2021 17:27:32
2002 forum posts
114 photos
Posted by Mike Poole on 02/02/2021 17:03:10:

Someone has a serious coffee habitlaugh

Mike

So do I, but what I do is fill the 20 quid coffee filter machine once a day with water up to Max and a hopperful of Sainsbury's House Blend beans through a Spong No.0 grinder. Turn it off as soon as the jug's full, let it cool and microwave mugs of coffee for the rest of the day. Works well.

Ian Parkin02/02/2021 17:39:17
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972 forum posts
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Dave the tank is at the back of the machine and is actually a pain to remove it and refit without spilling the water.

Mike. It’s only 1 cup for me a day its others in the house that use it and cant refill it (seemingly)

the tank only makes about 3 cups before its empty.

Oily Rag02/02/2021 17:39:43
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460 forum posts
147 photos

Make tea in a teapot instead - and use loose leaf tea not those awful tea bags.

Seriously for the sort of things you are looking for you need to look at the Colfax medical equipment catalogue. Plenty of small pipework, taps and solenoid valves/regulators available from their stocks.

Martin

Mike Poole02/02/2021 18:14:57
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3055 forum posts
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Miniature float valves are available for aquarium applications. An overflow will be useful to mitigate any float valve failure. If the inlet is restricted then a small overflow should cope. A simulated failure by holding down the float will test the overflow is adequate.

Mike

Samsaranda02/02/2021 19:23:17
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1190 forum posts
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Ian I have exactly the same problem, sounds like we have the same coffee machine. Our previous machine, same maker, had a much bigger water tank therefore would do more cups before needing refill, the only problem we had was that the lid for the water tank was accessible from the top of the machine, problem was one of our cats learnt how to take the lid off and get himself a nice drink of clean water. We had to adopt a procedure whereby when the machine was refilled we then draped a tea towel over it so that out of sight was out of mind and our cat didn’t see it as a drinking fountain. Dave W

Jeff Dayman02/02/2021 19:25:10
2165 forum posts
45 photos

Ian - how does your coffee machine detect when it has used all the water in the tank for a given "dose" of coffee? If it shuts off due to temp rise in the element when the water is used up and boils away, as many coffee makers do, a continuous feed float valve may not work. The water would continue to replenish from the float valve, and a) the coffee would get weaker - BIG problem b) the carafe would overflow - messy but less of a problem. smiley

It might be safer and easier just to plumb a supply tube above the tank with a momentary action pushbutton valve that opens only while your finger is on it. That way the tank could be easily filled and flow when full could be stopped fast. No one could leave the tap on causing an overflow either. For hygiene, be sure and leave an air gap of an inch or so from top of water level in the tank to the fill outlet tube end. The air gap prevents any backflow of "dirty" water into the house / town water supply.

A safety overflow pipe from tank to sink would be a nice to have feature against overfilling, but again this must be planned carefully for an air gap above any possible standing water in a sink. The overflow must not be plumbed direct to a drain or sewer gas or backflow could contaminate the tank and water in it.

Ian Parkin02/02/2021 19:33:43
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972 forum posts
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The coffee machine in question is a Gusto capsule type so its small and discreet on the counter top but only has a small tank..it would probably make 10 espresso drinks but only 3 longer drinks.

so for now i think I’ll run a pressure regulated supply with a hand operated valve with a tapping into the tank so it can be easily topped up...and think longer about automatic filling

Bazyle02/02/2021 19:59:26
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5998 forum posts
220 photos

Vending machines manage it. You might look around to find a place that services them and has some bits that are beyond economical repair but not for a model engineer.
Another optionis a big bottle of water below somewhere and a small caravan style pump and electrical level switch.

Jon Lawes02/02/2021 20:20:03
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635 forum posts

My friend modified one that refilled using a float in the bottom of the tank to trigger a washing machine solenoid water valve to trigger for a few seconds. The only thing is the first version was viscious and would blast water everywhere. This was sorted with an in-line regulator.

oldvelo03/02/2021 17:31:15
274 forum posts
54 photos

Hi

What a rigmarole to have a machine to make "Instant Coffee".

Add a plumbers nightmare to fix a problem that we never had when we put the dehydrated coffee in cup with and added freshly boiled water not boiling water.

Eric

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