ECM Mechanika IV/cleaning and maintenance
From Whole Latte Love Support Library
Proper machine maintenance is critical for machine function. Most machine failures are caused by lack of cleaning and many manufacturer warranties do not cover cleaning related breakdowns, so it is important to keep a regular maintenance schedule. Listed below is a suggested maintenance schedule for most Prosumer espresso machines:
Backflushing is the single most important cleaning procedure for Prosumer style machines. It is the best way to prevent scale buildup in the system. Backflushing should be done at least once a week with the recommended backflushing powder. The video on the right goes over a general backflushing procedure which applies to most Prosumer machines.
Single boiler heat exchange machines can be descaled by the consumer. Since descaling is not the primary cleaning method for prosumer style machines it does not need to be done frequently. Descaling can be done on a 3-4 month basis, or whenever the machine starts to display flow issues. If hard water is being used in the machine, or the machine gets heavy usage, the machine may need to be descaled more frequently. The video on the right describes the process for descaling a single boiler heat-exchange machine.
The grouphead should be taken apart on a monthly basis to remove scale buildup, remove coffee residues, and improve shot flavor.
Steam Wand Cleaning
The steam wand should be cleaned daily once the machine is finished for the day. Milk residues quickly build up on the steam wand, so it's important to keep it clean to prevent blockages from forming.
Recommended Cleaning Products
The best product for backflushing, cleaning grouphead components, and cleaning filter baskets is a backflushing powder like Urnex Cafiza. Yes
Replacing the Group Gasket and Shower Screen
For the average home user, the group gasket should be replaced about every six months to a year. When the group gasket is worn out, it becomes hard, and no longer creates a good seal between the portafilter and the grouphead, so you may begin to notice some leaking. When a group gasket is really old, it can be extremely difficult to remove from the machine, so even if you don't experience any leaking, replacing the group gasket on a yearly basis is a good idea. The document on the right shows how to replace the group gasket and shower screen. You don't have to replace the screen once a year, as typically it can simply be cleaned.