The Dirty Portafilter

My corner of the Internet, mostly espresso related but occasionally life will interfere.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Isomac Modifications, Part Two, Time to Plumb

Now that the machine is stripped to her bones, it was time to start cutting. I needed to cut a hole to mount my new pressure gauge. I also decided to run a preheat loop the length of the boiler, loop under the boiler and back up the other side. Then back the length of the boiler. Then I decided to insulate the boiler while I was in there.

I purchased a liquid filled 160psi/11bar 1.5 inch gauge at Granger and a panel mount kit. I needed some plumbing to pipe everything so I went to the hardware store and got a few feet of ¼ in soft copper tube, a T, a few compression fittings and an elbow.

I decided to start with the most extensive tubing work, which would be the heat exchanger preheat loop. I removed the heat exchanger input loop and cut it in half.

Now I was going to use these parts because the factory fittings are metric. Here in Ohio, you have a better chance of finding gold than a metric plumbing fitting. Unfortunately, I discovered that the tubing was also metric and my ¼ inch fittings will not work. In the end, I took the metric fittings off the pipe and sweated the ¼ inch pipe onto them.

I put the T at the front of the boiler, then ran my line down the side of the boiler, looped it under and back up the other side. Then back along the top of the boiler, stopping even with the HX boiler input. Then I put the elbow on the line and connected it to the HX input.

Now that the lines were run, the hard parts starts, cutting a 1.5 inch hole in a very tough stainless steel.


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