Water Usage Guide

by Brendan Pasquini

Water quality is the single most important factor when using your machine and can be the difference between decades of happy usage or hundreds/thousands of dollars in service bills.


Only use water WITHOUT calcium carbonate!

Calcium damage from using hard/inappropriate water will VOID your warranty on new, Pre-Loved, and even repaired espresso machine(s). 

Below is a list of ways to get soft water and safe water sources to use:

  • Water softening packet 
    • The BWT Bestsave packet is a simple pouch that lives in your machines reservoir and neutralizes calcium carbonate for up to 2 months at a time. This is the easiest solution as you can use any water source you want and requires no maintenance.
  • Cartridge style water softener
    • The BWT Bestmax Premium is an inline water filter that removes calcium carbonate and keeps mineral content for perfect brewing and espresso machine function.
  • Reverse osmosis (R/O) filter with mineralizer or bypass
    • If you use this filter, make sure it has a mineralizer or bypass as pure R/O water will be too pure and cause sensor malfunctions in your espresso machine. 
  • Resin based water softener
    • While these filters do work perfectly, we cannot recommend them. The reason is that they require constant maintenance and must be recharged often. Unless you are 100% diligent in your recharge routine, do not use this filter. An unmaintained water softener or an improperly flushed one can cause more harm than good to your machine, use with caution. 
  • Bottled water (NOT RECOMMENDED) 
    • Bottled water is not the same as soft water. Calcium carbonate levels are almost never posted on the bottle and you must contact the manufacturer to inquire if the bottled water contains calcium carbonate or not. Do not use bottled water unless you can verify it is soft. 

Now that we have touched on how to acquire good water, lets talk about bad water. Below is a list of water to avoid:

  • Tap water
    • Most tap water is hard, unless you can verify that your city's water is soft, avoid tap water at all costs. 
  • Spring water
    • Due to lake beds and natural springs containing rocks and being made of earth, most spring water has high calcium carbonate levels. unless the manufacturer says otherwise, do not use spring water. 
  • Alkaline water
    • Alkaline water is tricky as alkaline doesn't actually mean anything besides the PH is above 7. You must find out why the water is alkaline before using it in your espresso machine. If calcium carbonate (which has a high PH) is the alkaline component of the water then you cannot use it. Please note, most tap water is alkaline due to this reason and is why it cannot be used. Check with the manufacturer before using any alkaline water to determine which chemical is creating the alkalinity. 
  • Distilled water
    • Distilled water is soft and will not harm a machine. However, because of the lack of mineral content, distilled water will most likely cause sensor issues and prevent your machine from functioning. If you only have access to Distilled water, add 3-5oz of taper water per gallon to add necessary minerals for the machine to function properly. 
  • Reverse osmosis water WITHOUT a bypass or mineralizer 
    • R/O units without a bypass or mineralizer suffer the same fate as distilled water and will cause the same sensor issues and leave the machine non functional.  If you only have access to pure R/O water, add 3-5oz of taper water per gallon to add necessary minerals for the machine to function properly. 
  • Taste and odor filters
    •  This is a large category of water filters and includes filters such as Britta filters, built in refrigerator filters, and most common under counter filters for a sink mounted water spigots. Taste and odor filters do not soften water or remove calcium carbonate. Unless the filter specifically states it reduces calcium carbonate, It cannot be used for an espresso machine. Check with the manufacturer before using any pitcher, refrigerator, or under counter filter. 

    Thank you for reading our water usage guide. If you have any additional questions on water quality please contact us.