Auto Fill an Espresso Machine Resevoir?

I'm hoping the Lounge is an off-topic enough area to ask for advice, because admittedly, this is rather far from the topic of Hubitat. However, this forum is full of all sorts of DIY folks who are experienced in automating their homes, and this is a home automation sort of question.

I have a Jura E8 espresso machine. It's placed right next to a Drinkpod water filter heater/cooler dispenser. The Drinkpod allows secondary output line of ambient, but filtered, water intended for coffee makers, ice machines, etc. I put a quick connect valve on it and use it for when I need to fill something with filtered water, such as the reservoir of the espresso machine.

I have to fill the reservoir with every single use lately. It got me looking into trying to use some sort of float valve, to effectively turn the reservoir into the equivalent of a tiny version of your average toilet tank (but hopefully more sanitary than that description). I tried a few options, including kits sold specifically to do this for a coffee maker (Nespresso is one common example), and sadly, there just doesn't seem to be a float valve out there that is small enough to do the job.

Jura seems to know there's a need for this, but only for certain models, which don't include the E8. On top of that, the Jura solution, is priced at a whopping $800. If they ever make such a solution for the E8 (doubtful), it would likely be at a similar insane price point.

Does anyone have any advice on this? I have recently started looking into, of all things, aquarium top off systems and even auto watering systems, but not found anything ideal for the job.

A corollary to this that might be more on topic, I have a Jura Smart Connect module in the E8. It communicates through Bluetooth, and I'm itching to see what ridiculous home automation I could possibly eek out of it, but having a hard time. There are some projects I see on github, but they are of the arcane command line sort that present a significant learning curve for me. Anyone ventured down that path?

I've never used these but, saw them a while ago and thought they might be of interest to you. Not an off the shelf solution but...

Here is the post you need to read. Solved.

General purpose Bluetooth integration is a very deep hole - perhaps not possible. Single use - single device is possible but you'll need a machine with a bluetooth receiver - like a raspberry pi or more and libraries and programming skills and lots of time. Amazon has a book for Blue internals deep dive. 1600 pages if I remember and not cheap. That should be enough warning.

As you said, not a full off the shelf solution. I did consider it for a bit in tying it to a solenoid valve as mentioned by others, but the tank is very dark, slightly transparent plastic, with texture to it as well, so I suspect this may not even be able to get a read on the water level. Water sensors are a troublesome aspect of any solution I look at.

Ah, VERY informative post. It does appear a solenoid would be the solution, but I'd need to tie it to something to control it, and I'm not sure how I would do that. It's a shame no option like this exists with a zigbee/zwave control already in it.

The float kit they initially mention in that thread is what I tried at first, but it was a no go. The float, as small as it is, is still too large to function in that tank.

So, it seems I need 1) a solenoid and 2) a way to intelligently control it. Some way of detecting the water level is needed for 3). Would a leak sensor work if placed at some point near the top of the tank?

It appears someone has made considerable headway on this particular device:

However, it's still a steep climb for me to even figure out how to use what they have there. I think a lot of it may be due to the things they reverse engineer are "stolen" from the legitimate app for the machine, so they can't provide it all in one nice, neat package to other users.

As for figuring it out myself, 1600 pages of light reading? Sounds swell. :slight_smile:

Yes, that project has done a lot of work to get that far. They hit one of the problems (imo) with Bluetooth - designed to accommodate hidden,secret or undisclosed data. Of course device manufactures don't see it as a problem. It's like wifi devices and hubitat: without a willing manufacturer there is little that can be done legally or practically.

Looks like that might not be a problem, hard to see from this picture but appears to work with pretty dark material.

Outdoor tank


Oh wow! Yeah, maybe it would do the trick after all. This may be my way to determine water level. Now to figure out how to make it control the solenoid valve though, turning it off when water is detected.

you might consider modifying an ATO (auto top off) for aquarium use - the one I use in my tank has a small optical sensor to that that attaches with a magnet to trigger a pump when the tank water evaporates past a set point. The pump is submersible, as it sits in a freshwater reservoir but you could probably find an inline pump that would connect to your water filter. I know there are folks who have theirs connected to RO (reverse osmosis) systems

EDIT - LOL I was posting this and just reread your statement I guess I glanced over where you actually said you were looking into this ... so yea, I think think that's a solution. :slight_smile:

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And just for triple safety...

I'd figure out how to let HE monitor and control the time window and/or duration of the fill and would NOT let it pump for longer than a "max fill time" and only during a prescribed daily window (vacation/away time excluded).

Don't ask me about the toilet tank valves that fail and flow endlessly till the homeowner comes home to find it (or it trips their HE water sensor).

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