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Thread: Rancilio Silvia Tripping

  1. #1
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    Rancilio Silvia Tripping

    Hi all,

    My less than a year old Silvia has recently started tripping the power after I flick the steam switch. I installed a PID on the machine when I purchased it in July 2015 and it has worked flawlessly up until a few days ago. I've tried the thermostat rest button without any luck, so I'm guessing the problem either lies in one of the thermostats or somewhere else. I've checked all wiring and everything seems in order. Am I correct in thinking it couldn't be the boiler element as it heats up and I can pull a shot with no problem? Also, Im guessing any warranty would be void seeing as I installed the PID kit?

    Any help would be gratefully received.

    Sched7

  2. #2
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    The high temp. TCO could be bad. This deals with the extra load delivered to the element to create steam. The switch itself may be bad if your RCD trips immediately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    The high temp. TCO could be bad. This deals with the extra load delivered to the element to create steam. The switch itself may be bad if your RCD trips immediately.
    Thanks Sprezzatura - by the TCO, I'm assuming you're referring to the resettable thermostat on the side of the boiler? Tripping tends to occur a minute or so after the steam switch is flicked btw.

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    G'day "Sched7"...

    Did you install the PID Controller from one of the kit versions that are around or your own custom version?

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    G'day "Sched7"...

    Did you install the PID Controller from one of the kit versions that are around or your own custom version?

    Mal.
    Hi Mal,

    I bought a Auber Instruments RSNSb kit from the same place I got the machine. I decided to save the installation cost and do it myself. Like I said, it's worked flawlessly for almost a year until a few days ago. One thing I did notice when I opened up the machine today was that the boiler thermocouple supplied with the PID kit was able to be moved slightly on the thermal paste - I've since reattached it with some new paste but I haven't had a chance to try it out again. Maybe this could be the cause.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sched7 View Post
    Hi Mal,

    I bought a Auber Instruments RSNSb kit from the same place I got the machine. I decided to save the installation cost and do it myself. Like I said, it's worked flawlessly for almost a year until a few days ago. One thing I did notice when I opened up the machine today was that the boiler thermocouple supplied with the PID kit was able to be moved slightly on the thermal paste - I've since reattached it with some new paste but I haven't had a chance to try it out again. Maybe this could be the cause.
    Not the steam switch then. You have an over temperature issue somewhere. PID t/c attachments good place to troubleshoot first.

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Sorry, I forgot to ask you before "Sched7"...

    When you say above that the Power Circuit is Tripping, do you mean that the RCD/Earth Leakage protection is operating at the main Power/Metering panel for the house?

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Sorry, I forgot to ask you before "Sched7"...

    When you say above that the Power Circuit is Tripping, do you mean that the RCD/Earth Leakage protection is operating at the main Power/Metering panel for the house?

    Mal.
    Yes - whole power circuit trips at the main board. Coffee machine then needs to be switched off before I can reset the switch at the board.

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Rightio...

    In that case, my first advice would be to contact a licensed electrician and have your machine checked as there could be a safety issue going on. It may simply be down to a terminal of the Steam Switch tracking to Earth which may require the replacement of this switch. It could also be anything else downstream of this switch, hence my recommendation to contact a Sparky...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Rightio...

    In that case, my first advice would be to contact a licensed electrician and have your machine checked as there could be a safety issue going on. It may simply be down to a terminal of the Steam Switch tracking to Earth which may require the replacement of this switch. It could also be anything else downstream of this switch, hence my recommendation to contact a Sparky...

    Mal.
    Good advice - Thanks Mal

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    Is it an over current circuit breaker or is it an RCD that's tripping? One is for protection against over current and the other is for protection against earth leakage. This my give you a hint of what fault to look for. However, a combined unit (RCD/MCB) will protect against both and you will be none the wiser...

    Regards

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyRay View Post
    However, a combined unit (RCD/MCB) will protect against both and you will be none the wiser...
    Hence, my advice to involve a licensed electrician. Gotta be safe...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyRay View Post
    Is it an over current circuit breaker or is it an RCD that's tripping? One is for protection against over current and the other is for protection against earth leakage. This my give you a hint of what fault to look for. However, a combined unit (RCD/MCB) will protect against both and you will be none the wiser...

    Regards

    Matt
    It's an RCD that's tripping.
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    So I contacted Coffee-A-Roma (where I bought the machine from), and they seem to think it could be the element that needs replacing based on the info. I gave them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sched7 View Post
    So I contacted Coffee-A-Roma (where I bought the machine from), and they seem to think it could be the element that needs replacing based on the info. I gave them.
    In my experience with small single boilers, it is often the heating element. Take it in for repairs it won't cost that much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Hence, my advice to involve a licensed electrician. Gotta be safe...

    Mal.
    You're right Mal.

    It's of interest to me as I'm a maintenance electrician with a number of years in the food industry, but it is a little difficult to look at a machine from a distance ;-)

    Sched7, have you spoken to the supplier about the machine? I know it's been modified but if it is the element that is at fault, there is no way your mods would damage it, unless water has been allowed to get to the ends of the element near the connections. Of course, they will probably (and understandably) just refuse warranty on the unit and repair it as a chargeable job.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyRay View Post
    You're right Mal.

    It's of interest to me as I'm a maintenance electrician with a number of years in the food industry, but it is a little difficult to look at a machine from a distance ;-)

    Sched7, have you spoken to the supplier about the machine? I know it's been modified but if it is the element that is at fault, there is no way your mods would damage it, unless water has been allowed to get to the ends of the element near the connections. Of course, they will probably (and understandably) just refuse warranty on the unit and repair it as a chargeable job.

    Cheers,

    Matt
    Hi Matt,

    Yes I dropped Coffee-A-Roma an email and because I installed a PID kit, I've been told Rancilio won't cover the warranty. If it is the element, it's an easy fix I believe as this model comes with a screw in one - a replacement will cost just under $100. The machine is less than a year old and been very well looked after, so I'm at a loss as to what would have damaged the element if it is indeed that.

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    No good hypothesising since, as Matt pointed out, we can't really diagnose via proxy (quite apart from the illegality of trying to).
    Best to leave it up to the appropriately qualified and licensed person to do that for you. It may turn out that it is not the element at fault given that from what you have written, it only happens when you use the Steam Function...

    Time will tell,
    Mal.
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    So I picked up a multimeter to check the resistance between the element terminals to establish whether this is the culprit or not before I either get a replacement or get it professionally looked at. At a setting of 200ohms I got a reading of 47.6ohms. I've read I should be getting 64ohms on one site and less than 10 somewhere else. I assume the 10ohm reading is for a 110V.

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    That reading won't be a problem, sounds about right. However, it's unrelated to the RCD tripping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyRay View Post
    That reading won't be a problem, sounds about right. However, it's unrelated to the RCD tripping.
    Thanks Matt - time to get my sparky mate to have a look at it then. No point forking out for a new element if it's something else.

  22. #22
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    It could still be the element but be an earth fault - this may only show up under a high voltage test to earth. Definitely time to get your sparky mate involved :-) Solid state relays (SSRs) are not immune from faults either, amongst other possibilities...



    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by sched7 View Post
    So I picked up a multimeter to check the resistance between the element terminals to establish whether this is the culprit or not before I either get a replacement or get it professionally looked at. At a setting of 200ohms I got a reading of 47.6ohms. I've read I should be getting 64ohms on one site and less than 10 somewhere else. I assume the 10ohm reading is for a 110V.
    There will likely be a leak between the element terminal and earth, but a standard multimeter will only show it when the element is hot (i.e. in the state that trips the RCD.) To test this safely with a standard meter would require building a custom rig. Your sparky will have a megger which should show up the fault while the element is cold. Or you could just take a punt and replace the element as that is the most likely cause.

  24. #24
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    So after a bit of reading and a chat with a coffee repair guy near where I work, I may have had my PID set too high for the steam function. Since installing the PID, I've been steaming between 140 & 150C (one site suggested you can start steaming at about 112C)
    This morning I gave it another go and it tripped at 148. This would no doubt explain why the element is possibly damaged prematurely and tripping the mains. Have booked my mate to have a look at it properly before I part with any cash.

  25. #25
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day again sched7...

    About the ideal Setpoint for great dry steam, is between 123-125C...
    No need to go higher but lower by any significant margin will start to compromise the quality of steam being delivered. The best quality textured milk requires high velocity, dry steam and the above Setpoint will provide that for you...

    Mal.

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    i know this is an old thread but just to add some value for anyone who has similar symptons i recently had my silvia begin to trip the rcd ( earth leagage circuit breaker ) intermittently,

    the root cause was the fibre washer passing steam at the point where the flat is machined on the element thread,

    I bought a new element kit before dismantling it as a worse case scenario and to limit the downtime the machine was potentially in pieces. this means i have a spare element which is handy as i have 3 machines.
    in the attached image you can clearly see where the steam was passing the gasket surface.

    20170619_104131.jpg

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    Silvia PID Trip issues

    Quote Originally Posted by koshari View Post
    i know this is an old thread but just to add some value for anyone who has similar symptons i recently had my silvia begin to trip the rcd ( earth leagage circuit breaker ) intermittently,

    the root cause was the fibre washer passing steam at the point where the flat is machined on the element thread,

    I bought a new element kit before dismantling it as a worse case scenario and to limit the downtime the machine was potentially in pieces. this means i have a spare element which is handy as i have 3 machines.
    in the attached image you can clearly see where the steam was passing the gasket surface.

    20170619_104131.jpg
    Having same issues as posted above. In most cases, we see its an element problem.

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