Post By doug81
Silvia issues - solenoid?
So I've had my Silvia for about 10 years and I've done a reasonable job of looking after it (not perfect, but fastidious in my regular use in that the pump is always primed after each use, group head scrubbed after each use and regularly taken apart to soak in Cafetto)
Now I have an issue with it and am trying to figure out what is needed and hoping to get some confirmation of my thinking. I'm happy to take it somewhere in Melbourne to have it fixed, but likewise am capable enough to do it myself.
The issue is that there's very little water coming through the group head. I barely get a few drops through the grind, and when there's nothing there only a small amount of water dribbles out of the group head. I've done a couple of tests to narrow it down, and I can confirm that plenty of water comes out of the steam wand when the pump is activated, it has no trouble getting to temperature (both water and for steam), and the wand still steams just fine.
To me this suggests that the element and the pump are working, but there's a problem with the water going to the group head. The screen isn't blocked as it's been cleaned and soaked in Cafetto to remove all residue (as has the group head) so I am assuming that it's the 3-way solenoid.
1) Does it sound like the solenoid?
2) Is there anything else I should be checking or looking at?
3) It is easier to just replace the solenoid, or worth taking apart and tinkering with?
Any assistance/advice is appreciated...
Thanks CafeLotta, much appreciated! Might have a tinker and give it a good cleaning before dropping the $100 for a new one...
Good luck and make sure to unplug the power before any tinkering. Let us know how it goes!
Whereabouts in Melbourne are you? Could have a look at it for you, if you like.
So looks like crisis averted I took it apart following the link from @CafeLotta above, and it was pretty spotless inside (so my standard cleaning routine mustn't be too bad after all) however I thought maybe it's something more serious if the solenoid isn't the problem. I soaked it in cafetto anyway for a good hour or two, then rinsed thoroughly and reassembled/installed. Back to working fine again so must have been a small bit of crud inside the solenoid blocking it. Fairly painless procedure too, worth doing for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation...