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Thread: Silvia problem.

  1. #1
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    Silvia problem.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello all,
    Yep first post, have been reading for a while now, and as I couldnt find anything related to my problem, I thought I would put it out to you all to see what you think.
    My boss bought a Silvia for our work for some real coffee. It worked for about 13 months before the boiler died. Now we didnt know about what you should do after steaming, so we were found out the hard way about that. Paid for a new boiler. With the new instructions of refilling the boiler after steaming, we thought we should be fine. This boiler lasted 2 weeks (one week of that it wasnt used). Again the boiler was replaced. This one lasted 2-3 months. As far as I know we all followed the refilling of the boiler (compared to the first time). Each time the steam was forced out, by either turning on the hot water switch till the heating light came back on, or by pumping water out of the head till the light comes on and water is coming out of the head.
    So now the boss is not willing to do any more for the Silvia.
    The rest of us has now bought a Boema (this is a tank).
    The Silvia is on the shelf, about to go to the trash when I put my hand up.
    I know I can buy a boiler and replace the broken one, but will this only last a short time?
    Beside the boiler running dry, what else could kill the boiler? Thermal cut out switch faulty? over heating?
    Did noticed that with the last boiler the steam came out with a lot more force than the first boiler ever did.
    I am happy to fix the silvia if I know its going to last longer than a few months, but Im guessing as it now a home machine instead of a 5-10 cups a day machine I might get longer out of it.
    Any input would be great
    Thx from one hope to be happy Silvia owner.

  2. #2
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    i bet someone didnt re-fill the boiler and killed it, and did not own up....
    too many people not knowing how to refill will kill one fast.....

    if its just you at home should last a long time (maye forever)

  3. #3
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Hey there, welcome!
    Make no mistake, the Silvia is a fantastic machine ;), almost bullet proof!....almost. I agree, I think someone would have run it dry, the other way to kill it is to turn it on without giving the steam dial a tighten, water leaks out of the steam arm as they do due to the warming components, and simply drains the machine dry = 1 dead element, Id take it to a sponsor, get em to check it out, fix what is broken, and you will have one capable machine at home to impress ya friends with! :)
    Cheers
    Warren

  4. #4
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    When I had my Silvia I wouldnt let anyone else near it, having it in a work place with multiple users is a recipe for disaster (which is evident in the number of boilers that have been fried), if you replace the boiler and treat her with love and care you will have a brilliant espresso machine that will last you for ages ;) ;) ;) ;)

  5. #5
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    What they said above...
    Silvia is inherently well designed and when used as intended there is no reason why service life shouldnt be many years.

    Mine wasnt new when I bought her several years ago, still going strong, although due for a replacement group-head gasket soon, (but that is a part that does wear).

    Bullitt

  6. #6
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Thx all.
    As the Boema is plumbed in, and a water level sensor we hope this one should be problem free in the office.

    Next on the list is the PID mod for my new Silvia :)
    Looking up sponsor now to find a place to repair it, or I might do it myself (pretty good at that sort of thing).
    Thx again.

  7. #7
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    hey Global,
    Be careful doing it yourself, a trained specialist will be able to test the whole machine and make sure its good to go, only one chance with 240 :-[
    And with the PID, PIDkits all teh way, by far teh best kits in the market. <--------over there on the left ;)

  8. #8
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    I am looking at the PIDkits, waiting to see if they have a sale again with Christmas coming up, the AU$ helps.

  9. #9
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Well Ive installed a new boiler, and is full steam ahead.
    For $160 I now have a Silvia (excellent service from one of your sponsors).
    I was wondering as the pump is loud at home, if any one see if there would be a problem installing this http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=AX3660&keywords=sound&form=KEYW ORD around the walls of the pump just the lower the sound a bit?
    Next is the PID upgrade.

  10. #10
    A_M
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B7B464A414C290 link=1255862981/8#8 date=1256382307
    Well Ive installed a new boiler, and is full steam ahead.
    For $160 I now have a Silvia (excellent service from one of your sponsors).
    I was wondering as the pump is loud at home, if any one see if there would be a problem *installing this http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=AX3660&keywords=sound&form=KEYW ORD around the walls of the pump just the lower the sound a bit?
    Next is the PID upgrade.
    You could try... Let us know how it turns out.

    I did try to quieten a SB with a sound proofing material... but most of the sound is actually generated by the vibrations and the resulting frequencies resonating through the whole body.. *It is not just the sound from the pump..

    That being said, it is worth a shot and not $$$

  11. #11
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Well this is how it turned out.
    I went to get the above, the kid behind the counter had NFI of what I wanted and gave me this http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=AX3684&CATID=15&form=CAT&SUBCAT ID=645 for the same price. I remembered that you said about the vibrations, so I thought this would be a good thing to try being a Acoustic Sound Absorbing Deadening Material.
    Hard to install, (know a few thing about installing self adhesives) but the sound and vibrations have decreased a lot. I have only done the hole back panel that you can remove, and under the flap that sticks out over the pump. I would say the sound level has dropped a bit above half of what it was. More application to other panels may help, but Im happy at the moment.
    Next PID upgrade. :)

  12. #12
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Well that element didnt last long.
    I am not sure what I should do with it now.
    I am VERY sure it was well looked after this time, as I was the only person to use it. I always refilled it after steaming. I got into the habit of switching the steam off just before the milk hit the right temp. Then once the milk was finished, hit the hot water pump till water started coming out.
    The last thing I did was to clean it (back flush) then made a shot to make sure cleaner was flushed out, then used the hot water to make tea (so no steam at all) all looked Ok when I turned it off (just finished heating after cup of tea).
    This machine is up to its 4th boiler now. Well I dont know now if its worth it at all. I just dont know why this one went. Only made coffee on the weekends, so very light work.
    Any ideas before I bin it?
    *

  13. #13
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Only you can really decided if its worth repairing. You might beable to get something back by selling it for parts if you dont want to repair it. I read somewhere on here that Chris from talk coffee knows someone that can replace just the element rather the brass boiler itself.

    Does yours have the reset button???

    Also might be worth getting the unit checked out by a sponsor. There might be something else that is causing the problem, like the thermostats or an electrical fault.

  14. #14
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Are you leaving the machine on for long periods of time?
    When you switch on the next day, are you in the habit of tightening the steam wand?

  15. #15
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Sorry for late reply, email notification not working?
    It was twice fixed by JetBlack, third time by a friend who use to repair them for a living, it does have a reset switch but it hasnt popped.
    Unless the its broken, but I cant see any reason for it to over heat, unless the thermo stat is broken?
    I only left it on for a couple of hours on the weekends to make around 4 cups of coffee in the morning of the weekends. Always gave the steaming wand a tighten, and had a cup under it (never got enough water to cover the bottom of the cup) I now have 2 brass boilers in the garage.
    Any one in Sydney that can replace the element as I think shipping them down to Melbourne and back might take the savings out of it unless its a lot cheaper then $160 per boiler??

  16. #16
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    How much does the boiler weigh and did Chris give you a price for a new tapped element?

    It does sound like there is something else going wrong with it.

    What do you want to spend on it? I really think if you are going to the bother of putting yet another boiler in you should get the machine checked out properly to make sure the thermostats & electrics are all good.

  17. #17
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Im going to find out the the cost to just do the element, then will go from there.
    When the boiler was replaced wouldnt the thermostats be checked?
    Looking at the Silvia there is not much in the way of electrics, all wiring checks out fine, going to look up to see if there is a way to test the thermostats.
    Thx

  18. #18
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Maybe AM or Mal or someone electrically minded might know, but would a power spike or fluctuation cause a problem?

    I know Ive got the fridges, computers etc all on surge protector boards but should our coffee machines be on one too????

  19. #19
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    This might be out there, but is there any chance you have a defective machine and 2 x high temp steam thermostats? One should be labelled 107 deg and the other and the other should be about 135 deg. The thermal reset with the red pin is 147deg as I recall. Assuming that you are doing everything right, it sounds to like there is an issue in the brew circuit

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A4A777B707D180 link=1255862981/11#11 date=1264897741
    then used the hot water to make tea
    I wouldnt be using a Silvia to make tea. ;)


  21. #21
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by 54797B7D707175180 link=1255862981/17#17 date=1265441312
    Maybe AM or Mal or someone electrically minded might know, but would a power spike or fluctuation cause a problem?
    No real benefit for something like a Silvia as I believe the only electronics to be found is a Diode embedded in the Pump Solenoid. Given this very stressful environment, the Diode is obviously sufficiently highly rated that Line Spikes would present little problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by 54797B7D707175180 link=1255862981/17#17 date=1265441312
    I know Ive got the fridges, computers etc all on surge protector boards but should our coffee machines be on one too????
    Given all the Electronics to be found in these and similar devices, it is sound insurance to protect them with properly designed Surge/Spike Arrestor hardware.

    HX/Dual Boiler Espresso Machines and a few Grinders do have Electronic Systems to make them both easier to use and protect the hardware itself. Where you have equipment of this type, you should also be using the protection hardware mentioned above. The only proviso, is that the so-called Surge Protectors are well designed and rated appropriately for the protection they claim to provide.... ;)

    Mal.

  22. #22
    A_M
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    San Marino CK
    Quote Originally Posted by 4D60646865090 link=1255862981/20#20 date=1265455879
    The only proviso, is that the so-called Surge Protectors are well designed and rated appropriately for the protection they claim to provide....

    Mal.
    Reality is another thing :D

  23. #23
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F3E353532285B0 link=1255862981/19#19 date=1265443832
    Quote Originally Posted by 5A4A777B707D180 link=1255862981/11#11 date=1264897741
    then used the hot water to make tea
    I wouldnt be using a Silvia to make tea. ;)
    Well it was on when I have a visitor who only drinks tea :), first time for the machine.
    It is on a surge board. As the espresso temp seems to be right (doesnt taste bad or burnt at all, all Im going with atm is the steam temp. I do remember when we got in, the steam was good, but after the first repair it seemed to be super charged. As it was repaired by a sponsor I thought it was just one of those things.
    Not having anything to compare to, when I did hit the steam switch, it will heat up to temp, light would go off, as soon as I open up the valve to do the milk the light will come on again, and stay on during the whole time Im doing the milk (around 400ml), just before I get to temp, is when I switch off the steam switch.
    If it was over heating when steaming, wouldnt the thermal switch trip?
    Thx

  24. #24
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    i personally would be taking it back to jetblack to see if they can find a problem......simple electronics in the silvia.....should be an obvious problem to an expert.....which they are ;)

  25. #25
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    Re: Silvia problem.

    All very strange I often keep mine on during the day no problems. If you get it going again fit a new brew thermostat. if you dont fit a PID, for the time being I suggest you fit a digital thermometer as per the gronk thread here not only as an aid to temp surfing but also so you can monitor boiler temp.
    [edit]Also fit a new cutout thermostat[/edit]



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