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Thread: Timer on a Silvia

  1. #1
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    Timer on a Silvia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello all

    I have been lurking as a guest for some time learning a hel of a lot from this site.. I have as a result purchased a Silvia/Rocky package.

    I have a question regarding the warming up period. I like a couple of cups in the morning to start the day off and see me through my working day but do not have time nor the patience to stand around waiting for the Silvia to warm up. I was just thinking about plugging it into one of those electronic wall timers and setting it to come on a half an hour before I get up.. (I will leave the Silvia main switch on and the unit willll be primed of course)..

    Would this cause any damage at all when the power comes on?

    I hope this hasnt been asked before...but I cant imagine anyone else being as lazy as I am


  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A6B6C63782C2B190 link=1272102041/0#0 date=1272102041
    Hello all

    I have been lurking as a guest for some time learning a hel of a lot from this site.. I have as a result purchased a Silvia/Rocky package.

    I have a question regarding the warming up period. I like a couple of cups in the morning to start the day off and see me through my working day but do not have time nor the patience to stand around waiting for the Silvia to warm up. I was just thinking about plugging it into one of those electronic wall timers and setting it to come on a half an hour before I get up.. (I will leave the Silvia main switch on and the unit willll be primed of course)..

    Would this cause any damage at all when the power comes on?

    I hope this hasnt been asked before...but I cant imagine anyone else being as lazy as I am
    Hello Cruza,

    Hopefully your were informed on how to prime the boiler of your machine. This would need to happen prior to switching the machine off at night. If there a a tiny leak from the wand or elsewhere though, a time switch could lead to a dead boiler and $$$...

    Be careful

    2mcm

  3. #3
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Thanks 2mcm

    Yes have been advised about the priming.. I would only have it switching on half an hour before I get up and would switch it off when I go to work.. so would only be half an hour unattended.

    I was more concerned about electrical problems with doing this..

    Leo

  4. #4
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Thing is though, even from near new, silvias leak water out the steam wand as the metal expands/contracts when they are turned on, this is fixed by giving it a tighten AFTER it turned on, not doing this could leave the boiler dry as chris said = $$$$


  5. #5
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Hi Leo

    I have been running Silvia on a timer for over a year now and have not had any problems. When you get back from work, make sure that the steam wand is properly closed, though.

    Cheers

    Daniel

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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Would have to agree with DanO. My Silvia is on a timer every day for over a year and I have had no problems. Just make sure it is primed from the last use and make sure the steam wand is turned off. The wand may drip a tiny amount when warming up, however i have had no major leakages. Silvia and rocky make great coffee!

    Cicarda

  7. #7
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Ok.....Silvia leaks from steam wand, water comes from boiler, if steam wand leaks only 300ml the boiler loses 300ml, boiler is dry. silvia has no safety mechanisms in place apart from high temp breaker.....

    I used a timer for some time on my Silvia, I used to have it turn on 30 mins before I got home from work. I used to purge the boiler, and tighten the steam wand prior to turning it off in the morning and going to work.

    I used to come home to a small puddle of water, 50ml absolute max. One day that 50ml puddle was about 200ml, the breaker had fortunately saved me a boiler, it happened once, I removed the timer and never used it again, as bush said;

    "Theres an old saying in Tennessee — I know its in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you cant get fooled again." —President George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002
    ;)

    Cheers
    Warren

  8. #8
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Whilst I understand the issue of having the machine on a timer and the boiler running dry what is the difference between turning it on on and jumping in the shower whilst it is warming up?

    Surely when the machine is turned on people do not sit watching it all the time.

    Dont get me wrong I am not questioning how people choose to use their machines but I cant see how much difference a good technique with the timer would make.

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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D776C414D6A7770757F72716A1E0 link=1272102041/7#7 date=1272160214
    ..... what is the difference between turning it on on and jumping in the shower whilst it is warming up?.
    The difference is that the timer goes on by itself even when you are not home, and if you arent there, and the brew switch was activated when the main power switch was in the Off position (such as when cleaning) the machine will run until the boiler runs dry, and the keeps running. Even if the boiler protection operates properly, the pump will run until it is damaged or overheats (if it has overheat protection).

    Dont get me wrong- just answering your inquiry... I have my machine on a timer, but my machine has a switch that turns off the entire machine when the reservoir level gets low so no worry other than a minor flood.

  10. #10
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 417B604D41667B7C79737E7D66120 link=1272102041/7#7 date=1272160214
    Whilst I understand the issue of having the machine on a timer and the boiler running dry what is the difference between turning it on on and jumping in the shower whilst it is warming up?
    Another good thing about turning it on in person is that you can tighten the steam wand whilst its cold, which will stop the leak from occuring, but it has to be done cold......
    Quote Originally Posted by 417B604D41667B7C79737E7D66120 link=1272102041/7#7 date=1272160214
    I cant see how much difference a good technique with the timer would make.
    Trust us.........dead boilers happen.......ask any of the repairing sponsors ;)

  11. #11
    A_M
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 696D4B525257485F503E0 link=1272102041/9#9 date=1272171907
    Trust us.........dead boilers happen.......ask any of the repairing sponsors
    Easy answer...

    DONT listen to the advice of others with experience and just go ahead and do it.

    No skin off our backs and were not the ones that will be shelling out extra dollars.


  12. #12
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C737A786F507C737C7A78707873691D0 link=1272102041/10#10 date=1272173906
    Quote Originally Posted by 696D4B525257485F503E0 link=1272102041/9#9 date=1272171907
    Trust us.........dead boilers happen.......ask any of the repairing sponsors *
    Easy answer...

    DONT listen to the advice of others with experience and just go ahead and do it.

    No skin off our backs and were not the ones that will be shelling out extra dollars.
    oO Kaching... Its not like we dont get multiple my Silvias dead calls each week :))

  13. #13
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    What happens, of course, is that the machine cools down. The tap components shrink as they cool and what was a tight tap closure becomes a loose one.

    When the timer turns the machine on, the tap is loose and leaks. If it leaks enough, the element in the boiler is exposed and goes bang.

    Greg

  14. #14
    KJM
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Cruza,
    Dont let the doom and gloom get to you. I have a Silvia with a PID controller on it. I THOUROUGHLY recommend that modification, BTW. Absolutely the best idea!

    Now, with my PIDd Silvia, I have put a temperature probe in the puck on my naked portafilter to get a graph of the temperature during a pull and to set the PID temperature.

    The probe has told me a lot. Like: Silvia warms up in about 5 mins or less. So I just run some water through the portafilter into two latté glasses or espresso cups, then grind and put into the portafilter, dump the water from the glasses and pull the shots. The PID controller tells me when it is the right temperature to go, of course.

    So the long and the short of it seems to be that Silvia doesnt need to be on for very long at all. No need for a timer. A PID controller on the other hand seems to be a really good idea!

    Cheers
    /Kevin

  15. #15
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 0100074A0 link=1272102041/13#13 date=1272267810
    I have a Silvia with a PID controller on it.I THOUROUGHLY recommend that modification, BTW.
    X2 it makes it a totally new machine, i dont care what anyone says.....
    ;)

  16. #16
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    The steam wand washer needs to be in good condition, as it ages it will lose resilience, leak more and need tightening harder. If the washer is getting on a bit fitting a new one would be a good move.
    I must have read the same forum post as Randy G you have to be very careful not to turn a switch on by mistake.
    As for warm up time see here for a quick warm up see Cheating Miss Silvia here

  17. #17
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 06333E390D113D34343737520 link=1272102042/11#11 date=1272174157
    Quote Originally Posted by 5C737A786F507C737C7A78707873691D0 link=1272102041/10#10 date=1272173906
    Quote Originally Posted by 696D4B525257485F503E0 link=1272102041/9#9 date=1272171907
    Trust us.........dead boilers happen.......ask any of the repairing sponsors *
    Easy answer...

    DONT listen to the advice of others with experience and just go ahead and do it.

    No skin off our backs and were not the ones that will be shelling out extra dollars.
    oO Kaching... Its not like we dont get multiple my Silvias dead calls each week :))
    So is that saying you do Chris? ;D sorry your double negatives confusicate me sometimes ;D

  18. #18
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Hey thanks everyone for your comments and advice. I will certainly be careful as I had heard on many occassions about the dry boiler problem.. I have a couple of packages just arrived and sitting on my office floor...yes Silvia has arrived..cant wait to get it home...set it up.. and play...

    I will just wait and see what sort of leakage there is over the next week or so.. I am an espresso type of person and i dont have any friends :( so the wand will get limited use. Perhaps leaking may not be so severe and I might then carefully trial a timer...

  19. #19
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    As long as you tighten Silvia and then turn on as the first job out of bed, there should be time for it to heat up--unless you are one of those "out of bed, out the door" types.

    Me, it takes me at least 30 minutes to get to "out the door" stage, longer if its an aerobics day. :D

    Greg

  20. #20
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    I have a Silvia. I get up in the morning and stumble to the kitchen to turn on the switch with the group handle in place. Then I go and have a shower and dress. By the time I have all this done Madame Silvia is ready to go. I take a roadie latte and love it all the way to the bottom of the glass (that would be about Cottesloe!!)
    No need for a timer. The first shot is used to heat the glass then I grind then pull the shot.
    Mmmh delish.
    Upshot being, I doubt you need a timer, just a small change in routine
    :D

    cheers
    rynnlic

  21. #21
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    Re: Timer on a Silvia

    Hi there,

    I use a timer for my Silvia first thing in the morning for a nice latte before work and in the afternoon as soon as i get home and have never had an issue (touch wood) All you have to do is make sure that the boiler is topped up after every shot and that the timer is only on for the a set time ;)



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