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Thread: Silvias pump is sick

  1. #1
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    Silvias pump is sick

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,
    I have a problem with my Silviaís water flow/debit. [smiley=cry.gif] * Over the last couple of days I have noticed that Iím getting less and less water through the group, I did a de-scale and clean and there was *a slight improvement short term, but *the water flow has just about stopped now. * If I prime the boiler by opening the steam and turning on the group switch, Iím getting quite good flow through the steam/hot water pipe. * If I close the steam/hot water I get very little flow through the group and the pump sounds as though it is labouring under pressure.
    If anyone knows what the problem is, any help would be greatly appreciated?
    Some time ago I read about someone having a pump problem that turned out to be a diode short, or something similar, any way I canít find the thread/post now. I mention this because I opened the machine up and there are some scorch marks on some of the wires going to the pump.
    Thanks
    Bruce

  2. #2
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Quote Originally Posted by Billi link=1152431184/0#0 date=1152431184
    Hi all,
    .... If I prime the boiler by opening the steam and turning on the group switch, Iím getting quite good flow through the steam/hot water pipe. If I close the steam/hot water I get very little flow through the group and the pump sounds as though it is labouring under pressure.
    If anyone knows what the problem is, any help would be greatly appreciated?.....

    Thanks
    Bruce
    Hi Bruce,

    Since your pump seems to work normally through the steam wand, but not through the group, sounds to me like a blockage somewhere in the group side.

    Some other info that might help sort out the problem would help, such as;
    How old is the machine,
    Have you had it from new,
    How much has it been used,
    When was the last time the showerscreen was cleaned,
    When was the last time it was backflushed?

    Other CSs might have some other ideas to add.

    Regards
    Bullitt

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Hi Billi,

    Hmmm, does sound as though there could be a blockage somewhere..... or maybe a sticky solenoid (3-Way Valve). If the valve is stuck shut or the coil is burnt out, the pump will be operating against a closed circuit. To verify that your pump is actually pumping when trying to pull a shot, just examine the water bleed-off hose from the OPV (Over Pressure Valve) that goes into the water reservoir (not the pump intake hose).... while the pump is operating you should see a quantity of water exiting this hose back into the reservoir as the OPV cracks open and bleeds this water off. Such a scenario would definitely make it worthwhile to check the 3-Way Valve or have someone else you trust check it..... it may need cleaning or the coil replacing.

    If the valve is just stuck (most likely), after its been cleaned and re-installed it would probably pay to do a thorough Back-Flush clean of your machine and then get into the habit of doing this on a regular basis..... at least once per week. In my case, I do it at least once per day with water only, then about once per month using Espresso Clean..... my shower screen, group and water dispersion nut are always spotless 8-) as a result. A very handy guide on how to do this properly can be found here....http://tinyurl.com/d9qaz. All the best and hope the cure is painless ;),

    Cheers,
    Mal.

    P.S.
    Be sure to check out Randys pictorial representation on how the 3-Way valve fits in to the scheme of things and how it can produce some interesting but undesirable behaviour if you dont Back-Flush your machine regularly.

  4. #4
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Hi Mal and Bullitt,
    Thanks for the advice, I had actually just done a search and read the pages you suggested, and come to the same conclusions. * I have now striped down the 3way and cleaned it out, the shower screen and group have just been cleaned, and I have ordered a blind filter from coffee parts, to replace the rubber bung that I have been using, obviously not too successfully, to back flush. * It should arrive tomorrow and Iíll let you know if it clears the problem.
    Thanks again for your interest.
    Bruce

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Good one Billi [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    Mal.

  6. #6
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Update:-
    I have now cleaned EVERYTHING to within an inch of its life, even took out and cracked the boiler, everything looked in good order and I found nothing foreign that could be blocking the flow. However, on very close inspection of the 3 way valve,
    Boiler to group hole, the pin hole appears to have collapsed, but then I donít know what its supposed to look like, can anyone help? Is it normally a clean hole? Mine looks like a torn spiral, simular to looking into a very tiny sea shell/snail shell!
    Bruce

  7. #7
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Hi again,
    here is a pic of the 3way
    Bruce

  8. #8
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Hi Bruce,

    Sorry that is beyond my knowledge/experience at this time,
    although based on your original description of the problem it could be it,
    but hopefully someone else who has been there can help you out.

    Mal do you know, or know who might know????

    Regards
    Bullitt

  9. #9
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Update.

    Whooo Hoooo! [smiley=cheesy.gif]
    I did a closer inspection of the 3 way valve,
    pushed a pin into the hole and, "voila" a hemisphere of brass, 2mm in
    diameter popped out. * It looks like that start bit, that comes from
    drilling a hole in metal, the bit that sticks to the point of the drillbit ( too many bits). * It obviously was in left in the boiler during manufacture and eventually found its way through to the 3way. *[smiley=angry.gif] *I put everything back together and am now back, in business, and the coffee tastes even better than before. * [smiley=grin.gif] *I suspect that the restriction has been floating around for a couple of weeks. * Thanks again for the suggestions and help guys.

    Bruce

  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Terrific News Billi [smiley=laugh.gif],

    This type of thing is unfortunately not that unusual with Silvias..... a search through the alt.coffee newsgroup will probably surprise you on how common this left-over swarf problem actually is :o. Definitely a quality control problem at Rancilio but usually easily fixed once identified.

    Anyway, the main thing is that you are back in business and thats great. All the best mate and Happy Brewing [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  11. #11
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Hi Billi,

    Thanks for the feedback, great to hear you got it sorted out.
    Made me wonder about my Silvia, I sometimes get some variations in pour that I thought were more than just temp/humidity related,... but nothing as dramatic as you desribed.
    Regards
    Bullitt

  12. #12
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Hi all ..

    This is what this site is all about. Yesterday my Silvia decided to pump less water through the group head, water through the steam line was all okay. After an extensive search I found this thread and a few others .... today we pulled Silvia apart (an interesting exercise for first timers) and found a small lump of scale in the valve to the group - problem solved.

    So thanks to you all .... and thanks for the photos, so we knew what we were looking for.

    We are off to have a well deserved coffee.

    Myrtle ...

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Silvias pump is sick

    Great news Myrtle,

    And great experience too eh? Its pretty easy to work your way around the Silvia once you know whats going on..... Terrific stuff [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Mal.



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