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Thread: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

  1. #1
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    # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi people,
    My name is Alex and i am having a problem with my 7month old silvia.

    The Problem is, I turn it on (run water through it and do all the stuff the manual says) and it heats up for a bit, but when it reaches a certain temperature (i guess when the orange light is supose to switch off) it triggers the safety switch on my house and cuts out the power.
    Now i took it to a Silvia supplier and they had a look at it and couldnt fault it so they suggested that i take a DEMO Silvia of theirs home to try that and it worked fine (with no cut outs).
    Had the electrician at my house (new house) check everything and couldnt find anything that would cause the problem. Also while the electrician was there we tried the machine several times and we were able to get passed the stage of the machine heating up and then onto the stage where u are ment to heat up the boiler for steaming. SO we turn the steam switch on and same thing (i think just before the orange light is ment to turn off) it cuts out again!!!!

    Bought it on ebay for $550, 7 months old, interstate and looks brand new. The seller swears they never had this problem and i half believe them because it works fine in other houses just not in mine. But why does another Silvia same year work in my house but mine wont!!!!????

    sorry for the lenghty post but im desperate for my own coffee.

    btw i live in adelaide and the guys i took it to was Coffee Craft on south rd

    please help
    please

  2. #2
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    I know? it may be a silly question after the electrician witnessed it himself
    But have you tried another plug just to confirm ??

    It does not take much to trip a circuit that may have other appliances running off it

    Check your earth points on the Silvia as well
    KK

  3. #3
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 143831313232043B222324570 link=1251018198/0#0 date=1251018198
    Hi people,
    My name is Alex and i am having a problem with my 7month old silvia.

    * The Problem is, I turn it on (run water through it and do all the stuff the manual says) and it heats up for a bit, but when it reaches a certain temperature (i guess when the orange light is supose to switch off) it triggers the safety switch on my house and cuts out the power.
    * Now i took it to a Silvia supplier and they had a look at it and couldnt fault it so they suggested that i take a DEMO Silvia of theirs home to try that and it worked fine (with no cut outs).
    * Had the electrician at my house (new house) check everything and couldnt find anything that would cause the problem. Also while the electrician was there we tried the machine several times and we were able to get passed the stage of the machine heating up and then onto the stage where *u are ment to heat up the boiler for steaming. SO we turn the steam switch on and same thing (i think just before the orange light is ment to turn off) it cuts out again!!!!

    Bought it on ebay for $550, 7 months old, interstate and looks brand new. The seller swears they never had this problem and i half believe them because it works fine in other houses just not in mine. But why does another Silvia same year work in my house but mine wont!!!!????

    sorry for the lenghty post but im desperate for my own coffee.

    btw i live in adelaide and the guys i took it to was Coffee Craft on south rd

    please help
    please
    Dontt like teh Name.. CoffeeS%@%#@

    1: Where are you located...

    2: A simple megger test when COLD and after it has been on for a while will clearly indicate if it is your machine or you house cct.

    Something the Electrician should have checked by LAW...



  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    I dont like the name either..... >:(

    Please change it to something less offensive mate,

    Thanks,
    Mal.

  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia


    (I also didnt like the name so I have changed it.)


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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    sorry about the name..... and thanx for changing it

    the electrician did attach some unit to the plug of the coffee machine and said everything was fine, and we did try it on lots of different sockets to the point where the electrician wired up a temp power point that was connected directly to the houses power board (so no interference)


    ???? :(

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    forgot to mention that im in adeladie.

  8. #8
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    AS3760...

    < 1. ohm Earth

    > 1 Meg Insulation


    With out knowing what the values are, it is hard to make a call...

    1: Both machines may be OK... But can have different values.. Assumption is that the loan unit has lower leakage... If the info provided is correct.

    2: Is ok in their establishment

    Thus... Your House cct and other items on that cct are adding to over all leakage.. AND or the Earth leakage system is very sensitive...


    Quote Originally Posted by 123E37373434023D242522510 link=1251018198/5#5 date=1251041633
    where the electrician wired up a temp power point that was connected directly to the houses power board (so no interference)
    If you have only one earth leakage and it was wired directly to the board but still into the ELCb, then it is still affected by all the other leakage in the house...

    ELCB tripping OR Over load ?

    My first assumption is that you have something that is flaky plugged in... And that you over all leakage is pushing the allowed limits...

    It could be time consuming to an extent, depending on how it is tracked down but a relative simple thing to do...

    A: Disable some / all but the cct at the power board that the unit is connected into.

    And I bet all will be fine.. If not, then something on that cct.. Process of elimination .... If it is OK, then something and or a combo of things on one of the other ccts.. Process of elimination ... But longer...







  9. #9
    TC
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Just me, but is it possible that it just has a flaky element which is on the way out?

    Have you tried it in anouther location or are you just going on the sellers word? If not, give it a crack at another location away from your home to see if the problem is replicated....

    Sadly with dodgybay, its too easy to get a whole lot more (or less) than you paid for...

    2mcm

  10. #10
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 722D352328232F262625252D212E400 link=1251018198/8#8 date=1251062133
    Just me, but is it possible that it just has a flaky element which is on the way out?

    Have you tried it in anouther location or are you just going on the sellers word? If not, give it a crack at another location away from your home to see if the problem is replicated....

    Sadly with dodgybay, its too easy to get a whole lot more (or less) than you paid for...

    2mcm
    He has implied

    Quote Originally Posted by 032F26262525132C353433400 link=1251018198/0#0 date=1251018198
    Now i took it to a Silvia supplier and they had a look at it and couldnt fault it

    Thus I would be still looking at something in / at his location..

    Problem is as usual... Getting a skilled person in..

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Angermanagment.......
    when i first got the machine I tried plugging it into several different power points in the house with same resaults except for when i plugged it into my pool external power point which runs of the board with its own safety switch (i think anyway) and by doing this it lasted longest (was able to make a crappy first attempt coffee, but it didnt last long and it cut out again).

    This might sound dumb but what is CCTS? :-? i will try disconecting all appliances in the house and run the silia and c what happens.

    The electrician made me disconect all the appliances in the house from the wall to test something but i had a hard time unplugging the fridge and the (TV entertainment area, which has about 10things running of of it) but he said that should be good enough for the test (and he said everything seems ok).

    Tonight ill try and disconect the fridge and the tv area and give it a go ......fingers crossed...... i wish i knew a sparky

    thanx for all your help so far guys keep it comming
    alex

  12. #12
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 755950505353655A434245360 link=1251018198/10#10 date=1251091613
    Angermanagment.......
    when i first got the machine I tried plugging it into several different power points in the house with same resaults except for when i plugged it into my pool external power point which runs of the board with its own safety switch (i think anyway) and by doing this it lasted longest (was able to make a crappy first attempt coffee, but it didnt last long and it cut out again). *

    This might sound dumb but what is CCTS? *:-? *i will try disconecting all appliances in the house and run the silia and c what happens.

    The electrician made me disconect all the appliances in the house from the wall to test something but i had a hard time unplugging the fridge and the (TV entertainment area, which has about 10things running of of it) but he said that should be good enough for the test (and he said everything seems ok).

    Tonight ill try and disconect the fridge and the tv area and give it a go *......fingers crossed...... * i wish i knew a sparky

    thanx for all your help so far guys keep it comming
    alex
    Sorry.... cct my short hand for circuit / run..

    Sounds like you have done what you can and I would be starting to lean as to an issue with the Silvia... :-?

    Problem is as stated before..

    < 1. ohm Earth

    > 1 Meg Insulation

    Now for heating systems you can get down to 100K ohm... But that should be when exposed to dampness etc and once up and running the elements should dry out and All be above 1M or even 10 or 20M....

    As stated before... The Silvia needs to be tested Cold and after it has warmed up... Sounds like an element is on the way out or something else is causing it... A solenoid or ????


    If it lasted longer on another cct before failing... Then even more of a lean to something in the Silvia...





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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    so u still reckon it is the silvia that is faulty even though it worked for over 2 hours at the coffee shop i took it to (the guy put it under a lot of stress trying to make it trip out and it just kept going)

    thanx again
    alex

  14. #14
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 062A232320201629303136450 link=1251018198/12#12 date=1251106401
    so u still reckon it is the silvia that is faulty even though it worked for over 2 hours at the coffee shop i took it to (the guy put it under a lot of stress trying to make it trip out and it just kept going)

    thanx again
    alex
    Ok... You never provided that level of detail previously ;)

    1: It is the Silvia OR

    2: Your house wiring OR

    3: ELCB system

    Problem is I am here in Brisvagus... Thus unable to Physically test / Confirm any number of points and bits of info you have provided..

    The simple place to start is teh begining and that means A cold and hot MEGA test..

    Thus with out the most basic technical detail.. How long is a piece of string...

    And not knowing what the values were.. I can not really offer any more info than I have...

    < 1.0 ohm Earth Reading was C= ??? and H = ???

    > 1 Meg Insulation Reading was C= ??? and H = ???




  15. #15
    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    My guess is that Silvia has a very minor power leak to earth which is triggering a very sensitive ELCB.*Probably caused by moisture in the wrong place.

    Had a similar problem with a washing machine for years without being able to identify that it was the machine causing the problem. *When we bought a new washer the problem went away ;D

    I could be wrong *:-/

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    My second crack. *From what I have read it sounds like the Silvia is at least leaking a little (to earth). *Could this not be measured by qualified electrician then the unit be sent back for repair or replacement with a signed letter from the electrician? *if its 7m old then it should still have a warranty.

  17. #17
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Afraid I dont have any useful suggestions; Im just intrigued as to what the OPs original username was... Im guessing coffeesnot ;D

  18. #18
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 2904440 link=1251018198/16#16 date=1251934063
    Afraid I dont have any useful suggestions; Im just intrigued as to what the OPs original username was... Im guessing coffeesnot ;D
    Dont ask... Not worth the posts and or the discussions as to the rights and wrongs.. *;D

    As to the name suggested... I could understand that from looking at some of the pours I have seen... But by the time it gets to blonding... It is running a bit fast *;D

    Makes me think of some one I knew, that had a cold and sneezed with a mouth full of coffee..

    Funny as... *For every one else...

    Not so for the lady in question

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    guys thanx for your help but the problem has been fixed *;D
    I contacted the Ebay seller and he was more than happy to refund the cost of the silvia and the shipping cost (sweet). he was very appologetic and nice and let me keep the tamper and assured me that he had no such proble m with it whatsoever :-?

    So anyway i got my money back and bought a brand new silvia and paid not much more than the Ebay price.
    The guys there are great! They roast their own coffee and have some wicked blends and samples if u cant decide which coffee to buy. *
    And suprise suprise the new machine now works with no drama and makes a KILLA coffee I had a laugh

    Again,
    thanx guys so much for all your help and in the end im sure the problem is a combination of a few things (what i dont know and dont care not that i can have a good cafe)
    alex

  20. #20
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    i got my money back and bought a brand new silvia and paid not much more than the Ebay price.
    Methinks theres a lesson in that.

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    I have a Silvia that I bought new about 18 months ago and it recently started a similar earth leakage tripping problem. One or 2 times, it warmed a bit before it tripped and then worked OK (a hint perhaps that there was moisture that evaporated by the time I reset the switch). The last time, it didnt get to warm up much. Any ideas on simple tests to check out whether the machine is OK or should it go in for a check up? Should I try to push for warranty extension if its a fault on a machine less than 2 years old?

  22. #22
    A_M
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B232227223B262A28234B0 link=1251018198/20#20 date=1266567520
    I have a Silvia that I bought new about 18 months ago and it recently started a similar earth leakage tripping problem. One or 2 times, it warmed a bit before it tripped and then worked OK (a hint perhaps that there was moisture that evaporated by the time I reset the switch). The last time, it didnt get to warm up much. Any ideas on simple tests to check out whether the machine is OK or should it go in for a check up? Should I try to push for warranty extension if its a fault on a machine less than 2 years old?
    You may wish to ask to have it looked at.. But remember.. If not happening all the time.. They could inspect and then say all was fine.

    After ya two years is up.. SORRY ;) But at least you could reference your request.

    I am happy to have a look as an independent, do some ESTs and look at the readings etc. It may allow you to add a bit of extra info / piece of mind.

    Regards

    AM

    PS. Cost would be a coffee from ya machine.. ;D

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 143B32302718343B34323038303B21550 link=1251018198/21#21 date=1266571361
    ou may wish to ask to have it looked at.. But remember.. If not happening all the time.. They could inspect and then say all was fine.

    After ya two years is up.. SORRYWink But at least you could reference yourrequest.
    So is the warranty 2 years? I had thought 1. Ill check on this, but otherwise happy to entertain you if you want to take a look at it.

  24. #24
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 7068696C69706D616368000 link=1251018198/22#22 date=1266581055
    Quote Originally Posted by 143B32302718343B34323038303B21550 link=1251018198/21#21 date=1266571361
    ou may wish to ask to have it looked at.. But remember.. If not happening all the time.. They could inspect and then say all was fine.

    After ya two years is up.. SORRYWink But at least you could reference yourrequest.
    So is the warranty 2 years? I had thought 1. Ill check on this, but otherwise happy to entertain you if you want to take a look at it.
    Not sure as to the 2 years.. I may have miss read ya post... i-phone :o

    Other than that.. Just drop me a PM and we can work out a time etc.

    AM

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Philip

    Sorry it was not so good news..

    No element in cct >10M

    Element in cct 1: 1.4m and on re test 1.16M

    Issue with readings falling on retest. It is usually expected to go up as any moisture is driven out and the insulation drys. For the readings to continue to drop it implies a fault in the element.

    Further more, as you stated... It lasts for about 5 min and then fails.. Heating elements can drop to much lower than 1M, but once they get to 0.1M and or leak excessive current then ya ELCB will trip.

    Once again, sorry; but at least you have some info to go back to ya supplier with.

    AM

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    The follow-up isnt so bad. I spoke to the distributor in Brisbane and they agreed to extend the warranty. They claim Silvia needs you to discharge water from the steam wand under pump pressure every time you start making coffee to make sure the boiler hasnt dried. The manual tells you to do this when the machine is new or hasnt been used for an extended time, and does not instruct you to do this every time you use it.

    Does anyone have thoughts on this? If necessary this is a minor procedure to add to the routine, though it strikes me as a design flaw if it is that easy to burn out the element.

    Meanwhile, what of adding a PID as an additional safeguard? Presumably this, aside from the more direct benefit of controlling the temperature, will prevent overheating?

    Bottom line: buying a good brand from a reputable source has its benefits.

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    I always discharge before producing a shot..... But the reason was to pre-heat the cup not to make sure the boiler isnt dry :o

    After steaming I ALWAYS hit the brew button until the light comes on to make sure I never run the boiler dry. Another option is to open the steamwand until water comes through.

    Good Luck
    :)

  28. #28
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 352D2C292C352824262D450 link=1251018198/25#25 date=1267088329
    The follow-up isnt so bad. I spoke to the distributor in Brisbane and they agreed to extend the warranty. They claim Silvia needs you to discharge water from the steam wand under pump pressure every time you start making coffee to make sure the boiler hasnt dried. The manual tells you to do this when the machine is new or hasnt been used for an extended time, and does not instruct you to do this every time you use it.

    Does anyone have thoughts on this? If necessary this is a minor procedure to add to the routine, though it strikes me as a design flaw if it is that easy to burn out the element.

    Meanwhile, what of adding a PID as an additional safeguard? Presumably this, aside from the more direct benefit of controlling the temperature, will prevent overheating?

    Bottom line: buying a good brand from a reputable source has its benefits.
    A big sigh.....

    The supplier may just replace the boiler etc and cover it OR they may send back to some one for inspection..

    Had my fingers crossed and if and when you get it fixed... I would love to actually get to see the failed unit... If it has been run dry, then there are signs. If it was due to other issues - then again, it will be obvious to an experienced person.

    Glad to hear that you should be up and running soon..

  29. #29
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    From what Ive read it is fairly obvious if the boiler was dry as AM said - google for "violet overcooked element" and "Domestic Espresso Machine Repair" on coffeeco (non-sponsor).

    A PID _may_ reduce chances of burning the element - if there are pulses rather than full on/off, but I wouldnt like to guess if the PID would also be full on when there is little water to conduct heat to the thermocouple.

    I flush water through the steam wand every few days but then I rarely steam.

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C7C7E6D7A661F0 link=1251018198/28#28 date=1267150989
    I flush water through the steam wand every few days but then I rarely steam.
    That could be it I suppose: Ive been making more espresso than cappuccino in recent months so if its necessary to prime the boiler via the steam wand, this problem may have surfaced after I switched from mainly making cappuccino. Still sounds like a design flaw to me, and the manual only says to do this when new or if you didnt use the machine for a while. But anyway I can make this small change to the routine.

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Air gets in there some how - my guess is the steam valve when the system is cooling down, esp. if you have the steam wand drip problem when it is heating up.

    I used to notice Ms Silvia behaving slightly oddly every few weeks, there was a sort of a snort at the end of shots. At the same time the boiler was obviously not full as it took more than a few seconds for a steady stream of water through the wand. *Being thick it took me a while to associate the two.

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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    I was not aware of this forum until today. Local and quite developed for home espresso enthusiasts - a good find.

    Ive had some experience recently with the problems being discussed in this thread.

    In the case of my Silvia I believe myself, the retailer and the technicians involved have been through what is clearly an education process with the Sylvia and what is apparently a reduction in the robustness of the currently shipping boilers being manufactured.

    The machine is several years old with a boiler replacement that was around 18 months old. The machine has reliably produced cappucinos in that time, is used daily and has always been powered on/off by timer overnight.

    Initially there was a problem with shorting the electricity like the OP describes. After a failed service attempt of replacing the power cable, this was remedied with a replaced boiler.

    Calcification was found at the base of the replaced boiler. The assumption made here was that a leak was the cause of the electrical shorting.

    After a short period of normal usage, the new boiler then broke. Something clearly was amiss.

    Like people have discussed here regarding dry sections in the boiler, suspicion went to air in the boiler caused by use of the steam wand.

    I believe the lessson learned is that the boilers shipping now are extremely sensitive to even the smallest amount of air getting in.

    edit: and in particular being left in for long periods of time and perhaps exagerated by this small amount of air being present through an overnight power off/on cycle.

    In unchanged operating conditions these new boilers are breaking if the most diligent of boiler priming practice is not used. Far in excess of the instructions provided in the manual as noted by a poster in this thread.

    The practice found to prevent the boiler from breaking is after every milk coffee produced to
    - open the steam wand valve
    - press the coffee button
    - run until water from the steam wand flows solid
    - close the steam wand valve
    - turn off the coffee button

    The steam wand and water are now both full of water.

    As an added precaution the machine is turned off manually overnight and turned on manually in the morning instead of using a timer.

    I agree with the poster above who suggests this is a design flaw. Unfortunately neither the distributor or the manufacturer are interested in taking responsibility when presented with this experience.

    Perhaps the voice of one retailer representing one customer was insufficient motivation.

    Unfortunately with the distributor and manufacturer not taking responsibility this placed the customer and the retailer in the difficult position of trying to resolve who would take responsibility and bear costs.

    Whilst eventually resolved, I fear this has lead to an irrepairable breakdown in communication, which ultimately becomes the customers problem when it comes time for service if the retailer is unwilling to put the experience behind them.

    I am in need of assistance with service at this time, so we will see where we stand and whether we can move past this experience and accept it for the educational experience that it was.

    It is interesting I believe to come to this forum and see in the first thread of interest I find that other people have experienced related problems with this unit. I believe the retailer is not aware of this as they did repeatedly claim that all of their Silvia customers experienced no such problems.

  33. #33
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A3C2B2B3D4E0 link=1251018198/31#31 date=1267401846
    I was not aware of this forum until today. Local and quite developed for home espresso enthusiasts - a good find.

    Ive had some experience recently with the problems being discussed in this thread.

    In the case of my Silvia I believe myself, the retailer and the technicians involved have been through what is clearly an education process with the Sylvia and what is apparently a reduction in the robustness of the currently shipping boilers being manufactured.

    The machine is several years old with a boiler replacement that was around 18 months old. The machine has reliably produced cappucinos in that time, is used daily and has always been powered on/off by timer overnight.

    Initially there was a problem with shorting the electricity like the OP describes. After a failed service attempt of replacing the power cable, this was remedied with a replaced boiler.

    Calcification was found at the base of the replaced boiler. The assumption made here was that a leak was the cause of the electrical shorting.

    After a short period of normal usage, the new boiler then broke. Something clearly was amiss.

    Like people have discussed here regarding dry sections in the boiler, suspicion went to air in the boiler caused by use of the steam wand.

    I believe the lessson learned is that the boilers shipping now are extremely sensitive to even the smallest amount of air getting in.

    In unchanged operating conditions these new boilers are breaking if the most diligent of boiler priming practice is not used. Far in excess of the instructions provided in the manual as noted by a poster in this thread.

    The practice found to prevent the boiler from breaking is after every milk coffee produced to
    - open the steam wand valve
    - press the coffee button
    - run until water from the steam wand flows solid
    - close the steam wand valve
    - turn off the coffee button

    The steam wand and water are now both full of water.

    As an added precaution the machine is turned off manually overnight and turned on manually in the morning instead of using a timer.

    I agree with the poster above who suggests this is a design flaw. Unfortunately neither the distributor or the manufacturer are interested in taking responsibility when presented with this experience.

    Perhaps the voice of one retailer representing one customer was insufficient motivation.

    Unfortunately with the distributor and manufacturer not taking responsibility this placed the customer and the retailer in the difficult position of trying to resolve who would take responsibility and bear costs.

    Whilst eventually resolved, I fear this has lead to an irrepairable breakdown in communication, which ultimately becomes the customers problem when it comes time for service if the retailer is unwilling to put the experience behind them.

    I am in need of assistance with service at this time, so we will see where we stand and whether we can move past this experience and accept it for the educational experience that it was.

    It is interesting I believe to come to this forum and see in the first thread of interest I find that other people have experienced related problems with this unit. I believe the retailer is not aware of this as they did repeatedly claim that all of their Silvia customers experienced no such problems.
    Interesting post and well constructed..

    Where are you located ?

    I have also been asked on more than one occasion to confirm shorts / tripping etc on the Silvia and am a little surprised that a simple mod can not be implemented, to resolve such a critical issue. In particular when many recommend this unit to those just starting off.

    We all know that mistakes and other family members may not be so watchfully. Or like another post... Owner went on leave and the flat mate made a coffee.. Opps... Blown boiler.

    I dont have one to play with.. But there must be a simple mod...

  34. #34
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 1513040412610 link=1251018198/31#31 date=1267401846
    I believe the lessson learned is that the boilers shipping now are extremely sensitive to even the smallest amount of air getting in.
    There is plenty of dissolved air in water naturally. Air is going to get into the boiler. Additionally, you need some "air" space in the boiler whenever you are going to use the steam function- this space is filled with steam, but it is basically the same thing.

    In unchanged operating conditions these new boilers are breaking if the most diligent of boiler priming practice is not used. Far in excess of the instructions provided in the manual as noted by a poster in this thread.

    The practice found to prevent the boiler from breaking is after every milk coffee produced to
    - open the steam wand valve
    - press the coffee button
    do you mean the HOT WATER button?
    - run until water from the steam wand flows solid
    - close the steam wand valve
    - turn off the coffee button
    The steam wand and water are now both full of water.
    If this is a widespread problem it would indicate that Rancilio received a shipment of out of spec boilers. If that is the case then I believe we will soon see a lot more reports of this sort.

    It would be interesting to see the actual damage to the heating element which might help diagnose the cause.

  35. #35
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 744748425F796108260 link=1251018198/33#33 date=1267405538
    Quote Originally Posted by 1513040412610 link=1251018198/31#31 date=1267401846
    I believe the lessson learned is that the boilers shipping now are extremely sensitive to even the smallest amount of air getting in.
    There is plenty of dissolved air in water naturally. Air is going to get into the boiler. Additionally, you need some "air" space in the boiler whenever you are going to use the steam function- this space is filled with steam, but it is basically the same thing.

    In unchanged operating conditions these new boilers are breaking if the most diligent of boiler priming practice is not used. Far in excess of the instructions provided in the manual as noted by a poster in this thread.

    The practice found to prevent the boiler from breaking is after every milk coffee produced to
    - open the steam wand valve
    - press the coffee button
    do you mean the HOT WATER button?
    - run until water from the steam wand flows solid
    - close the steam wand valve
    - turn off the coffee button
    The steam wand and water are now both full of water.
    If this is a widespread problem it would indicate that Rancilio received a shipment of out of spec boilers. If that is the case then I believe we will soon see a lot more reports of this sort.

    It would be interesting to see the actual damage to the heating element which might help diagnose the cause.
    Yes... But getting access is / can be a pain if the item is under warranty... If you pay for it then thats a different matter.

  36. #36
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 644B42405768444B44424048404B51250 link=1251018198/32#32 date=1267402807
    Quote Originally Posted by 3A3C2B2B3D4E0 link=1251018198/31#31 date=1267401846
    ...snip...
    Interesting post and well constructed..

    Where are you located ?

    I have also been asked on more than one occasion to confirm shorts / tripping *etc on the Silvia and am a little surprised that a simple mod can not be implemented, to resolve such a critical issue. *In particular when many recommend this unit to those just starting off. *

    We all know that mistakes and other family members may not be so watchfully. *Or like another post... Owner went on leave and the flat mate made a coffee.. Opps... Blown boiler.

    I dont have one to play with.. But there must be a simple mod...
    Hi AngerManagement, Im located in Sydney.

    I hear you regarding the ease with which it seems boilers can be blown in the Silvia, particularly now, and agree with the sentiment regarding new users. Although I have had several years to develop from total noob I still acknowledge these are my roots and I came upon this machine under similar recomendations. In fact, it has only been through these failures that I have become more educated on proper maintenance and this has forced me to pop the hood so to speak and get an education. I sympathise with the many who would not go to this extent and resign to frustration.

    It is even true to say back in the day there were numerous ocassions over the years where I did not monitor water replenishment and allowed the thing to timer off over night when the resevoir was going to suck air at the next shot. Note, the boiler was never walked away from after the noise of sucking air - immediately a reservoir replenishment would follow in that case without fail.

    Did this lead to air in the boiler sometimes? Quite possibly. I am not a technican so I cannot say for certain. But it happened on several an occassion and it may explain why the retailer is now saying do not use a timer as presumably the cold wake up is a potentially higher element blowing exposure. I did not get hard reasoning for why I was being given this advice, but clearly there was some guestimated experience at work behind it.

    The point is though that this behaviour and ignoring repriming the boiler after every single milk coffee was fine for several years - noting that I did need to replace the boiler once out of warranty during those years... I suppose there was somewhat of a beating going on which eventually took its toll... but even still... for the number of times I was apparently running the gauntlet back then compared to a replaced boiler blowing within days - in fact I think this happened twice, it was clear something had changed.

    Ive taken some shots of the boiler that I got back from the paid replacement that eventually was opted for by the retailer when I was experiencing the shorting - I wont bore you with the problems leading up to this other than to say the owner was away and he had left charge with someone whose work he wasnt happy with upon return.

    I dont even remember if they said the element was gone in this boiler which I had to pay around $250 to replace (out of part warranty). Maybe you can tell from the pics. I can see no other reason why they would say it needed to be replaced though as presumably any calcification suspected of causing leaks can be removed easily enough.

    The other two new replacement boilers I dont have access to. These are the boilers that had elements blowing and lead to the education for all involved that there was a reduced robustness in the boilers now being manufactured. Either the retailer or the distributors technician kept them.

    I do recall being shown one at the retailers site and there being discolouration at the very top of the element where air would be found if water was not replenished after stretching milk.

    Its interesting to note that there is some awareness of this problem in the manufacturers manual where they say that you must reprime the boiler if you are stretching milk for longer than something like a couple of minutes. This is not the case for me as I only do one coffee at a time and it takes all of about 10-15 seconds.

    In the end the retailer covered the first boiler replacement under part warranty with reasoning being given of the problems he had with his substitute whilst on leave, however the second boiler was where the retailer would not budge and nor would the distributor or manufacturer.

    In the end the compromise was the retailer wasnt willing to absorb the cost and I was passed to the distributors technician who replaced the boiler at their cost of around $100. I should have asked for the boiler, but I didnt think to unfortunately.




    Interestingly, the retailer was showing me another tier of espresso machines in store that dont suffer from these problems of manual replenishment due to exchanging water with another container in the system and I believe the possibility of hooking that up in turn to your plumbing or a large tank.

    I agree with you that it would be logical for a safety mechanism to be built in to this device, particularly given the communities apparent support to entry level sales.

    This of course assumes you are not overly interested in being in the business of selling replacement boilers to the tune of $250 to the consumer. I would find it hard to believe being interested in the boiler replacement game would be a viable strategy for any business in the long run as sooner or later people are going to start asking questions and connect the dots.




    Randy, regarding a couple of your observations I can offer this.

    Whilst that is true about air for steaming note that now my procedure is to always replenish water to the boiler after steaming. So now water is consumed to pull the shot, the wand is then bleed on the steam setting, i wait for the element to do its cycle and the light to go out, steam is run through the milk and then I do the repriming of the boiler procedure mentioned above.

    Yes, I use the coffee button, not the water button. To be honest with you I dont know what difference the water button makes, but I seem to be able to accomplish the required result with the coffee button and in fact the retailers new instructions sheet refers to this button for repriming. Is there a difference in the water buttons function? Whether I get coffee or not seems to me to depend on what is in my basket after all hehe.

    I also cant confirm if the boilers are out of spec or of it is simply a matter of a change in practice or material composition/preparation, perhaps with a change in an outsourced manufacturer... matters perhaps left unspecified and discretionary. I am not a technician, so this is my best assessment.

    The pics are attached of the boiler that was replaced at the time shorting was resolved if youd like to take a look.










  37. #37
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Regarding the service I needed today I did manage to get the leaking problem sorted with help from posts in this forum which is awesome.

    In particular this one where I had the same resolution as luwaks http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1265855567/0#7.

    I did have a somewhat half hearted response from my Silvia retailer whom I was making inquiries with during this maintenance, but I suspect as I indicated earlier in this thread I think that theyd still prefer not to know about my Rancilio Silvia at the moment. Its a bit of a shame if a communication breakdown over a problem that is the fault of the manufacturer is taken to heart.

    I hope we have rebuilt a good raporte for our next contact as it would be a shame to have to start over.

    I am sure Ill be able to get some good advice for alternatives here though, so there is always that upside.

    I have been starting to think about a stepless doser mazzer to relegate my rocky friend and roasting options - hoping not to make entry level mistakes with the latter.

  38. #38
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Latest: I had a call from a technician who claimed that he couldnt fault my machine under test. Is testing for conditions that cause an earth leakage trip not something these guys learn? I told him to try harder ...

  39. #39
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B636267627B666A68630B0 link=1251018198/37#37 date=1268473923
    Latest: I had a call from a technician who claimed that he couldnt fault my machine under test. Is testing for conditions that cause an earth leakage trip not something these guys learn? I told him to try harder ...
    It failed every time we put a NATA endorsed tester on it..... *And when we disconnected the element it passed.. *SIMPLE...


    He will just be a Machine tec and may well not have an Electrical licence or formal background.... May not even know what AS3760 or the testing procedures are.

    If that is the case, I trust he is not working in Qld.. Or that the company is not based or providing technical work in Qld.

    They are required by law to Test and Tag before returning to you..

    Just remind them of the latest push and seminars being held....

    http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/fair-and-safe-work/electrical-safety

    The seminars are an opportunity for all those associated with the electrical industry to recognise the risks and identify the solutions for working around electrical equipment and live electrical parts. Electrical safety inspectors will run these seminars and will introduce you to the updated risk management requirements. *

    Who should attend?

    Appliance repairers
    Apprentices - electrical and refrigeration
    Designers and manufacturers of electrical equipment
    Designers of electrical installations
    Electrical contractors
    Electrical engineers
    Electrical licence holders
    Electrical workers
    Electricians
    Facilities managers
    Maintenance electricians
    Maintenance managers and engineers
    Refrigeration workers - electrical licence holders
    Restricted electrical licence holders
    Safety managers and officers
    Service and maintenance technicians
    Supervisors and managers of electrical workers

  40. #40
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Ive had it back over a seek and its still working fine, despite the techie still claiming the old part (which he handed over) was not broken, and it had to be my earth leakage being too sensitive. At least it didnt cost me anything to fix.

  41. #41
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D555451544D505C5E553D0 link=1251018198/39#39 date=1270633948
    Ive had it back over a seek and its still working fine, despite the techie still claiming the old part (which he handed over) was not broken, and it had to be my earth leakage being too sensitive. At least it didnt cost me anything to fix.
    Good the hear..

    Besides it failed on my Certified tester.. And I will stand behind those readings.

    Dont toss it..

    Could be a great talking / training piece.

  42. #42
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    Re: # HELP # Problem with Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C646560657C616D6F640C0 link=1251018198/39#39 date=1270633948
    Ive had it back over a seek and its still working fine, despite the techie still claiming the old part (which he handed over) was not broken, and it had to be my earth leakage being too sensitive. At least it didnt cost me anything to fix.
    Picked it up today...


    1: Dropped it into a bag and presented to the front desk of the Electrical commission here in Brisbane..

    2: Asked if one of their senior tecs / inspectors could check the unit out / comment *:)

    3: Came back about 45min later to collect.. *8-)

    4: On returning was ushered into an office with two suites * :-X

    5: Before saying much I just *provided a note with the following

    "the techie still claiming the old part (which he handed over) was not broken, and it had to be my earth leakage being too sensitive. "

    6: There was some discussion that followed and I had the option to submit a "Dangerous Event complaint".... *I did not go down that path; as the item has been repaired.

    However the commission indicated very strongly that the user in this case was lucky and that others may not be so lucky and or may not have an ELCB and could be at risk. *And that this is still a reportable offence and that I need to consider my own licences, as it is a mandatory for me to file a formal report and part of the T&C of my licence..

    I am attending further Electrical and information sessions this week and may raise this item and processes there; for further discussion.... *But I am 99.95% sure of what the outcome will be.

    Philip if you read this; can you please PM me the supplier details...

    Regards
    AM.

    PS. If ya have not realised... The unit is Faulty and considered Dangerous. In all these circumstances the item should have also been modified to ensure it can not be used.. It was not and further hints at the experience / understanding the TECH / Company *has.




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