Post By TOK
Rancilio Silvia Repairs
I recently picked up a 2004 Rancilio Silvia for $50, figuring that if it needed repairs it was still worth the money.
Turns out it does need some repairs. There are some leaks around the group head when brewing, and the steam wand doesn't seem to release any steam, just a tiny drip of water.
I could potentially do the work myself, but diagnosing is the part I have no idea about, so I figured someone else should take a look at it.
Does anyone know respectable repair people on the Gold Coast or Brisbane?
Espresso Breakdown, Capalaba.
The most expensive repair on these is when the element fails. So if the machine is heating up properly than you have got yourself a bargain.
Silvias always leak over the top of the group handle whenever they are OVER PACKED. Cut back on your dose a little and see if that cures that problem. Then make it a habit to dose judiciously and consistently throughout the time of your ownership. Get yourself a blind filter and group head brush so you can clean inside the group ring, do the "jiggle" (often) , and backflush (occasionally).
Also, if it is still only running the std Rancilio filters (they are STAMPED with the Rancilio logo or with the word itself), get yourself a regular australian market commercial double filter. It will improve the coffee out of sight.
If there is a problem with the steam valve, you would consider upgrading the whole valev assembly and steam pipe to the latest configuration which has a ball joint and moves in any direction instead of only radially. Mind you, there may just be a blockage in the nozzle, and if so that is caused by people not blowing steam out of the pipe after texturing milk (so milk goes hard in the end). You can check that by unscrewing the nozzle, and cleaning it out if necessary.
Hope that helps, and its possible I may have just saved you a trip and some cash...
The machine is heating fine, after some experiments today, I seem to have gotten the dosing right, and it doesn't leak over the top anymore.
Originally Posted by TOK
And even better, after taking the steam wand off the machine, and clearing it out, the steam wand is working fantastically.
Thank you so much. Looks like I have gotten a bargain. Now I just have to learn how to use it better. I will definately take your advice about getting a filter basket, as it still has the rancilio filter.
Hi zzygen congrats on your bargin!! Search this site for "temperature surfing" and YouTube that's really important to quality of coffee. As suggested get a blind filter and some espresso cleaner and a descaler and give it a good clean. It will help heaps, it's quite easy but will make a huge difference.
Do you have a good grinder (Rocky) and fresh beans?? Combine these things and your Silvia serve you well for a long time.
As suggested too replace the standard baskets (dint work about single just go doubles- I had a double Synesso and was great)!
Thanks for the tips on the temp surfing. Practice time I think.
I have a cheap grinder that I had with my previous cheap machine. Time to upgrade I think, I have no idea where to start on that one, but I guess I will be hanging out on this site more to do some more research.
Hi zzygan if you heading to Brisbane drop in for a coffee and chat. I had my Silvia for 5 years.
As far as grinders go- check out the grinders section we just had these chats about what to get. Lots of options-
Or even a Breville smart grinder (although can't vouch for them)
Question is Doser or Doserless?? Personal preference, pluses for both but lots go doserless (although I have a doser mini Mazzer and love it and had a doser Rocky which was great too).
Check out the sponsors here^^^ (up the top). Silipo coffee are in Southport- haven't been there but looks like they carry quite a few options.
Seems like I may have been too hasty in saying that the dosing amount fixed the leaking problem.
I have tried different dose amount after different dose amount, and it still seems to regularly leak around the group head while brewing. Not every single time, but 95% of the time it does.
Would the problem be a seal of some description?
ztgan i think it could be beneficial to check your pressure (opv) valve setting, some report that they can be set as high as 12 bar where others say 8.5-9 is a more practical figure. A finer grind resulting from a better grinder will also require more pressure to push through increasing the likelihood of the water bypassing the grind. you can place a gauge in the system by replacing the elbow on the outlet of the pump with tee, alternatively someone may have a group handle with a gauge you could borrow.
whatever the issue knowing the pressure will give you a good starting point.
A group seal is $5 if you need to replace it, and heres a video that may shed some more light on the subject.
I'm with koshari replace your$5 seal and go from there. Chances are you would probably need to replace it anyway.