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Thread: Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

  1. #1
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    Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys, just hoping someone can give me some feedback on the Rancilio S10. I have the opportunity to purchase one (semi-auto, 2 group), however do not know anything about them. For starters I am hoping someone can tell me roughly when they were made but also how reliable they were, how good/bad they were etc etc. This one had obviously seen a bit of use as the stream wand has been worn down to brass. Pressumably it has a HX and I am told has a 12L boiler.

    Also, this may be a really stupid question however I am new to the whole espresso thing so dont laught too hard. Obviously this machine must be plumbed in however I was wondering if it simply had a tube leading to a water reservoir, would that supply water to the machine or does the machine rely on the water pressure from being plumbed in to supply water to the boiler/pump. In other words, if I had a reservoir below the machine, would the machine suck the water up through vaccume when the boiler refills, or will the boiler just run dry? I am just thinking of this as a temporary solution until we can get it plumbed in properly.

    If anyone with knowledge of these machines is able to help me out I would be most grateful.

    Regards
    Kieran

  2. #2
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    Re: Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

    Hi Kezza,

    I have an S10...I believe they were made in 1988....Most of the parts are still available through Mocopan or Coffee Parts, though beware if the touch pads dont work, as they are unobtainable anywhere!

    The machine normally needs to be plumbed in, and should have an external pump/electric motor module. Mains water goes via a filter into the pump...

    I currently have mine running in my workshop from a 20 litre tank with water pumped to the machines pump via a Flojet pump.

    I am in the process of restoring mine, and it seems to be a very well built, heavy duty steaming monster....probably a bit big for the kitchen, unless you have either an understanding partner, or a very large kitchen.. :-?

    Cheers,

    Chris

  3. #3
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    Re: Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

    Thanks Chris,

    So there are 2 external pumps in your setup is that what u are sayng? One to supply the pressure and one to get the water from the tank to the main pump? If the main pump is externernal how does it know when to engage/disengage? I am guessing that the flojet pump has to be manually operated.

    We already have a filter tap in the kitchen so I suppose we could put a T" section after the filter and run both the tap and the Machine from the same filter, just not at the same time. Either that or have the tank setup you have got and just fill the tank with filtered water.

    The touchpad is not an issue as the one I am looking at is only a semi-auto hence no touchpad to replace.

    Cheers
    Kieran

  4. #4
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    Re: Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

    Well, the flojet pump in my portable installation is simply to draw the water from the plastic tank and provide a head of pressure to the main external pump. This emulates mains pressure. The flojet pump is powered by 240v and has a pressure switch..it turns on and off automagically.

    There should be a 240v lead from the machine into which the main external pump plugs into. This would be a normal mains lead terminating in a female plug. The power lead to run the machine is a heavier looking thing; 15 amps I think.

    When the boiler needs water, the machine automatically powers the pump, and turns it off at the appropriate level.

    They appear to be a well made machine; just make sure those touchpads work...

  5. #5
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    Re: Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

    Beware that running rotary pumps dry can be damaging.

    Quote Originally Posted by stratford link=1134705952/0#3 date=1134715295
    They appear to be a well made machine; just make sure those touchpads work...
    I saw one being restored the other day. Had a poke around. The machine that I was looking at looked OK ... but the groups seemed to be the same as those found in the Silvia (the $650 domestic machine). Basically, these groups are just pieces of brass that are attached to the boiler. Id imagine that these groups would be quite irritating ... starting off cold, then ending up too hot after a while. (Actually, youd probably never get them too hot) By comparison, most other machines have hot water circulating around in the group so that its at a constant, or at least predictable, temperature.

    Other than that, theyre OK. But I wouldnt buy one.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  6. #6
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    Re: Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

    Oh, those groups get hot alright Luca, I can vouch for that :-[

    But like any machine in its class, it was built as a workhorse, and is probably past its prime now....but as a curiousity, or a second career as an espresso cart machine, they are quite suitable if you want to put the work into them.

    Cheers...

  7. #7
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    Re: Rancilio S10, To buy or not to buy?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    If you are new to the whole espresso thing then you are taking on a hellova task to buy something like this, of this age & presumably incomplete and in unknown condition.

    For a standard fitment you will need:
    a) a plumbing connection (and all that it entails),
    b) the outboard water pump & drive motor & water lines that should be with (and are part of) the machine (not talking about the additional pump that another respondent has mentioned), and
    c) a dedicated 15 amp electrical connection.

    Trouble is, you need to hook it up before you even find out *whether it is operating properly or needs work, and you may well subsequently need to pay a serviceman to repair & set it up correctly, or you may alternatively chase your tail around for a considerable time trying to do something yourself, and not get the enjoyment you initially looked for as a result of purchasing the machine (unless of course you are looking to derive pleasure from the "project" value, rather than simply because you would like to have a well functioning espresso machine from the onset).

    My honest opinion is to look at something smaller, simpler, much newer & more suited for home use, that is complete and already known to work properly before purchase, and without a water connection. This may of course cost more initially, but will save squillions in unnecessary angst, frustration and real cost of fitment-repair-parts-service that may be required to get a machine like this running, that may in real terms have no "value" left to give.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    FC.




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