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  • Backflushing / Descaling Silvia

    I need some advice - I backflush Silvia nightly with water & once a week with detergent, after my last shot & before switching the machine off. Today I planned to descale Silvia for the first time so I referred to the user manual for the correct procedure but I could not find any reference to either descaling or backflushing. So I did a Google search & found a video on descaling Silvia which was helpful. However, I also found numerous suggestions that Rancilio do not recommend backflushing Silvia & that it will void the warranty. There was also some suggestions from Rancilio that the Silvia does not even require descaling!

    I descaled anyway but Im a little concerned about backflushing now. I cant imagine that backflushing will place any more strain on the pump than pulling a ristretto shot or using too fine a grind of coffee, but I find it hard to just ignore what the manufacturer says too. And the fact that the user manual makes no reference to backflushing (or descaling) just has me scratching my head.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Backflushing / Descaling Silvia

    Hi Sam, my Silvia is 7 months old now, I have not descaled her yet, Ive been using filtered water so hopefully that will have kept buildup in plumbing to a minimum.
    I backflush every Saturday with detergent, I have a rubber disc that sits in PF without basket and I lock PF in fairly loosely. I then run brew switch until it hisses, turn off and water and coffee muck runs out of PF, I repeat this process about 8 times until clear liquid runs out then run more water through group and steam wand.
    It is amazing how much coffee oil and sediment that comes out after a weeks use.

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    • #3
      Re: Backflushing / Descaling Silvia

      Filtered water doesnt cut it...the scale is in solution in the water so passes straight throught particulate water filters then comes out of solution inside your machine.......you need "SOFTENED WATER" if you dont want to descale.

      Otherwise, yes ofcourse you can descale, all you have to do is pick an arbitrary interval, and descale for ever more according to that interval. It could be once a month, or it could be once a quarter...depends on the water in your area, whether it is "hard" or "soft".

      Using a blind filter for its various uses is another issue. Yes they dont recommend you do it and yes they say if a failure occurs and it can be traced back to you backflushing or whatever, then they will not repair under warranty ( they will charge you).

      A very legitimate example of that is, if you use a blind filter and do the "jiggle" to backwash the shower area.....and if you do it so vigorously that the overflowing water leaks down behind the face plate, and shorts out the solenoid valve that lives behind there....then forget a free repair under guarantee because it is not the fault of the machine or its manufacture. And repairers can tell...because you get water marks on the equipment from that kind of thing.....

      Otherwise, proceed carefully and sensibly and I personally cant see any reason why using a blind filter would hurt...as long as it is not overused. In a cafe you do this every day. At home with an infinitely smaller volume of use, you might do it at most once a week or fortnight or month or whatever, and with care.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Attilio
      aka FC, first / original CS site sponsor.

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      • #4
        Re: Backflushing / Descaling Silvia

        On average I would pull 8 shots a day. Based on this would you then recommend that I stop the nightly backflush with water & just backflush once a week with the cleaning detergent?

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