Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

    I keep reading in reviews etc about Rancilio Silvia, that because it is not auto filling one has to fill the boiler every time when switching on, otherwise risk burning out the element. I cant understand where the boiler water goes. Surely as one makes coffee the boiler is sucking more water in. The same when steaming. Obviously if the reservoir was let run dry it would require priming. So, theoretically the boiler should always be full. OR when it is switched off does the boiler mysteriously drain back into the reservoir? Maybe I should stick to brewing tea.

    I asked my son, "Do you prime the boiler everytime you switch on Silvia, because I read . . . (this that or the other re priming)?"
    He answered " Ive never done anything like that, what for!"

    His machine has been going everyday for 18 mths and no boiler probs, yet!

  • #2
    Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

    trumboli,

    When you texture the milk..... you are turning the water into steam..... and the water isnt being replaced during this time..... If you then turn the machine off rather than refilling the boiler (running water through the group or the wand)..... the next time you turn it on it will be half empty.... or even worse... empty.....

    The elements will come on full.... no water to heat ..... one blown element!!

    If however you refill the boiler prior to switching off.... you should be pretty safe.... but just in case you forgot prior to switching off.... it would be a good safety measure to "re prime" - far cheaper than replacing elements (or whole new boilers with the latest model )

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

      Originally posted by trumboli link=1203334054/0#0 date=1203334053
      Surely as one makes coffee the boiler is sucking more water in.
      True


      Originally posted by trumboli link=1203334054/0#0 date=1203334053
      The same when steaming.
      False! The pump is not running when you are steaming. The boiler water is boiling off to steam and NOT being replaced. This is why you need to refill the boiler after steaming.


      Originally posted by trumboli link=1203334054/0#0 date=1203334053
      ...when it is switched off does the boiler mysteriously drain back into the reservoir?
      No, it doesnt drain away. You dont need to prime it every time you turn it on, but you do need to prime it every time you finish steaming. The heating element in the Silvia is very expensive to replace, so you dont want to be shortening its life by allowing it to overheat.


      regards,
      Bill

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

        Thanx JavaB that explains it better than anything I have read on the matter. Actually most stuff I read tells you what will happen but not why. Guess son has been very lucky until now. He has read your reply and will be applying your advice. If I end up with a Silvia I will be one step ahead, particularly if I get one of the new models.
        Also thanx Bill.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

          It will take a lot of steaming for the boiler to really empty out and if this happens, the best indicator of it occuring is the fact that Silvia will actually run out of steam. So, this is the time to switch off the steam and turn on the water pump as if youre pouring a shot.

          We found some of this out at the latte art workshop I did, as Renzo was making me shots on another machine, whilst I steamed with the Silvia. I suddenly remembered I had to prime the boiler! (amongst my excitement of making heaps of coffee! ;D) When another Silvia owner at the workshop complained about their steam going south, Scott and I turned to them and with seemingly one voice said "Prime the boiler!" ;D

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

            This may be a silly question, but does priming the boiler just mean to let water run though the group head and to not let the machine warm up without doing this?

            Thanks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

              MarkC77

              As you can see form the other posts it is very advisable to keep the boiler filled so you dont burn out the element.
              This is mentioned in the silvia manual but not well explained.

              "Priming the boiler" is a fancy way of saying fill up the boiler.
              It has nothing to do with heating/preheating the machine, but if the boiler is up to temp, it can also be used to speed up the heating of the grouphead.

              Adopting these practices as part of your routine is easy.


              Everytime I switch on my machine, I activate either the brew or water switch and run it until a flow of water appears, if you see regular water flow, you know the boiler is basically filled.
              At this point Ill also tighten the steam valve to make sure it is fully closed.

              Once the boiler is up to temp, Ill flush hot water through the group [to speed up the heating]....I use this water to fill and warm my cups.

              I also do the water flush [boiler prime] following steaming: but I do it first via the wand [to clean it] and second via the group head. since this has the added advantage of bringing the boiler and grouphead back to down back to brew temps.

              Realistically you are flushing no more than a double shots worth of water for each process.

              Aside from steaming, the boiler can also find itself empty if you leave the machine on and have not fully tightened the steamvalve, therefore it leaks.
              If you tighten the steam valve when everything is warm [and metals are expanded], and then switch off and later switch on a cold machine, you may find the wand leaks....hence why you should double check its tightness on power up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

                Originally posted by JavaB link=1203334054/0#1 date=1203335134
                trumboli,

                When you texture the milk..... you are turning the water into steam..... and the water isnt being replaced during this time..... If you then turn the machine off rather than refilling the boiler (running water through the group or the wand)..... the next time you turn it on it will be half empty.... or even worse... empty.....

                The elements will come on full.... no water to heat ..... one blown element!!

                If however you refill the boiler prior to switching off.... you should be pretty safe.... but just in case you forgot prior to switching off.... it would be a good safety measure to "re prime" - far cheaper than replacing elements (or whole new boilers with the latest model )
                Im still not clear on the matter. How do you re-prime? Do you mean just use the brew switch as soon as the machine is switched on to pump water through?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why is Silvia priming so necessary?

                  Machine on. Brew espresso. Steam switch on. Up to temp, steam milk. Result: steamed jug of milk, partially empty boiler at around 125 deg C, heating element = ideal recipe for burnt element if the element is heating for too long. Activate hot water switch which will refill the boiler and provide a body to absorb the elements heat. This should be done regardless of whether the youre going to create more steam for another jug of milk, but if you are you obviously need water in the boiler to start with so thats another reason to do it.

                  HTH,
                  Greg

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X