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Just purchased a used Sylvia....

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  • Just purchased a used Sylvia....

    on ebay for $354 (which seems a good price)....on the recommendations of coffeesnobs....

    What do I need to look for when picking it up to make sure its not a lemon (other than asking the seller to give it a whirl and make me a coffee?)

  • #2
    Re: Just purchased a used Sylvia....

    Check for good flow rate with no coffee in the filter, to ensure the pump is working, check that the brew and steam settings work. If it makes a coffee and steams milk there cannot be much wrong. Good luck and enjoy!

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    • #3
      Re: Just purchased a used Sylvia....

      Originally posted by 1A272A171A212B20293A2C3B2726480 link=1312945594/1#1 date=1312946461
      Check for good flow rate with no coffee in the filter, to ensure the pump is working, check that the brew and steam settings work. If it makes a coffee and steams milk there cannot be much wrong. Good luck and enjoy!
      What should the brew and steam settings be able to do if working correctly - sorry a total noob.

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      • #4
        Re: Just purchased a used Sylvia....

        check the shower screen in the group head, if its clean its probably well looked after, if its got crusted coffee on it and around it then the owner probably hasnt looked after it the best but this is nothing a really good clean cant fix.

        Rust behind the drip tray is quite unavoidable on these machines due to the poor powder coating on the steel frame, this will not affect the machine and is nothing to worry about if there is rust.

        Silvias are solid machines that will always scrub up okay if you give it the attention that one deserves.

        Enjoy!!


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        • #5
          Re: Just purchased a used Sylvia....

          turn it on and check that water comes out of the group head and steam wand. Turn on the steam switch and make sure steam comes out the steam wand.

          Take a stubby screw driver or two and take the shower screen off and check for filth.

          but really there isnt much to go wrong with them as long as the element is good then you should be OK I would have thought. Nothing that a descale and good clean wouldnt fix anyway.

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          • #6
            Re: Just purchased a used Sylvia....

            I dont know if the owner would really allow you to take the machine apart...it is a good way to check if its been well looked after though.  Anyway, ditto on what everyone has said so far.

            I would think the biggest concern is that the element is dead/dying.  The rest are just normal wear and tear and should be relatively cheap to source and replace yourself.

            As you said, get him/her to make you a coffee.  In fact make two shots.  An espresso and a latte.  It will tell you firstly that the element and steamer are working and if the previous owner knows his/her stuff.  Ofcourse the assumption is that if he/she is keen on their ability to make a good cup of coffee he/she would also be keen to maintain the machine too.  As ROs said, they are built well...like a tank compared to others in the same class. 

            If you do take it home with you, make sure you know how to take care of it at home.  Refilling the boiler after steaming, backflushing etc.  Good luck!

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            • #7
              Re: Just purchased a used Sylvia....

              Originally posted by 5C4E40564A2F0 link=1312945594/5#5 date=1312952957

              If you do take it home with you, make sure you know how to take care of it at home.  Refilling the boiler after steaming, backflushing etc.  Good luck!
              For that I am going to be coming back to this forum to learn

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              • #8
                Re: Just purchased a used Sylvia....

                Originally posted by 38353C3A2D590 link=1312945594/6#6 date=1312958996
                For that I am going to be coming back to this forum to learn
                Tons of information on the web about Silvias. All the above is spot on (IMHO). The thing is built pretty well, with the usual provisos about random things breaking (Ive had bad luck with the switches, for example..). There is not really anything you can do to actually check the heater element - sayoe is on the money here. Get them to show you how to use it.

                The absolute imperative is to not stretch more than 600ml or so of milk at a time (else the water level drops too much and exposes too much element) and to refill the boiler once youre done steaming. Which means you flick either the hot water switch or the brew switch till you get water coming out.

                Just a personal opinion - but you basically cant go wrong really. If the boiler is stuffed, well coffeeparts can supply one and if youre handy with a screwdriver and have some proper spanners - no big deal to replace. Shes built like the proverbial brick outhouse and although it is a bit cramped inside, no big deal to fiddle with.

                /Kevin

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