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Replaced group head gasket on Rancilio Silvia: was leaky now a spray!

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  • Replaced group head gasket on Rancilio Silvia: was leaky now a spray!

    Did I destroy the group head seal?  What can I do next?

    I might have been slightly aggressive as the frustration level grew while trying to remove the old gasket on my recently purchased second hand Rancilio Silvia... this is an understatement after an hour, three different sized screw drivers, and a hammer  ;D

    The machine had a leak before I replaced the gasket, and while backflushing using a blind filter and some Cafetto, I couldnt help but notice the previous leak had now become a rather large spray exiting with high velocity from one point on the group head!  Im a little disappointed with my DIY efforts :-?

  • #2
    Re: Replaced group head gasket on Rancilio Silvia: was leaky now a spray!

    The new gasket should feel pliable and resilient when locking the portafilter. They do age and you might have gotten an old one that is hard.

    When you lock the portafilter in place, do you do so firmly? With Silvia you need to hold the machine with one hand while locking the portafilter in place.

    Did you make sure that ALL traces of old gasket were removed? The group should have been completely clean before inserting the new gasket.

    Did you fully seat the new gasket? Tighten the portafilter a few times with great effort on the portafilter handle to be sure that the gasket is seated.

    Did the gasket have any printing or markings on it? Those should be up against the group. The smooth side, if it existed, goes towards the portafilter.

    Is the basket or portafilter warped? Put a thin film of cooking oil on the sealing edge of the basket and place it lightly on a pane of glass and see if the sealing edge is flat.

    Are you using a bottomless portafilter body? Are the "leaks" coming from the basket or from around the OUTSIDE of teh portafilter body?

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    • #3
      Re: Replaced group head gasket on Rancilio Silvia: was leaky now a spray!

      Originally posted by 46757A706D4B533A140 link=1333632191/1#1 date=1333641079
      The new gasket should feel pliable and resilient when locking the portafilter. They do age and you might have gotten an old one that is hard.

      When you lock the portafilter in place, do you do so firmly? With Silvia you need to hold the machine with one hand while locking the portafilter in place.

      Did you make sure that ALL traces of old gasket were removed? The group should have been completely clean before inserting the new gasket.

      Did you fully seat the new gasket? Tighten the portafilter a few times with great effort on the portafilter handle to be sure that the gasket is seated.

      Did the gasket have any printing or markings on it? Those should be up against the group. The smooth side, if it existed, goes towards the portafilter.

      Is the basket or portafilter warped? Put a thin film of cooking oil on
      the sealing edge of the basket and place it lightly on a pane of glass and see if the sealing edge is flat.

      Are you using a bottomless portafilter body? Are the "leaks" coming from the basket or from around the OUTSIDE of teh portafilter body?
      Thanks for your response.

      I gave the group a cursory clean before replacing the gasket yesterday evening. After having a closer look at the group this morning, it was filthy! Attacked it with a firm brush, and back flushed again.

      Also tried closing the Porta filter with a lot more force on both the back flush and a couple of shots; to around 5 o clock. Its not gushing anymore, but still a slight leak.

      Next time I replace the gasket, Ill give the group a thorough clean before inserting it

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      • #4
        Re: Replaced group head gasket on Rancilio Silvia: was leaky now a spray!

        If you now think it wasnt done properly in the first place, why not just remove it, clean thoroughly and refit ! As in, why wait for a "next time" which will be an aweful long time coming.

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        • #5
          Re: Replaced group head gasket on Rancilio Silvia: was leaky now a spray!


          Yes, I didnt add to my post that next time will be when I can buy another gasket; hopefully Saturday morning

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