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  • Silvia steam wand issue

    Having some issues with Silvia's steam wand. Machine is 3.5 years old V2 with Auber shot and steam PID. I have rebuilt steam valve 2 years ago because it was dripping water before and during shots and replaced all "O" rings and steam washer and all has worked fine until about 1 week ago. What seems to be happening now is when I turn the steam on - "Nothing" no steam no water no sound. Opening the valve about half a turn or even a full turn - still nothing - I open and close the valve a few more times and then all comes good. Steaming at full power as normal. This failure seems to be intermittent (Approx 8 out of 10 times in last week) but always happens the first steam after I pull the shot. Steam 2 jugs of milk in a row no problems. Cool and make another shot and then steam , the problem occurs again!

    The strange thing is that if I open the steam valve during warmup and even after the machine has been on for at least an hour the wand will deliver water or steam without an issue! BUT fill basket with coffee and pull a shot then steam. The valve fails to function most of the time??? "VERY STRANGE!" It always comes good and the prob does not seem to be getting any worse??
    Has anyone had any similar issues???
    I will probably pull it to bits and replace washers again or maybe there is some issue with the the valve itself
    Any advice would be helpful
    Thanks Cicarda

  • #2
    This sounds similar to something I've been wondering about on my Silvia- after pulling the shot, I turn the steam switch on, and open the valve to purge excess water from the boiler as it is going from 95C-110C. Pretty much every time, some water comes out, then nothing much happens, and then there is a kind of 'plink' sound (it sounds like a mechanical movement in the machine, like increased pressure causing something to release) and then the water/steam flow resumes normally. I had thought it could be some sort of other valve between the boiler and the steam knob- if opening this took longer or was more difficult I think it would reproduce your symptoms. It is quite a noticable sound and I have been wondering if it is a problem (I do backflush regularly and recently descaled it)

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    • #3
      Thanks for the comments papagoose. I water backflush after each use and a chemical flush every 2 to 3 weeks. It has had regular descale every 6 months, the last being Dec 2012. Could be some left over gunk somewhere but we are now up to May! My machine does not make any significant noise before the water or steam comes through, although i never purge any water or steam from the wand until temp reaches 140 to 150C. I guess I will continue to monitor machine and rule out some variables. Coffee still tastes good as long as the wand doesn't cease up on me one day and I will have to quickly develop a taste for espresso!!
      Cicarda

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      • #4
        This is a tough one.

        Being an intermittent problem, my guess is it could be what you mentioned, some gunk floating in there that is not flushable just by turning on the steam wand.

        Did you do the rebuild yourself?

        A quick call to Jetblack or Coffee A Roma might give you a quick solution.

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        • #5
          Yes Gary I did do the rebuild myself and all has been fine for more than 2 years now and it should not be a problem to rebuild I guess. If there is some gunk in there not sure why it only seems to have an effect after a shot is pulled. I will continue to test to see if I can get it to fail at other times.

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          • #6
            As a matter of interest Cicarda, did you use good quality O rings and gasket when you repaired the valve? aftermarket O rings etc from the local hardware are not worth what they're made of.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Yelta View Post
              As a matter of interest Cicarda, did you use good quality O rings and gasket when you repaired the valve? aftermarket O rings etc from the local hardware are not worth what they're made of.
              All parts were purchased online thru coffeeparts.com.au replaced 4 "O" rings and washer(gasket) plus circlip. This was over 2 years ago without any issues. Going to give the valve a good work out over next few days ( open and close a lot, make some steam and see if I can clean it out) It does seem to only fail after I pull a shot though, so i am interested to see if this trend continues. I am determined to work it out !! So far its always come good after a <5 sec So just a nuisance at this stage not a real problem. YET!!

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              • #8
                Coffee Parts used to sell a lot of after market stuff, I got caught with a set of burrs for a Rocky, similar price to Rancillio burrs, lasted 6 months, replaced em with the real deal and they were still going strong when I sold it years later.

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                • #9
                  Steam valve seems to have come good! Gave it a really good workout. Fully open and closed it a number of times to give it a good flush out over a few days and seems to have done the trick. I will continue to keep an eye on it. Don't think I will pull it apart now unless it plays up again. Thanks for all comments
                  Cicarda

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