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Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

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  • Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

    Hi All,

    I hope someone can give me some advice.
    heres the symptoms; Over the last week or so Ive been noticing the extraction from the grouphead has been a bit slow and "dribbly". I thought it was the grind I was using so have tried different grind / tamp combos to no avail. This morning the pressure from the grouphead appeared to be very low and now no water is coming through at all !
    The steam and hot water work fine (plenty of heat and pressure) the grouphead heats up etc but nobody home! could this be the pump? although I can hear something going on and would I get the hot water / steam / normal horrible pump noise if I had a faulty pump?
    Any thoughts would be appreciated or alternatively the name of a reputable repair agent or should I send Miss Silvia to the great espresso lounge in the sky?

    cheers

  • #2
    Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

    Do you have a backflushing routine? If not, I would give it a good backflush with espresso machine cleaner. Possibly follow that up with a bit of de-scaling with citric acid, same procedure asthe chemical backflush.

    If the problem persists, then it might be a good idea to contact professional help.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

      I agree that a backflush and then perhaps a descale might be in order.
      I do not agree that they are the same procedure.

      All information I have read on de-scaling mentions mixing citric acid in a solution and putting it in the water reservoir. Whereas the backflushing involves a small amount of espresso cleaner in a blind filter (never in the reservoir).

      If you have never done either process, I STRONGLY suggest you do some reading before going ahead and doing either process.

      Backflushing article:
      http://www.wholelattelove.com/articles/backflushing_an_espresso_machine.cfm

      De-scaling article:
      http://coffeemachine.com.au/descaling-your-coffee-machine-a-6.html?osCsid=c02e0e08164951dabe7b16d0d7deebe1

      Please do more than just read these. Opinions do differ, seek out a few different articles before making your decision.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

        Thanks for the replies, I have descaled the machine a few times using the coffeeco instructions (as recently as last week)but Ive never back flushed it. Ill go and order a blank from my local coffee ppl Kokoda.
        I realised after my (panicky - no coffee hit this morning!) post that the pump must still work or I wouldnt get hot water out of the steam spout correct?
        Thanks again for the help.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

          Originally posted by GW link=1163799773/0#3 date=1163812363
          I realised after my (panicky - no coffee hit this morning!) post that the pump must still work or I wouldnt get hot water out of the steam spout correct?
          Thanks again for the help.
          Yep, thats right.
          If it can pump water through the wand, then it sounds like a good backflush is in order.
          Prior to getting your blank, you could remove the shower screen and do a clean of that. it wont hurt. Try to remove whilst its cool.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

            Hi GW,
            Sounds exactly like the problem I had, it turned out to be a scrap of boiler material caught in the 3-way. Have a look at this thread:- http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1152431184/0#0
            Bruce

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

              Hi Bruce,

              For some reason I dont seem to be able to open the link.

              cheers
              Gordon

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                There is an incomplete url tag in the address.
                Try this
                http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1152431184/0#0

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                  Hi GW,

                  Maybe I missed it, but I dont recall any mention of removing the shower screen and cleaning it, if you havent done that yet, it is the first thing I would suggest, before any backflushing is done.

                  Also check the pipes in the water tank, when trying to brew, if no water is coming through the grouphead, and pump is running, or trying to, is there any water coming out the return line from the OPV valve? If water is coming from the OPV return line, then, it means there is a blockage in the grouphead system, and assuming the shower screen is clean, its probably a similar problem to the one Billi had as noted above.

                  Regards
                  Bullitt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                    Backflush initially only to see if there might be a mechanical obstruction in the group electrovalve that can be cleared by this proceedure. Sometimes it does, many times it doesnt.

                    Otherwise,

                    a) suggest go straight to the group electrovalve, disassemble & check for obstruction such as swarf, a remnant of loktite or a broken O ring getting in the way etc. Rectify & refit and test AND / OR

                    b) as already suggested by slomeone else check outflow from return water line to tank, see if OPV or similar controlling valve is faulty & take appropriate action.


                    Backflushing in the hope of clearing a build up of coffee oils or clogged showers will do nothing as this appears primarily (as described by you) to be an actual mechanical problem.

                    Seek professional help if you do not feel comfortable with disassembling /rectifying yourself or, if the machine is under guarantee seek help from the vendor or warranty agent.


                    G.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                      how old is your Silvia?? My pump went recently (about 3yrs old)......symptoms were similar i.e. still sounded to be working but wouldnt push out the full volume of water and hence shorter shots.........replaced it with a new pump from CoffeeParts and all good to go...........fairly easy job to replace.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                        Actual failures in these types of pumps are very rare. Also didnt someone above mention it pumps strongly through the steam pipe in hot water mode? In which case it is unlikely there is a pump problem here.

                        As stated by others, I would be looking at the group valve.

                        Regardz,
                        FC.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                          In response to above............my pump didnt actually fail or stop working ,it just didnt pump as efficiently as it should hence lower water output - this can be tested by just running water through the portafilter with no coffee..unfortunately I cant remember what the normal volume was. but when checked it was lacking....this reduced pump pressure will be enough pressure to pump water through the steam pipe............so there could be a pump problem, as in my case.........but as FC mentioned worth looking at the group valve too

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                            GW:
                            ou can check the water situation by watching what happens when you press the brew switch. With the water tank lid removed, do you see a lot of water returning to the tank? If yes, that would indicate the pump is working well, but there is a blockage. A dirty shower screen should be a suspect culprit.

                            Also, while waiting for a blind basket, you can improvise your own. Press a little playdough into the bottom of the portafilter, replace the basket and backflush.

                            Good luck,

                            Robusto

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Please help! Miss Silvia has carked it !

                              We will have to start calling Robusta "Magiva" with tips like that

                              Comment

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