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Rancilio Silvia Weak Pump?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
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tommco
Senior Member
tommco
Joined: 1 Mar 2012
Posts: 8
Location: San Diego, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:15am
Subject: Rancilio Silvia Weak Pump?
 

Hi everyone, thanks for all of the great info on this site. This is my first post. I've searched this topic about as much as I can, but I wanted to get everyone's recommendations and advice, so thanks in advance for all of your insightful answers.

I've had a Silvia and Rocky for about 6 years, and I'd say on average I used the machine about 3-4x a week for a couple of years and then 1-2x after that, until about 1 year ago when I have been using my Keurig machine (since I now have a 2 year old in the house) other than an occasional weekend shot.

Foolishly, I left the water in the Silvia for 8-10 months without bleeding it dry or cycling the machine. I've almost always used Crystal Geyser water in it, which I understand doesn't require descaling. Upon trying to use my machine a couple of days ago, it wasn't putting out shots at my normal grind (about a 7 on the Rocky).

I descaled, and as expected, didn't seem like there was any buildup. All of the other variables seem to be covered -- I have a PID, temperature seemed to be good, and the machine does pump. The shower screen and little holes in the group head are clean, the grinder is clean, the beans were fresh, etc.

When I put on a blind filter and cycle the machine for about 10 seconds, it does backwash water into the overflow pan, but it doesn't have that whooshing sound that I remember when I would backflush the machine in the past. When pumping water with just the portafilter, it pumped just a little over 2 oz. in about 10 seconds, and from what I've read, it seems like it should be about 4 oz.

I progressively dialed the grinder up from 7 to a coarser grind, to 10, still nothing, then 15, and then 20, when I was finally able to pull a shot that was of course watery, which did have a little crema although it dissipated rapidly.

The research I've done has led me to believe that the pump has gone bad, but before I attempt to rebuild or replace it, I was just wondering if anything else jumped out at someone here. I don't mind the cost or effort of replacing the pump; I just don't want to do it if only to find it was something else.

Again, thanks for your answers.
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 685
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Modded Oscar
Grinder: Grindmaster 875, WTB...
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, Counter...
Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Weak Pump?
 

tommco Said:

Hi everyone, thanks for all of the great info on this site. This is my first post. I've searched this topic about as much as I can, but I wanted to get everyone's recommendations and advice, so thanks in advance for all of your insightful answers.

I've had a Silvia and Rocky for about 6 years, and I'd say on average I used the machine about 3-4x a week for a couple of years and then 1-2x after that, until about 1 year ago when I have been using my Keurig machine (since I now have a 2 year old in the house) other than an occasional weekend shot.

Foolishly, I left the water in the Silvia for 8-10 months without bleeding it dry or cycling the machine. I've almost always used Crystal Geyser water in it, which I understand doesn't require descaling. Upon trying to use my machine a couple of days ago, it wasn't putting out shots at my normal grind (about a 7 on the Rocky).

I descaled, and as expected, didn't seem like there was any buildup. All of the other variables seem to be covered -- I have a PID, temperature seemed to be good, and the machine does pump. The shower screen and little holes in the group head are clean, the grinder is clean, the beans were fresh, etc.

When I put on a blind filter and cycle the machine for about 10 seconds, it does backwash water into the overflow pan, but it doesn't have that whooshing sound that I remember when I would backflush the machine in the past. When pumping water with just the portafilter, it pumped just a little over 2 oz. in about 10 seconds, and from what I've read, it seems like it should be about 4 oz.

I progressively dialed the grinder up from 7 to a coarser grind, to 10, still nothing, then 15, and then 20, when I was finally able to pull a shot that was of course watery, which did have a little crema although it dissipated rapidly.

The research I've done has led me to believe that the pump has gone bad, but before I attempt to rebuild or replace it, I was just wondering if anything else jumped out at someone here. I don't mind the cost or effort of replacing the pump; I just don't want to do it if only to find it was something else.

Again, thanks for your answers.

Posted March 1, 2012 link

Check the shorter of the two hoses in the water tank for a constant flow while the group is turned on. This would indicate a bad OPV, not the pump. If there is no flow from the hose then the pump is most likely either clogged or broken.

 
Load and Lock.
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tommco
Senior Member
tommco
Joined: 1 Mar 2012
Posts: 8
Location: San Diego, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 1:33pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Weak Pump?
 

Thanks for the quick reply. No flow from the OPV release tube (not sure that's what it's called) so I'm guessing it's the pump. I'm going to try to take it apart some time soon, and post my findings here.
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tommco
Senior Member
tommco
Joined: 1 Mar 2012
Posts: 8
Location: San Diego, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Mon Mar 5, 2012, 11:22am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Weak Pump?
 

I pulled out the pump yesterday and took it apart. Although nothing was visibly wrong, I soaked the main parts in vinegar. Today, the pump immediately sounded stronger and promptly spit out a decent shot right out of the gate. Yesss!
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 685
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Modded Oscar
Grinder: Grindmaster 875, WTB...
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, Counter...
Posted Mon Mar 5, 2012, 6:11pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Weak Pump?
 

tommco Said:

I pulled out the pump yesterday and took it apart. Although nothing was visibly wrong, I soaked the main parts in vinegar. Today, the pump immediately sounded stronger and promptly spit out a decent shot right out of the gate. Yesss!

Posted March 5, 2012 link

Nice. I would have probably wasted my money replacing it.

 
Load and Lock.
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Aerotec
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Apr 2003
Posts: 17
Location: Edinburgh
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Sylvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Thu Nov 8, 2012, 7:05am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Weak Pump?
 

Hi all,

I just replaced my pump and made a guide to help others out, though it is pretty easy to do.

Click Here (aerotec73.wordpress.com)
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