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Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Silvia - I think...  
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jgottlieb
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 15
Location: Denver, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 3:30pm
Subject: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

I have a Rancilio Silvia that I bought a number of years ago.  It's not a V3, but I can't remember if it's a V1 or V2 (If anyone has any easy way to determine this, that would be helpful).

It recently started blowing the GFI breaker.  I tried plugging it into a non-GFI outlet as our GFI breakers are a bit flaky (old house) and it seemed to work ok.

But, when I drew a shot from it, it got very noisy (I think from the boiler) and the shot came out way to fast.  (I use the machine daily and it's dialed in pretty well).  I discarded the shot and decided to just run some water through the machine.  The water came out  super heated and it looked like a white slurry.  There was tons of fine white particulate in the water.  The machine continued making a ton of noise like the boiler was going berserk.  Then suddenly I couldn't get any water to come out of the grouphead.  

So my guess at this point is that I think the boiler element finally died.  Based on what I've read online it seems likely.  It probably overheated and kicked out a bunch of scale or something and clogged my 3-way valve.

My plan at this point is to replace the boiler with one from 1st line and take my 3-way valve apart and clean it.

The boiler runs about $120 on 1st line and there are no refunds.  I wanted to see if I could get a sanity check from folks on here.  

Is my diagnosis correct?  Are there other things I could do or check?  Or should I just buy the boiler?

Also, since there seem to be differences in boilers between V1 and V2, is there an easy way to tell which version my Silvia is?

She has served me well.  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Joshua
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dsblv
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2006
Posts: 191
Location: Bellevue, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
Grinder: MACAP MC4
Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 4:19pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

The V2 model came out about 4 1/2 to 5 years ago.  A quick way to tell the difference between the V1 and V2 is by the drip tray.  The tray on the V2 is the same style as the current V3 model.  The older V1 model had a different drip tray that was all perforated.  

You can also tell the difference by looking at the OPV and the overall boiler design.  You'll have to compare parts to understand the difference.  If you need help identifying parts, I'd recommend contacting Stefano's Espresso Care or Chris Coffee.  I believe their web sites display parts list with pictures.
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jgottlieb
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 15
Location: Denver, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

The drip tray looks the same as the V3, so it must be a V2.  That's what I thought because I had a vague memory that when I bought it, it said something about being able to add a pod adapter kit to it or something.  Which I think was introduced with V2.

Thanks for the info.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,950
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

the boilers gone. I don't have a lot of time to respond to you but I just went through the process of rebuilding a silvia boiler.
I think you will be very interested in my thread with pictures on the exact process of rebuilding a silvia.
here you go.
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/547829

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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dsblv
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Joined: 2 Dec 2006
Posts: 191
Location: Bellevue, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
Grinder: MACAP MC4
Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 5:11pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

By the way, cross posting to other communities is discouraged.  People generally read both this site and Home-Barista.com, so cross-posting isn't necessary.
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jgottlieb
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 15
Location: Denver, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

Sorry about the cross-post.  As you can see, I don't post very often.  Didn't know how much or if the communities overlapped.

Thanks for the heads up.

Joshua
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jgottlieb
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 15
Location: Denver, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 5:41pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

calblacksmith Said:

the boilers gone. I don't have a lot of time to respond to you but I just went through the process of rebuilding a silvia boiler.
I think you will be very interested in my thread with pictures on the exact process of rebuilding a silvia.
here you go.
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/547829

Posted March 9, 2012 link

The thread was very informative.  My primary concern is making sure the boiler/element is dead as opposed to a thermostat or some other component.  I would hate to blow a $125 on a non-refundable part and have that turn out to not be the problem.

From my description, do you feel pretty certain it's the boiler?  Would there be anything I could check for or do to make sure?

Thanks,

Joshua
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onthego
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onthego
Joined: 3 Jul 2005
Posts: 231
Location: Anchorage, AK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore One Black, Silvia...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Rocky DL,...
Drip: Krups
Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012, 11:05pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

calblacksmith Said:

the boilers gone.  

Posted March 9, 2012 link

Agree with this diagnosis.  If you have doubts remove the boiler, open it up, and inspect the element.  If you are unsure of what boiler you need to order, just send a picture of the one that needs replacing to any of the on line parts suppliers.  They will be able to provide you with the correct replacement.  The serial number of the machine will also provide that information if you can read it.
Good luck.
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fredk01
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 136
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Saeco Aroma
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Sat Mar 10, 2012, 5:04am
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

I would open up the boiler and take a look at the heating element.  It sounds like that is what is shot, not the boiler itself.  Replacing just the heating element would reduce the cost of repair quite a bit.
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MisterJohnnyT
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Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 62
Location: S.E. Florida
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Posted Sat Mar 10, 2012, 5:44am
Subject: Re: Silvia - I think she's dead! - HELP
 

Have you ever descaled the machine?  I wonder if that white slurry could be mineral deposits that have come loose and clogged up the lines?
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