Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 2,950 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 2:12pm Subject: Re: 5 yr old Silvia- unable to pull a good shot
Yes, let us know what you find out, it might help others in the future. With my issues on my value I did photographs and tried to document as much as I could so others could tell what to do if that happens to them with their Oscar. I even changed the name of the topic to be a better search engine hit for the real problem rather than the problem I thought it was at the start.
If JGG is right I would start with cleaning the OPV right off the bat.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
alspresso Senior Member Joined: 10 Apr 2007 Posts: 9 Location: texas Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Silvia Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Mon May 28, 2012, 9:44pm Subject: Re: 5 yr old Silvia- unable to pull a good shot
Thanks to all for input. Finally got to tear it down and found water leaking from the base of the boiler when turned on and trying to pump. Leaking a fair amount and there is black all outside the base where the seal would be at the bottom. must have been leaking for some time as the bottom of the painted metal panels is rusted as are a bunch of screw heads and some connectors. Now comes the questions? is there more problems, Attempt to repair/rebuild or just bite the bullet and buy another one?
Posted Mon May 28, 2012, 10:18pm Subject: Re: 5 yr old Silvia- unable to pull a good shot
A five year old Silvia which has been treated properly shouldn't be having these problems. The tripping of the thermostat and the leaks at the boiler base point towards overheating which could cause the black discoloration (more likely if you bought it new as opposed to someone else spray painting it or something).
As I mentioned before, the low brew pressure and overheating point towards a scale build up as well.
Can it be fixed? Sure. is it economically feasible? Maybe. You will need to get the boiler apart before you know that.. again, as I recommended in my earlier post in this thread.
"Hey. Is this my wife posting the original question. She don't listen to me either. I get no respect, I tell ya!"
jgottlieb Senior Member Joined: 26 Oct 2007 Posts: 15 Location: Denver, CO Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed May 30, 2012, 4:15pm Subject: Re: 5 yr old Silvia- unable to pull a good shot
I just recently experienced what seems like very similar symptoms on my V2 Sylvia (except for the leaking). My issue turned out to be gunk that had broken loose and clogged up the 3-way valve. The nice thing is the 3-way valve is very easy to break down and inspect. There is a link somewhere (I've lost it, maybe someone else can post) that shows you exactly how to break down the 3-way valve and inspect/clean it. That may fix the issue.
Also, I would check the volume of water that comes out via the brewhead and compare it with the volume that comes out via the steam wand when you run the hot water switch. If the water coming out of the wand is at a good flow, I wouldn't think it is the pump.
What I noticed on my machine was the water coming out of the wand was fine, but the water coming out of the grouphead was very low and you could see the water running back into the reservoir through the OPV hose whenever the brew switch was running.
The other possible culprit would be the grouphead and screen being really clogged up, but I'm assuming you've probably already checked those. I checked my output through the grouphead with the entire group removed. (just be careful as the water will shoot straight out at you).
Anyway, a couple of things to check. Let us know.
Also, in terms of your leaks, if it just seems like it's coming out the bottom of the boiler, you may just need a new gasket. You can get them at 1st-line.
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