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Preparing a used machine for use
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:25am
Subject: Preparing a used machine for use
 

Silvia arrived on the porch today and I couldn't wait to unpack her, even though I should be doing work.  Being an eBay purchase of a used Rancilio, I knew it wouldn’t be new.  However, I was disappointed with the packaging: in a box with an inch or so clearance around the SS body, wrapped in a white trash bag, surrounded by Styrofoam peanuts, and with cobbled little Styrofoam corners taped on the bag.  Packing tape held the drip tray and reservoir lid in place, which was good I suppose, but it left tape marks all over the surfaces.  Knowing it was coming by USPS, which tends to handle packages poorly at times, and seeing the size of the box, I feared the worst.  Thankfully, no apparent damage occurred in shipment.

Here is my question:  considering that the previous owner was not very careful in shipping, what should I do or check to get her ready for duty?  I was always planning to descale the machine before using it, but now I wonder if any internals may need attention. The portafiller is pretty dirty, coffee stained, and there is some crud in the reservoir.  I have some coffee machine cleaner that should take care of the external dirt.  What else might you suggest?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:00am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

the first thing I would advise doing is to get some cheap coffee and pull some shots. you are not looking for a great coffee here simply the proper functioning of the machine. there is no use in giving it a thorough cleaning if it needs re work or return to sender.

after it works as advertised give it a good cleaning and a descale then you should be good to go. there is not a lot of things to go wrong inside the machine and if it is functioning properly you should be good to go.

other than that congratulations and enjoy!

 
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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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

Great idea.  Since I'm just checking that it functions, some preground should be OK, right?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,048
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:16am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

Yes, use what ever you have. It will tell you if there is any pressure at all and heat.  It doesn't matter that it is a good shot.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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zedex
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 129
Location: B.C Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz v2
Grinder: vario
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:44am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

When you fill the resevour with water. Purge water through the steam valve to make sure the boiler gets filled with water. After that you should be good to go. let machine heat up for 20 minutes and start pulling shots, steaming, checking function.  Good luck.
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:54am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

Glad I'm here!  I know filling the boiler is important, but wasn't sure how to do it, and in excitement may have forgotten completely.

While unpacking, I noticed the steam wand has a bit of play.  It’s the swivel, not ball joint, type, but still moves a bit vertically.  The bolt appears to be tight.  Is that movement normal?
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zedex
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 129
Location: B.C Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz v2
Grinder: vario
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

A used machine will have a bit of movement there. When you steam and its leaking ,then you know its not normal.
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

She’s alive!

I filled the boiler and was able to get hot water through the group head, hot water from the wand, and steam from the wand.  No leaks were apparent from the wand or anywhere else.  Then I pulled three shots, none of them very good but not far from what I get from my DeLonghi.  One thing I noticed is that the puck stays pretty wet, not quite soupy but wet.  How can I tell if the three-way solenoid valve is working?
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zedex
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 129
Location: B.C Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz v2
Grinder: vario
Posted Thu Nov 29, 2012, 5:03pm
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

Pull a shot. Immediately after the shot remove PF. If you get sprayed with hot water and coffee grounds, the 3 way is not working.
As to the wet sloppy puck. Thats pretty normal for a silvia. Once you get your grinder, your good to go. The vario and silvia are good combo.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Nov 30, 2012, 3:34am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

The Vario and anything are a good combo...Well, except for a French press.
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