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No turbulence from v1 Silvia steam wand
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > No turbulence...  
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wb77
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Dec 31, 2012, 8:37pm
Subject: No turbulence from v1 Silvia steam wand
 

Hello,

I recently purchased a v1 Silvia with one hole tip.

I've found that the steaming is inadequate. There is literally no turbulence at all when the tip is inserted. I've tried skimming the surface, insterying deeper, going closer to the wall of the (belled) pitcher, all manner of angles, trying with water etc. I'm using a 16oz pitcher.

It tends to not stretch properly and I end up with essentially a pitcher of warm milk that is minimally aerated.

Is there anything that anyone might suggest? The videos I have viewed on you tube universally show some turbence immediately upon dipping the tip below the surface.

Thanks and Happy New Year.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Dec 31, 2012, 9:46pm
Subject: Re: No turbulence from v1 Silvia steam wand
 

Welcome to CG.

A couple of simple things to check.  You could have a partial plug of the wand.  Try removing the tip and see how it flows.  You could need to clean the tip and/or the wand.  Does water flow out the wand with the pump? The steam thermostat could be bad and not heating well and not generating proper pressure.

Does the machine brew well and flow from the group?

Do you know anything about how it was maintained?

Add some more information and I am sure that there will be plenty of help.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,024
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 8:59am
Subject: Re: No turbulence from v1 Silvia steam wand
 

what size pitcher are you using?  anything over 16oz is difficult for Silvia v1 (in a 16oz pitcher, you'd be frothing maybe 8-10 oz milk max).  If you're using a pitcher in the 12-16oz range, then you've got a steam delivery problem.  In that case, try the steps mentioned above.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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wb77
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 10:37am
Subject: Re: No turbulence from v1 Silvia steam wand
 

Thanks for the replies.

Water flows well through the wand when the hot water switch is activated. I did however clean and descale it this morning. I also opened it and hit the little reset button on the thermostat, or rather one of the thermostats. I'm not sure whether that did anything. I also put a few ounces of water in a cup before my first post and there was no motion in the fluid.

I think the pitcher is a touch over 16oz, but I was only going to the top of the bell, perhaps 50% of the total capacity so that shouldn't overwhelm the capability of the machine I'd imagine.

I did notice that if I bleed wand after the light goes out the wait a bit longer I get a bit more turbulence. Unfortunate I changed a bunch of things at once, so I don't know what has resulted in the improvement.
It still isn't making great foam but I will attribute that to technique for the next while.

I will try a smaller vessel a little layer, and perhaps try to film it just as a technical exercise to demonstrate the (lack of) turbulence.

Is there a great difference among Silvia versions with respect to steam output (I'm aware of the 3 vs 1 hole tip)?

Thanks again!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: No turbulence from v1 Silvia steam wand
 

Most of the vib pumps put out about 10 ml/sec at open system, little or no pressure.  The steam wand flow of water with the pump on should be about that if the wand is clear.  Steam pressure and flow are temperature dependent so you may need to check the boiler temperature.  You can get it up to temperature and place an instant digital thermometer on the tank and get an approximate temperture.  You can get it to temperture and then unplug it and measure temperture if you do not want to stick a metal probe between electrical wiring :)

Put a couple oz water in a heat safe clear glass and you can see what the steam is doing.

Temperature and the lights are related.  The OEM thermostat has a fairly large dead or on-off band.

Click Here (www.jgbhose.com)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,024
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:09am
Subject: Re: No turbulence from v1 Silvia steam wand
 

I don't think there's a bit of difference between the v1 and v3 in terms of steam pressure before the wand.  The v3 wand is a big improvement, but it's not going to solve a poor steam pressure problem.  In other words, if your v1 machine is indeed having a steam pressure problem, then you'd want to take care of that before considering an upgrade, as it's not going to go away by upgrading the wand.  Considering what you said about your pitcher and milk volume, you shouldn't be having any problem other than technique, if everything was working properly.  So, it sounds like more is going on.  One hole tip vs 3 or 4 hole tip shouldn't explain it either, based on what I think you've said so far.  Definitely try to post a video.

You might need to do a more thorough descale.  If you're comfortable with nuts and bolts, take off the steam pipe between the boiler and valve and visually inspect it for scale build up.  If it was heavy to begin with, a standard descale isn't going to clean it well enough, so you may have to soak the pipe in descaler overnight...and if that is the problem, you'll have to descale the rest of the machine very well too.  If the pipe is not full of heavy scale, you may need to look inside the the steam valve  There are a couple of o-rings inside of it, and if broken, maybe a piece is blocking the steam path?  You will probably need a bench vise to get the valve apart.

Your water is coming out adequately hot?  If you are at steam operating temp and the with no pf handle in place on the group, you switch on the brew switch, you should get a rush of steam before the water comes out...be careful not to burn yourself if you want to test this, and make sure you have water in your reservoir.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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