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Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
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pilot25
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Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 119
Location: MD

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 10:44pm
Subject: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

I've done a search and cannot find anyone who has had my problem.

Rancilio Silvia V3 2 years old.  Getting pretty low water flow out of the grouphead.  I noticed the last week or so the shots have been pretty "foamy" with different bean selections and grinds.  Pushing just water out I remember when it was new water would come out strong and I'd have to wipe the counter after.  Now its a steady stream but not at all powerful.  I descaled with no change.  I have not descaled enough in 2 years and we have hard water.  Yes, slap me.  

I'm going to take it apart, install an Auber PID, and clean the OPV but how can I tell if the pump is bad?  Before I close the thing up I'd like to make sure that the pump isn't bad vs. the OPV being clogged.

Thanks ahead of time.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,058
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

If you let descaling slide during the last couple of years, especially with hard water, a single regular pass through descaling might not be enough to remove the deposits that have accumulatred over time. A professional cleaning might be required.

 
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"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,001
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 6:21am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

pilot25 Said:

Now its a steady stream but not at all powerful.  I descaled with no change.  I have not descaled enough in 2 years and we have hard water.  Yes, slap me.

Posted November 20, 2013 link

I won't slap you, but will refer you to an old post of mine. I had to send it off to Stefano to get it working. I now descale quarterly with no problems.

Good luck!

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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pilot25
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 119
Location: MD

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 7:01am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

Thanks.  I have a feeling its pretty gunked up.  I'll have to take it apart and clean it myself.  However, if the water doesn't backflow into the tank with a blind basket in, does it mean the pump is also possibly bad?  I guess the pump could be gunked up too vs. mechanically broken down.
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,001
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

pilot25 Said:

However, if the water doesn't backflow into the tank with a blind basket in, does it mean the pump is also possibly bad?  I guess the pump could be gunked up too vs. mechanically broken down.

Posted November 21, 2013 link

Yes, it could be a bad pump or else severely scaled. It could also be an OPV that is stuck closed. The OPV can be disassembled and cleaned, but the pump can't.

Also, you said he soaked the parts in acid?  What kind of acid?

Stefano uses and recommends a commercial descaling product, Calcinet, but you may be able to get away with using citric acid, usually available at home brewing or wine making stores. I use 30 ml/liter of hot water for preventive descaling. Severe scale may require a stronger solution, I'm not sure.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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pilot25
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 119
Location: MD

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

Thanks again.

I'm away but when I get home I'm going check all you stated.  I'm sure the opv is stuck or gunked because I get great flow out of the wand but no backflow into the tank with a blind basket in.  If the pump was bad I would assume water pressure out of the wand would be slow too.  Luckily, there are a lot off good sites with Silvia owners who have tended to their machines previously.

I have an Auber PID on order so I was going to open it up anyway.


Has anyone seen a video of water flowing out of a Silvia group.  I have only seen videos of espresso being made.  Seeing the water flow would give me an idea if I have enough pressure.  I was thinking of making a portafilter pressure gauge but I don't know if that is necessary.
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SStones
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SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 506
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Fri Nov 22, 2013, 8:44pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

pilot25 Said:

if the water doesn't backflow into the tank with a blind basket in, does it mean the pump is also possibly bad?

Posted November 21, 2013 link

If the water doesn't force the relief valve open and flow back to reservoir when the brew circuit exceeds 10 Bars pressure, then something is wrong.  Wher does the water go?  Is it flowing a different route? Is the pump actually stalling before it reaches a pressure that can open the relief valve?  If your pump is stalling at 8 Bar, then yes, it's quite obviously a pump failure, not a possible one. Do you have a gauge that can measure pressure gauge pressure from 0 to 150 or higher PSIG?  If your relief isn't passing at least 2 ounces/minute with your blind filter in and the relief full-flowing at 145-150 PSIG, then replace the pump.
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pilot25
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 119
Location: MD

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Sat Nov 23, 2013, 12:09am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Pump vs. pressure problem?
 

Problem solved.  Thanks for the help.
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