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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > PF/Gasket in...  
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faster
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 86
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancillio Silvia-PID
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: Homemade drum roaster
Posted Sat Jan 11, 2014, 9:43am
Subject: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

Hi all and Happy New Year:-)

My Silvia is about 2 years old and I replaced the PF rubber Gasket. It wasn't leaking, but it was old and brittle, with a groove worn in.

Now it's new and "soft" and totally different feel to it, when I lock the PF in. Much nicer feel.

My question is, how much harm does the PF edge do to the NEW rubber gasket, if I leave it barely locked in, (just not to fall out)...does it age, or deform the rubber?
It's nice to have it preheated...
TIA
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,012
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 8:44am
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

The gaskets will age if a machine sits in an attic for years without the portafilter protecting it. Those gaskets are built to take "harm" from the portafilter and the user.  I really don't think it matters whether you lock it in fully or not.  I don't so I don't lull the machine across the counter when I try to unlock with one hand.
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faster
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 86
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancillio Silvia-PID
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: Homemade drum roaster
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 9:05am
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

Burner0000 Said:

The gaskets will age if a machine sits in an attic for years without the portafilter protecting it. Those gaskets are built to take "harm" from the portafilter and the user.  I really don't think it matters whether you lock it in fully or not.  I don't so I don't lull the machine across the counter when I try to unlock with one hand.

Posted January 12, 2014 link

Thanks, I am sorry, I completely forgot to say I meant in between shots, to leave the PF "slightly locked in", (without coffee) so it stays warm...?

When I make a shot I tighten it "normally" so it doesn't leak...Sorry for poor explanation...
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,012
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 9:09am
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

faster Said:

Thanks, I am sorry, I completely forgot to say I meant in between shots, to leave the PF "slightly locked in", (without coffee) so it stays warm...?

When I make a shot I tighten it "normally" so it doesn't leak...Sorry for poor explanation...

Posted January 12, 2014 link

No worries. I do the same.  I bought my machine used a while ago and haven't had to replace the gasket.  No leaking.
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 763
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 9:31am
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

Gaskets aren't exactly gold.  For my machine, $4.50.  For yours... I doubt they're more.

Best maintenance schedule is to replace your gasket annually.  

You don't want to keep a hot gasket exposed.  Best practice to keep the gasket supple is to keep the pf locked in from warm up all the way through complete cool down, except when you have to remove it to prep and knock.  

I have a pf with a blank basket which I use for back-flushing.  It stays in the machine while the other pfs soak in the sink.  '

Other maintenance:
  1. Clean your pfs and baskets daily.  Use a 3M Scotchbrite, heavy-duty, scouring "cloth," until they're shiny inside.  (Don't scour the outside).  
  2. Clean the gasket with your groupbrush daily, before backflushing.
  3. Backflush daily.
  4. Empty your knockbox daily and wash it with soap daily.
  5. Empty your drip tray daily, and wash it with soap and water.
  6. Wipe off any spots on the espresso machine using a damp rag, daily.
  7. Clean any ground or spills from the area around the machine and grinder daily.
  8. Empty the grinder's spill tray daily, and either vacuum it or wipe it with a damp cloth.
  9. Remove the screen and showerhead twice a week.  Soak them in an espresso specific detergent such as Cafiza, First Circle, or Joe Glo for a few minutes, then brush the screen with a dish brush, and clean the showerhead with a Scotchbrite.
  10. Soak the pfs in detergent once a week. Use a thin brush to clean the hole.
  11. Backflush any machine which doesn't have a cam and lever group (such as an E-61 semi-auto) with detergent, weekly.  Detergent-backflush E-61 semis every other week.

BDL
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faster
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 86
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancillio Silvia-PID
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: Homemade drum roaster
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 10:21am
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

You don't want to keep a hot gasket exposed.  Best practice to keep the gasket supple is to keep the pf locked in from warm up all the way through complete cool down, except when you have to remove it to prep and knock.

Thanx, I was wondering about that...really glad to hear that:-)

My PF gasket cost about the same including postage...even though they are not expensive, I like to keep them nice and supple. (Totally different feel to the old brittle, cracking gasket I prided out)

I divided my "important" maintenance into:

Weekly=backflush with Cafiza detergent, including filters, PFs.

Monthly=Cafiza shower screen,(nowhere near your 2x a week), clean (with soap) 2L water tank...found it slimy one time...lol

Bi-monthly=descaling,  I use low calcium bottled water of good quality and taste.

Thanks for the tips, I do most the same, except b,c....why is daily backflush so important?
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,753
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 10:40am
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Gaskets aren't exactly gold.  For my machine, $4.50.  For yours... I doubt they're more.

Best maintenance schedule is to replace your gasket annually.  

Posted January 12, 2014 link

+1

boar_d_laze Said:

Other maintenance:
Clean your pfs and baskets daily.  Use a 3M Scotchbrite, heavy-duty, scouring "cloth," until they're shiny inside.  (Don't scour the outside).  
Clean the gasket with your groupbrush daily, before backflushing.
Backflush daily.
Empty your knockbox daily and wash it with soap daily.
Empty your drip tray daily, and wash it with soap and water.
Wipe off any spots on the espresso machine using a damp rag, daily.
Clean any ground or spills from the area around the machine and grinder daily.
Empty the grinder's spill tray daily, and either vacuum it or wipe it with a damp cloth.
Remove the screen and showerhead twice a week.  Soak them in an espresso specific detergent such as Cafiza, First Circle, or Joe Glo for a few minutes, then brush the screen with a dish brush, and clean the showerhead with a Scotchbrite.
Soak the pfs in detergent once a week. Use a thin brush to clean the hole.
Backflush any machine which doesn't have a cam and lever group (such as an E-61 semi-auto) with detergent, weekly.  Detergent-backflush E-61 semis every other week.

Posted January 12, 2014 link

While most of this is excellent advice, some of it is a bit extreme on the OCD side. I've never scrubbed a pf or basket with Scotchbrite pads, and have no intention to start in the next 1,000 years.  Soaking them in detergent, such as Cafitza, does a very thorough job of cleaning them, and I really think once a week is enough. The hot water flushes between shots and after a session are sufficient, in my opinion.  Some people do a rinse of their gasket, by back flushing with the pf not fully engaged.  This forces the water up and around the top of the pf, thereby rinsing the gasket.  I've read, and posted, that many people recommend only washing their drip tray with soap and water weekly. Frankly, I rinse mine with hot water and wipe it out with a paper towel mot of the time, once in a while, I wash it with soap and water and occasionally, I clean it with Cafitza. There's nothing ever growing in it, so I don't see any reason to change that either. Now, I don't have the health department inspecting my house. Lastly, I've seen some rather excited discussions about how often to backflush an E61 with detergent.  On 1st-line.com, Jim Pinninich says do it after every 50 shots - a general recommendation only, with added information regarding why you might want to do it more or less often.  It's less than one page of single spaced 12 pt type and is definitely worth reading.

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


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 763
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 10:42am
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

faster Said:

Monthly=Cafiza shower screen,(nowhere near your 2x a week).

Posted January 12, 2014 link

Coffee gets stuck to the bottom of the screen.  You can't see it because it's on the bottom, but it's there.  Same for the shower head (although I forget offhand if your machine has a detachable showerhead).  Same for the surface of the group hidden by the screen.  

Bi-monthly=descaling,  I use low calcium bottled water of good quality and taste.

Seems like a lot of descaling, but I'm not familiar with your machine or water.  We have inline filters, run our water a little on the soft side, and descale every two years.

Why is daily backflush so important?

Keeps the valve clean and working.  You'd be surprised how much coffee gets in the plumbing.  

Like any food preparation equipment, an espresso machine can't be too clean.  

BDL
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marosmith
Senior Member
marosmith
Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 36
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia V2
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

According to BDL a silvia and just about any other consumer machine under $1,500 is a pos and an exercise in futility.

We must measure out each dose to the nearest .00000001 of a gram, else we are all idiots.

We must backflush and clean the machine to a ratio of 10 minutes of cleaning to ever minute of actual machine use.

There's a point where I think we have crossed the border of reality to a world of unattainable perfection and idealism, which is not too helpful for many of the people here just looking for a little help with their new hobby.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,012
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 2:38pm
Subject: Re: PF/Gasket in Silvia question
 

I can tell you that you won't have to worry about your new gasket giving you trouble any time soon unless you stop cleaning your machine completely.  I can tell you from experience with my Silvia which gets daily use that back flushing once a week is more than enough to keep the internals clean and working nicely. I only ever clean the shower screen whenever I descale which is every 3-6 months and theirs almost nothing up there. during the descale I drop the baskets in Cafiza water and let them sit for 30min or so then rinse. I clean my grouphead gasket and screen with a grouphead brush after almost every shot and everything stays nice and clean. Shots always taste good and no problems ever.  Brushes I let soak in hot diluted Simple Green water and rinse. Lastly I empty the drip tray and knock box when it gets full.  

Like any machine including the most expensive commercial machines out there need some next gaskets and parts from time to time.  There's no use worrying about them until they start giving you trouble.  As long as your not intentionally sabotaging your machine you got nothing to worry about.
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