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silvia - think I need a new gasket, opinions?
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Lupulin
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Joined: 3 Apr 2009
Posts: 22
Location: St Paul
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014, 2:16pm
Subject: silvia - think I need a new gasket, opinions?
 

Hi all, I finally upgraded to a Rancilio Silvia and a doserless rocky after wanting one for quite a while. I bought it used on craigslist and I think it may need a new brew group gasket. When I pull a shot with a finer grind I get some dripping from the top edge of the portafilter. When I lock in the portafilter it goes past the red dot to what feels like the tightest possible position without too much effort. Is this definitely something a gasket would fix?
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
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 Feb 11, 2014, 3:13pm
Subject: Re: silvia - think I need a new gasket, opinions?
 

You may well need a new gasket.  To really know, take yours off and see if it's soft and pliable.  If it's hard, replace it.  If you don't already have on on hand, get one, because what you don't want is to not have one when you need to replace it.  Depending on several factors, you should replace it every 6-12 months. Get yourself an o-ring kit too while you're at it.  I think Espressoparts sells everything in one bag (group gasket & o-rings) and it's pretty cheap.  If not there, check the following places (in no particular order)...1st-line.com; chris' coffee service; whole latte love; seattle coffee gear.  There are other places too.

Your problem may not actually be the gasket. You could be overdosing, and/or grinding too fine.

Regarding the red dot.  Ignore it...completely!  In fact, if you can remove it, do that too. It's not in the least bit important. You just want your pf to engage the group and stay there during the shot. Nothing more...as long as you're getting a nice gloppy flow of espresso.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Lupulin
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Joined: 3 Apr 2009
Posts: 22
Location: St Paul
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014, 5:49pm
Subject: Re: silvia - think I need a new gasket, opinions?
 

thanks for the info! I am still dialing in the grinder and still getting really short underextracted shots so I don't think the grind is too fine. I may need to reduce the dose amount though. I will give that a try and just order a gasket in the meantime so I can examine the current gasket without worry.
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faster
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Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 90
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ISOMAC TEA II
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: PIDed, Modified "My...
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 3:54am
Subject: Re: silvia - think I need a new gasket, opinions?
 

I bought my Silvia used too, 16 months old from a lying schmuck that never cleaned the machine, contrary to what he said...

The plastic water tank had a fine coat of lime on the walls and the shower screen was 50% plugged up... Only the center holes were unclogged...I couldn't even take the shower screen assembly off...took some prying out...I can imagine how the boiler looked inside...
Did a complete descale, back-flush, cleanup etc...and added a $50 PID kit...changed gasket recently, different feel in PF...soft rubber as opposed to hard gasket

Pretty happy with results all around:-)

Try the nickel trick...fill, tamp PF, put a nickel in (off center!!), lock, unlock and see if it is imprinted in grounds.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
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 Wed Feb 12, 2014, 8:07am
Subject: Re: silvia - think I need a new gasket, opinions?
 

that's a bummer story!  I hope you got that off ebay or some other generic place and not through the BST here.

Yeah, a hardened gasket is a royal PITA!  I flaked on my first one when I had a Silvia, and it took me two hours to get every bit off the metal.  That was many years ago already, and I still remember it well.  It's a hard lesson!  Hopefully, OP, you won't be in a similar situation.

RE: nickel test.  Many people (myself included) recommend substituting a dime on the Silvia because of the center screw in the shower screen.  For more info, check out article 12 under "how to" on www.espressomyespresso.com (Easy Guide to Better Espresso at Home).

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: silvia - think I need a new gasket, opinions?
 

The Silvia PF gasket is difficult to remove, and virtually impossible to remove without damaging it. Might as well order a couple and just pull it and replace it, and then have a spare. I vac pack my spares.

 
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