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Silvia V3 pump problem - draws no water.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Silvia V3 pump...  
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CrabRangoon
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Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3; Mypressi...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Chemex + Able Kone
Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 8:59pm
Subject: Silvia V3 pump problem - draws no water.
 

After having read many threads and viewed many videos regarding temperature surfing and general use of the Silvia, I finally purchased one. Having unboxed it and followed the directions for initial set-up, I can't seem to get actual water flow, just steam? Upon initial powering-on it let a few drips (literally) of water out of the group head and steam wand, but since then it produces nothing. I flip on the steam, let the boiler cycle, then try flowing water through the group and it's all steam. Whether I have the basket in or out of the portafilter, and even if I have grounds in the basket, makes no difference - all steam, no running water.

This isn't something I'd read about before, and when I try searching in a few places I keep coming up with steam/wand issues rather than what I'm experiencing. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

*note: I did indeed read the owners manual, it only suggests that in my scenario perhaps the reservoir is not filled, which simply is not the case.
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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 Apr 25, 2014, 3:13am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

Sounds like your pump isn't moving any water.  Does it sound normal?
Unusually loud means it's drawing a vacuum or just airlocked.  Something blocking the inlet?
Unusually quiet means it is stalled by backpressure, something clogged and preventing flow downstream.

Since it is a brand new machine, I've got to assume it is just having trouble getting the pump primed the first time. If you have a way of forcing water into the pump (Turkey baster method is mentioned in many threads) the pump will be okay once it gets filled.
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JGG
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JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,385
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 5:36am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

CrabRangoon Said:

... I flip on the steam, let the boiler cycle, then try flowing water through the group and it's all steam.

Posted April 24, 2014 link

Maybe what you wrote is not what you meant, or is not what you do.

But if you are flipping on the steam switch, then you are asking the machine to heat the boiler into the steaming range.  This will result in only steam coming out of the group and the wand (they are both fed by the same boiler).

Jim
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CrabRangoon
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3; Mypressi...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Chemex + Able Kone
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

SStones: This is my first machine, so I'm truly not sure of what to expect regarding how loud/quiet the pump is. I've been using a Mypressi Twist until now, so the actual machine and it's sounds are all new to me!

Jim: That makes sense. I guess I was just in a frenzy yesterday trying to get the pump warmed and see some water come out that I wasn't thinking straight. Set to steam, and of course steam will come out. Whoops :)

As I don't have a turkey baster, I'll just pick one up after work and give that a try. I took a look at it this morning and it certainly appears that the pump isn't properly priming itself, so I'll cross my fingers that manually priming it will do the trick.
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,396
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Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
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Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 9:07am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

The Silvia should prime itself, if you use the right technique.  Sounds like you didn't.  Before employing the baster... watch this, it will edify, amaze and entertain.

Before pounding your head into the table, remember:  You're not the first person who didn't RTFM.

Please don't think I'm a kill-joy for saying this, but temp-surfing a Silvia cannot reliably place you within the range of accuracy required for dialing in or repeating a temp which balances bitters and sours.

I know there are decades of reviews and posts saying it can be done, but they're wrong.  That's not simply my opinion, but the broad, current consensus of people who know about these things. It's not a question of a skill which can be improved with practice, just the inherent limits of the method and machine.  Plan on adding a PID ASAP, or if it's not too late think about exchanging your new Silvia for a CC1, a Silvano, an entry-level HX like the Expobar Office Lever Plus, or anything else which can be temped.

If you ever wondered why so many people move up from a Silvia, but so few people ever return -- now you know.

Rich
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CrabRangoon
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Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3; Mypressi...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Chemex + Able Kone
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

boar_d_laze Said:

The Silvia should prime itself, if you use the right technique.  Sounds like you didn't.  Before employing the baster... watch this, it will edify, amaze and entertain.

Before pounding your head into the table, remember:  You're not the first person who didn't RTFM.

Posted April 25, 2014 link

I didn't watch that video before plugging in and turning on my machine, but I certainly did follow the instructions of the owners manual (which are also on a large sticker placed atop the machine) every step of the way once I removed it from the box. Following said steps produced nothing other than the initial drips I cited in my post, and I re-read my manual about this 2x over before creating the post. I'll be sure to check the video out later, though. I am more likely to sell off the V3 and continue using my Twist than I am to convert to a costlier machine at this point in time, but thanks for the input I suppose.
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JGG
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JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,385
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 10:24am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

Have you tried pressing the brew switch with the steam off?

Jim
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CrabRangoon
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3; Mypressi...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Chemex + Able Kone
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 10:31am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

JGG Said:

Have you tried pressing the brew switch with the steam off?

Jim

Posted April 25, 2014 link

As per the directions included with the machine, initial power-on is with the wand valve open, power + brew switches on, steam + water switches off. Even the second time I tried it this way, nothing was different.
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JGG
Senior Member
JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,385
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

CrabRangoon Said:

As per the directions included with the machine, initial power-on is with the wand valve open, power + brew switches on, steam + water switches off. Even the second time I tried it this way, nothing was different.

Posted April 25, 2014 link

OK, thanks.  Wasn't sure.

I agree with the others who have said the pump needs to be primed.  My experience has been that letting the pump run for a minute or so with the reservoir full has never failed to prime the pump.  Guess I have been lucky ;-)

Jim
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CrabRangoon
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3; Mypressi...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Chemex + Able Kone
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 4:49pm
Subject: Re: Silvia V3: all steam, no water?
 

I'm guessing something is wrong with the machine, so I'm just going to reach out for customer support. I cannot manually force water through the lines with a baster as the lines are filled and won't seem to take any more. No matter what I do / which switch I flip, I cant get water to run. The most I got out of it was about 1-1.5 oz water at one time but nothing since. Assuming all I'm doing now is fruitless and I may just damage the heating element, I'm putting it on hold. Not a very celebratory way to welcome a new machine into the kitchen, but oh well.

I am open to more ideas and suggestions though. When I follow the instructions included, this is my result. When I follow the directions on the Espressotec Priming Cycle video, I still do not get water. While it's somewhat comforting feeling that my issue isn't human error, it's not at all helping me feel better about a possibly bum part/machine. Gonna give it through Monday before I take it up with the vendor and/or Paypal.

Cheers!
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