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Silvia - Leak on steam valve and PID upgrade
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Silvia - Leak on...  
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tasseloff
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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Location: Sherbrooke, Canada
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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 5:58am
Subject: Silvia - Leak on steam valve and PID upgrade
 

Hi,

I was wondering if someone could help me out. I was just about to get my morning coffee when I noticed my machine had a small leak coming out from the front corner of the machine, near the valve for the steam.

I removed the top of the machine and saw what seemed to be a small leak, but I'm not sure of the next step to fix it. I included a picture of it.

Thanks!

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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

The pictures does not seem to show the leak - an arrow would have been helpful.
There is a seal gasket that stops the flow of steam/water through the wand, two O-rings on the shaft and two O-rings on the steam wand.
if the leak is coming from between the shaft and the body of the valve, rebuild it. With the above-named parts be sure to also order a small "packet" of Dow111 to lube the O-rings. The hardest part of rebuilding the valve is getting the old one out. The parts of teh valve are robust and the valve's seat is stainless. Clean all parts well before assembly.

 
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tasseloff
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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Location: Sherbrooke, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 8:48am
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

Hi,

Sorry about that, you're right, now that I look at the picture again its not obvious where the leak is.

I've edited the picture and circled it. What you actually see is the dried up water that fell on the bottom panel, and the water seems to have come directly from the connection of the valve shaft over it, pointed by the arrow.

I'll look up for the O-rings to fix it then. Do I need some specific O-rings for the Silvia, or can any standard O-ring from the hardware store do?

Oh and thanks for your help its greatly appreciated :)

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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

Your modified photo doesn't make sense.  You've circled where the steam knob contacts the plunger of the valve.  If that's where you see water dripping from, it's running out of the valve along the shaft of the plunger.  As Randy said, rebuilding the valve is an option (replacing it is the other option).  It has (if I remember correctly) 2 o-rings inside of it.  I've found that the ones I've bought from the hardware store although they seem to fit, don't quite make a perfect seal (YMMV).  My recommendation would be to order them from espressoparts or similar.  While you're at it, you can get a maintenance kit that includes a group gasket, more o-rings for your steam wand (under the nut) and a spare pf spring (I can't remember if the kit I had bought included more parts).

Before you rebuild your steam valve, know this, you'll almost assuredly need a bench vise to get it apart, and will want to use it to put it back together too.  However, if you don't have an articulating wand, I highly recommend doing the upgrade.  It's super easy and will take you about 10 minutes. Seattlecoffeegear has a great video on the topic, and sells the entire valve/wand assembly.  All you have to do is remove the old one, pop in the new one and you're good to go.

Here's a link to the articulating steam valve/wand assembly on Chris' Coffee Service Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com)

OK, I just saw you actually bought your Silvia from espressobecky (who is now a Duetto owner).  If you haven't done the wand update, I highly recommend it.  It'll improve your frothing capability dramatically. I didn't believe it until I did mine, and wished I'd done it sooner.

 
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tasseloff
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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Location: Sherbrooke, Canada
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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

Hmm, here is another photo, maybe clearer. I wanted to take one with some water coming out but somehow it seems it just won't leak anymore, no matter what I try.... (fixed magically??)

For this photo I opened the valve a little. The water was clearly coming from inside there earlier.

I hesitate to take it apart. I don't have a bench vise here with me so it'll complicate things, and you are tempting me greatly with the steam wand upgrade! However I'm also not sure about investing too much in the machine as its already almost 12 years old (although in perfect shape except for rust which is starting to eat the frame).

I'm in Canada so ordering from Chris's Coffee will probably cost me too much in ship, but I was able to find this (it would come to about $80 with shipping)
Click Here (www.espressotec.com)

Would that part do as well, and would I need a new knob or would the old one work on the V3 steam wand? I have to say that old wand is a bit annoying, although I can still manage some decent foam in general.



emradguy Said:

Your modified photo doesn't make sense.  You've circled where the steam knob contacts the plunger of the valve.  If that's where you see water dripping from, it's running out of the valve along the shaft of the plunger.  As Randy said, rebuilding the valve is an option (replacing it is the other option).  It has (if I remember correctly) 2 o-rings inside of it.  I've found that the ones I've bought from the hardware store although they seem to fit, don't quite make a perfect seal (YMMV).  My recommendation would be to order them from espressoparts or similar.  While you're at it, you can get a maintenance kit that includes a group gasket, more o-rings for your steam wand (under the nut) and a spare pf spring (I can't remember if the kit I had bought included more parts).

Before you rebuild your steam valve, know this, you'll almost assuredly need a bench vise to get it apart, and will want to use it to put it back together too.  However, if you don't have an articulating wand, I highly recommend doing the upgrade.  It's super easy and will take you about 10 minutes. Seattlecoffeegear has a great video on the topic, and sells the entire valve/wand assembly.  All you have to do is remove the old one, pop in the new one and you're good to go.

Here's a link to the articulating steam valve/wand assembly on Chris' Coffee Service Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com)

OK, I just saw you actually bought your Silvia from espressobecky (who is now a Duetto owner).  If you haven't done the wand update, I highly recommend it.  It'll improve your frothing capability dramatically. I didn't believe it until I did mine, and wished I'd done it sooner.

Posted August 22, 2012 link



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tasseloff
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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Location: Sherbrooke, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:19am
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

Actually I just read on the site that it says the steam wand would also fit nearly all rancilio silvia machines so I guess that part would do.

Oh and yeah, I bought the machine used from espressobecky. Hopefully I can also graduate to a better machine in a few years ;) Although for the moment the difficulty is more about getting a good blend of fresh beans than anything else.
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

Yeah, that's the same steam wand.  That black part in your photo is actuially part of the knob.  You just pull and the whole knob comes off.  Don't lose the little metal clip when it comes out, you'll need that later when you re-assemble.  Also, take note how it sits on the knob (or just leave it in place).

If you upgrade (and keep in mind it's your money), you won't have to take the valve apart.  Before or after you pull out the knob, you take the wand off the valve from the underside (remove that big nut at the top of the wand and pull down). After you pull out the knob, there's a nut that holds the steam valve to that metal plate it's attached to (inside the machine, where the copper line comes in to the valve).  You remove that, and the take the valve out.  Then you install the new assembly.  There's a "corregated" washer (sorry, I don't know the proper term) that you don't put back in, because the new valve is ever so slightly larger than the old one.  Other than that, there's no real trick to it.

 
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tasseloff
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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Location: Sherbrooke, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 12:48pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

Very well, thanks for your help, I will think about it and either order the upgraded wand or simply fix the leak with new O-rings.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers.
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

The circled part is the knob over the shaft. The leak is then evidently coming from where the valve's operating shaft enters the valve body. That shaft has two O-rings on it to seal it. Get the correct Silvia parts as i described in my first message. pad the order with a couple of replacement group gaskets and if you are not PID'd , get a Rancilio replacement brew thermostat as well. handy to have, just in case. Those are all the common "wear" parts in a Silvia.

 
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tasseloff
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 229
Location: Sherbrooke, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012, 6:50am
Subject: Re: Silvia - Leak on steam valve
 

So I'm guessing these are the two O-rings you're talking about
Click Here (www.espressotec.com)

Concerning the brew thermostat as a spare part, is this the one:
Click Here (www.espressotec.com)

or one for the boiler (evidently much more expensive):
Click Here (www.espressotec.com)


I've actually been having a few issues with the temperature and was wondering about changing it. Of course a PID would be better but its more $ than I'm willing to invest at the moment. I do temperature surfing for every shot but is it normal that if I don't, and pull a shot right after the light has come off, it comes out as steam from the group (for 1-2 sec)?
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