Posted Sun Oct 28, 2012, 7:34am Subject: Re: Is my Sylvia pump shot?
I think we may have found the problem here.
Water with high mineral content leaves deposits (mineral scale) that clog things up. The normal process is to do occasional prophylactic descaling (treating with a mild acid (usually citric acid) solution to dissolve and remove the scale buildup).
If the problem is allowed to advance too far, a simple descaling may not do the job, as the particles of scale can be large enough to not simply dissolve, but break free and move through the system clogging other things. In this case, you need to disassemble the machine and soak the boiler halves and pipes in a tub of descaling solution.
Posted Sun Oct 28, 2012, 9:28am Subject: Re: Is my Sylvia pump shot?
Have never worked with a Silvia, but that sounds like a simple backflush, which would do nothing to descale the boiler, steam system, or any other part of the hydraulics other than the group head and 3-way valve.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,312 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Mon Oct 29, 2012, 5:53am Subject: Re: Is my Sylvia pump shot?
The citric acid needs to go into the boiler, doing a back flush (in the blank disc) does not really do anything. A good soap should be used for the back flush and the citric, like I said, goes into the boiler.
At this point, it is hard to say what the issue is. It could be the pump or a valve in the pump. Regardless, I would bet that the inside of the boiler is pretty nasty.
To see what the inside looks like, check out the thread I did when rebuilding a Sylvia, that machine had the same lack of regular descaling as yours and you might have the same thing inside the boiler which is best solved by tearing the machine apart for maintaince.
PapaWhisky Senior Member Joined: 12 Apr 2008 Posts: 4 Location: Luanda, ANGOLA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Silvia Grinder: Rocky
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 5:29am Subject: Re: Is my Sylvia pump shot?
So I did the de-scaling as recommended. A couple of litres of solution and I let it sit overnight. I did not get the litres and litres of cloudy output that some other experiences suggested, but it seems to have done the trick ... or at least a trick.
Now when I start the pump I see water almost immediately. And the noise level during a shot seems much more normal.
I guess this means I should de-scale every three years and not push it out to four ...
Depending on the hardness of the water and the use of the machine you should descale much more often, at least every three months is recommended. Only with soft water and rare usage it's advisable to stretch that interval.
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