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Used V2 Silvia Issues
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Used V2 Silvia...  
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RangerRick9211
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Joined: 3 Mar 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Houston
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 6:49am
Subject: Used V2 Silvia Issues
 

I am attempting to confirm my suspicions given that I am not a machine expert. Last week I purchased my first machine on Ebay. A used Silvia V2 manufactured in 2007. The machine was described as "Excellent Condition", "Fully Functional", and "Lightly Used". I have been in contact with the seller from the point of my initial bid. Apparently the machine was used for a few days, packed, and stored for the past 4 years. Prior to her posting it last week, she did pull it out and ran a few shots to confirm that it was working. One other important bit of information, she is in Washington and I in Texas. There was also a two day shipping delay in Colorado due to snow.

The machine arrived double boxed and packaged well. The outerbox was a standard UPS box with no signs of damage. The interior box was the original Rancillio Silvia box and was soaked through the bottom. Upon removing the machine from the box, approx. a cup of water was drained from the interior of the machine. Initially, I thought she had left water in the reservoir and it had splashed around in transit. I immediately documented with photos and emailed the seller. She informed me that that the reservoir was emptied prior to shipping.

I had to leave town that afternoon, so I removed the top, back, and interior pump shield casings to let the machine dry over the weekend. Machine sat for approx. 48 hours till I got home last night. Everything had dried and I reassembled the unit. Plugged it in, turned on the boiler and ran the pump at the same time per the Silvia's instruction manual. Each turned on, however water immediately began to flood the counter from somewhere internally and behind the group casing. I shut it down, uplugged, cleaned, and disassembled the casing again. Plugged and repeated the sequence while visually inspecting the interior. Water was observed leaking from the boiler joint. This point I started thinking that it may be an environmental factor of Washington to South Texas. So I checked the boiler bolts to see if they had loosened. They were all tight. Next I let the boiler heat a little bit in an attempt to let the o-ring and metal expand. Approx. 20 seconds and then again attempted to pull water through the group. Same situation, leaking from the boiler. However this time black flecks were observed in the water. I assume this is from the boiler element being exposed during operation. I immediately shut the machine down and haven't used it since.

I have contacted the seller and she has been great and is contacting UPS today. However, I have a suspicion that the metal has either warped on the o-rings shifted due to environmental factors. Any opinions regarding the condition or potential resolutions would be greatly appreciated! Further, has anyone encountered an issue like this on Ebay?

Thank you for you time!
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 7:06am
Subject: Re: Used V2 Silvia Issues
 

IMO it sounds like one of the o-rings needed to be replaced and during the boiler refill one might have broken.  Keep in mind that whenever you do a tear down you should replace the gaskets unless your tearing down very frequently.  I have also found that the boiler seals leak a bit at first but should not flood the counter.  One may not be fitting correctly.  Depending on how much you paid even a Silvia with a few issues like this is still a good deal.  Let us know how it goes.
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ddubick
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Joined: 1 May 2012
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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 7:46am
Subject: Re: Used V2 Silvia Issues
 

The reservior was drained but likely not the boiler.  I'm wondering if the truck sat it Colorado in freezing temps and froze and burst something.
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RangerRick9211
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Joined: 3 Mar 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Houston
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 8:19am
Subject: Re: Used V2 Silvia Issues
 

I paid $400 w/ shipping for it.

I agree that water was most likely retained in the boiler during shipping. That is why I mentioned the delay in Colorado. I work in an industrial setting and witness what temperature fluctuations can do to metal and gaskets.

As well, I would assume some leaking until everything has the chance to expand and seal. However, considering the water runoff contained black flecks. I am very hesitant to let the boiler run for long.

The seller has submitted a complaint to UPS. Waiting to see how it will play out. Appreciate the responses.
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frcn
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frcn
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Expertise: Professional

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 10:26am
Subject: Re: Used V2 Silvia Issues
 

I believe that the machine was damaged, not by UPS but by freezing conditions. It is difficult to empty a Silvia boiler completely, and so the reservoir was empty but the boiler was not. It froze and warped wither the boiler base or the group mating surface for the boiler.  There are other possibilities, but this is common damage when a Silvia or similar machine is allowed to be exposed to freezing temperatures with water in the boiler.

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 2:05pm
Subject: Re: Used V2 Silvia Issues
 

Yes, it sure sounds like freeze damage.

This is something that most shippers do not think about until it rears up and bites them in the rear.

It is a bit late to offer advice on how to ship but perhaps someone else will gain the benefit and prevent another damaged machine.

When you are not able to drain the boiler, the best thing to do is to drain all you can then put some of the cheapest rot gut vodka you can find in the water tank and run the machine until it comes out the brew head, it will not freeze and thus prevents damage.

When you get the machine, simply reverse the process, fill the tank with water and flush until clean water comes out. You can also go to a RV supply store and buy an antifreeze for drinking water systems that is safe to use.

Now, you need to look at the machine VERY closely and see where the water is leaking from. The flecks in the water are also troublesome. A new boiler half which has the heater in it is about $150 plus labor to put in. If you are handy, you can do it yourself though, see my thread here. It was a V2 also.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/547829

 
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Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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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
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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: Used V2 Silvia Issues
 

As usual, Wayne and Randy have things figured out.  When one of these boilers freeze the expansion force is large enough to bend up the heavy brass grouphead casting.  Chances are that your boiler is still OK, but that the part of the grouphead casting that should be flat ... well it ain't anymore.  No amount of filing, pounding, or prying will make it flat again (yes, I tried).

My guess is that the black flecks are pieces of scale and not a major problem.  But once you have the boiler apart you can carefully inspect the heating element.  So you won't have to speculate about whether it is damaged.

Next time, heat the boiler up so you get a little pressure thing going.  Then unplug it, lay it on its steam wand side, open the steam valve and allow the water to gravity feed out of the wand.  I've done this a few times with success prior to winter shipping.  Try not to get burned by the hot water ;-)

Jim
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