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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Rancilio Silvia...  
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jlackey
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Joined: 8 Mar 2007
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Location: Denver, CO
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Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 11:08am
Subject: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

I've got a Rancilio Silvia V1 that's starting to act up: the heating element seems to be shorting out. It intermittently stops working but comes back on if I give the machine a little smack.

The last time I had her open, the plastic wire connection covers appeared yellow and brittle.  Could a fix be as simple as replacing the wire connectors? Or is this symptomatic of a larger problem?

Thanks in advance for any light that can be shed on this!
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

The covers are not the problem. The metal connectors in them likely are. Pull the wires off the heating elements and thermostats (take a digital photo before beginning), and clean teh terminals with scotchbrite and use a small wire brush to clean the spade clips. use an electrical contact anti-oxident on them and reassemble. You may need to crimp the female spade clips just a bit for a tight fit.

 
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PJK
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Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 11:59am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

I doubt that your heating element is shorting. It it did you would be having tripped breakers.  The heating element connectors which you mentioned can be the issue.  The high temperatures involved reduce the spring tension on the connector which in turn raises the resistance and hence the temperature at the connection.  This causes a thermal runaway at the connection.  The fix is to replace the connectors on the wires hopefully before the blade connectors on the boiler are damaged beyond use.

Phil  


jlackey Said:

I've got a Rancilio Silvia V1 that's starting to act up: the heating element seems to be shorting out. It intermittently stops working but comes back on if I give the machine a little smack.

The last time I had her open, the plastic wire connection covers appeared yellow and brittle.  Could a fix be as simple as replacing the wire connectors? Or is this symptomatic of a larger problem?

Thanks in advance for any light that can be shed on this!

Posted March 19, 2013 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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jlackey
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Location: Denver, CO
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 2:11pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

Sounds good - I'll open her up and start cleaning those contacts. Is there a source for those plastic connection covers?
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Tifoso
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Joined: 10 Jan 2007
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Location: W.Pa
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Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Maestro
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Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 4:27pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

Does the element energize when the steam switch is operated?  If it doesn't, then you may have an intermittent connnection.

If it does energize, then it could very well be the brew T-stat, since it is always in circuit as long as the power is switched on. It therefore cycles on & off more than the steam 'stat.

That's what happened to mine. The thermostat conctacts were so pitted that they were insulated from each other. When I tried to burnish them, the internal contact arm broke. Time for new 'stat.

If you decide to open it up, DON'T FORGET TO UNPLUG IT FIRST. (<: end of primary disclaimer :>)
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jlackey
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Location: Denver, CO
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 7:14pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

Thanks everyone for all the help! Turned out to be the 140 deg thermostat.

After cleaning several contacts, I noticed one of the male posts on the thermostat had some wiggle to it. I powered it up and carefully moved the wire back and forth. Sure enough, the heating element light flicked on and off.

Makes sense why my "comes back on if I give the machine a little smack" worked. The wire that went into that faulty thermo post loops upward and touches the top cover - right where I hit it.

New thermostat ordered - I'll try and update the result.
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takeshi
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takeshi
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Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013, 10:28am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

jlackey Said:

Is there a source for those plastic connection covers?

Posted March 19, 2013 link

Espressoparts carries them.
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frcn
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frcn
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Location: Northern California
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Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

How about a link? Their search is the worst! I searched for "Rancilio Silvia..." and a number of variations of added terms, and they brought up Rocky parts, rotary pump motors, and a lot of other stuff, but never saw the correct part.

 
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jlackey
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Joined: 8 Mar 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Denver, CO
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013, 7:09pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

I found them - plastic thingys & thermostat

Know what I didn't find first time on the site? The coupon code "PARTSSHIPFREE" for free shipping on all parts! Ugh!
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,412
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 Thu Mar 21, 2013, 10:10pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Fixable?
 

I believe those are generic by the looks of them. The ones I remember for Silvia are the same external size throughout their length. Those appear as to not be able to slip over the terminals and will require cutting of the wire as they go on from the back end (wire end) of the connector. Someone please correct me if I am mistaken..

 
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