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why does brew head or steam wand now need 15 seconds before water comes out?
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > why does brew...  
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jpc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jul 2008
Posts: 22
Location: madison, ct
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio sylvia
Grinder: la cimbali, adapted by chris
Vac Pot: cona
Roaster: alpenroast
Posted Sun Apr 28, 2013, 5:29pm
Subject: why does brew head or steam wand now need 15 seconds before water comes out?
 

i am hoping someone (D4F and RapidCoffee are you helpful guys still out there?) will be able to explain to me why my rancilio sylvia is behaving differently than it did before i re-adjusted the pressure valve.

the curious new behavior is that the boiler does not seem to stay filled. when i want to make a shot, no hot water comes through portafilter. i have to prime it by either running the brew head or the steam wand for about 15 seconds until water finally comes out. then have to wait for PID temp to return to where i have it set so i can do shot. once i do this, i'm usually pleased with how the shot comes out. ALL THAT WORK TO ADJUST THE PRESSURE ACTUALLY HAS IMPROVED MY SHOTS! but i fear i screwed something up. i never had to fiddle with this priming business before. it seemed like the brew head was always ready to go.

maybe i'm imagining it but i think i hear what sounds like a slight releasing of pressure when machine is idle. machine is not obviously leaking water anywhere. when i fooled with the pressure valve, i ended up destroying about 1 1/2" of overflow tube so that it sometimes pops up out of the water reservoir.

hoping someone can explain, or even better, tell me how to repair.

thanks in advance.
jpc
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,038
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Apr 28, 2013, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: why does brew head or steam wand now need 15 seconds before water comes out?
 

IIRC you last adjusted the pressure.  Now if I understand you are losing prime?  Are you meaning that when done using the machine for a session that you open the steam wand and fill the boiler and then shut off everything and later the boiler is not full?  You left it full?  You always have to prime after steam.  No water leak inside the machine?  If all of that is correct, then I would fill/prime the boiler and shut it off and then put a container separately under each possible drain including the water intake/tank.  Water has to exit one of the drains if no obvious leak.  If you can't fit a container then use a dry paper towel under each drain separately and see where water exits in any quantity.  I do not have Silvia, so I am just describing generically how to isolate the problem and do not know where you can use a container vs paper towel.  If I understand correctly, you need to check the intake line, the OPV return line, the 3 way exit and group and the steam wand.

Sorry if I am off base on this but I do not totally understand your technique, and if you steam.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jpc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jul 2008
Posts: 22
Location: madison, ct
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio sylvia
Grinder: la cimbali, adapted by chris
Vac Pot: cona
Roaster: alpenroast
Posted Sat May 4, 2013, 7:24pm
Subject: Re: why does brew head or steam wand now need 15 seconds before water comes out?
 

D4F and anyone else familiar with Ranciio Sylvia's functioning
,
thank you for your reply. let me try to clarify.

first, i do not understand "IIRC."

i mostly just use the  group to make shots. rarely use steam wand. the way machine used to work is that water under pressure would be immediately available upon turning switch on to group. now it takes 15 seconds for water to reach group!

have found that another way to get water to group is to run steam wand 15 sec. til water comes through it. it's then available to group as well.

i never turn machine off. however, if i "prime" it so it is ready with water to come out group, then leave it for an hour or so, even though water was ready to pump through group when i left it, an hour later it takes 15 sec. again.

there is no obvious leak. no water under machine. no water under group in collection pan. and peeking into the interior with lid screwed off i can see no obvious leak.

there is this very slight hissing sound when machine is on but idle. i was able to locate it using stethoscope to the opv return line. in fact i can see bubbles (?steam) coming up through the overflow hose. and hose is quite warm. if this is the source of the "leak," it would appear that water may be leaking back through that valve into the cold reservoir (not plumbed).

hope that helps.

is it normal for there to be constant "overflow" back to reservoir? i keep pid set to 216 degrees, F. i am not eager to fool with re-adjusting the pressure valve. my shots are satisfactory and if you remember, it was for me a royal p.i.a.

thanks,
jpc
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,038
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat May 4, 2013, 8:24pm
Subject: Re: why does brew head or steam wand now need 15 seconds before water comes out?
 

jpc Said:

 first, i do not understand "IIRC."   .....and if you remember, it was for me a royal p.i.a.

Posted May 4, 2013 link

IIRC is if I Recall/Remember Correctly  :)    I have to Google some of the internet and forum shorthand to find the meaning.

It seems from your description that you are loosing prime by leaking into the return/opv.  That will need to be fixed.  The pump on these run about 10cc/second unimpeded or with the steam wand open.  You could be down about 150 ml and then you well describe re-prime using the open steam wand.  The risk over time is that you will begin to overheat the element that is out of water.  Perhaps a Silvia expert can help further, but I think that you need to repair or replace the valve.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jpc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jul 2008
Posts: 22
Location: madison, ct
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio sylvia
Grinder: la cimbali, adapted by chris
Vac Pot: cona
Roaster: alpenroast
Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 6:31am
Subject: Re: why does brew head or steam wand now need 15 seconds before water comes out?
 

that makes sense, D4F. and i understand your concern about overheating. shucks. did not want to have mess around in there anymore.
appreciate your help.

do you know either a person on coffegeek or a strategy to find such an expert on silvia?
thanks
jpc
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,038
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Silvia losing prime and backing into OPV line
 

Perhaps the Silvia owners and past owners can help with this.  Leak bubbles back into OPV after OPV adjust and losing prime.  Help and suggestions needed.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jpc
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jul 2008
Posts: 22
Location: madison, ct
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio sylvia
Grinder: la cimbali, adapted by chris
Vac Pot: cona
Roaster: alpenroast
Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 2:41pm
Subject: Re: Silvia losing prime and backing into OPV line
 

thanks D4F. will try.
jpc
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