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Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
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ozsmac
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Joined: 15 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 3:05am
Subject: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

Dear fellow Coffeegeeks,

Hoping that someone can offer some thoughts about an issue I'm having with my beloved Rancilio Silvia v3, basically the boiler is not heating at all, no matter if brew or steam.  Everything else seems to work ok.

I popped the connectors off the top of the boiler and tested AC current, I'm showing about 60v (I'm in Australia, so 240v, so is this low?). So I guess this confirms that I'm getting the right current to the boiler unit?

I also tested the resistance over the two top terminals, trusty multi-meter shows approx 48-49 ohms.

So given the above, and what I can see on the intertubes, it would appear my boiler element has given up the ghost?

Symptoms
- Silvia v3 with Auber pre-infusion PID
- Was working fine, just didn't heat up one morning
- Will turn on, however heating BOL (big orange light, as I've seen it referenced by a few) doesn't light up, and boiler doesn't head in either brew or steam mode
- I can turn on pump to draw water through unit, so no issue with pump or electrics
- Measuring the current at the connectors at the top of the boiler shows 60v
- Measuring resistance on the connectors at the top of the boiler shows 48-49 ohms

So given I have current, resistance appears on the high side (other posts suggest 15-20 would be right) and the BOL doesn't light up.......does this mean a dead heating element?

Then my next challenge, do I bother to fix.......or do I purchase a friends 2 year old Isomac La Mondiale?

Thanks again for all the help, you guys are wonderful!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: Houston
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Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 5:52am
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

The boiler has a little red reset button on it. Push that and all should be well -I think (sorry, its been a couple years and i dont Remember if the light stops working too or not). if im right its a super easy fix...just reset the safety. If not, then you'll need to continue your search for the problem.  The switch is a safety mechanism. It's typically trigger by a dry or relatively dry boiler. If you had your reservoir too low during filling or let it run too low without filling it, then let it cool and then turned it on, this could trigger it too.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,393
Location: Northern California
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Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:47am
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

I do not know the Auber wiring, but when no heat in either mode: Check the steam thermostat. Disconnect the wires to it and connect an ohm meter to its two terminals.
See the Silvia wiring diagram/schematic on my website.

 
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faster
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Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 89
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancillio Silvia-PID
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: Homemade drum roaster
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 5:22am
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

I don't think 60VAC is OK, there should be 220V or nothing.

If you have a multi tester, measure all electrical connections and voltage across, to see if there is ~220 AC everywhere, while switching functions (3 rocker switches on/off.)

Disconnect the 2 wires from SSR to "thermostat switch"  and reconnect the original ones and see if it works. It should, and it will tell you if PID/sensor is not OK.

Basic troubleshooting to see if you have power. If yes, then check PID and then heat coil....
good luck
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__________
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Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
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Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 7:05am
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

Heater resistance of 48 ohms is probably right (equates to1100w).  Posts suggesting ~20 ohms are almost certainly for the low voltage N.American versions. So it seems llike the heater itself is OK and your problem is getting the right amount of voltage to it.
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ozsmac
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Joined: 15 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Sep 21, 2013, 2:37am
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

Hi all, I decided to pull off most of the terminal pairs and test voltage, didn't find anything odd or out of the ordinary.......

This is where thinks took a turn for the best.

Somehow during this process, I've obviously managed to fix a connection issue, as when I wrapped it up (and had basically given up), the boiler started making noises.

Sure enough, I pulled my first few shots for a few weeks.  Thanks to everyone for lending a helping hand.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,393
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 Mon Sep 23, 2013, 8:38am
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

If that is the case, I would suggest looking for corrosion on teh terminals or connectors. This can cause high resistance and overheating that can easily melt wiring. Clean the terminals with a fine-bristle steel brush and use a bit of anti-corrosion chemical made for electrical connections (and for high heat in regards to the heating element connection). Make sure that all connectors are very tight as well.

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 11:05am
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

Another thing to check is the wiring to the SSR, if it is not triggered, you will not get power to the heater. The Auber setup I have uses low voltage (I think) to trigger the SSR. If that is not happening, there will be no heat. YMMV!

 
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,006
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: Seeking help and guidance, Silvia not heating either brew or steam mode
 

I changed PID units once and found a few working but slightly loose PID wires and SSR.  Depending on how you connected the wires, fittings or wire, you might find a borderline connection.  As noted the element connections are the other source that I think of.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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