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Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Brown flakes...  
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Tcampbells
Senior Member
Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Sat Mar 8, 2008, 11:05pm
Subject: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

Hi. I just finished descaling my Rancilio Silvia. It was a used machine which I purchased and he (the previous user) said he descaled it as well as used filtered water only and backflushed weekly. It looked great when I removed the screem, the insides looked fine and so did the casing. I made cofee with no real problems.
I have had it now just over a month and finally got around to descaling it myself, and thus comes my questions:

What does the water coming out after descaling look like?

I realize it will have a greenish tinge due to the brass boiler but when running through the steam wand there were flakes (about the size of coffee grounds for a French press pot or bigger - though as thin and light as skin) and they were brown in color similar to coffee, if rubbed between my fingers they turned powder which dirtied my finger just like rubbing coffee grounds.

If I run it through the coffee grouphead nothing, just the seam wand.  and only after the machine warms up.

Is this what the build up should look like or is it a sign of another problem? I assumed scales would be the white color like that in my hot water kettle over time or something. Why brown?

Attacehd photos are with it on my middle finger

Tcampbells: from water 002.jpg
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Tcampbells
Senior Member
Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Sat Mar 8, 2008, 11:06pm
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

The other photo

Tcampbells: from water 003.jpg
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wideasleep1
Senior Member
wideasleep1
Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 1,399
Location: Tiburon,Ca
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: VBMDoubleDomo
Grinder: Mahlkoenig K30 Vario
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: Bodum Press
Roaster: IR1 and 2,SC/TO,Behmor
Posted Sat Mar 8, 2008, 11:46pm
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

I'm reassured it's coming from just the wand...perhaps only temporary, but a wand replacement won't break your piggy bank. :) I'd try another full descaling before deciding to purchase a replacement, however.

Al
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wiz561
Senior Member


Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 147
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GS/3, Rancilio...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Technivorm KBT741
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2008, 6:44am
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

I've never seen this before, but could it possibly be milk that was jammed up on the inside of the wand?  Also, the hole on the end of the wand is pinhole sized.  How is it that a big chunk like that is coming out?

Since it's only coming out of the steam wand, there might be some gunk jammed up in it.  You might want to remove it and let it soak in some JoeGlo and let it dissolve it all.

Hope that helps!
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xdavez
Senior Member
xdavez
Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,157
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Vac Pot: none
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2008, 7:54am
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

is this a REALLY old silvia -- one with a brown teflon lining in the boiler?
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Tcampbells
Senior Member
Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2008, 8:50am
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

How old is really old? I purchased it second hand from a person who has owned it 3 years. Then again models take longer to reach use in Taiwan, but how old is REALLY old?

Yes, it is the older model with the sticker name for "Rancilio Silvia" on the body, not like the newer models. Is there a way to tell the different models and the age?

I have never heard that there was a version with a brown teflon lining in the boiler. why would that be there?

Attached is the picture of the sticker on the bottom.

Tcampbells: DSCN3397.JPG
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Tcampbells
Senior Member
Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2008, 9:11am
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

Just doing some searching after reading about TEFLON boilers and I found this

Newsgroups: alt.coffee
From: Mark <m...@coffeekid.removethis.com>
Date: 2000/02/29
Subject: Coming soon - Gut shots of a Rancilio Silvia

Sergio, who recently had to perform open boiler surgery on his
Rancilio Silvia, sent me a bunch of photos of the operation, and as
soon as I get some free time (next few days), I will be posting them
up in the Rancilio section of www.coffeekid.com .

I'm telling you now because cool news - though I recently got
confirmation from Alexander that the Silvia does NOT have a teflon
lined boiler like the older Rialtos did, Sergio totally confirmed it
after taking his boiler apart.


So, NO Teflon inside the Silvia's boilers. Let's let that rumour get
some rest...


Mark
--
Mark Prince - Web Developer and Coffee Kid

which would make it seem that the Silvia never had Teflon boilers only the Riatos did.
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Tcampbells
Senior Member
Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Mon Mar 10, 2008, 5:51pm
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

wiz561 - the flakes are not really flakes are much as small super thing pieces.The are thinner then paper, and have a flexiable texture to them, so I believe it is easy for then to pass through the small steam wand hole.
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Tcampbells
Senior Member
Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2008, 6:25am
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

well I have found no cause for the flakes, however they have stopped coming out.

Descaling it for a second time did not cause any more to be released. I guess the only solution would be to take the machine apart and look inside the boiler and the lines to see.
On Home-barista I was suggested to soak the wand in descaler which I did but nothing came out. I am still looking for a small brush to use to clean inside the wand.
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stefano65
Senior Member
stefano65
Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1,404
Location: Eugene OR
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme,Elektra,
Grinder: Vario,Macap,
Vac Pot: not
Drip: not
Roaster: not
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2008, 7:19am
Subject: Re: Brown flakes coming out of the steam wand -Rancilio Silvia
 

Old Milk does wonders inside steam wands

 
Stefano Cremonesi
info@espressocare.com
www.espressocare.com
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