My Silvia has served me well for the past 6 years. Lately, I notice the first pour struggles quite a bit. Or the water isn't getting through as quickly as it used to. Waiting about 15-20 seconds before the water comes through. Espresso is tasting sub-par using the same beans and grind settings as before. Steamer seems to be working normally.
What should I be looking out for to replace if any? I should add that I have also installed the PID Kit 5 years ago to control the water temperature. I love the Silvia and hope that it serves me for more years to come.
Thanks in advance!
- edit - I've also been pretty diligent about cleaning the system out with Cleancaf/ Decalcifier every 4 months at the longest.
Unfortunately, there is no way to check for scale to verify that your descaling process has been sufficient short of taking the boiler apart. A portafilter-mounted manometer to check if the pump is working properly would be a start. You could possible mount one temporarily to the steam wand, but that valve and related seals are not mean to hold pressure, so don't do it for long.
It could be that the grinder is now making dust because of worn burrs or other problems. That would account for poor taste and slow flows as well.
Have you ever tested the water for hardness and alkalinity? it is possible that descaling every six months is insufficient for your usage.
Thanks for the suggestion emradguy. As I dig deeper, I'm realizing the gasket is way past it's expected lifespan. I watched on a YouTube video that it should be replaced every 2 years? Is that accurate? I went ahead and ordered a new gasket and screen and will replace it.
As far as back flushing, this was definitely new to me. I've only just ran the detergent through the system every few months, but no back flushing. For every drink, I would run water through the portafilter and brush any excess grounds off.
Based on the comments, I'm glad to know that there aren't any expected major repairs for the Silvia.
Thanks frcn. WRT the grinder. I've replaced the burrs and it's running fine. And the water, I'm putting in Arrowhead mountain spring water only. Perhaps you're right about descaling. The revelation of backflushing will probably help moving forward as well.
I hope not. I hope what you ran through the system was DESCALER and NOT detergent. I would recommend: - disassembling the 3-way and giving it a prolonged soak in backflush detergent (I recommend Urnex products). see: http://memweb.newsguy.com/~jenkins/silvia/ - replacement of the group gasket - removal of the screen and dispersion disk for external cleaning as above. - backflush with detergent until the water flows out clean.
Whoops... Cleancaf only is for cleaning coffee oils. Use to clean coffee makers, carafes, etc. I do not believe it should be used in the reservoir of the coffee machine. It can be used to clean the portafilter and ground parts, extrernally, and for backflushing. If you put this in the reservoir I would run a descaler. I use Cafiza for backflushing and cleaning these parts.
Dezcal is for descaling and should be mixed according to instructions and used in the reservoir and sent through the boiler and other piping to remove scale. It is basically activated citric acid.
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