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Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
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rgalang
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silva
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012, 10:15am
Subject: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

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.
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Location: Houston
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012, 10:51am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

Silvia can handle abbreviated backflushing as part of your cleaning/maintenance regimen.  However, I'd recommend removing the shower screen and taking a good look at the group and the screen itself.

 
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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: 3,385
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 Tue Oct 9, 2012, 11:03am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

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.

 
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rgalang
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silva
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

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.
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rgalang
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silva
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

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.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,385
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 Tue Oct 9, 2012, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

rgalang Said:

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. .

Posted October 9, 2012 link

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.

 
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rgalang
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silva
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

frcn Said:

I hope not. I hope what you ran through the system was DESCALER and NOT detergent.

Posted October 9, 2012 link

Yes! I was using Urmex Cleancaf. Isn't it referred to as detergent as well? Or am I mixed up? I've only used Urmex Cleancaf for any internal cleanse.  

Thanks for the link, that is really helpful!
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,385
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 Tue Oct 9, 2012, 7:29pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

rgalang Said:

Yes! I was using Urmex Cleancaf. Isn't it referred to as detergent as well? Or am I mixed up? I've only used Urmex Cleancaf for any internal cleanse.

Posted October 9, 2012 link

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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rgalang
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silva
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012, 8:41pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Owners -- please advise
 

Oh man... ok. Waiting on replacement parts then will do an overall clean up using the proper chemicals! Thank you so much frcn. I've got a lot to learn! Nice site by the way.
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