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Leakage from underneath a Rancilio Silvia
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Joined: 8 Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 5:00am
Subject: Leakage from underneath a Rancilio Silvia

I've got an 10y old well used Silvia, and the three of us (wife, me and miss Silvia) are currently developing a life-long relationship.

However, almost every time I brew an espresso (usually about 15 g of coffee for a double shot) there is a small amount of water dripping out underneath the machine. From the far left corner when facing the machine's front. There is this metal drawer avoiding the water hitting the kitchen bench, so all this spilled water (and some coffeish colorised water) is collected in this drawer.

Is this common? Is there a O-ring, a gasket or some other part that needs replacement?

I almost always brew a double espresso, using the double filter. Approx 15 g of coffee. The machine has always been "on" for at least ten minutes, sometime even for an hour, we have enough water in the reservoir. I seldom get leakage from the area around the filter/portafilter/"coffee outlet".

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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 7:10am
Subject: Re: Leakage from underneath a Rancilio Silvia

Part of a problem we are having is the names for the parts you are describing.

Under the brew group, where you place the porta filter (the thing that holds the ground coffee) there is a tray (shelf) that has holes in it so any coffee/water spilled in the brew process, is caught in a tray (the drip tray) that can be removed from the machine to be emptied.

I think you are calling the drip tray a "metal drawer".

When you brew espresso, you use about 9 bar of pressure to push the water through the bed of coffee in the portafilter. When you stop brewing coffee, there is still pressure on the coffee in the portafilter which can take a while to loose pressure. On the Sylvia, there is a valve called the 3 way valve, it's job is to bleed this pressure from the coffee brewing system so you can remove the prota filter from the machine without making a big mess and having coffee grounds and dirty water sprayed all over your kitchen.

This 3 way valve empties into the drip tray (your metal drawer) so you will get dirty water into the tray every time you brew coffee.

If the water is dripping on the counter (outside the machine) , there may be a misaligned hose, from the 3 way valve. You may also have a leak in the drip tray or you are not installing the tray fully to the rear of it's slot. The drain hose from the 3 way valve is located behind the stainless steel panel in the brew area of the machine. Remove the metal shelf that holes in it that your cups sit on under the brew group and look in the back of the space, you should see a black hose in the very back of the space that the drip tray (metal drawer) sits in, this hose should drain into the drip tray. I am guessing that the drain hose is not properly positioned over the drip tray for it to catch the water. I am also guessing that the left rear corner of your machine is the lowest corner and that is where spilled water will leak from the machine.

Your machine needs to be on for at least half an hour before making espresso. The water will be hot before that but you need to warm up the whole machine and that takes time to do.

There is a gasket in the brew group (where you put the thing that holds the coffee (your porta filter)) this gasket should be changed about every 6 months or so, it gets hard and cracks. If it has been too long since it was last changed, it will be very hard to remove so you can put the new one in place.

It sounds like you are VERY new to brewing espresso at home, you need a VERY good grinder (one designed to only grind for espresso), and without a good grinder and FRESH (less than two weeks from the DAY IT WAS ROASTED) coffee for best results and best flavor. What grinder and coffee are you using?

OH, and welcome to the board!

In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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