DaninMaryland Senior Member Joined: 3 Jan 2013 Posts: 79 Location: US Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: V2 Silvia Grinder: Vario-W
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 1:18pm Subject: Re: Age of Miss Silvia a problem?
i dont think its a problem assuming that: 1) the machine has been cared for well - ask questions about maintenance routine, if they dont know how regulary they descaled, etc, dont buy 2) you are getting a very very good price, like $150
the reason for the second part is that you are going to want (well, you should) to tear it open and disassemble it to examine its condition.
I have a V2 that i got for a really good deal. I ended up pretty much taking whole thing apart and putting it back together. There really isnt that much to these machines, there are pretty simple. assuming you are mechically inclined i would go for it. that way if you end up dumping $100 in parts into it, you still have a really good machine.
this is what i did with my machine and i recommend you do it as well:
remove, inspect and clean boiler as needed, replace boiler gasket when replacing - replace the boiler screws with new STAINLESS screws. i believe this was a 4 or 5mm allan wrench to remove
remove and inspect OPV
remove, inspect and clean the 3 way valve
remove and replace/rebuild the steam wand valve with new gaskets (or for $75 upgrade to V3 wand).
remove and clean the grouphead assembly, replace the grouphead filter
there are some other minor cleaning things you can do while its open, but there isnt that much to the machines. the items i listed above probably totalled around $40 in parts, etc and took me 2-3 hours. before you do anything i would run the machine for a while and do some test shots including measuring the temp at the grouphead, and make sure it steams good. If either doesnt work right, you may need to replace the temperature switches that are mounted on the boiler while you are in there.
One big hint - takes lots of pictures of everything as you dissassemble, especially the wiring on top of the boiler! i took 4-5 pictures of the wiring on teh boiler and still had to guess on two wires (luckily they were right teh first time)
when doing the test run, make sure you have the top off of the machine so you can look for leaks, etc
One great thing about the Silvia is the amount of pictures, DIY, info available on the internet.
i got all my parts from espressoparts.com; fantastic
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 1:32pm Subject: Re: Age of Miss Silvia a problem?
No OPV in '02.
EDIT: I assumed that the statement inferred an adjustable OPV. Yes, all Silvias have always had a pressure regulating valve of some sort. The '02 had one, but as stated, it was not easily adjustable; washers had to be added in order to set a maximum brew force.
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 4:42pm Subject: Re: Age of Miss Silvia a problem?
A well cared for Silvia ought to last 20 years or more. If you're handy, you can certainly make that happen. As said above, if it's going for a good price and in decent shape...and you're in the market for a SBDU machine...it's worth getting.
I would highly recommend changing out the steam valve/wand to the articulating version, rather than rebuilding the non-articulating wand's valve. I used a v1 Silvia for about 8 years or so. I rebuilt the valve once. The second time, I changed it out for the articulating version and was really sorry I hadn't done it much sooner. I think it's one of the best upgrades you can do...probably second only to installing a PID.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
As stated above, depends on how it was cared for. Mine was purchased in 2002 (same year I joined CG) and is still going strong though I had to replace the boiler, rebuild the steam wand valve and do the usual maintenance.
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