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Getting rid of reservoir and hard plumbing silvia.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Getting rid of...  
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itsleighton
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 56
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GB5, PID Silvia,
Grinder: Mazzer Robur E, Mazzer Major...
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 5:29pm
Subject: Getting rid of reservoir and hard plumbing silvia.
 

Ive read alot of posts about placing a fill valve in the reservoir of a silvia, but I can't find anything about people running pressure water to a Silvia either by using the same pump or changing pumps.  I had a La Marzocco GB5 which I sold because of its size and am seriously considering a Gs/3.  I have a modified Silvia that actually produces a very good shot with my Robur grinder. Im having a hard time justifying the $5-6k price of a GS3 if I can create some temp stability with my PID'd silvia.

One thing that was so awesome about my La Marzocco was the preheater for the brew boiler- The water passed thru a tube inside the steam boiler, so the water entering the brew boiler was preheated, thus not resulting in a drop of temp from the incoming line water during the pulling of a shot.

If the Silvia can be plumbed to the line by using the same pump or changing to a different pump, why couldn't someone use a point of use hot water heater under the cabinet to pull the water from so the water entering the boiler is already hot?  I see temp swings on the Silvia of almost 20 degrees when my La Marzocco had a zero point swing when pulling a shot.  The pressure on the Silvia is almost consistently 9 bars- if the temperature can be stabilized with a simple hot water heater before the boiler, it would result in almost the same stability as a commercial machine- especially if the hot water heater is also controlled by a PID. The only constraint would be if the current pump couldn't hold back line pressure.  Has anyone done anything like this?

Thoughts?
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CoffeeRon
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Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
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Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: Getting rid of reservoir and hard plumbing silvia.
 

My first thought in this is the water in the line being cold starting out. By the time you flush the cold water from the line you'd be waiting for your temp to stabilize again. While your temp stabilizes the water in your line goes cold. You'd be chasing your tail so to speak. Maybe you could pull it off if the heater was close to the machine and the line insulated. I may well be wrong, just something to think about.
   Cheers,
       Ron
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itsleighton
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 56
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GB5, PID Silvia,
Grinder: Mazzer Robur E, Mazzer Major...
Posted Fri Jun 14, 2013, 6:26am
Subject: Re: Getting rid of reservoir and hard plumbing silvia.
 

I typically do a flush anyways, just as I would my La Marzocco.  An insulated line and a flush long enough to equate the volume of water in the line would resolve this I think. Is the stock pump able to hold back line pressure on the suction side or would pressure cause water to push through the idle pump?  Even so, isn't there a solenoid valve leading to the group that would hold back the line pressure just as it holds back pump pressure when the hot water button is on and not the brew button?  Im' just wanting to know if the mechanics of the machine would allow for this.  I , in my very novice opinion, think the potential cold water in the connecting line can be solved with an initial flush, let the two PID's settle down for 2 minutes or so, then pull a shot.  The water in the interconnecting line may be very small bit cooler than both boilers, but only as much as it could drop in the insulated line within a couple of minutes.  This same issue would be an issue inside the La Marzocco machines since the line connecting the preheater in the steam boiler and the brew boiler is not insulated.  

Anyone got an Ulka pump they wanna sell so I can play with it to see what type of pressure swings I get by introducing pressure on the suction side rather than letting it suck the water out of an atmospheric reservoir?

Am I crazy?
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steamer
Senior Member
steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 900
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
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Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
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Posted Fri Jun 14, 2013, 7:59am
Subject: Re: Getting rid of reservoir and hard plumbing silvia.
 

you can buy a 110 volt water heater, under counter, for local use. Now the issues, besides the tepid water in the line, the max temp on these units is about 140 degrees. This would still need to be heated to your desire temp in the boiler, but at a lesser time factor than 65 degree water. These are hot water taps that can be found at most DIY stores. Why not just get a HX unit at way less cost of a GS3?
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itsleighton
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 56
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GB5, PID Silvia,
Grinder: Mazzer Robur E, Mazzer Major...
Posted Fri Jun 14, 2013, 8:49am
Subject: Re: Getting rid of reservoir and hard plumbing silvia.
 

steamer Said:

Why not just get a HX unit at way less cost of a GS3?

Posted June 14, 2013 link

Because I like to make things as complicated and difficult as possible :).  
You're absolutely right.. A much cheaper machine is more than likely easier.  However, with some minor plumbing work, this may not solve the temp drop problem 100% in the cheaper machines, but simply plumbing it into the hot water line as opposed to the cold water line may help reduce it dramatically (if you have a point of use water heater for your sink).  I just filled my Silvia reservoir with 180 degree water, ran a flush, let the PID settle down and pulled a shot. The temperature drop was 6 degrees after pulling a 1.75 oz shot.  Not bad after seeing an almost 20 degree swing normally.  It just got me to thinking.. That's all.
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