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Date: 01 Dec 2006 23:00:03
From:
Subject: Backflushing Silvia
When I got Silvia from Daveb, (who did my beautiful PID install), he
said not to backflush. As he fixes these macines and I want to keep her
off his bench, any thoughts. Dave? You there? What's your reasoning?
Other points of view wanted here as I'm a total crazy about
understanding WHY one should do or not do something.
Stan





 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 09:48:58
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
stan.shire@gmail.com wrote:

>When I got Silvia from Daveb, (who did my beautiful PID install), he
>said not to backflush. As he fixes these macines and I want to keep her
>off his bench, any thoughts. Dave? You there? What's your reasoning?
>Other points of view wanted here as I'm a total crazy about
>understanding WHY one should do or not do something.
>Stan

Stan,

If you do a Google Groups search for "backflushing" or "backflushing
Silvia" you will find a mass of threads concerning this issue. it has
been discussed in depth, ad nauseam. If you look at my website you
will find two articles on backflushing. I suggest that you read in the
"Coffee College" section the article entitled "3-Way Valve How and
Why." In great detail it explains how the 3-way works, how it gets
dirty, why you need to clean it, what may happen if you don't. There
is a large FAQ on backflushing discussing the concerns you have,
again, in great detail, at the end of the article. Then read "1-
Backflushing" in the "How To" pages. If you still have any concerns
after that you will need to consult an expert with knowledge far
beyond mine. If there is a more thorough discussion of backflushing
anywhere I would like to read it.

If you don't want to take the time to read the whole thing, in the FAQ
I sum it up this way:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Can't the machine be damaged by backflushing?

As you have learned from this series of images, backflushing
does basically the same thing as when you choke the machine with too
fine of a grind, and it is basically the same as when you turn on the
hot water switch, causing the pump to operate before you open the hot
water valve. In either of those cases, the overpressure relief valve
opens and allows the excess pressure to be relieved back into the
water reservoir, protecting the pump and other components from damage.
If you use a bit of common sense, backflushing is no more
damaging to your machine than choking it. Quite the opposite can be
said to be true, because when the machine is choked, the home barrista
will often allow it to run in that states for ten or fifteen seconds
waiting for something to drip forth from the portafilter. When
backflushing, the pump needs not labor for more than one or two
seconds before being switched off to allow the 3-way to open.
If the machine is damaged from over pressure when backflushing
then it was about to fail anyway. If a boiler seal is blown when
backflushing it was about to go and would have failed from the next
choked shot if not before. If a pump fails from proper backflushing it
was just about to fail anyway.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I have been on alt.coffee for over 6 years, and in all that time there
has only been ONE report of a Silvia being damaged by backflushing,
and that report was wholly unencumbered by fact.

Randy "just the facts, Mam" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




  
Date: 02 Dec 2006 21:50:38
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
On Sat, 02 Dec 2006 09:48:58 -0800, Randy G. <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com >
wrote:

>stan.shire@gmail.com wrote:
>
>>When I got Silvia from Daveb, (who did my beautiful PID install), he
>>said not to backflush. As he fixes these macines and I want to keep her
>>off his bench, any thoughts. Dave? You there? What's your reasoning?
>>Other points of view wanted here as I'm a total crazy about
>>understanding WHY one should do or not do something.
>>Stan
>
>Stan,
>
>If you do a Google Groups search for "backflushing" or "backflushing
>Silvia" you will find a mass of threads concerning this issue. it has
>been discussed in depth, ad nauseam.

My memory is far from perfect. But, in 5 years or so of posting here,
I don't recall anyone reporting they had damaged their Silvia by
backflushing.

shall


   
Date: 02 Dec 2006 18:52:27
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
shall <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:

>My memory is far from perfect. But, in 5 years or so of posting here,
>I don't recall anyone reporting they had damaged their Silvia by
>backflushing.
>

Yes, shall, you are absolutely correct. I should have said:

-----------------------------------------------------------
"There has only been one person in the 6 years I have been here on
alt.coffee that has reported that a Silvia was damaged WHEN
backflushing."
-----------------------------------------------------------

As shall so kindly and accurately pointed out, there has NEVER been
any evidence offered here (or anywhere else) that a Silvia has ever
been damaged in any way _BY_ backflushing.

Two events happening concurrently or in proximity do not prove a cause
and effect relationship.

Randy "standing corrected once again" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




  
Date: 02 Dec 2006 11:17:29
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
"Randy G." <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com > wrote in message
news:tfd3n2pvesqf85ni730ulnn79i3dse7rvk@4ax.com...
> >

>snippage<

> I have been on alt.coffee for over 6 years, and in all that time there
> has only been ONE report of a Silvia being damaged by backflushing,
> and that report was wholly unencumbered by fact.
>
> Randy "just the facts, Mam" G.
> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
>
>

Most espresso machines are quite simple, especially small single boilers
like a Silvia. There are simply not that many parts and the way they are
put together is straightforward although there is variation in the quality
of construction. Since they are simple, especially on the plumbing side,
and have few moving parts, there is not all that much that can go wrong with
them and what can go wrong with them is generally fairly easy to fix.
Although frightening the first time you try it, replacing the sorts of parts
that break (such as solenoid valves, pumps, and seals) is no harder than
assembling flat pack furniture or any of the sorts of things one would buy
in a discount store and have to assemble later. What's more, there are
numerous online sources of information and tutorials on how to do these
repairs, certainly better instructions than what came with that Chinese made
TV stand you just bought at Walt.

Backflushing should be done on any machine with a three way valve; it is
standard maintenance and if you don't do it your solenoid valve and the
plumbing around your group head are going to become gunked up.

EVEN IF you screwed up and somehow damaged your machine (and I've never
heard of anyone credible damaging their machine by backflushing, certainly
not if they used a modicum of common sense), the repair would be simple,
straightforward, and cheap.

Don't worry about it.

ken




 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 06:44:32
From:
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia

>What happened to
> that machine the first time the grind was a bit fine, or the hot water
> switch was turned on with the steam wand closed? Rancilio built the OPV into
> the machine for a good reason.
>
>
> --
> Alan

Good point. Before the Silvia came with an adjustable OPV you had to
adjust the OPV by modding her OPV with a washer. If you didn't know
you're brew pressure you could measure it based on OPV flow, I believe.
Forcing pump flow through the OPV with a blank disk in the group and
measuring the rate of flow- volume over time- would be pretty accurate
in determining your pump's brew pressure. Hurting a Silvia
intentionally or unintentionally by choking her is extremely rare and I
would think it's a parts failure issue rather than a result of doing
something like forcing the flow through the OPV.



 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 06:33:55
From:
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia

stan.shire@gmail.com wrote:
> When I got Silvia from Daveb, (who did my beautiful PID install), he
> said not to backflush. > Stan

I had a Silvia for almost a year and backflushed her weekly without any
problem. She was the older model as opposed to the new adjustable OPV,
lower temp brew thermostat model that's out now but I don't think the
new design will make a difference in backflushing.

The info and advice that seems to consistently come up with
backflushing, in particular backflushing the Silvia, is that a machine
with a good three way valve not only can be but should be backflushed
to get the gunk that accumulates out. The only reason I've read that
Rancilio advises not to backflush is to cover themselves warranty wise.



 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 04:52:24
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
wow. such vehemence!

BTW -- ALL new silvias -- 100 percent of them -- I sell come with a
one YEAR parts and labor warranty.

(Stan -- who would have thought "backflushing" would inspire such
noise!)


dave



 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 09:52:50
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
If you've PID'd it you're not worrying about the warranty anyway, so go
ahead and backflush. It's a standard service & repair procedure, just not
one Rancilio is prepared to recommend to the "average consumer". Note that
Rancilio Italy's opinion of the "average USA consumer" is a step below
"total idiot"; you only have to look at the number of complaints they
received about secondhand/used Rocky grinders (they actually had COFFEE in
them on delivery) to see why.

Use Randy's instructions, http://www.espressomyespresso.com . For the
record, DaveB may be a great PID installer but he knows dick all about
general espresso machine service, Rancilio Silvia in particular. I've sold
over 1000 Silvias and never had one break from backflushing. His "blew out
the boiler gasket during backflushing" rant isn't credible. What happened to
that machine the first time the grind was a bit fine, or the hot water
switch was turned on with the steam wand closed? Rancilio built the OPV into
the machine for a good reason.


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au





  
Date: 02 Dec 2006 08:35:52
From: Lloyd Parsons
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
In article <S1cch.1307$HU.742@news-server.bigpond.net.au >,
"Coffee for Connoisseurs" <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au > wrote:

> If you've PID'd it you're not worrying about the warranty anyway, so go
> ahead and backflush. It's a standard service & repair procedure, just not
> one Rancilio is prepared to recommend to the "average consumer". Note that
> Rancilio Italy's opinion of the "average USA consumer" is a step below
> "total idiot"; you only have to look at the number of complaints they
> received about secondhand/used Rocky grinders (they actually had COFFEE in
> them on delivery) to see why.
>
> Use Randy's instructions, http://www.espressomyespresso.com . For the
> record, DaveB may be a great PID installer but he knows dick all about
> general espresso machine service, Rancilio Silvia in particular. I've sold
> over 1000 Silvias and never had one break from backflushing. His "blew out
> the boiler gasket during backflushing" rant isn't credible. What happened to
> that machine the first time the grind was a bit fine, or the hot water
> switch was turned on with the steam wand closed? Rancilio built the OPV into
> the machine for a good reason.

While I won't comment on DaveB's service abilities, I agree with you on
the backflushing. After careful looking over the innards and design of
the Silvia, I came to the conclusion that backflushing was needed, easy
and not damaging to the machine.


 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 01:10:14
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Backflushing Silvia
Thanks again for the compliment! But please, let's discuss this
backflush issue 'off-line'

or gimme a call!
thanx
Dave

stan.shire@gmail.com wrote:
> When I got Silvia from Daveb, (who did my beautiful PID install), he
> said not to backflush. As he fixes these macines and I want to keep her
> off his bench, any thoughts. Dave? You there? What's your reasoning?
> Other points of view wanted here as I'm a total crazy about
> understanding WHY one should do or not do something.
> Stan