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Date: 08 Mar 2007 12:12:36
From: gordon
Subject: silva mechanical issues
I am new to this forum, so forgive me for that.


I recently was given a used Rancilio Silva (and Rocky) from family
friends. I had previously shown interest in their silva after
extensive research about what machine to get. I ended up with a
refurbished Capresso C1000 due to my wife's lack of interest in the
mechanics of brewing espresso. This machine does reasonably well, but
certainly lacks any steaming ability. I think our friends got rid of
their machine for a superautomatic, but am not certain.

But now I see the opportunity to manage the brewing on my own and am
pretty excited about this.

I happily received the machine, and have run into at least two
mechanical issues.

First, on trying to start Miss Silva, no water pumped through the
machine.

At this point I did expose the innards, and troubleshot the pump. It
was not working. After dismantling it, I determined the small black
rubber plunger (at the distal end of the pump) had become stuck. It
appeared as though too much back pressure had forced it into the small
hole just upstream. I fixed this, the pump did start to work.

At this point, I thought I may be able to finally pull a shot, but as
I tried to fill the boiler, the pump worked, but the main gasket of
the boiler failed. Water poured out of the boiler. I am currently
waiting on a replacement gasket for the boiler.

This leads me to a couple of questions.

1. Why did the gasket fail?---Did the boiler heat up so hot that the
gasket melted? If so, is the boiler thermostat bad?

2. I think the pump failed due to excessive back pressure. I can not
relate this problem to the other. But it does make me question the
pressure relief valve. Is this something that can fail?

I would appreciate any advice.

thanks,

Gordon





 
Date: 09 Mar 2007 09:14:52
From: daveb
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
On 9, 12:10 pm, "Craig Andrews" <alt.cof...@deletethis.rogers.com >
wrote:
> "daveb" <davebobbl...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:1173460010.833593.297250@j27g2000cwj.googlegroups.com...
>
> > ., so I'm no boob here..
> >> Craig.
>
> > who said you were?
> > not I
>
> > d
>
> Never said ya did, just statin' a fact..
> Craig.

so, "notboob", any relation to "notbob"?
:)

d



  
Date: 09 Mar 2007 12:19:40
From: Craig Andrews
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues

"daveb" <davebobblane@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1173460492.870723.237110@p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com...
> On 9, 12:10 pm, "Craig Andrews" <alt.cof...@deletethis.rogers.com>
> wrote:
>> "daveb" <davebobbl...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:1173460010.833593.297250@j27g2000cwj.googlegroups.com...
>>
>> > ., so I'm no boob here..
>> >> Craig.
>>
>> > who said you were?
>> > not I
>>
>> > d
>>
>> Never said ya did, just statin' a fact..
>> Craig.
>
> so, "notboob", any relation to "notbob"?
> :)
>
> d
>

Haha!!! ROTHLMAO!!!!!!!!!!! {:-D
Craig.



 
Date: 09 Mar 2007 09:06:51
From: daveb
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
., so I'm no boob here..
> Craig.

who said you were?
not I

d



  
Date: 09 Mar 2007 12:10:12
From: Craig Andrews
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues

"daveb" <davebobblane@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1173460010.833593.297250@j27g2000cwj.googlegroups.com...
> ., so I'm no boob here..
>> Craig.
>
> who said you were?
> not I
>
> d
>

Never said ya did, just statin' a fact..
Craig.



 
Date: 09 Mar 2007 07:50:13
From: daveb
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
On 9, 10:18 am, "Craig Andrews" <alt.cof...@deletethis.rogers.com >
wrote:
> "daveb" <davebobbl...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:1173439989.086197.153200@30g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > On 9, 12:30 am, "gordon" <gordonlew...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> I think Dave has hit part of the problem on the nose.
>
> >> The threads do seem to have stripped out a bit. there os copper on
> >> the screws, and about half of the depth of the threads on the bottom
> >> of the boiler (near the grouphead) are stripped out.
>
> >> What do you suggest to fix this... it seems as though I could get
> >> somewhat longer screws and stil get some bite, but certainly not
> >> normal strength.
>
> >> I looked at the pressure valve, it seems ok.
>
> >> Thanks
>
> >> Gordon
>
> > I have a technique for fixing this
> > costs about $8.00.
>
> > but I do not want to type it out.
>
> > pls gimme a call.
>
> > Dave
>
> It's called a Helicoil insert!
> Look here please:http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGL...
> Craig.

Nope, not even as involved as that.

dave




  
Date: 09 Mar 2007 11:52:53
From: Craig Andrews
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues

"daveb" <davebobblane@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1173455412.932232.310780@s48g2000cws.googlegroups.com...
> On 9, 10:18 am, "Craig Andrews" <alt.cof...@deletethis.rogers.com>
> wrote:
>> "daveb" <davebobbl...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:1173439989.086197.153200@30g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>
>>
>> > On 9, 12:30 am, "gordon" <gordonlew...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> I think Dave has hit part of the problem on the nose.
>>
>> >> The threads do seem to have stripped out a bit. there os copper
>> >> on
>> >> the screws, and about half of the depth of the threads on the
>> >> bottom
>> >> of the boiler (near the grouphead) are stripped out.
>>
>> >> What do you suggest to fix this... it seems as though I could get
>> >> somewhat longer screws and stil get some bite, but certainly not
>> >> normal strength.
>>
>> >> I looked at the pressure valve, it seems ok.
>>
>> >> Thanks
>>
>> >> Gordon
>>
>> > I have a technique for fixing this
>> > costs about $8.00.
>>
>> > but I do not want to type it out.
>>
>> > pls gimme a call.
>>
>> > Dave
>>
>> It's called a Helicoil insert!
>> Look here
>> please:http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGL...
>> Craig.
>
> Nope, not even as involved as that.
>
> dave
>
>

Yeah, well original OP, retap out the next size then., but torquing
values would change slightly. I do motorcycle repair & service, worked
in several machine shops in my life., so I'm no boob here..
Craig.



 
Date: 09 Mar 2007 03:33:09
From: daveb
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
On 9, 12:30 am, "gordon" <gordonlew...@gmail.com > wrote:
> I think Dave has hit part of the problem on the nose.
>
> The threads do seem to have stripped out a bit. there os copper on
> the screws, and about half of the depth of the threads on the bottom
> of the boiler (near the grouphead) are stripped out.
>
> What do you suggest to fix this... it seems as though I could get
> somewhat longer screws and stil get some bite, but certainly not
> normal strength.
>
> I looked at the pressure valve, it seems ok.
>
> Thanks
>
> Gordon

I have a technique for fixing this
costs about $8.00.

but I do not want to type it out.

pls gimme a call.

Dave



  
Date: 09 Mar 2007 10:18:29
From: Craig Andrews
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues

"daveb" <davebobblane@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1173439989.086197.153200@30g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> On 9, 12:30 am, "gordon" <gordonlew...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I think Dave has hit part of the problem on the nose.
>>
>> The threads do seem to have stripped out a bit. there os copper on
>> the screws, and about half of the depth of the threads on the bottom
>> of the boiler (near the grouphead) are stripped out.
>>
>> What do you suggest to fix this... it seems as though I could get
>> somewhat longer screws and stil get some bite, but certainly not
>> normal strength.
>>
>> I looked at the pressure valve, it seems ok.
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Gordon
>
> I have a technique for fixing this
> costs about $8.00.
>
> but I do not want to type it out.
>
> pls gimme a call.
>
> Dave
>

It's called a Helicoil insert!
Look here please:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-01,GGLD:en&q=helicoil+inserts
Craig.



 
Date: 08 Mar 2007 21:30:39
From: gordon
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
I think Dave has hit part of the problem on the nose.

The threads do seem to have stripped out a bit. there os copper on
the screws, and about half of the depth of the threads on the bottom
of the boiler (near the grouphead) are stripped out.

What do you suggest to fix this... it seems as though I could get
somewhat longer screws and stil get some bite, but certainly not
normal strength.

I looked at the pressure valve, it seems ok.


Thanks

Gordon



 
Date: 08 Mar 2007 19:06:28
From: daveb
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
On 8, 6:44 pm, Randy G. <f...@DESPAMMOcncnet.com > wrote:
> Hey there, Gordon. WELCOME!
>
> You did well to get the pump working, and from what you have said it
> seems you are at home with your hands messing about with the innards
> of machines. As you have already seen, Silvia is an easy machine to
> deal with.
>
> It sounds like this machine has seen some hard service or neglect- at
> least let us assume so. I wonder how old it is? On top of the boiler
> examine how the heating element is mounted- is it bolted into the top
> of the boiler or is it welded onto the boiler with no visible nuts?
>
> If welded, take the boiler half off and examine the element and the
> inside of the boiler in general and decide if it needs replacing. if
> bolted, replace it with the new, welded design which is all that is
> now available.
>
> The thermostats, as you suspected, may be bad. Since you are going
> through all this trouble, replace all three. It is cheap insurance.
> The brew thermostat is probably on the way out if it is working at
> all, and the overheat safety thermostat is suspect since the boiler
> seal failed, so might as well go all the way.
>
> While you are at it, get the 4 O rings (two for the steam valve shaft
> seal and two for the steam wand- they are all the same part), and the
> "cock gasket" which is the steam valve seat gasket.
>
> Finally order two brewhead gaskets- one for now and one for later.
> Coat the spare with talcum powder and store it on an airtight
> container (I vac seal my spares).
>
> In regards tot eh pressure relief valve, take it apart and examine it.
> Better yet, toss it and replace it with the new adjustable valve which
> is a direct replacement part.
>
> From memory, those parts, along with the boiler seal, will pretty much
> rebuild the machine, replacing all parts subject to wear.
>
> Anyone else see a PID in this guy's future? ;-)
>
> My website has some electrical and mechanical diagrams of how a Silvia
> works which may be of benefit to you...
>
> Randy "do you have a website??" G.
> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
>
> "gordon" <rgordonle...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >At this point I did expose the innards, and troubleshot the pump. It
> >was not working. After dismantling it, I determined the small black
> >rubber plunger (at the distal end of the pump) had become stuck. It
> >appeared as though too much back pressure had forced it into the small
> >hole just upstream. I fixed this, the pump did start to work.
>
> >At this point, I thought I may be able to finally pull a shot, but as
> >I tried to fill the boiler, the pump worked, but the main gasket of
> >the boiler failed. Water poured out of the boiler. I am currently
> >waiting on a replacement gasket for the boiler.
>
> >This leads me to a couple of questions.
>
> >1. Why did the gasket fail?---Did the boiler heat up so hot that the
> >gasket melted? If so, is the boiler thermostat bad?
>
> >2. I think the pump failed due to excessive back pressure. I can not
> >relate this problem to the other. But it does make me question the
> >pressure relief valve. Is this something that can fail?
>
> >I would appreciate any advice.
>
> >thanks,
>
> >Gordon

Wow -- fixing just the busted things is not rg's philosophy!!

That $200 list (plus shipping and tax) may not even fix your problem.

If the boiler WORKS and is not leaking, nothing is to be gained by
changing it out now. same with the steam valve, etc. etc. and the
relief valve -- seldom fails.

And Jarrett IS so right, if the boiler is frozen with water in it, it
can / will strip out the threads in the brewhead. That is not as
easy, but still is, cheap to fix.

call if that is your issue. look for brass caught in the threads of
the boiler bolts.

Dave
910 616 0980



 
Date: 08 Mar 2007 18:54:49
From: daveb
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
On 8, 6:44 pm, Randy G. <f...@DESPAMMOcncnet.com > wrote:
> Hey there, Gordon. WELCOME!
>
> You did well to get the pump working, and from what you have said it
> seems you are at home with your hands messing about with the innards
> of machines. As you have already seen, Silvia is an easy machine to
> deal with.
>
> It sounds like this machine has seen some hard service or neglect- at
> least let us assume so. I wonder how old it is? On top of the boiler
> examine how the heating element is mounted- is it bolted into the top
> of the boiler or is it welded onto the boiler with no visible nuts?
>
> If welded, take the boiler half off and examine the element and the
> inside of the boiler in general and decide if it needs replacing. if
> bolted, replace it with the new, welded design which is all that is
> now available.
>
> The thermostats, as you suspected, may be bad. Since you are going
> through all this trouble, replace all three. It is cheap insurance.
> The brew thermostat is probably on the way out if it is working at
> all, and the overheat safety thermostat is suspect since the boiler
> seal failed, so might as well go all the way.
>
> While you are at it, get the 4 O rings (two for the steam valve shaft
> seal and two for the steam wand- they are all the same part), and the
> "cock gasket" which is the steam valve seat gasket.
>
> Finally order two brewhead gaskets- one for now and one for later.
> Coat the spare with talcum powder and store it on an airtight
> container (I vac seal my spares).
>
> In regards tot eh pressure relief valve, take it apart and examine it.
> Better yet, toss it and replace it with the new adjustable valve which
> is a direct replacement part.
>
> From memory, those parts, along with the boiler seal, will pretty much
> rebuild the machine, replacing all parts subject to wear.
>
> Anyone else see a PID in this guy's future? ;-)
>
> My website has some electrical and mechanical diagrams of how a Silvia
> works which may be of benefit to you...
>
> Randy "do you have a website??" G.
> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
>
> "gordon" <rgordonle...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >At this point I did expose the innards, and troubleshot the pump. It
> >was not working. After dismantling it, I determined the small black
> >rubber plunger (at the distal end of the pump) had become stuck. It
> >appeared as though too much back pressure had forced it into the small
> >hole just upstream. I fixed this, the pump did start to work.
>
> >At this point, I thought I may be able to finally pull a shot, but as
> >I tried to fill the boiler, the pump worked, but the main gasket of
> >the boiler failed. Water poured out of the boiler. I am currently
> >waiting on a replacement gasket for the boiler.
>
> >This leads me to a couple of questions.
>
> >1. Why did the gasket fail?---Did the boiler heat up so hot that the
> >gasket melted? If so, is the boiler thermostat bad?
>
> >2. I think the pump failed due to excessive back pressure. I can not
> >relate this problem to the other. But it does make me question the
> >pressure relief valve. Is this something that can fail?
>
> >I would appreciate any advice.
>
> >thanks,
>
> >Gordon

Wow -- fixing just the busted things is not rg's philosophy!!

If the boiler WORKS and is not leaking, nothing is to be gained by
changing it out now. same with the steam valve, etc. etc. and the
relief valve -- seldom fails.

And Jarrett is right, if the boiler is frozen with water in it, it
can / will strip out the threads in the brewhead. That is not as
easy, but still is cheap to fix.

call if that is your issue. look for brass caught in the threads of
the boiler bolts.

Dave



 
Date: 08 Mar 2007 15:44:25
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
Hey there, Gordon. WELCOME!

You did well to get the pump working, and from what you have said it
seems you are at home with your hands messing about with the innards
of machines. As you have already seen, Silvia is an easy machine to
deal with.

It sounds like this machine has seen some hard service or neglect- at
least let us assume so. I wonder how old it is? On top of the boiler
examine how the heating element is mounted- is it bolted into the top
of the boiler or is it welded onto the boiler with no visible nuts?

If welded, take the boiler half off and examine the element and the
inside of the boiler in general and decide if it needs replacing. if
bolted, replace it with the new, welded design which is all that is
now available.

The thermostats, as you suspected, may be bad. Since you are going
through all this trouble, replace all three. It is cheap insurance.
The brew thermostat is probably on the way out if it is working at
all, and the overheat safety thermostat is suspect since the boiler
seal failed, so might as well go all the way.

While you are at it, get the 4 O rings (two for the steam valve shaft
seal and two for the steam wand- they are all the same part), and the
"cock gasket" which is the steam valve seat gasket.

Finally order two brewhead gaskets- one for now and one for later.
Coat the spare with talcum powder and store it on an airtight
container (I vac seal my spares).

In regards tot eh pressure relief valve, take it apart and examine it.
Better yet, toss it and replace it with the new adjustable valve which
is a direct replacement part.

From memory, those parts, along with the boiler seal, will pretty much
rebuild the machine, replacing all parts subject to wear.

Anyone else see a PID in this guy's future? ;-)

My website has some electrical and mechanical diagrams of how a Silvia
works which may be of benefit to you...


Randy "do you have a website??" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com





"gordon" <rgordonlewis@gmail.com > wrote:

>
>At this point I did expose the innards, and troubleshot the pump. It
>was not working. After dismantling it, I determined the small black
>rubber plunger (at the distal end of the pump) had become stuck. It
>appeared as though too much back pressure had forced it into the small
>hole just upstream. I fixed this, the pump did start to work.
>
>At this point, I thought I may be able to finally pull a shot, but as
>I tried to fill the boiler, the pump worked, but the main gasket of
>the boiler failed. Water poured out of the boiler. I am currently
>waiting on a replacement gasket for the boiler.
>
>This leads me to a couple of questions.
>
>1. Why did the gasket fail?---Did the boiler heat up so hot that the
>gasket melted? If so, is the boiler thermostat bad?
>
>2. I think the pump failed due to excessive back pressure. I can not
>relate this problem to the other. But it does make me question the
>pressure relief valve. Is this something that can fail?
>
>I would appreciate any advice.
>
>thanks,
>
>Gordon


 
Date: 08 Mar 2007 14:06:00
From: daveb
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
On 8, 3:12 pm, "gordon" <rgordonle...@gmail.com > wrote:
> I am new to this forum, so forgive me for that.
>
> I recently was given a used Rancilio Silva (and Rocky) from family
> friends. I had previously shown interest in their silva after
> extensive research about what machine to get. I ended up with a
> refurbished Capresso C1000 due to my wife's lack of interest in the
> mechanics of brewing espresso. This machine does reasonably well, but
> certainly lacks any steaming ability. I think our friends got rid of
> their machine for a superautomatic, but am not certain.
>
> But now I see the opportunity to manage the brewing on my own and am
> pretty excited about this.
>
> I happily received the machine, and have run into at least two
> mechanical issues.
>
> First, on trying to start Miss Silva, no water pumped through the
> machine.
>
> At this point I did expose the innards, and troubleshot the pump. It
> was not working. After dismantling it, I determined the small black
> rubber plunger (at the distal end of the pump) had become stuck. It
> appeared as though too much back pressure had forced it into the small
> hole just upstream. I fixed this, the pump did start to work.
>
> At this point, I thought I may be able to finally pull a shot, but as
> I tried to fill the boiler, the pump worked, but the main gasket of
> the boiler failed. Water poured out of the boiler. I am currently
> waiting on a replacement gasket for the boiler.
>
> This leads me to a couple of questions.
>
> 1. Why did the gasket fail?---Did the boiler heat up so hot that the
> gasket melted?

No, sometimes they blow if the machine is 'choked' with too fine a
grind, or backflushed

If so, is the boiler thermostat bad?

no, probably not.
>
> 2. I think the pump failed due to excessive back pressure. I can not
> relate this problem to the other. But it does make me question the
> pressure relief valve. Is this something that can fail?

Not likely either.

the machine may have been choked and left on?

who can say?

In any case even with a NEW pump it is $50 in parts and 15 minutes
labor.

Dave
Saeco / Rancilio service SE





  
Date: 08 Mar 2007 23:49:12
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
On 8 2007 14:06:00 -0800, "daveb" <davebobblane@gmail.com > wrote:

>> 1. Why did the gasket fail?---Did the boiler heat up so hot that the
>> gasket melted?
>
>No, sometimes they blow if the machine is 'choked' with too fine a
>grind, or backflushed
>

or if they've been frozen.



 
Date: 08 Mar 2007 16:44:49
From: Otto Bahn
Subject: Re: silva mechanical issues
Me too!

"gordon" <rgordonlewis@gmail.com > wrote in message news:1173384756.810047.132400@30g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> I am new to this forum, so forgive me for that.
>
>
> I recently was given a used Rancilio Silva (and Rocky) from family
> friends. I had previously shown interest in their silva after
> extensive research about what machine to get. I ended up with a
> refurbished Capresso C1000 due to my wife's lack of interest in the
> mechanics of brewing espresso. This machine does reasonably well, but
> certainly lacks any steaming ability. I think our friends got rid of
> their machine for a superautomatic, but am not certain.
>
> But now I see the opportunity to manage the brewing on my own and am
> pretty excited about this.
>
> I happily received the machine, and have run into at least two
> mechanical issues.
>
> First, on trying to start Miss Silva, no water pumped through the
> machine.
>
> At this point I did expose the innards, and troubleshot the pump. It
> was not working. After dismantling it, I determined the small black
> rubber plunger (at the distal end of the pump) had become stuck. It
> appeared as though too much back pressure had forced it into the small
> hole just upstream. I fixed this, the pump did start to work.
>
> At this point, I thought I may be able to finally pull a shot, but as
> I tried to fill the boiler, the pump worked, but the main gasket of
> the boiler failed. Water poured out of the boiler. I am currently
> waiting on a replacement gasket for the boiler.
>
> This leads me to a couple of questions.
>
> 1. Why did the gasket fail?---Did the boiler heat up so hot that the
> gasket melted? If so, is the boiler thermostat bad?
>
> 2. I think the pump failed due to excessive back pressure. I can not
> relate this problem to the other. But it does make me question the
> pressure relief valve. Is this something that can fail?
>
> I would appreciate any advice.
>
> thanks,
>
> Gordon
>