Silvia Looses Prime

Bill Laine

New member
Jan 5, 2008
43
0
New Orleans
My PID'd Rancillio Silvia espresso machine is about one and one-half years old. For some time it has been loosing prime between shots. I drink a latte and when I start to make the next one the boiler must fill with water before it will start pumping through the head.

I work around this by priming when I first start the shot-pulling process. Once the temperature comes back up I can pull a regular shot. I do not overwork the machine and I clean it regularly. I have been guilty of leaving the steam heater on for long periods.

What could cause this? Is it harmful?

Thanks

Bill
New Orleans
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
2
Central North Carolina
Well I actually need more info to help.... You say "when I make the next one"... how long does it sit between brew/steaming sessions? Also, do you pull the shot first then steam or vice versa?

Of course leaving it in steam mode for long periods of time will eventually kill your heating element, as your machine doesn't have an auto-fill feature and that water slowly dissipates when left on like that.

One last thing... your Silvia has a 3-way solenoid which does 2 things. It relieves brew pressure after each shot and it also holds steady pressure in the boiler until a shot is pulled. If it is clogged it could possibly be letting water escape while sitting. If I'm not mistaken it dumps into the drip tray so if this was the case you'd notice more water than usual in the tray. Later!
 
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Bill Laine

New member
Jan 5, 2008
43
0
New Orleans
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Thanks shadow745. The machine sits for the time it takes me to drink the first cappucino. Usually 1/2 to 1 hour. I pull the shot and then steam.
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
1,557
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Des Moines, Iowa
Actually it can be very harmful if you have a steam leak. Your Silvia isn't designed with an auto fill circuit. So after you get done steaming your drink you are suppose to run the group head until you have a full stream of water coming out. This is critical for your machine as it is refilling the boiler after you steamed a good portion of it off. The Silvia's boiler serves a dual purpose role. The water that is used to produce your espresso is the same water that is used to produce steam for you milk. So its very essential to refill after every use.

This is why you can't steam more then one 20 ounce drink at any give time. There just isn't enough water in the boiler to do such a thing. So remember as soon as your done steaming your drink you need to reprime your boiler so it is ready to produce the next drink.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,557
0
Des Moines, Iowa
shadow745 said:
Of course leaving it in steam mode for long periods of time will eventually kill your heating element, as your machine doesn't have an auto-fill feature and that water slowly dissipates when left on like that.

That would only be the case if you had a steam leak or your 3 way valve is leaking. Otherwise every time the unit would turn the heating element back on is to keep the boiler heat at a certain level as this machine uses high limit switches to control how hot the boiler gets.
 
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