Wiring layout


Well after a bit of a disaster de-scaling the machine, I used some de-scaler that was supposed to be OK with coffee machines but left a terrible taste in the plastic pipes and I couldnt flush out. I decide to take the machine apart. The amount of limescale in the boiler was quite impressive -- 4 years of not enough maintenance. Here are the before and after pics:

Cleaning Silvia

Here are some pictures to help you take your Rancilio Silvia apart and put it back together again! The pictures show the re-assembly after the various parts have been cleaned.

I have had to do this twice. The first time shortly after the machine was bought in Western Australia (basically I had to do the work because the Western Australian distributor and their service agent were c**p). Many thanks to Alan Frew at Coffee for Connoisseurs for his assistance and help in diagnosing the fault.

In case you are interested, the original fault was rather strange. When I first turned on the machine all worked OK and I got a sensible water debit (about 60-100 ml in 10 seconds). However, once the machine had warmed up, invariably the water would hardly come out at all. As I said the local distributor and their service agent were useless and despite having the machine twice they were unable (or unwilling) to diagnose or solve the problem, all they did was stick a huge sticker with their contact details on the machine. Thanks!

When I stripped down the machine as outlined bellow I found a tiny bit of brass swarf (from where the threads had been put into the boiler) constricting the tiny hole where the water flows from the boiler into the group head. Once removed the machine worked perfectly. Took about 15 minutes for a novice to fix!

anyhow, enough ranting and back to the main event!

Water flow part of the machine all taken apart

various parts of the water flow control system
  1. two rubber o-rings, fit into depressions in bras bit and bottom of boiler/group
  2. brass bit, with two rubber o-rings, screws into bottom of boiler/group
  3. sprung valve, this slides into valve body, it will only move freely when it is correct way up
  4. valve body, and solonoid (valve slides through middle of solonoid)
  5. nut to hold solonoid onto valve
  6. drip outlet

Parts assembled

Parts slotted together so you can see what they look like. They actually need to be assembled in situe.

Where the gunk accumulates

Both times there has been a blockage, its been here. The first time was a brass shaving that must have been left in the boiler from when they were tapping the threads. This caused an intermittent fault which sometimes prevented the water from flowing properly once the machine had heated up (The WA service rep for Ranchilio was unable to diagnose or fix this problem.

The second time, similar symptoms, except that the water rate was reduced all the time. Cause: some unknown substance blocking one of the holes. Possibly a spiders web? well the machine had spent three months being shipped from WA to the Pyrenees.

The springy bit will only go in one way up and still move smoothly

The three bits screwed togther before screwing back onto the group head.

You can access the screws through the drain hole in the bottom.

Slide on the solenoid, make sure the nut is the right way up -- ring on top.

re-connect the wires. Earth at top; orange at back; double white at front.

Screw the drain pipe back on

Slide in the back panel vertically, there is a little notch in the base of the machine to help it fit through.