Rancilio Silvia Pro X: do the boilers refill automatically?

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#1: Post by gongfugang »

Sorry if this is a simple question, but I'm just covering my bases. Do boiler machines, but the SPX specifically, "know" when to refill their boilers when in use? That is to say, if I wanted to pull 10 shots back to back (for tiramisu maybe), would the machine stop and refill the brew boiler if it ran low on water after a shot? Or do I risk harming the heating element because I didn't "let" the machine refill the boiler (not sure exactly what I mean here-turn it off and on or something)? Same with steaming-sometimes after I steam I'll hear the pump go on and the heating light will blink, but is this something I can consistently rely on?

Basically-can I trust Ms. Silvia Pro to keep her boilers filled and safe?

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#2: Post by JRising »

The simplest answer is "Yes".

The brew boiler should never lose water when used properly. The brew valve is closed when not brewing so it can't boil away its water. Then, when it is brewing, the water leaving the boiler is being forced out by the new water being pumped in, so a brew boiler always remains topped up unless misused or leaking.
The back-to back brewing issue is whether or not the heating element can keep getting enough heat into the boiler to keep up with the heat lost to the new, room-temp water being pumped in. 10 back to back for tiramisu might be a little much for a little machine like a Silvia, but hopefully someone with experience actually trying it will chime in and report that the 10th had not gotten sour. I haven't tested one to this extreme.

The steam boiler functions independently, and yes, it will auto-refill when the liquid-level no longer touches the probe.

Silvia Pro will keep her boilers safely at the correct level so long as she's running well.

gongfugang (original poster)
Posts: 33
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#3: Post by gongfugang (original poster) »

Thank you! I managed to do 8 (with a little spoonful out of each to taste and make sure things weren't going south) for a tiramisu, but I don't think Ms. Silvia was having it after that (I might be projecting... I WDTed each and wanted to stab myself at the end!). It only occurred to me after that I'd put her through more than she'd ever been through. Thanks for assuaging my anxiety though!!