Rancilio Silvia from 1998- repair or give up?

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.

#1: Post by avbirkel »

Newbie question here, thanks in advance for insight. I noticed smoke coming out of the back and took some pictures of what I can see inside. What can I do to fix this machine, if anything? I replaced the steam thermostat about a year ago and have been using the machine for about 2 years daily with no other issues. However I've never cleaned it! So I'll be doing that from here on out--- maybe that's what caused the burning?

Note that I bought this Rancilio Silvia in 1999 in Italy and brought it back to the U.S. but never used it until 2020. I put a 240 volt outlet in our kitchen so we could use this machine and an electrician changed out the plug to be a U.S. 240 volt plug. But the machine runs on 50 Hz. Our electrician said if we get the machine working again, make sure to supervise it while it's running and don't leave it plugged in as it's basically a fire hazard. BUT, my question for you all is-- how do I get it running again? Thanks again in advance.

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#2: Post by ira »

We, that machine could probably care less about 50hz vs 60hz. Might make the pump a bit more or less efficient is all. I would stat by unplugging the machine, touching 220V hurts, and then unplugging those 4(6?) connectors on top of the boiler one at a time to see if it's one of them that overheated and caused the smoke. If you find the ones going to the round disk are messed up I'd replace the connectors and the round disk(thermo safety). If it's the ones going to the heating element you can see if the contacts on the boiler will clean up and if so, I'd replace the problem connector, put it back together and it will probably be good as new. If they heater contacts are unusable, then it's new heater time. I don't think that's a big deal on a Silvia, but I've never seen one. On the other hand, replacing the machine might improve you're experience enough it's worth doing. Silvias are said to be somewhat tricky to get consistency from, but again, never seen one.

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#3: Post by JRising »

The heating element is burnt right through, the connector's post is severed where it passes through the boiler top into the shielded/insulated section where its filament is. The element would need to be replaced. I'm not familiar with the european boilers, perhaps, but the north american boilers of that style had the element braised in place in the upper boiler, not held with that nut, so in my opinion it's not the original element.

If the pump is still strong, the brew valve is still working and you think you can find a replacement element that will fit the holes drilled in the boiler-upper, then clean everything up and replace the element. If the element isn't the machine's only problem, it would probably be cheaper to buy a new Silvia.

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#4: Post by baldheadracing »

I think this is the element - aftermarket from Bulgaria. I have no experience: https://www.ebay.com/itm/362554764989
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

avbirkel (original poster)

#5: Post by avbirkel (original poster) »

Thank you so much for your reply. I am processing all this info and trying to decide if I will tackle repairing or not. Appreciate your help.

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Randy G.

#6: Post by Randy G. »

They stopped using that element in late 2000 in the usa. You may get lucky, but likely will need a new boiler.
* 22nd Anniversary 2000-2022 *

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#7: Post by JRising »

Stefano's has the kit of everything you'll need to upgrade that to the new style boiler and element.

https://www.espressocare.com/products/i ... raded-2013

Basically you'll need upper boiler, element, New Steam Tube, Blue Element gasket, red boiler-o-ring, and new yellow and black wires with faston connectors.