Rancilio Silvia: V1 boiler + 2013 heating element?

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
Eightpointnine
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#1: Post by Eightpointnine »

Have you heard of anyone trying to install the 2013+ element in an older boiler?



Moderator note: Split from V2 Rancilio Silvia brought out of storage, with issues

Eightpointnine (original poster)
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Joined: 3 months ago

#2: Post by Eightpointnine (original poster) »

Hello!

My question : has anyone heard of anyone or seen a video of someone installing a 2013+ stainless steel heating element in a V1/V2 boiler?

So, like many, my heating element has kicked the bucket on my V1 Silvia. I've seen several people drilling to swap out the heating element with a replacement, however they replace it with a similar old model (the brass/copper heating element with two "prongs") and this one doesn't seem to be available in 110v anymore, anywhere. The only ones I find online are 220v in Europe. My boiler clearly states 110v on the top of it.

I'm strapped for cash right now, so I'm doing my best to avoid having to spend 400$ CAD on the boiler, heating element, and V1 adapter parts for the steam wand if at all possible at this point.

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to drill a hole using either a "threaded" drill or just a plain old hole and find a nut to place on the inside of the boiler to lock the new heating element in place. Then its a question of sealing the two other holes if you need to drill out the old element.

Alternatively, if anyone has a line of an old copper heating element in 110v...

Cheers for the help again,

Alex

Norvin
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#3: Post by Norvin »

No, the newer style is totally different, it has a single point fixing.
Here is a link to the 230v version to see the style that I am talking about: https://www.theespressoshop.co.uk/Mobil ... -2898.aspx
There must be retailers where you are that sell the 110v version.

JRising
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#4: Post by JRising »

Just spitballing, here...
If you're going to try experimenting with drilling the old upper boiler out to fit a replacement element, why not see if you could drill one of the existing holes to fit the new style (easy to replace) Silvia element... The other hole could be threaded to take an elbow fitting and a gauge could be added to the machine, if you wanted such a thing.
(I'm not currently looking at a V1 boiler, so I don't know how badly my dumb idea would interfere with the port that the steam pipe connects to).

Eightpointnine (original poster)
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#5: Post by Eightpointnine (original poster) »

That's the rub : I can't seem to find the 110v version anywhere. But conceptually speaking, if I don't find the older version in 110v, I'm thinking it might also be possible to make it work. The only Issue I can see is sealing the two holes with something that can withstand the pressure and heat of the boiler.

Oh wow...I just thought of plugging it with two brass nuts and bolts...

Its a little tricky though. I'd have to make sure I can do it before buying the new heating element.

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baldheadracing
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#6: Post by baldheadracing »

The 110v version has been on eBay before - I think that they were sold from the same seller in Bulgaria that is selling the 230v version. You might want to DM that seller.

Note that the old-style element being sold - 110v or 230v - may require some work on most v1 boilers (that have the element permanently mounted) unless the boiler is modifed, as the internal mating surface in the non-replaceable boiler top was not finished (milled) on the inside to seat the old-style element.

For the new stainless steel element - the element has to clear the stand pipe inside the boiler so you are limited to where the new element can be located. The new boiler also has different dimensions so it isn't clear that the current element would work without milling the interior of the old boiler.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Eightpointnine (original poster)
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#7: Post by Eightpointnine (original poster) »

Alternatively, if anyone could take some measurements from their own 2013+ stainless steel heating element (no need to open the boiler):

-The outer diameter in mm of the brass fixing nut (the one on the top of the boiler that keeps the heating element in place)
-The diameter in mm of the rubber gasket on which the brass fixing nut sits.

This will help immensely : Its looking like it might fit. Its a bit tighter than the newer boilers, as the steam wand pipe has a "ridge" sticking out the top of boiler.

Norvin
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#8: Post by Norvin »

I have a spare in the garage.
The nut is 28mm across flats. I don't have rubber washer but there is a metal washer, 23mm x 34mm. The hole in the boiler is D shaped. The distance from the underside of the hole to the flange is 84mm.
I still think that looking for a two pronged element, perhaps from another make of machine, is a better option.

Eightpointnine (original poster)
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#9: Post by Eightpointnine (original poster) »

Answering to a few replies above :

JRising - Fitting one of the holes over the new larger hole : Exactly! One of the holes lines up directly where the new larger hole would be, so one less issue. I'm thinking using a sealing method à la brass/stainless steel bolt and nut + washer would work for the remaining hole (its quite far from the new larger hole's location), maybe with Loctite seeing as I'm never going to open it. Hell...you could even weld it shut. In fact, this might even be a better solution is its available : weld some non-corrosive metal and grind it flat and polish it. Thought I'd stick with my first solution to keep it simple.

baldheadracing - Needing to machine the inside to fit the old boiler: what I was planning on doing is finding either a friend or even going to machine shop somewhere and getting it milled to the correct dimensions, spot on where I need it. Along with milling a ledge so to speak for fitting either the gasket or the lip of the heating element so its flush with the "ceiling" of the boiler. Apparently a lot of shops will do this for 20$ or so.

Norvin - Measurements of the heating element BIG thank you my friend; this is very helpful!

Thank you to everyone; I'll keep my eye out for the 110v old-style heating element for a few weeks, but otherwise I'll seriously look into adapting the 2013+ heating element. The plus side is that it'll be future proof; swapping out the heating element will be a breeze and easily available, while the old heating element will likely be unavailable within a few years.

Any other tips and tricks would be great, but so far this is all very helpful inputs.

Eightpointnine (original poster)
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#10: Post by Eightpointnine (original poster) »

Norvin wrote:I have a spare in the garage.
I still think that looking for a two pronged element, perhaps from another make of machine, is a better option.
Hmm...that would mean finding an element with essentially the same two hole locations...I'll take a look, but my hopes aren't high.