Rancilio Silvia V1 - Please help to diagnose issue! [SOLVED] - Page 2

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
M4rcoffee (original poster)

#11: Post by M4rcoffee (original poster) »

JRising wrote:Just for the sake of your safety and our sanity, can you plug it into a GFCI outlet just to be sure it's not shorting through the body? Not that I don't trust you, but there's something seriously wrong with your machine for power to have found a complete circuit through all of the switches even when they're off.
I'm from Australia - It is plugged into a safety switch power board. There is no tripping or shortages. But just recently I noticed the brew switch got momentarily jammed when I was testing things. Could it be the cause of the lights staying on? I've checked all the wiring to ensure it is correct and also to see if anything had melted from the over heating, but it looks all good. It was only on fro an hour when my wife noticed the machine was hotter than usual. So I doubt much damage was done to the wires.

But as explained when I disconnect the double red wires from the brew thermo the steam light and panel lamp light turn off and go back to normal. If I flick the steam switch on then the light switches on, like it would normally. But the brew and water lights are always on.

Apparently the heating elements resistance is good at 48 ohms with a reading of 1. indicating no continuity with the multi-meter set to 200 ohms when testing terminal to ground. But setting multi-meter to 2000k the numbers continue rising when testing terminal to ground, so apparently the element is bad.

I really don't know anymore and I'm just going to buy a new element. To be fair the last 2 years working from home the machine has been on for about 10 hours a day making an average of 5 to 7 double espresso. I don't steam milk ever, only for my wife. So it kind of makes sense if the element has popped. It was ten years ago when the last one went, so it did well for a decade. But can a cracked element continue to heat? I mean this thing will get so hot. You can't touch the water that flows from group head, and within a few minutes it's mainly steam from the group head. Anyway can't wait to sort it out and I think maybe time for PID

kc2hje

#12: Post by kc2hje »

yes a cracked element can continue to heat, when it happened on mine years ago I could hear arcing while the boiler was on and it would trip the GFCI eventually. First time it tripped the GFCI i reset the GFCI 2nd time the element and the outlet got replaced.

M4rcoffee (original poster)

#13: Post by M4rcoffee (original poster) »

Ok thanks for the info, though by disconnecting the double red wires from the brew thermostat the element no longer heats up. Wouldn't that indicate a bad thermostat? I'll replace that first and if the problem still persists then the element is getting replaced.

EDIT: I did hear a crackling sound a while back but it sounded like it was the return pipe from the water tank spluttering.

Cheers

M4rcoffee (original poster)

#14: Post by M4rcoffee (original poster) »

SOLVED!

It was the brew thermostat! When I disconnected the double wires from brew thermostat and the element wouldn't overheat anymore, that pretty much explained why it was overheating in the first place.

For future reference : when testing element terminal to ground the multi-meter must be set to either the lowest ohms (between 100-500) or set to resistance and you want to see the number 1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my element.

So unfortunately the person on these forums who suggested that you must set multi-meter to 2000k for accurate reading when testing ground has probably cost a few people a lot of unnecessary spending :)

2000k is for big resistance, thus why the numbers continued rising but those numbers are too small to affect the element. Initially I thought that might be continuity and I almost considered buying a new element but luckily I wasn't convinced.

But the confusion and why I couldn't figure out what was wrong was because all the thermostats gave identical reading, AND even now the new and bad thermostat still read identical on the multi-meter. 00.5 ????? :| Can you explain that? It's ok I don't need to know.

Oh and I discovered that the brew switch was faulty but I still don't understand how a faulty switch would affect the other lights :|

Everything is fine now and running smoothly.

Cheers

JRising
Team HB

#15: Post by JRising »

M4rcoffee wrote: For future reference : when testing element terminal to ground the multi-meter must be set to either the lowest ohms (between 100-500) or set to resistance and you want to see the number 1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my element.
If you want it to read "open circuit" ( or 1 at far left) regardless of whether the element is cracked or not, then yes, you want it set to the lowest range. But it won't necessarily reveal the truth.

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#16: Post by homeburrero »

JRising wrote:If you want it to read "open circuit" ( or 1 at far left) regardless of whether the element is cracked or not, then yes, you want it set to the lowest range. But it won't necessarily reveal the truth.
I had to read that one twice to catch the tongue in cheek. :wink:

Anything with a resistance less than 46000 (46k) ohm on a 230 V potential will allow more than 5 milliamp of current, so setting your multimeter on the lowest setting is one way to assure that you fail to detect a small ground fault that can trip a GFCI or sensitive RCD.

Good multimeters can be used to sometimes detect small ground faults, but to do so they need to be set to high ranges, and they still are unreliable given that they test at a small battery voltage. Reliable detection of small ground faults is best done with an insulation tester (aka megger) that applies a higher voltage and can measure resistances up in the mega-ohm range, but that's not in most of our toolboxes. A fairly reliable test to conclude that an element does not have a ground fault is to run it up to full heat on a tested GFCI or RCD with a good ground and see if it trips.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

kc2hje

#17: Post by kc2hje »

Pulled the element on mine and it is labeled at 800 watts at 110 volts so resistance via ohms law is 15 Ohms. However I do believe the 220 units have a higher wattage element.

Chris