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

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

#1: Post by M4rcoffee »

Hello to all. I'm hoping with your help I can better understand what the problem is so that I can start enjoying my espresso again :)

I've tested the heating element and thermostats with a multimeter. But I'm a little unsure as to what the readings should be? I've read that 048 ohms for the heater is not ideal, but then I've read others say that 64 is acceptable. Could someone please explain what the numbers should read? As well as what they should read for the thermostats? I think the confusion is how some set up their multimeter. If set to ohms it reads 48.0 If it is set to resistance it reads 048 But it's the same thing, right?

When testing the heating element from terminal to terminal with the multimeter set to resistance I get a reading of 048 or 48.0 if multimeter is set to ohms.

When testing from terminal to boiler it reads 1. Which from what I've read is a good sign as it means no cracks. So there is nothing wrong with the heating element, correct? Or is 048 ohms NOT ideal and thus what is causing the problem?

The thermostats 100c/140c/165c all read 005 with multimeter set to ohms. Again I've read they should read to as close to zero. So my thermostats are good as that's very close to zero. Correct? I think the confusion is the 0 with or without. For e.g With multimeter set to ohms thermostats read 005 When set to resistance they read 001

Now to explain what is happening. The heating element is over heating! But nothing trips or causes a shortage. Within a few minutes of turning on the machine it gets extremely HOT! When I flick on the brew switch more steam than usual will come from the group head. The water is extremely hot and just gets hotter, the entire machine gets hot if I leave it on for too long!


So, I'd just like to know your thoughts. If 048 indicates the heating element is bad then I'll change it. But before I spend $$$ it could be the brew thermostat that is the culprit for all I know.

Something else to consider that may help :

When I turn the machine on, all the lights are on. The brew, water, steam, power and indicator lights are all on regardless of the switches being set to off.

When I disconnect the double red wires from the brew thermostat and I turn on the machine the brew and water switch lights are still on but the steam switch light is off and the light will turn on if I flick the switch, (like normal) and the indicator light or (boiler light) will turn on.

When I reconnect the brew thermostat wires, as explained, all the lights are on even though the switches are set to off.

Thank you
Marco

kc2hje

#2: Post by kc2hje »

Sounds like there's a good chance the unit is wired incorrectly. Can you post up some pics of the inside of the unit and see if you can find a wiring diagram. I'll check as well and post it if I have one.

Chris

M4rcoffee (original poster)

#3: Post by M4rcoffee (original poster) »

Hi Chris, the wiring is connected perfectly. My wife turned the machine on one morning and that's when she called me because it was overheating.

Do you know what the heating elements numbers should read when testing with a multimeter? I was told 048 ohms is too much. Just recently found someone saying it should be 6 to 8 ohms, if that is true then it's the heating element.

Thank you

kc2hje

#4: Post by kc2hje »

On mine I get 17 Ohms terminal to terminal but I'm getting 2 Meg Ohms terminal to ground so new heating element for me ugh.

Rebuilding my machine for sale is Turing into death by 1000 cuts.

I'll post new values when my new one comes in.

Chris

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#5: Post by homeburrero »

M4rcoffee wrote:Do you know what the heating elements numbers should read when testing with a multimeter? I was told 048 ohms is too much. Just recently found someone saying it should be 6 to 8 ohms, if that is true then it's the heating element.
A 230 volt 1100 watt element should have a resistance of around 48 ohm. A 120 volt 1100 watt element would have a resistance of around 13 ohm.



P.S.
Here's how you calculate it from Ohm's law

Volts = Amps X Ohms
Watts = Amps X Volts

So do a little algebra to get the equation for resistance at any given potential and power:
Resistance (ohms) = Volts X Volts / Watts

Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

kc2hje

#6: Post by kc2hje »

I was going to post that but on my machine they rate it at 1100 watts total the heating element rating is not called out. Only the pump is at 41 watts.

Regardless that seems like the most reasonable range for the heating element.

Chris

M4rcoffee (original poster)

#7: Post by M4rcoffee (original poster) »

homeburrero wrote:A 230 volt 1100 watt element should have a resistance of around 48 ohm. A 120 volt 1100 watt element would have a resistance of around 13 ohm.
Ok so that means the resistance is normal. But I just need some clarification that I have the multi-meter set up correctly when checking continuity. Because apparently when testing terminal to ground the multi-meter should be set to 2000k for an accurate reading. I read that on these forums.

As I've explained, my multi-meter is set to the lowest 200 ohms, and as we know from terminal to terminal the resistance reads 48.0
And from terminal to ground it reads 1. There is no continuity.

But if I change the multi-meter setting to 2000k as suggested by a member I then do get continuity from terminal to ground. The numbers continue to rise around 1350 after a few seconds.

So if setting the multi-meter to 2000k is the correct way to test for accurate continuity, then my heating element must be cracked because the numbers continue to rise.

But I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right as I just watched a video where he tests continuity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR5IHO08ntI and his multi-meter is set at low ohms. (exactly like mine) I can also tell by the screen display from left to right it has the, ''battery icon'' The Number ''1'' and a decimal point on the far right. (this is before he makes contact with the probes).

When he makes contact from terminal to boiler he gets a reading of 04.6 Which he declares as popped!

When he does the same test with a brand new heating element the display reads 1. No continuity.

As said, with my multi-meter set at the lowest ohms, (exactly like the guy in the video) from terminal to ground I get no continuity, it reads 1.

So I assume the guy in the video is correct and the person suggesting 2000k setting is incorrect?

But to be sure I need to know which is the correct setting to know if my element is fudged! Do you set it at the lowest ohms or do you set it at 2000k when testing ground?

I appreciate all the input and feedback, sorry if any of this sounds stupid, but first time using a multi-meter and I just want to make sure I'm doing things the right way. I'm probably over thinking this.
kc2hje wrote:On mine I get 17 Ohms terminal to terminal but I'm getting 2 Meg Ohms terminal to ground so new heating element for me ugh.

Rebuilding my machine for sale is Turing into death by 1000 cuts.

I'll post new values when my new one comes in.

Chris
What setting did you have when testing from terminal to ground? Could you set it at 2000k and let me know if your numbers continue to rise? Facing the machine, Red on the left terminal and black obviously on the boiler.

Thank you
Marco

kc2hje

#8: Post by kc2hje »

By the sounds of it your element is bad. In regards to the scale setting it just moves the decimal point.

Chris

M4rcoffee (original poster)

#9: Post by M4rcoffee (original poster) replying to kc2hje »

Well ok then, but that is rather confusing because I get a reading of 1. no continuity when I set it up the same way a lot of tuts/videos set it to the lowest ohms or on resistance setting. So you would think to yourself that the element is fine, when in actual fact it may not be. I'm still not 100% convinced.

I bet many people have tested the element on low ohms and got the same reading of 1. Maybe it's the cheaper multi-meter not giving a good reading or maybe with cheaper meters you need to set it to 2000k to get an accurate reading of continuity?

Thanks
Marco

JRising
Team HB

#10: Post by JRising »

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.