Rancilio Silvia V1 short out during steam

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

#1: Post by rohithprem »

Hey All!

This is my first post here, unfortunately at a terrible time for my espresso machine :(

I picked up a used Silvia V1 recently. All was going pretty well and managed to have my 1-2 lattes per day for the 1st two weeks with the machine. Then suddenly one day post brewing espresso, I flicked on the steam switch. 1-2 minutes in, the machine just conked off. I realised that the circuit breaker had tripped. Switched off the machine, switched on the circuit breaker again. 1 or 2 minutes later, my idiotic curiosity got me to switch on the machine and all worked fine. I even went ahead and steamed my milk and all was good. I know I know, major FIRE HAZARD! Used it for a few more days, all fine, like nothing ever happened.

3rd day, it tripped again. Since the last time it worked, like an ass I went and switched the circuit again, and went and switched on the machine. Tripped the circuit breaker again. Now the machine doesn't turn on again. I thought maybe a blown socket, tried other appliances in the same socket, all fine.

I eventually opened up the lid at the top, and looked in and while removing the power connections I realised the blue and brown wires from the input had melted off. I just moved countries, so I don't yet have many tools here so I'm waiting to get my tools. Soldering gun, crimping tool and all.

I would like to know where to look for this kind of an odd short, where only few minutes into initiating steam, the machine loses it.

I spoke with the previous owner and since he never steamed milk, he didn't face this issue.

Look forward to you help.


#2: Post by bgnome »

When you say you just moved to a different country, did you confirm any voltage differences?

Cooked power wires aren't a good sign, but it could have just been corrosion at the terminals. At the very least, you should check out everything with a multimeter before recrimping the wires.

rohithprem (original poster)

#3: Post by rohithprem (original poster) »

Oh but I picked up the machine here, so no worries on voltage differences.

I will be checking everything out with a multimeter. Could just corrosion cause a short like that?


#4: Post by bgnome » replying to rohithprem »

Corrosion can cause the terminals to overheat and burn. Insulation damage can lead to a short. The heating element could be corroded, which would lead to a short to the boiler.

rohithprem (original poster)

#5: Post by rohithprem (original poster) »

My plan is to replace the input line itself instead of just patching up the wire. Additionally I'll be checking the state of all the connectors. I'll check for shorts across all the terminals and ground and continuity across the boiler.

Do you think I should open up the boiler? Anything additional you see.

Also, thank you so much for your responses.

rohithprem (original poster)

#6: Post by rohithprem (original poster) »

So I replaced the input cable with a new fresh one and fresh new spade connectors on the live, neutral and ground wires.
Unplugged and plugged in all the connections. Didn't manage to clean them unfortunately.
Ensured no visible shorts and nothing shorting into the ground.

Started her up and works!

This is my theory as to why the wires might've melted off. 2-3 days before the first circuit trip, I had opened up the machine to just go over all the components and put it back. I assume that when I put it back, maybe the neutral wire might've be touching the boiler and with the duration the machine was on, it melted the wire and caused a short to the ground.

I tried tying up the wires well with zipties away from the boiler. Hopefully it holds.