Should I replace this boiler? Rancilio Silvia

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

#1: Post by Kitchener »

First off, hi! I'm new around here.

I'll get right down to it. Should I replace this older generation Silvia boiler with a new one or does it just need a good cleaning?

I bought an older Silvia to tinker with and the first thing I did was to dismantle the poor thing.


#2: Post by Shuka »

Wow! To my eye, that looks fine! Years ago I cleaned out a Gaggia classic aluminum boiler that was way way worse than that (even had to reface it)... still works great as my at-work machine.. and the satisfaction of saving it lasts, too. Yours hardly needs even a cleaning! :)

Have fun-
Good morning, Sunshine!


#3: Post by JRising »

If it hasn't been frozen and warped or something, there's no reason to replace it. Why, it looks fine, what's wrong with it?

Kitchener (original poster)

#4: Post by Kitchener (original poster) »

Heh, I'm new to this stuff so I just thought it looked a little dirty :D :oops:

I'll just give it a wash and put it back together.

Kitchener (original poster)

#5: Post by Kitchener (original poster) »

There's this layer of black stuff all over the inside of the boiler, rubs off quite easily.

Is that fine?


#6: Post by JRising »

Some is mineral that came in with the water, some is dust that settled in the reservoir, it'll wash/wipe away easily. A fingernail would scrape off the larger protrusions of calcium on the wall, then a steel bristled brush would clean it down to the brass in a couple minutes... Then one more washing and wipe clean so you're not introducing the loosened stuff to the descaling solution, then block off the ports and fill it with descaler to get even the nooks and crannies clean, if you want to go that far. Might as well while it's out there in your hands and easy.

Kitchener (original poster)

#7: Post by Kitchener (original poster) »

Great, thank you very much.
I'll give it some elbow grease this week and see how it turns out.

Got any tips for getting rid of gunk/stuff left by/around the old boiler gasket?

Kitchener (original poster)

#8: Post by Kitchener (original poster) »

Well I was going to let this project rest a couple of days but my obsessive nature got the better of me.

Gave the boiler and base a good do over with some fine steel wool and I'm pretty pleased with the results, not perfect but good enough.



Previous owner used it a couple of times a day for about ten years, hope I can use it for at least that long still.

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#9: Post by Jeff »

All shiny!

Don't worry about the dark patina it will gather. Those oxides will help reduce potential corrosion and leaching.

Kitchener (original poster)

#10: Post by Kitchener (original poster) »

I'll try to not be too anal about cleaning it after I put it back together. And maybe give it another look in ten years time :)
-assuming this thing doesn't rocket moowards the second I plug it back in.