Silvia - Leaking Portafilter Problem

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Silvia - Leaking Portafilter Problem

Postby Chris » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:29 pm

Hi all,

I am having a problem with my portafilter leaking during a shot with the Silvia. The water is clear and leaks from the outside of the portafilter.

I initially thought that the gasket could be worn so replaced it but still got leakage so I went back to using the stock Silvia portafilter and basket with 14g and had no leakage. On reflection I think it started to happen when I dosed down to 14g with a new blend in a Synesso Double ridgeless basket.

I had been using the Synesso Double with my bottomless (http://www.happydonkey.co.uk/rancilio-b ... p2902.html) very happily for around a week with another blend at 19-21g without any leakage and had used the bottomless with a generic ridged triple for years without issue. So today I went back to a higher dose with the Synesso basket and leakage appeared reduced, I'm going to try again tomorrow and will try to fit the portafilter in a little tighter to see if the problem has gone with a higher dosage.

I really don't want to ruin any more shots but would like to use the Synesso basket so would appreciate it if somebody could shed some light on this. I've not tried my old triple ridged basket yet but imagine it will work fine.

Could underdosing or using a ridgless vs ridged basket cause the portafilter to sit less snug with the gasket during a shot and therefore cause leakage?

Have any other Silvia owners experienced similar issues with the Synesso Double?

Thank you
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RE: Silvia - Leaking Portafilter Problem

Postby bruceb » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm

Your bottomless filter, like mine, is not accurately machined to fit the lugs on the machine. It's unfortunate, but not uncommon and it's not specific to the Silvia. The problem is that the lugs do not lock in evenly and the pressure is higher on one side than on the other. This may show up with some baskets and not with others. I have tried filing a bit off the lug(s) so the portafilter turns further into the group head and that helped, but did not completely cure the problem. I have not found a real cure, but by twisting firmly enough I can almost eliminate the leaking.
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RE: Silvia - Leaking Portafilter Problem

Postby Chris » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:29 pm

Hi Bruce, thanks for your reply.

I did consider that as the lugs are clearly different sizes but it is also a little confusing as I have used that same portafilter with the generic triple for years and it rarely (almost never) leaked.

The generic triple basket is very tight in the bottomless whereas although the Synesso double does fit it also spins more easily so as I turn the handle the basket might turn at the same time and contribute to the problem.

What is even stranger is that the Synesso basket and bottomless portafilter combo worked fine for a week.

I'll take your advice and try and twist a bit tighter and will post back a reply after a bit more testing.

Many thanks,

Chris
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Postby Tinsmith » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:39 am

Hi Chris,

I am having the same problem. Silvia keeps leaking the same way as yours.
I only use original Rancilio porta's and baskets.
I've tryed to change the gasket to softer..harder. No help.
I think that the leak comes from top of the gasket??Then sliding outside the portafilter.
The only help is to twist the handle a bit tighter.
I have tryed some grease on botht sides of the gasket... no help.

O.K.
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Postby Chris » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:36 am

Just to update. I dosed at 19g in the synesso double and had a little leakage, increased the dose back to 21g and no leakage.
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Postby EspressoSquirrel » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:13 pm

I assume if you have replaced the gasket you have also removed the shower screen and dispersal block at some point, are they all back in and tightened? i'm just thinking if the extra coffee is pushing the shower screen up.

I occasionally get the same thing but its usually just having a bit of ground coffee round the lugs and not tightening it as much as it should. But having less leakage from more coffee is strange.

How well do the synesso baskets fit in? if the pf spring is a bit tight does it lock in completely, maybe the extra coffee is crushing the basket a bit tighter in.
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Postby Chris » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:43 pm

Sorry for the late reply to this one... I thought I would just have a little more patience and playing around first before posting back.

The last gasket I installed was the softer non-commercial one for the silvia. It was a bargain from http://www.drury.uk.com and is what I am using now. It leaked at first but after a week or so of use it stopped and works fine with all portafilters and baskets. I also left the portafilter in with the machine on for an hour or so a few times to allow everything to heat up. I think it just needed to be broken in a bit more to improve the fit. Also using a firmer twist now too, around 5 o'clock on the group head.

I do remove the shower screen and dispersal block regularly for a clean and take care to make sure they go back just right.

All is good again and back to normal service :D thank you for your help and suggestions.

Hope your Silvia is working ok Tinsmith, if not let us know, maybe we can help.

Chris
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Postby Tinsmith » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:55 pm

Chris wrote:
Hope your Silvia is working ok Tinsmith, if not let us know, maybe we can help.

Chris


Thanks for asking.

Still some leaking. That's not a big problem really. If I use some more power while mounting the handle, it stops.
Next time, when it's time to replace the gasket, I probably make a good cleaning above that rubber... perhaps some DOW-111 to the upper side of the gasket will help too?

Besides, I have more problems: I bought myself an LP Piccola! Old model (2000) but still looks like new! It's been used as a decoration so far!!
It seems to be quite challenging to get a good cup with it.. Some progress is already noticeable. Learning curve is slow indeed.
Nice machine really. It looks nice at the cockpit of my small sailing boat 8) (If the summer comes this year)

Thanks

O.K.
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Postby bruceb » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:14 pm

Put the Piccola up high on a nice shelf where everyone can see it. You can't do anything better than that with it.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Postby billinrio » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:41 am

I realize that this topic is an old one, but I just saw it here, and hope I may add something valuable to the discussion.
My Rancilio Silvia was showing the same symptoms - leaking from the portafilter, and replacing the portafilter gasket didn't solve the problem.

There is another gasket that is important, and if not in good condition will cause this to happen. The exploded parts diagram for the Silvia shows "O-ring gasket 177 (Rancilio part #36405001. it fits into a groove in the brass disk that is right above the screen. Replacing this gasket solved my problem.
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Postby GreenBean » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:53 am

Hi billinrio, welcome to TMC :D and thank you for the information on the Silvia o-ring gasket.
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Postby bruceb » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:54 pm

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Thanks for the useful information and glad you got it sorted.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Postby mrvest » Sun May 17, 2015 7:18 pm

billinrio wrote:I realize that this topic is an old one, but I just saw it here, and hope I may add something valuable to the discussion.
My Rancilio Silvia was showing the same symptoms - leaking from the portafilter, and replacing the portafilter gasket didn't solve the problem.

There is another gasket that is important, and if not in good condition will cause this to happen. The exploded parts diagram for the Silvia shows "O-ring gasket 177 (Rancilio part #36405001. it fits into a groove in the brass disk that is right above the screen. Replacing this gasket solved my problem.


I'm having the same issue, so resurrecting this thread! Where did you get that o-ring?
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Postby CakeBoy » Sun May 17, 2015 8:23 pm

Welcome mrvest :)

It doesn't seem to be easy to find in the UK, but if all else fails it seems from google that espressoparts.com in the US has it, as does a site called eevad.com in Euros that could be in France, stating they deliver to the UK. I hope you find one.
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Postby GreenBean » Mon May 18, 2015 7:22 am

Hi mrvest, welcome to TMC :D If eevad, suggested by CakeBoy, do not have it in stock try this supplier in Germany.
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