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kdeemer

Steam Valve Seat Seal Failure

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I've owned a Rancilio Silvia V3 for a few years. For the first couple of years, it performed admirably. Eventually, the steam wand began dripping and I had to use increasing pressure to close it. Finally, I replaced the Steam Valve Seat Seal, a small rubber gasket, which solved the problem and again it only required a small amount of pressure to close. Since then, however, I've had to replace the gasket every one or two months. It starts out soft and supple and easy to close. Then, gradually hardens, requiring increasing pressure to seal. And, finally, it begins to break apart and pieces even come out and are lodged in the end of the wand. I've replaced it now four or five times in less than a year. The last time, I buffed the end of the valve that seals against it to be sure that there weren't any burrs or sharp edges. And I also applied a small amount of faucet grease. It may have prolonged the life a month or so, but now it has failed again. My parts supplier, espressoparts.com, hasn't had any other reports of this sort. I'm tearing my hair out to to know what might be causing the problem. Does anyone have a suggestion??

 

Many Thanks

 

Ken

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Did you just replace the gasket or the O-Rings too? I ask as I think I need to do this maintenance soon


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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Did you just replace the gasket or the O-Rings too? I ask as I think I need to do this maintenance soon

 

Originally, I think I purchased a kit with some O-Rings and a copper washer and replaced them all. But I didn't really see any wear on those, so it probably wan't necessary.

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The original component lasted two years, whereas the replacements are lasting only a few months.

To me it indicates that the replacements are not the right material or size, or both.

 

Looking at this with interest as I am heading towards needing a replacement too (after 2/3 years)


Rancilio Silvia V3 with Auber PID, Eureka Mignon.

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Yes that seems reasonable. But I checked with the supplier who, in turn, checked with the manufacturer, and neither has had any reports of problems. And I've ordered a few replacements over time. Next time, however, I'll find another vendor and see if the sam problem persists.

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Are you being a little heavy handed when turning it off ? Many taps and valves only need a very gentle turn to shut off the flow. Having serviced quite a few taps the usual problem is turning them off too firmly which either cuts the washer or damages the seat.

As you mentioned the seal is coming out in bits, could this be from over tightening ?

Have you de-scaled, any particles of scale settling in the valve would cause leakage and damage the seal /seat necessitating extra force to seal.

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When I started using the Brewtus after only a couple of weeks the water valve leaked a little, it was in fact a bit of rubbish from who know where on the valve seat. I opened the valve fully and let it run, it cleared the rubbish away.

 

In a previous life I serviced breathing apparatus and we instructed users that the amount of force required to turn off the air valve was equal to the power of a fairies fart.

 

Try using this methodology and see if the valve seals last any longer.

 

Ian


Minima ma ma ma Eureka Zenith

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@Wando64 I'm going to order these soon as I've just ordered a PID and may as well do the refurb before installing it. Was also thinking of replacing the group gasket at the same time.

 

If you want I could order a couple of extras if you cover your own costs? Not entirely sure where to order from, actually. Espressoparts will take a while in shipping I'm assuming so was thinking of trying 'Espresso Solutions' as they're UK-based. Unless anyone has a suggestion?


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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Hello all,

 

Apologies for a bit of archeology here but I seem to have a similar problem - I closed the steam valve the other day and it made a loud noise - I didn't think twice about that but now, whenever I am making coffee with the machine there is a steady drip coming out of the steam wand.

Is that where I have to replace the o-rings and the washer?

If so, where would I get a hold of them?

 

Thanks

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A common problem on commercial machines where Mr/Ms Muscles screws the steam/hot water valve shut with both hands (or a wrench ?). These valves, as Eyedee says, require just gentle pressure to close them completely.

As the valve has to be dismantled to fit the new pad seal, you might as well fit the new o-rings at the same time....

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Not sure I quite understand what is being said here.

I planned on following the "STEAM VALVE RENOVATION" part of the guide here - http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/repair.html

Do I need anything else?

So far I had no joy locating any of the parts needed, which drives me towards thinking of replacing the whole shebang (valve + steam wand).

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Just Google "Rancilio steam valve overhaul" or similar and all will be clear....

The pad seal & o-rings cost pennies, as does the o-ring etc for the wand' ball joint.

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Are the ebay parts decent? Never got round to doing this last year, and I don't feel inclined to do it then have to re-do a few months later...


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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Just had my first attempt at doing it - it must take superhuman strength to disassemble the valve itself, I failed in doing so and currently have no means of getting an espresso, nightmare!

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I remember reading somewhere that a vise was necessary or at least strongly recommended to disassemble the valve. Have you tried putting the valve in a vise?

 

Found the link: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-equipment-midrange-500-1500/18984-rebuild-steam-wand-silvia-2008-a.html


I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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Got it off now - used two spanners in a scissor like way, but it was still really tough.

The other issue I have no is that the valve is really hard to turn - might be caused by my spring clip on the knob (it's broken in half). Getting a new one in the post.

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Ok, the spring clip that I bought was for a different machine - that's a fiver well spent...

I am failing to locate a single UK seller that has that clip - Rancilio part number 38121037.

Anyone would maybe know where to go for that? Below is a pic for reference.

Rancilio_silvia_spring.png

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No problemo - I can get one (Sylvia steam knob clip) for you. Price incl. postage & Vat would be £1.20.

Allow 1 week, as I would add it to the next order from my spares supplier to save on shipping costs.

PM me....

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I need a clip. Could you supply one to me please?

 

I have tried to send you a PM, but I am new to this forum under this username, and may not have permission to send you PMs.

 

\

No problemo - I can get one (Sylvia steam knob clip) for you. Price incl. postage & Vat would be £1.20.

Allow 1 week, as I would add it to the next order from my spares supplier to save on shipping costs.

PM me....

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Posted (edited)

I know this thread is super old but I just wanted to report back for the record that I finally and very belatedly tried this steam valve renovation this last week and you should be prepared for the possibility that you simply can't dismantle the valve assembly. @FilipK mentioned this above, but whereas he did manage it eventually, I didn't on my ~6yo machine.

I tried everything: vice, spanner, vise grips, pipe wrench in various combinations; soaking the assembly in easing oil, heating it etc etc. I now have a few more tools in my collection and a more beaten up brass steam valve still with the original internals 😞. I'm resigned to eventually having to replace the whole assembly when the seat seal finally gives way (unless @espressotechno can suggest anything else).

One thing I did discover is that to defer the need for the renovation you can simply pull the steam knob out by a few millimetres which gives you a few more millimetres to tighten the wand - useful if your steam valve seat seal is a bit old and compressed. Obviously this is only delaying the inevitable and could encourage over-tightening, so use with caution.

Photos attached in case they are of use to anyone.

Steam Valve.jpg

Steam Control 2.jpg

Edited by AussieExpat

I'm the one asking for a piccolo.

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I know this thread is super old but I just wanted to report back for the record that I finally and very belatedly tried this steam valve renovation this last week and you should be prepared for the possibility that you simply can't dismantle the valve assembly. @FilipK mentioned this above, but whereas he did manage it eventually, I didn't on my ~6yo machine.

I tried everything: vice, spanner, vise grips, pipe wrench in various combinations; soaking the assembly in easing oil, heating it etc etc. I now have a few more tools in my collection and a more beaten up brass steam valve still with the original internals . I'm resigned to eventually having to replace the whole assembly when the seat seal finally gives way (unless@espressotechno can suggest anything else).

One thing I did discover is that to defer the need for the renovation you can simply pull the steam knob out by a few millimetres which gives you a few more millimetres to tighten the wand - useful if your steam valve seat seal is a bit old and compressed. Obviously this is only delaying the inevitable and could encourage over-tightening, so use with caution.

Photos attached in case they are of use to anyone.

1819105164_SteamValve.thumb.jpg.55bddea435eeb459a2c1401ac3dd3baa.jpg

468245431_SteamControl2.thumb.jpg.94586cdd0413035525be7f538cb21ea0.jpg

Did you try taking the valve down to your local car mechanic to see if they could put it in a vice & undo it with a deep socket on an impact wrench or long breaker bar?

 


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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