Rancilio Silvia Group Head Maintenance - Seal and Screen Replacement

My 12 year old Rancilio Silvia was in pretty desparate need of some group head love - the group head seal was leaking badly and the screen was in pretty bad shape. I had put this off for some time, and finally got around to making these repairs during my upgrade project which included boiler insulation, noise reduction, and PID temperature controller installation.
Group head in need of some TLC - Dirty screen, Bad seal
The group head seal had an obvious depression on the sealing surface, and the seal material was hard and brittle. I used dental picks to pull out to the old seal in one piece.

The group head seal had hardenend. I used a small hammer to drive the dental pick into the seal deep enough to be able to pry on it. 

The angle pliers underneath the pick give me a surface to pry against without marring the brass of the group head. 

Group head seals - old seal on the right, new seal on the left
 The group head cover also needed to be replaced, the chrome finish was peeling from the plastic. Since the machine was disassembled for PID temperature controller installation, and noise damping sheet installation, the group head cover was easily accessible for replacement.

The old group head cover had metal screw reinforcements for the plastic attachment columns - however, the plastic was extremely brittle when the reinforcements were removed. 
The old group head cover with peeling chrome film

Breaking the brittle plastic out of the metal reinforcements. 

Adding the metal reinforcements to the new group head cover. Tap gently with a hammer so that these are well installed. 

The new group head cover installed. 

A clean group head following scrubbing with a warm solution of water and espresso machine cleaner. 


What a difference the new group head cover makes for the appearance of the machine - looks almost new. The new seal is great - no more leaks. I've purchases two replacement group head seals and have added annual seal replacement to my calendar as a reminder to routinely replace these.

Sources and Links

I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I answer all questions. If you're interested, you can help support this site by using the following links to Amazon.com in the United States. My go-to place for Rancilio Silvia parts in Canada is Espressotec.com.


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