Rancilio Silvia Upgrade and Maintenance Project

I recently completed a fairly extensive upgrade to my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine:
The machine was purchased in July 2008 - so at time of the project it was 11 1/2 years old. I've been pretty good with routine boiler and pump descaling, however, I've never changed the group head gasket, and I had leaks around the portafilter when brewing. I purchased the PID kit 6 years ago, and never took the time to install it. I also wanted to be able to run the machine early in the morning while the rest of the family is sleeping, so I was also interested in quieting the machine when brewing. 

Here's a photo of the completed machine. I'll tackle each of the upgrades as separate posts. 


I've been running the updated machine for about 2 weeks now. I've been making coffee in the morning with everyone else sleeping in the house, and absolutely no complaints about noise. The convenience of the PID controller is not to be understated - knowing the brew / steam water temperature is so insightful when working to improve the taste of your espresso. The warmup timer has been flawless - every morning when I come downstairs the machine is ready to pull a shot - temperature has stabalized and the coffee mugs have warmed up. The boiler insulation seems to help keep the side panels of the machine from getting too hot, and it probably helps to get heat down into the group head for more consistent brew water temperature control, and quicker temperature recovery between shots. Finally - it's nice just having a machine that looks almost like new - has been thoroughly cleaned, and no longer leaks from the group head gasket. Totally worth the effort to renovate a 12 year old machine. It really is built like a tank.

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. I purchased my PID kit directly from Auber Instruments: https://www.auberins.com/ My go-to place for genuine Rancilio Silvia parts in Canada is Espressotec.com.


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