What to do when your Rancilio Silvia Machine is Not Heating or Powering On

Learn what to do when your Rancilio Silvia has no power, has power but is not heating, and/or if the brew or steam is not heating. 

Machine Not Heating Or Powering On

No Power

  1. Make sure the machine is plugged into an appropriate power source.
    1. Do not use the machine on a surge protector. This machine has a high power draw, more than a typical kitchen appliance such as a refrigerator or a microwave. Surge protectors are typically not rated to handle the amperage this machine requires.
    2. Try using the machine on a different outlet, and make sure the machine is the only appliance plugged into that outlet.
    3. Try testing another appliance on the same outlet.
  2. Unplug the machine and inspect the power cord for any damage such as nicks in the plastic or fraying.
  3. Turn the power button off and unplug the machine. Remove the top of the machine. Check the machine for any other loose, disconnected, or burned wires. Check the power switch terminals in particular.
  4. If the machine recently had a leak, had water spilled on it, or any other exposure to moisture then the machine may be shorting out. Try letting the machine sit unplugged for 48 hours to make sure there isn't a short caused by moisture.

Brew Not Heating

  1. Check to make sure the machine is set to heat for the brew function.
  2. Give the machine sufficient time to heat up. It can take up to 10 minutes for this machine to be sufficiently heated for brewing. Make sure the portafilter is attached during heating.
    1. Make sure the brew indicator light has come on to indicate the machine is heated.
    2. While the water in the boiler may have heated to the correct temperature within minutes the grouphead may still be cold. If the grouphead is still cold then the temperature of the brew water will be drastically reduced once the water exits the boiler and comes into contact with other cooler components. This is why it is important to give the machine at least 10 minutes to fully heat.
  3. If the water coming from the brew head is completely cold then the brew thermostat may need to be replaced. Test to see if the machine can heat for the steam function. If it can, then the brew thermostat should be replaced. Instructions for replacing the brew thermostat can be found in the "SILVIA_Thermostat_Replacement" document attached at the end of this article.

Steam Not Heating

  1. First make sure that there isn't any sort of flow issue by looking at the "Only Flow From Brew Head" section of this machine's "Flow Issues" article that discusses steam wand blockages.
  2. Make sure the machine is set to steam mode, and that the indicator light says that the machine is heated for steam.
  3. It is normal to have water come through the steam function for the first 5-10 seconds of steaming. This happens because the hot steam condenses back into water after it leaves the boiler and comes into contact with the room temperature steam valve and wand assemblies. For this reason you should do a process called purging.
    1. To purge the steam wand place an empty cup under the steam wand and turn the steam knob to the open position.
    2. Let the steam come through for 5-10 seconds, until there is significantly less water and a strong jet of steam.
    3. Close the knob, and begin your normal frothing process.
  4. If the preceding steps have not resolved the issue then the steam thermostat will need to be replaced. Instructions for replacing the steam thermostat can be found in the "SILVIA_Thermostat_Replacement" document attached at the end of this article.

On But Not Heating

  1. Unplug the machine and open the top. Check the machine for any loose or disconnected wires. Check the steam and brew thermostats specifically to make sure the leads to them are securely connected.
  2. The high limit switch of the machine may have tripped. Instructions for resetting the high limit switch can be found in the "SILVIA_High_Limit_Switch_Reset" document attached at the end of this article.
  3. If the machine is still not heating then the high limit switch will need to be replaced. Instructions for replacing the high limit switch can be found in the "SILVIA_High_Limit_Switch_Reset" document attached at the end of this article.
  4. This issue typically occurs because the machine is left on for an extended time without use, the machine experienced a power surge, or the boiler wasn't refilled after steaming. Home units like this should only be left on for a maximum of 45 minutes without use. The machine should be turned off if it is not going to be used within that time. Additionally since the machine does not have an auto-fill function it is important to manually refill the boiler after steaming by using the hot water function. If the boiler becomes empty it can trip the high limit switch or damage the heating element.
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