Rancilio Silvia Portafilter Gasket Replacement

Poort Miss Silvia was still laboring with the original brew system gasket that seals the portafilter against the body of the machine.  After six years of almost daily use, a replacement was in order as it was prone to leaks.

I knew the old gasket would be difficult to remove but I had a few dental pick style tools ready.  This is what it looked like after removing the diffusion screen:

You can seen a channel worn around the diameter of the gasket where it was crushed by the portafilter.  The diffusion screen was badly grunged up and there’s a stained pattern of holes on the brass behind where the screen was.

The old gasket was hardened and brittle in spots.  I wound up using a chisel at times to cut the material.  Here’s the remains of the old gasket next to the new gasket:

The cheap Harbor Freight tools didn’t stand up to the job very well – the dental picks bent easily and the chisel was damaged too:

Once the old gasket was out I ran the machine before reassembly to make sure no old gasket material would be trapped behind the diffusion screen.  I didn’t expect it to shoot a stream in a forward direction.

Getting the new gasket in was relatively easy and it was nice and squishy compared to the old one.  I won’t wait six years to do the next replacement!

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