For coffee lovers, nothing is as energizing as a good cup of coffee in the morning. And there is nothing more heartbreaking than when you are about to make yourself that cup and all you get is a sad electrical buzzing, making you realize that you have no idea how to fix a coffee maker!
While it may be tempting, don’t throw your coffee maker out in a fit of despair! There is still a way around it. Fortunately for you, repairing coffee makers can be relatively simple and requires just a few tools, usually those you would already have in your toolbox. And we will teach you how in this article.
In this guide, we will help you understand what could go wrong with your coffee maker as well as show you some quick fix to the problem. We will also show you how your beloved coffee maker works. However, please be informed that coffee makers come in all sorts of designs and may work differently from each other. Thus, it is highly advisable to keep the instruction manual it comes with around for reference.
The solutions presented in this post can be used as a guide to gauge what to look for and how to fix a coffee maker, but make sure to check what does and doesn’t apply to your machine!
How Does a Coffee Maker Work?
Coffee makers are compact appliances that are specifically designed to brew coffee from coffee beans that have been ground.
There are two types of coffee makers that are popular in use:
1. Drip Coffee Maker
As its name suggests, this coffee maker drips hot water through the coffee grounds and down into the pot.
2. Percolator Coffee Maker
This coffee maker heats water into steam which pushes the hot water up via a tube, and then through the coffee basket, and into the main compartment.
Both drip and percolator coffee makers make use of switches to turn on and regulate the electricity, as well as timers.
The Coffee Maker Components
Despite the relatively simple process that a coffee maker goes through, there are several components in the machine that can break down and can render it inoperable. These include:
- Electric cord
- Heating element
Note though, that depending on the model of your coffee maker, it may have fuses that will cut off power before any damage can be made. You also want to look for this feature if you plan on getting a new one.
Problem and Solution: The Tips
- Your coffee maker doesn’t turn on.
If your coffee maker doesn’t turn on, then first check the outlet and see that the power is on. Additionally, check if the electrical cord, the internal fuse, and the thermostat are functioning properly. These components might need replacing due to wear and tear.
- Your coffee maker is on but pushes water too slowly.
If your coffee maker does turn on, but it’s pushing water out too slowly, then check the tube for minerals, gunk, or debris and clean as needed.
- Your coffee maker does not heat up.
If your coffee maker doesn’t heat up, then test its heating element as well as the appliance controls. Make sure you have turned it off and is unplugged from the outlet before you touch the valve and coiled wire.
- Your coffee maker is leaking.
If there are any leaks, then check the seals and gaskets. These might need replacements, too.
How to Fix a Coffee Maker: Disassemble, Inspect, Replace and Test
Remember, the goal is to enjoy a fresh cup of brewed coffee at the end of this endeavor. And that will not be possible if you’ve burnt the prints off of your fingers! So, before you do anything on your coffee maker, keep in mind that safety should always come first!
Step 1: Make sure your coffee maker is turned off and cooled down.
Step 2: Make sure your coffee maker is drained of water. Take your time and be thorough during this step.
Step 3: Carefully dissemble your coffee maker. Keep in mind that this process may be different for the drip type and the percolator type because of the difference in their parts. Either way, the repair process for one is as simple as for the other.
Drip Coffee Maker Disassembly
- Remove the coffee pot, basket, and water reservoir.
- Turn the machine over and remove all the screws that secure the case halves so that you can lift it and expose the heating element and the controls.
- Inspect each part and find out if the problem lies there or elsewhere.
- If you see disconnected wires, then reconnect them. If there are debris or gunk, then get rid of them by following the cleaning guidelines provided by the manufacturer. If there is no problem with the parts, then reassemble and proceed to the next step.
- Reassemble and test the machine.
- Using a multimeter or VOM, test the heating elements as well as the switch, the timer, and the thermostat. If any of them aren’t working, then replace them appropriately. You can opt to do this step by yourself as there are online tutorials you can follow, or choose to hire a professional technician to do it for you.
- Place back the pot, basket, and water reservoir and test your coffee maker.
Percolator Coffee Maker Disassembly
This process is similar to the steps to do with a drip coffee maker, only that the percolator may have different parts to inspect. For one, you have to unscrew the base so you can get to inspect the heating element and the controls.
This process may be tedious. However, you have to consider that it is much more cost efficient to replace a coffee maker’s major component than it is to buy a brand new one.