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Coffee Maker Problems

Waking up to find that your coffee making stopped working can make for a bad morning. Fortunately, many coffee maker problems are easy to fix if you know what to look for. Knowing how to troubleshoot these issues can save you the expense of purchasing a new coffee pot. Follow these tips first to troubleshoot your coffee maker.

  • Make sure the coffee maker is plugged in and turned on
  • Check to see if the outlet is receiving power using a different appliance. If the outlet is powered by a light switch, make sure it is ON.
  • Some coffee makers are designed to remain off until the coffee grounds basket and the coffee decanter is in place. Check to make sure they are both securely in place.

Power failure

First, check the power cord for damage by stretching it out and looking for breaks or exposed wire. If the visible portion of the cord looks fine, check to see if the cord is loose at the spot it enters the coffee maker. Unless the user is experienced with rewiring electrical appliances, fixing damaged wires is not recommended.

Clogged water supply

Clogged water supply hoses can prevent the coffee maker from brewing. First, try mixing white vinegar and water in a 50:50 mixture and pour into the water reservoir. Allow the coffee maker to run a full cycle. Repeat this step if necessary to clear the line completely. Once the line is clear, run straight water through as many cycles as necessary to clear any vinegar.

There is a one-way valve in the bottom of the water reservoir which can also become clogged with mold and debris. This valve takes the water to the heating element. It can also be cleaned using the water/vinegar mixture.

Strange tasting coffee

Bitter or strange tasting coffee indicates the coffee maker needs to be cleaned. Use the same method mentioned above to clean it.

Overflowing water

The coffee maker may overflow if

  • The decanter is removed longer than 30 seconds during the brewing cycle
  • The coffee decanter is improperly placed
  • The coffee filter is full of grounds
  • The coffee filter collapsed, restricting water flow
  • The filter basket is not closed properly
  • The water inlet tube or a one-way valve becomes clogged

Many overflow problems can be resolved with proper placement of the coffee maker’s removable parts. Improper placement of the filter basket or a collapsed filter may also cause grounds to end up in your coffee cup.

Fixing a noisy coffee maker

The following are some common reasons for a noisy coffee maker.

Low water in the reservoir - Many coffee makers make a gurgling noise when the reservoir is getting low on water. This sound is heard most often at the end of a brewing cycle. You may also hear the sound when the coffee pot has been left on for extended periods of time. If the heating element is bad, the coffee maker may make a similar gurgling sound. Replace the coffee maker if the heating element goes out.

Clogged tube or one-way valve - If the one-way valve or water tube becomes clogged, it may make a clicking sound. The sound may be due to water restriction caused by calcium or a hole in the aluminum tubing. Replace the coffee pot if cleaning the tubes with vinegar and water does not fix the problem.

Rattling sounds from inside - Over time, everyday usage may loosen various parts of the coffee pot, causing it to make noise. If you hear any rattling sounds, replace the coffee maker.

Setting the timer

Many newer coffee makers come equipped with an automatic timer. This feature allows users to preset the time, so the coffee pot automatically starts brewing. Many users struggle with setting the timer on these coffee makers if there are no instructions. The following instructions for setting the timer may not work for every model, but they should work for most coffee makers.

  • Find the program button on the digital display panel
  • Press the button until the display reads, "Program."
  • Select the brew time by locating the hour and minute buttons
  • Place a filter and coffee grounds in the brew basket and fill the water reservoir

Do not press start on the coffee maker; doing so will begin the brewing process instantly. Once you have completed the steps, the AUTO light should come on indicating that the coffee maker is ready to start brewing once it reaches the set time.

Fixing one-cup coffee maker problems

Some coffee makers are unique because they are built to brew only one cup of coffee at a time. Read below to find out how to troubleshoot one-cup coffee makers.

Clogged water line

Run the coffee maker using vinegar and water, without a K-cup. Doing this should help remove dirt and debris from the lines. Repeat this step as needed to clear the lines fully. If the lines are still clogged, leave the vinegar and water solution in the coffee maker for approximately an hour to break up hard to remove calcium and debris. Run straight water through the coffee maker to rinse out the vinegar. Repeat as needed.

Air bubbles in the lines

Sometimes air gets trapped in the water lines, preventing the coffee maker from producing a full cup of coffee. To fix this problem, turn off the coffee pot while the water reservoir is full. Then tap or shake the coffee maker to free the trapped air bubbles.

Improper placement of the movable parts

Check the coffee maker to ensure that all the movable parts are securely in place. One of the most common problems is when the magnetic reservoir is not properly aligned. To fix this issue, remove the water reservoir and carefully set it in place.

The coffee is not hot

The water from the coffee pot should be super hot as soon as it comes out of the brew basket. If the coffee is not hot it is due to the heating element being bad. In that case, it is time to get a new coffee pot.

Most coffee makers can be repaired using the same troubleshooting techniques. Fortunately, you can resolve most problems without throwing the coffee pot away.  

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