Introduction: How to Repair/remove the On/off Switch on a Breville BCG450XL Conical Burr Grinder

Picture of How to Repair/remove the On/off Switch on a Breville BCG450XL Conical Burr Grinder

The Breville BCG450XL is a great conical burr grinder that my father loves for its ability to help him produce an amazing cup of coffee. However, it has a serious design flaw: the on/off switch, which is redundant with the start button, tends to fail and render the whole unit useless.

This instructable is all about how to remove this redundant switch and continue being able to use your unit.

Step 1: What You Need & Warnings

Picture of What You Need & Warnings

Warnings: This WILL violate your product warranty if you still have one. This also requires you to be comfortable with a soldering iron, which can burn you if you are not careful.

Here's what you need to get started:
 * A broken Breville BCG450XL grinder
 * A TA18 triangle head screwdriver (I used this kit, see picture)
 * A soldering iron
 * Some solder
 * Pliers
 * Wirecutters

Optional, but a good idea:
 * Some electrical tape
 * A small length of wire

Step 2: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

To prepare, unplug your coffee grinder. You want to remove any remaining coffee beans from the reservoir, remove the unground reservoir, and remove the finished grounds reservoir.

Since we will be turning the unit upside-down, you should also remove the grinding unit underneath the bean reservoir.

Find a nice, easy-to-clean spot, because there will be some ground coffee that comes out of the machine while we work on it!

Step 3: Remove Screws, and Open Up the Unit.

Picture of Remove Screws, and Open Up the Unit.

Now we're ready to take apart the unit, but we don't need to go too far. Turn the grinder upside-down on your work surface.

There are 6 screws to be removed. 2 are very clearly visible, and there are more under each of the 4 rubber feet. I was able to remove the feet easily with my fingers.

Make sure you save all of these screws, we will need them later!

Lift out the small round plastic piece first, then the larger bottom plastic.

Step 4: Remove the Switch

Picture of Remove the Switch

This step requires a little dexterity, but I chose to do this instead of trying to disassemble the unit further.
Grab the holder part of the switch, and use your wirecutters to cut the two wires that are connected to it. Try to leave as much of the wire as possible, because you will need to join them together. Then carefully strip the wires, exposing as much of the wire as possible (about 1/4 to 1/2-inch). The pictures tell the story.

Step 5: Join & Solder

Picture of Join & Solder

If you have a small piece of insulated wire, twist each of the grinder wires onto each side of the wire. Use the pliers to twist them together tightly, because you want good contact.

I didn't have any wire around, so I just used pliers to connect the two ends together directly. This is doable, but difficult.

Once the connections are good, solder the wires together, and once cool, wrap them with electrical tape.

Step 6: Clean Up & Finish!

Picture of Clean Up & Finish!

Follow the disassembly steps in reverse to put the unit back together. Remember: there are 6 screws!

Once you have it assembled, plug it in and give it a test to make sure it works. If not, go back in and make sure that the solder joints are strong.

Now that everything all works, you should cover up the hole in your coffee grinder with some tape or electrical tape to prevent debris from getting in.

Enjoy your next cuppa joe, thanks to this easy and simple fix!

Comments

Nick2138 (author)2017-02-16

I was ready to deep six this grinder until I found this site and I followed the instructions and it is back in working condition, minus that stupid useless switch.

Thank you

Nick

RobertW195 made it! (author)2016-03-16

HELP - Hi my Breville BCG450 does not have a power switch on the back as the article shows but has a small button labelled start above the timer knob [which starts the burrs]. When I dismantled the grinder I found on the opposite side to the start button are two wires that go into some sort of sealed metal component that is contained in a plastic sleeve. Is that the switch that needs to be removed i.e. join the two wires or it is something else. The picture I have attached shows this component but is it the switch ?

smartperson (author)RobertW1952016-03-16

Ooh that's different. If it's not the XL model it might be wired up differently. What you're describing sounds kind of like a fuse to me. I wouldn't mess with that unless you can verify what those wires connect to.

MarnieB3 (author)2015-12-07

Thanks for posting this. We have had our Breville Conical burr grinder for a very long time. Same model.. maybe 10 years. And that switch is really never used but I had noticed recently it was flakey and then it fell off .. and the inside piece had fallen into the cavity.. we could pull it out but not secure it so we removed all the rubber footings only to discover the triangle miniture screws. And we tried a few things and then left it.. Never did I imagine that I would fine the exact issue and solution online.

This is great!!

gtstcactus (author)2014-10-02

Thanks for taking the time to make this Instructable! I just purchased one of these 2nd hand, and it arrived broken with the power switch loose and recessed inside the unit. I'm going to give this a try as it was working before it was sent, I hope it's the fix I need. Only query I have would be regarding the wire used to join the wires cut from the switch... Do you need a certain gauge or amp rated wire or will any old bit of electrical wire do???

gtstcactus (author)gtstcactus2014-10-03

Ok I've pulled it apart and success!!! Thanks so much for this, I really didn't need the hassle of chasing up the seller to file a claim with the courier, sending it away to be assessed along with the packaging, waiting for a cheque they might decide not to send etc etc.... Grinder is working, I also did the mod so I can go for a finer ground...

One thing I did different tho is I took the stainless steel cover off (3 more phillips head screws)(remove timer knob first) so I had better access to the wires I cut from the switch, As a novice solderer I don't know if I would have been able to do it successfully if I had left the cover on. Great result!!!

leobardo (author)2014-06-23

thank you very much for this Instructable. Now I can use my beloved grinder again! And I also used a small Allen wrench (1.5 mm) to remove screws. After all, you can always fit a hexagon into a triangle, albeit a smaller one!

paulieparker (author)2013-07-28

Thank you for this!! Did the fix last night and we're back in business this morning. I used a Hex 6 instead of the triangle screwdriver, which worked fine but just had to go slow. Thanks again!!

wsmith32 (author)2013-01-06

Thanks my friend, I purchased one of these at Goodwill with same problem. I insted of using the special driver tip I used a pair of small needle nose pliers to thread those out.

foxbrother (author)2012-10-25

Thanks for the instructions, going to try it first thing in the morning. Great idea to by-pass the switch all togather! I do really like this grinder, and would hate to purchase a new one over a $6.00 switch.

Foxbrother

chill090888 (author)2012-01-21

This document helped me immensely, thank you so much for all of this. My only words of advice for anyone else attempting this:

If you do not own a triangle-head screw driver (which you probably wouldn't), be prepared to scour your tools for a small enough flat head bit. And when you can't find one and you're entirely fed up with it, you'll want to find a file and simply start grinding down the smallest flat head bit you can find. This was my solution after a long and frustrating time.

Also, after you remove the four triangle screws and the cover they hold, if you are trying to get into the machine further, you'll have to use a very long phillips head screwdriver - this is only if you are doing some other project though. (such as this one that I found: http://www.leemcarthur.ca/2009/08/breville-bcg450-burr-grinder-modification-instructions/ )

I had such a troublesome time with finding a screwdriver that could handle the triangle screw, and when I finally did find it, I removed the cover only to discover that the people over at Breville, had the common decency to use a phillips head screw on this set of screws. Absolutely frustrating. Why wouldn't they just use phillips head the whole time? Nooooo they have to use the triangle one, just to really 'screw' with you. Jerks...

Anyway, it was a great article and it was very clear. I did however forget that the grinder does not turn on unless the grind depository is in place, so when I tried it the first time it didn't work and I was a little depressed, then I remembered to put it in and when I tried it, voila!

Thanks again!

CH

smartperson (author)chill0908882012-01-22

Wow that's really interesting! I had no idea other people were playing with this grinder. I provide a link to the triangle-head screwdrivers that I used in the instructable, which hopefully you or someone else finds useful in the future.

Keep on enjoying your coffee, and thanks for the additional insights!

pfred2 (author)2011-12-23

Hey Smart Person think about this whole deal for a bit then think how you can blackmail Breville to pay you hush money about the whole debacle.

Security screws

service door

failed switch

They knew!

Tell them you're thinking about starting a Facebook class action suit page and they should get back to you with a figure to distract you ...

smartperson (author)pfred22011-12-23

That's an unusual suggestion :-)
I've heard the new models don't have this switch at all, so I think they learned their lesson.

I can't imagine it was intentional, and it really is a great coffee grinder!

pfred2 (author)smartperson2011-12-23

Of course overall it has to be a great unit. The company cannot afford to be replacing all sorts of different things in the unit. Some stuff they'd end up losing money on! But if you design in one cheap time bomb then you setup the potential of profiting all over again. This is exactly what they intentionally and rather obviously did.

It is a pathetic example of planned obsolescence. We have the ability to make products that last for generations. We've had it for quite some time now in fact. What we don't have is an economic model that allows companies to survive doing so. At least they worry that they cannot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=endUcoHsCVY

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