Introduction: Repair Your Clogged Coffee Maker

Picture of Repair Your Clogged Coffee Maker

Don't throw away your coffee maker just because it only makes steam and has stopped gurgling water up into the brew basket.  I have repaired a couple coffee makers by forcefully spraying water into the "fill area".(Unplug first of course).   This clears the pipes going down into the heating element area. This method didn't work on my expensive MR-COFFEE machine.  So i was forced to remove the cover and find what was clogging it up. This is not very hard to do and you don't need many tools.

OTHER BRANDS are built similarly to the Mr. Coffee.  If you are trying to fix some other brand or model all you need to do is find out what is clogging the hose --- as I describe here --- and your repair should be similarly easy.

Step 1: Preparation to Fix Coffee Pot

Picture of Preparation to Fix Coffee Pot

SAFETY first, so unplug the coffee pot and LET IT COOL DOWN (if you had it on)!  This will help you avoid burning yourself on the hot-plate. Next....dump out all the water left in the water-resivoir into your sink. Try to be rather thorough to get ALL the water out because it will be necessary to turn the machine upside down to remove the bottom..... and you don't want puddles of water dropping into the display-board-section. 

Step 2: Tools You Will Need:

Picture of Tools You Will Need:

You don't need many tools but one of them is somewhat difficult to find... the SECURITY torx bit. I bought my set of SECURITY-torx-TIPS at harbor freight tools for only a few dollars.  The security torx is just a standard torx screwdriver bit with a HOLE in the middle and a little pin.  You will have difficulty removing 2 of the 6 screws on the bottom because they are "security" type torx.  The other 4 screws
are standard phillips.  Another way to get the 2 security torx screws out that might work is to use a SOLDERING IRON.  Just heat up the torx screw untill the plastic melts then pull the case apart.  Of course, you will need to have all the other screws out first! 

Step 3: Down-spout Removal & Fix

Picture of Down-spout Removal & Fix

The downspout hose is easy to remove. Just pull on it!  The other hose is the UP-spout. 

Step 4: Something Looks Funny Here!

Picture of Something Looks Funny Here!

Other coffee pots just have a hose... but the Mr-coffee has a VALVE inside the hose. It is a valve that controls the water flow... but this valve is very small and clogs easily.  Mine had a small piece of coffee residue sticking to it that kept the valve clogged.   Just remove the gunk... and that fixes the clog!  To remove the valve... just squeeze the hose and it pushes right out.  When installing the valve, be sure to put it back RIGHT SIDE UP.  The next step shows a close up of the valve so you can see what to look for.

Step 5: VALVE Cleaning and Replacing:

Picture of VALVE Cleaning and Replacing:

Notice the little ball inside the valve.  It sits on top of a few little pegs that hold it up so water can flow around it.  This is right side up.  If you turn it around the other way, then no water will flow.  If you install it backwards, just re-do the whole procedure and turn it around.

Step 6: Finish Up the Repair.

Picture of Finish Up the Repair.

Re-attach the downspout and put the bottom back on. When I finished my "simple" repair, the coffee pot would not turn on properly!  It seems I got some water into the display-board area.  So i quickly unplugged the appliance.  No harm was done because I dried the upper-board out, using my wifes hair-dryer. DON'T OVERHEAT it...  I just mildly heated the front and sides of the coffee pot for about an hour.  This evaporated the moisture inside the front control panel.  Alternatively, if you have this difficulty you could also just set the coffee pot aside and let it sit for a few days for the moisture to evaporate.   If you suspect any water got into the upper display/control circuits, then let the coffee pot sit to dry out for a couple days before plugging it back into the electrical outlet.


Jan Krebs (author)2017-10-04

Thank you so much!!

I was preparing to buy a new coffee maker to replace my Oster (after cleaning it with vinegar three times in a row) when I found your advice. It was a bean that fell into the water reservoir and from there to the outbound tube. Water-hosing the machine did the trick. I will never again pour the ground coffee directly from the grinder to the filter INSIDE the machine.

EternalW (author)2015-12-16

Working w/ Capresso CoffeeTeam G6, model 464. Burr grinder works fine, coffee moves thru channel, but then there's a click & no water moves anywhere to do anything, no water sounds, nothing...just that click. In dealing w/ other appliances, sounds like it's the circuit board. A clogged up or downspout would make some kind of noise, wouldn't it? Tried it on Grind/Brew & Brew alone & both exhibited same response. These Capresso machines are pricey, as well as difficult as all get out to get into. Sadly, this is our second in about 4 years, but it makes awesome coffee w/out going totally coffee snob & spending several hundred bucks.

EternalW (author)EternalW2015-12-16

After a couple of hours of tear-down & troubleshooting, found both hoses unclogged. Looks like Jura/Capresso will repair, turn-key including shipping & handling, for $75. Replacement is $150. For a $200 coffee maker, I'll do the $75 repair. Customer support rep said they'd probably just put a new body on the machine & ship it back...since they probably can't repair it. Since nothing was moving, no noises, nothing after the click, I'm still thinking circuit board & they don't sell internal parts. Nice.

jasonhavens (author)EternalW2017-04-30

Thanks for your posts. We have a different Capresso model, but the same issue. I've reached out to the Jura customer service and hope that they provide a similar response.

WendellB8 (author)2017-04-26

thanks for the help; I could'nt done it without this service; a flathead with firm pressure worked fine too!

pykler (author)2017-01-23

Sunbeam 12 cup programable coffee maker, was clogged with a coffee bean! Thx this worked like a charm.

CarolynD39 (author)2016-08-07

My Mr Coffee maker model ftx41cp stopped brewing. I tried the the cleaner but of course the cleaner did not work. what should i do now

DragonJedi (author)2016-07-09

Unclogging the tubes going into the heating coil on the bottom worked on my different coffee maker as well. Thanks!

toolhardy (author)2016-06-13

Thanks to all for taking time to post your suggestions over the years. My Hamilton Beach Model 49980 was just sputtering and making noise but not producing any coffee in the pot this morning. Before digging into the plastic case with tools I ran about 10 oz of straight White Vinegar then used an application of a decalcifier named "Dip It" through the tank. Whatever was blocking the flow of water cleared and I now have a free flowing coffee maker. Lesson learned: Use decalcifier monthly as suggested on the bottle to avoid blockage.

DickieT (author)2016-04-10

Thanks for the pics! Because of you I was able to figure out our problem & signed up to this site as another person below had just to thank you. We have a Mr.Coffee latte maker & a very small removable filter(?) the size & shape of a hollow pencil eraser with teeny holes on the end covered the valve ball area of the water intake hose. It was clogged, I think, & after soaking & cleaning it, it wouldn't stay put in its original spot without clogging. So I just removed it and enjoyed the coffee-making properties of the machine again, all without having to take the machine apart!!!! Super careful now to take the basket out of the machine to fill it with a paper filter & coffee in case those tiny holes were there for the reason I think they were...

HazelO3 (author)2016-03-18

This is great advice. I didn't know that spraying water into the "fill area" could actually fix a broken coffee machine. I like how you went through the detailed steps to find and fix the problem in more expensive coffee makers. What maintenance would you suggest so that the coffee maker doesn't clog up? Thanks.

JohnG40 (author)2016-01-16

Our coffee maker keeps quitting at 1 or 2 cups. I have to turn off grinder and start again each time to get a jull pot.. Trouble with the timer ?

TheodoreF1 (author)2015-10-11

Thanks! After removing the water tube, and giving it a good few shakes - we heard the valve shake - and knew that there were no further obstructions. Gave the water tank a good cleaning - and removed coffee debris from around the top part of the coffee filter holder. Used a cotton tip swab to release hard to remove debris. Recommend that if you swab, like I did, place plenty of paper towels in the water tank - to PREVENT any debris from being swept into the water tank. And of course, do this with the plug disconnected, and remove the paper towels when done cleaning! Word of caution to those that follow this instructable - there is/are capacitor(s) on the power board, at the base of my coffee maker - capacitors can retain enough of an electric charge to hurt or kill you. It doesn't take much to stop a beating heart or cause respiratory paralysis. Google it.

KristenF1 (author)2015-08-11

Thanks for this! It was easy to follow and results turned out great. The valve wasn't so much clogged itself, there was a coffee bean in the way. Must be more careful when grinding the beans in the AM. So glad we didn't need to buy a new coffeemaker! One note, I was able to remove the security torx screws using a very small flat head screwdriver -- an idea I got on another instructable on this site. Thanks again!

KristenF1 (author)2015-08-11

Fiantella (author)2015-07-30

I tried this repair, and it had probably worked out, except that the valve was broken when it came out, and no, I did not put a lot of pressure, it actually came out pretty easily when pushing on the base. However, what it possibly broke it was that I had used the wet ShopVac with small attachment (nozzle) to extract the possible blockage inside the water reservoir bottom hole, and that pressure could have done it. I left out the valve, but now it keeps gurgling, and nothing comes out. Another issue that I notice is that the clock timer is not working correctly. It used to beep at the end of the cycle, but now it does not beep and it starts showing lines as if it had finished, when it has only poured two cups. What a coincidence that this happens exactly 10 years after the handwritten date on the board (05/07/26). Now, I wonder if they make it to last 10 years only; otherwise, this would be an absolute coincidence. Any input on this?

HughesFix (author)2015-07-06

I created an account just to say Thank You! You saved me $50 and I fixed our coffee maker while my husband was out so I got some credit for ingenuity! My hose had a metal ring securing it in place- i just had to expand the rung with some needle nose plyers. Thanks again!

dhowarter (author)2015-03-21

dhowarter (author)dhowarter2015-03-21

Thanks, your instructions led me to the fix but I had to do it differently than you did. I have a Mr. Coffee that was only putting out a little steam and not making coffee. I took the bottom off and observed on my machine the check valve you describe is in the clear plastic tube that carries water from the water well to the metal heater tube. I removed the end of the plastic tube from the heater tube but could not get the end removed from the water well. That end is difficult to reach because of obstructions. Then I turned the coffee maker upright to its normal position and poured some water into the well. I observed that no water came out of the plastic tube so that verified the check valve was the problem. I tried squeezing the plastic tube as you did to get the check valve out but I could not get it to move. Part of the problem was that I could not get my fingers into a position to create much pressure to squeeze it out since I could not get the water well end of the tube loose. Then with my mouth I blew on the open end of the tube. I could not blow air in that direction so that verified that the little red ball was moving up into its position to block reverse flow of water as it should. Then I sucked on the same tube and a small piece of coffee ground, probably about 1/4 of one ground came out. That seemed to be the problem. So I turned the maker back upright again and poured more water into the well. This time a moderate stream came out of the bottom of incoming plastic tube. It was not a large stream but seemed to be enough to make coffee. So I put the bottom back on and made a pot of coffee. That worked fine so I think I solved my problem.

Thanks for the info, I read your post before taking my MR Coffee cheapie, $19. with only on and off only no timer ect.

All I did was:

Remove the phillips screw holding the swing arm that goes over the filter. Removed the tube from the water Reservior, Than like you mentioned used a large McDonald's straw and sucked the check valve open and got a few coffee grinds in my mouth.

Plugged it in, ran a full pot of water through, it works like it was new.

JayMaasch (author)2015-03-24

Thank you! You saved me over $50!!!!

kpotenti (author)2015-03-18

thanks so much for your tutorial! It worked like a charm. You made our week!!

PaulA15 (author)2015-03-06

Thank you, this worked perfectly. There was a little piece of coffee bean that had fallen into the reservoir, and clogged the valve. Managed to clear it out and it works like a charm again. BTW we have a BVMC-SJX Mr. Coffee and it just required a regular small Phillips-head screwdriver.

michael.jacobs.7982 (author)2015-03-03

Hi..Im in the same boat..dont know old this tip is..I just pulled my machine apart you think that wee red ball has to be in there?? Im ready to toss the whole thing in garbage..there goes another $50.00

reprobate (author)2015-02-23

I have to admit this is a GREAT!!!! Instructable.... I applied this same concept to a different coffee machine. I own a Nespresso machine. Prior to finding this I contacted a few Jura Capresso Espresso and Coffee Professional Machine Shops for repair. I also contacted my manufacture to use my store bought warranty. While the repairs were free through my warranty, the shipping cost was through the roof. Around $70 to ship from to them and another $85 or so to get the machine once the repairs were done. Ouch! I couldn't find the tools you listed in here at the time and doubt that the tool set that used here would have a special oval screw holding my Nespresso together. Found a coupon online and ordered a Newelectronx Coffee Maker Espresso Brew Machine Security Screwdriver Repair Tool. In that kit I found all the tools you mentioned here plus the oval screwdriver that I needed. I applied the basics that you have in this tutorial for one issue that I had with the machine and then used a downloaded manual that I found online to repair another issue that came up. I would have to say, without your insight I would be lost and would have never been brave enough to go after fixing this alone and by myself. For that I forever grateful. Thank you so much... I pour this next cup of coffee in honor your freedom of speech to share this instructable.

framistan (author)reprobate2015-02-23

Thank you for your nice comment. You overcame your fear of trying and accomplished the task. Today, I am going to sign up to get a job in East St. Louis. My family is fearful. Truth be told, so am I. Everyone is so full of fear. I live 8 miles from Ferguson Missouri. (The Michael Brown incident). I suspect East St Louis isn't much worse. No fear, Mr. Reprobate. Thanks for the comment.

h0w1tw0rx (author)2015-02-06

Great instructions! I was able to follow along and apply to my old Target Michael Graves (Hamilton Beach) coffee maker (has a removable reservoir).

It heats water and steams/sputters and only yields a teeny bit of coffee. I've run it with vinegar and DipIt cleaner many times and it works (making really hot water and decent coffee) for a short time and then starts sputtering away. I know I have hard water.

It too, has a valve (I can see it and feel it in the tube like in your picture) and I'm sure that's my issue; however, the red tube (sends water to the drip basket) is almost impossible to remove from the aluminum heater pipe. I've already removed the clamps. Do you have any tips to help? If I can get that red tube off, I can certainly squeeze the valve out to clean it.

FredH3 (author)2014-10-23

I have an ancient Westbend Flavodrip(!) that I picked up at a 2ndhand store because it looked brand new! (there are even flowers on the carafe like in the '70s; no off/on switch; ...; totally vintage). At any rate, got it home ... lots of steam, no water coming through. Did as framistan suggested; hose off, clean minerals out of pipe (of which there wasn't much, so doubted this would work), then filled it with vinegar and voila!!!!!!!! I have a vintage cfe maker that works beautifully! I am over the moon ... thanks so much to framistan for posting this! !

framistan (author)FredH32014-12-01

Some coffee makers get clogged in the heating element with lime(powdered rock) deposits. This is not repairable to my knowledge. My father-in-law has WELL-WATER which has BAD mineral deposits. He has to purchase a new coffee pot about every 3 months! I couldn't repair his because it is like a solid rock build-up inside the heating element!

jfv2000 (author)framistan2015-02-03

couple of ideas for you father's coffee maker.... You can buy a commercial cleaner at the grocery OR you can try using vinegar. I do the latter. The ascetic acid from the vinegar reacts with the calcium in the mineral deposit and dissolves it. Run a couple of pots of clear water to remove any possible aftertaste. You could also try Lime-Away, also in the grocery store. You should clean the coffeemaker every couple weeks. Frankly, if your coffee maker clogs that frequently, you probably have other fixtures around the house that are clogging up. You might want to look into installing a water softener for the whole house. I would talk to neighbors to see if they are having similar issues.

framistan (author)jfv20002015-02-04

Those are good ideas thanks. Unfortunately, those people (the wife's family) are sort of rich. They don't care about buying a new coffee maker for their 90 year old father every 3 months. And they don't care about the terrible water they are making their own father drink. Rich people, as everyone knows, don't have to care. They're RICH!

dee.beveridge (author)2014-11-30

Followed your tutorial, got everything right but one thing. The hose with the valve, is it the down or the up hose? Hope to hear back soon so I can get this put back together in time to test it before morning coffee is needed! LOL
Thank you for your help!

I used my commonsense and figured it out!!! Thanx for making the tutorial & all that you do!!!

donna.hasinski (author)2014-11-03

I have a Mr. Coffee........It clogged up so I stuck a q tip down the hole where the water goes out and up into the tube after it's heated..........When I pulled the q tip out of the hole, it had red on it, the color of blood..........I couldn't imagine what it was, so I tried to take the maker apart (because I DEFINITELY wasn't going to use it anymore with whatever the RED STUFF was being mixed in with my coffe)

I had a very hard time getting it apart, so I broke the cover off with a hammer and discovered two red rubbery hoses which the water goes into and then up the plastic pipe to get into the basket to make the coffee........I"M SURE THEY"RE NOT PVC FREE! the red plastic hoses have been breaking down into my coffe for God knows how long!!!!!!!! YUCKKKKKKKKK

Will be filing consumer complaint!

donna.hasinski (author)2014-11-03

I have a Mr. Coffee........It clogged up so I stuck a q tip down the hole where the water goes out and up into the tube after it's heated..........When I pulled the q tip out of the hole, it had red on it, the color of blood..........I couldn't imagine what it was, so I tried to take the maker apart (because I DEFINITELY wasn't going to use it anymore with whatever the RED STUFF was being mixed in with my coffe)

I had a very hard time getting it apart, so I broke the cover off with a hammer and discovered two red rubbery hoses which the water goes into and then up the plastic pipe to get into the basket to make the coffee........I"M SURE THEY"RE NOT PVC FREE! the red plastic hoses have been breaking down into my coffe for God knows how long!!!!!!!! YUCKKKKKKKKK

Will be filing consumer complaint!

JoelH1 (author)2014-09-15

Had all kinds of steam and the thing took 30 min to brew a pot with puddles all over the counter. Found this tutorial, took it apart and found 3 coffee beans stuck by the valve. Took those guys out, put everything back together, and runs like a champ! Thanks so much!

lime3D (author)2013-01-06

Just run vinegar through a brew cycle, then follow up with a few pots of clear water. It will dislodge and flush all sediments, scale and clogs.

therockinraven (author)lime3D2014-09-04

This so far isn't working for me. It won't go through at all. :( I'm wondering if the thing is actually broken. I'm going to try the forced water after a few minutes if the vinegar still hasn't run through.

sjpoirot (author)2014-08-26

Thanks so much, I thought I had broken it but all it needed was to be cleaned out!

Subline911 (author)2013-07-11

Also on some of the newer Mr. coffee makers the tubes are secured with clamps.

zipperboy (author)2013-01-05

Good job. Phil aka

About This Instructable




Bio: I like building things. I like to experiment with alternative methods of heating and cooling houses.
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