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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.
 
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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! 
dhowarter3 months ago

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.

JayMaasch3 months ago

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

kpotenti3 months ago

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

PaulA153 months ago

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.

Hi..Im in the same boat..dont know old this tip is..I just pulled my machine apart twice..do 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 bucks..lol

reprobate4 months ago

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)  reprobate4 months ago

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.

h0w1tw0rx4 months ago

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.

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FredH38 months ago

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)  FredH37 months ago

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 framistan4 months ago

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)  jfv20004 months ago

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.beveridge7 months ago
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!!!

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! ............so the red plastic hoses have been breaking down into my coffe for God knows how long!!!!!!!! YUCKKKKKKKKK

Will be filing consumer complaint!

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! ............so the red plastic hoses have been breaking down into my coffe for God knows how long!!!!!!!! YUCKKKKKKKKK

Will be filing consumer complaint!

JoelH19 months ago

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!

lime3D2 years ago
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.

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.

sjpoirot10 months ago

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

Subline9111 year ago
Also on some of the newer Mr. coffee makers the tubes are secured with clamps.
zipperboy2 years ago
Good job. Phil aka