Problem: Cuisinart 12-cup electric cordless percolator (PER-12C) stopped perking coffee.
Symptoms: At first it started making weaker and weaker coffee. We thought it was the grinds. We thought the basket was clogged. On day, it just didn't perk at all.
Solution: Fix it! This Instructable explains how we got it back into working order by opening it up, replacing a thermal cut-off (like a fuse or switch), and reassembling it. Now it makes coffee again!
Note: This Instructable might also be applied to cordless electric kettles, as I think they may work in a similar fashion.
The items you'll need are:
- Phillips screw drivers
- Replacement parts (in this case, a thermal cut-off)
- Soldering iron and solder
- Needle-nose pliers
- Thermal paste (may not be needed if the thermocouples aren't disturbed)
- Crazy glue (if you brake a plastic piece like I did)
Special thanks to Robin and Paul, is was a team effort to fix this puppy!
Step 1: How the Percolator Coffee Maker Works
As far as I can tell, this electric percolator appears to work in this manner:
- The pot sits on top of the power base, and once connected to an electric outlet, electricity moves from the power base to a conductive metal "cup" in the pot. The resistance heats the water, bringing it to a boil.
- Once boiling, bubbles of gaseous water force hot liquid water up the pump tube, and it rains down on the basket filled with coffee grinds (this is the "perking" action).
- The perking cycle is completed when an appropriate temperature is reached, and the boiling is stopped. This is the important point. It is here that a thermal cut-off trips and tells the machine to stop boiling (it will later reset itself so that coffee can be brewed again).
- The heating switches to a "warming" mode.
- A little orange light comes on to tell you it's coffee time!
This may not be entirely accurate, I am open to corrections on the workings of this machine!