Repair Your Clogged Coffee Maker

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Introduction: Repair Your Clogged Coffee Maker

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

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

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:

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

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

Step 4: 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:

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.

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.

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    64 Discussions

    0
    gister27
    gister27

    6 months ago

    I followed these steps and in the metal pipe that is shaped like horseshoe, I found a lot mineral deposits that was clogging it. Do you have any recommendations on how I can get rid of those mineral deposits?

    I put bleach, vinegar, and baking soda in that tube and let it sit there for about a day. While it did work somewhat, the mineral deposits are still there. Any suggestions?

    1
    framistan
    framistan

    Reply 5 months ago

    Yes, I know what you are describing about the heating tube clogged with powdery mineral deposits. My father-in-law lived in an area where his coffee pot would clog like that about every 4 months! I tried to repair one, but failed. What they had to do was stop purchasing expensive coffee pots so they could throw it away after a few months of use. I don't know any way of cleaning it. I think drinking powdered ROCK can not be good for you. I suggest doing something about filtering your water .... at least the water you drink. Those "minerals" are in rock form, not bio-digestable form. That is what plants do. They convert rock minerals into organic minerals that our body needs. That includes calcium. Powdered oyster shell is not calcium. It is powdered ROCK. So, I believe the best solution is to get a water softener or filter capable of filtering out the rock minerals. If you coffee pot clogged after many years of use, maybe it isn't a big problem. The filter I use is called an "Alexa-pure" just like this one on ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Alexapure-Pro-Stainless-Steel-Water-Filter-Purification-Filtration-Purify-System/373066390112?epid=17032164260&hash=item56dc7d5a60:g:BnEAAOSwmylezqcB There is another brand very similar called a "Berkey", which has a better name, but essentially the same thing for a little more money. Here is the Berkey: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Travel-Berkey-Water-Purification-System-w-2-Black-Berkey-Elements/322121459351?_trkparms=aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20200520130048%26meid%3De10cb4ea661a4e9eac25994d7651f07f%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D12%26mehot%3Dpf%26sd%3D323839795894%26itm%3D322121459351%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D0%26pg%3D2047675%26algv%3DSimplAMLv5PairwiseWebWithBBEV2bDemotion%26brand%3DBerkey&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851 HOWEVER, you might want to build your own because they are simple to make (see videos on youtube). All you need to buy is the filter. Then get 2 five gallon food-safe buckets and a nozzle. Drill a couple holes and you are done. The filter isn't cheap, here it is from the alexapure company website: https://alexapure.com/collections/water-filtration/products/alexapure-pro-certified-replacement-filter There are many alternatives. I am not POSITIVE the alexipure will remove minerals. My brother uses a CONDENSING system that boils the water and condenses it that leaves behind a lot of mineral powder (he tells me)... like this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/4L-Water-Distiller-Water-Purifier-Stainless-Steel-Distilled-Purified-Home/303581431327?hash=item46aedd061f:m:mwNB5rMR9veOKrDc7brAJQw There are OTHER systems available now and some I am not familiar with because the market has changed. When I bought my system, those were the best options 5 years ago. I suggest to use these things as a starting point, and do your own research to find what solution suits your needs. Hope that helps.

    0
    gister27
    gister27

    Reply 5 months ago

    Thank you! That is super helpful!!...I am just going to keep applying vinegar and baking soda everyday for about a week and see what happens.... I've been doing it for 2 days now and it is a lot better from where it started. We will see what happens.

    Also would you happen to know if I were to stick a pipe cleaner down the heating meal tube (shaped like a horse shoe), if it will go all the way through... I would assume yes.

    But so far I've only been able to stick my pipe cleaner half way on one side and then like a quarter of the way on the other side... I would assume both sides are the same. But I guess I can't be for sure, unless I call the manufacture maybe...

    0
    gister27
    gister27

    Reply 6 months ago

    I am tempted to use mineral deposit cleaners like CLR, but I am afraid once I am done I won't be able to wash the CLR out and I don't want to be tasting that in my coffee.

    0
    mortgage7900
    mortgage7900

    1 year ago

    Hi I have a problem with my coffee maker the hose that the water goes up into the basket and keeps on making a gurgling noise and it takes forever to brew a whole pot of coffee

    0
    framistan
    framistan

    Reply 5 months ago

    Hello mort.Sorry for the delay answering your question about fixing the coffee maker. I was not watching instructables much recently due to moved to florida. Sounds like your hose is clogged. All these coffee makers work pretty much the same. Just follow the instructable and read the comment section for ideas on what to do. good luck!

    0
    Kerry Petruzello
    Kerry Petruzello

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    My cuisinart I get power 1,025 wattage,but will not brew,light go on ,but nothing,..any answers,please,ty!!

    0
    framistan
    framistan

    Answer 5 months ago

    Kerry, sorry i didn't answer your question, but I recently moved to Florida, and was not paying any attention to instructables for a long time. If the unit heats up, but no water boils, then it is likely clogged pipe just as described in my instructable. Unplug the unit, then don't be afraid to take it apart and TRY to fix it. Just be careful and don't work on it while it is plugged in. If you are not good at mechanical things, ask a friend to come over and help you. Promise him or her you will brew some gourmet coffee if you succeed.

    0
    lilkittenspit
    lilkittenspit

    Question 9 months ago

    What would happen if I didn’t put the valve back in? Is the valve necessary because I think I can avoid another clog by not having a valve at all.
    Thank you so much for this tutorial you posted

    0
    framistan
    framistan

    Answer 5 months ago

    I remember I tried that. What happens is, the water boils and shoots UP THE PIPE. It is attempting to go up up up into the coffee basket. But only SOME OF IT goes up the pipe. Because the valve is missing, some of the water falls back into the tank. So, it might work without it but it will take much longer to make coffee. The valve stops the water from falling back down into the tank. BY THE WAY, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY I AM AMAZED AT HOW MANY PEOPLE BENEFITED FROM MY LITTLE COFFEE POT INSTRUCTABLE. THANK YOU ALL FOR SAYING YOU APPRECIATED MY WORK.

    0
    framistan
    framistan

    Answer 9 months ago

    The valve allows the boiled water to go UP the tube... but it is not a constant flow. So the valve shuts..... causing the boiled water to not fall back down the tube. So the valve is needed to keep water going in ONE direction. Its a good idea to be very careful to not spill the dry coffee when putting it into the filter. That helps so you don't clog it up.

    0
    leanonjesus
    leanonjesus

    11 months ago

    It worked! I have a Bonavita that was steaming like crazy even after descaling and taking apart and checking the top part of the coffee maker. So I flipped it over per your instructions. The security screws were a trick to get out. Finally found a chipped flat head that fit. The valve in mine was about halfway down the tubing below a removable spring. I noticed grime around the spring, so I took it out and sprayed it off. Then I used a long, thin brush (used for cleaning out straws) and was able to get down to the valve. I couldn’t get the valve out but using the brush removed a wad of goo (yuck!). Put it back together and it worked perfectly! Thanks for the tip. It saved me about $200.

    0
    Itrytofixthethings

    I have a Hamilton Beach Flexbrew model 49976 that would boil off half of the water- meaning 8 cups of water would produce 4 cups of highly concentrated coffee. Thanks to this post, I looked for and found a check valve. Removed the valve, cleaned it, and now my coffee maker is fixed. Thank you!

    1
    Kerry Petruzello
    Kerry Petruzello

    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    My cuisinart will not brew,light goes on ,but, nothing,? Any answers,greatly appreciate it,going through very hard time,thank you very much,.??

    0
    framistan
    framistan

    Reply 1 year ago

    I lived in Wentzville missouri for a while and out there they have VERY "HARD" WATER. It is just FULL of mineral deposits!
    While I lived there, I had cheap coffee pots and they would get absolutely clogged with mineral deposits INSIDE THE HEATING ELEMENT. The result is that NO WATER could get through the pipe. You can visually see it if you remove the plastic pipe off of the heating element. (Always unplug power first!!). Just look inside the pipe and if it looks clogged, it is ruined. The cure for this was NOBODY buys expensive coffee pots. They buy cheapy ones and just purchase another one when it gets clogged. Other than that.... simply make sure the water can flow through EVERY tube and spout. If it heats up, then it must be clogged somewhere.

    0
    Jan Krebs
    Jan Krebs

    3 years ago

    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.

    0
    swander
    swander

    Reply 2 years ago

    many coffee makers have provisions for charcoal filters placed at the base of the water tank, in the little hole at the bottom. They act as filters for particles/beans too as well as removing 85% of the chlorine in US tap water. They look like little square or barrel shaped tea bags. and are about $1 a piece in 6 packs.

    0
    EternalW
    EternalW

    4 years ago

    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.