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How Can I Fix a Leaky Gasket on an Old Silex Vacuum Coffee Pot? Answered

I have an old Silex vacuum coffee pot, which is really a superior way to make coffee.  When you heat the pot, the expansion of the hot water and air in the bottom globe forces the water from the bottom globe up into the top globe, where the coffee grounds are.  After a couple of minutes, you turn off the heat, and the air in the bottom globe cools, it contracts, creating a vacuum which sucks the brewed coffee through a filter, back down into the bottom globe.

All this depends on the integrity of the rubber gasket between the two globes.  (See second photo.)  If it leaks--no vacuum; and the coffee stays up in the top globe until gravity pulls it down, resulting in overbrewed coffee.  (A big leak will keep the water from even rising in the first place.  A little one just slows or prevents the "drawdown".)

My pot has developed a little leak.  At first, I thought the gasket had hardened or cracked, since it's at least fifty years old; but that turned out not to be the case.  I inspected it, and found a little bump right under the flange of the gasket, where it sits on the glass rim of the bottom pot.  I gently sanded this irregularity, thinking I could smooth it out, but it turned out to be a bubble, which popped, leaving a dimple about the size of a caraway seed.

I've tried teflon tape, filling the dimple with a tiny dab of Devcon rubber adhesive, putting a bead of the rubber adhesive around the gasket, and a couple of other things, but I only make the leak worse.  (Fortunately, everything I've tried has been reversible.) 

Anybody got any ideas for repairing that gasket, short of sealing it onto the pot with silicone caulk, which I'm not willing to do?

Thanks for any help!


Jim Crutchfield
Long Island City, NY

Photos by edgarandron on Flickr.



8 years ago

These things are great. You might try silicone (bathroom) sealant), but cling-film at least one surface first.


Tool Using Animal

8 years ago

Having no experience with these... can you lubricate the gasket with a food safe silicone grease?  Cast in place a new gasket from RTV sealant?