Nothing will wake you up better than having a hot cup of coffee in the morning, which is why nothing is more annoying than finding out that your coffee maker is not heating your brew properly. What is causing this problem?
Most likely, the reasons why your coffee maker is not heating is because of either a blown fuse, a faulty thermostat, or a malfunctioning heating element. In this article, why these issues happen, how to fix them, and how to prevent them in the first place.
What will happen if your coffee maker does not get hot?
A drip-type coffee maker works by heating water from its reservoir to the adequate temperature and pouring the resulting hot water over the coffee grounds.
To illustrate further: a heating element brings the water to near-boiling point (around 90.5°C – 96.0°C), and as it bubbles up, the water goes through the hot water pipe and eventually to the shower head, where it is poured evenly over the coffee grounds.
If your coffee maker is not heating the water properly, it won’t let the water flow through the hot water pipe, and thus no hot water will be poured over your coffee grounds.
If you turn on your coffee maker but the familiar bubbling and gurgling sound does not start after a few moments, then the following may have happened to your coffee maker:
WARNING! Do not try to tinker with your electronics if you do not have the proper training nor experience. If something goes wrong, not only will it void your warranty, it can also cause injury or death. Always unplug your appliance before tinkering with it.
Reasons why your coffee maker is not heating
There are several reasons why your coffee maker is no longer working. And unfortunately, the problems are mostly mechanical in nature, and thus you will most likely be going on a trip to a technician and scouring the market for spare parts.
Malfunctioning heating element
The heating element is the part that makes the water boil, and it lies right under the heating plate. It is not unusual for a coffee maker’s heating elements to get worn out over time. However, the heating element can also short circuit if water comes into contact with it.
If you know your way around electronics, you can DIY the repair on your own. However, we recommend that you have it checked by a technician if you do not know how to fix electronics.
The heating element can be accessed by removing the screws from the base of your coffee maker. Once you’ve found the horseshoe-shaped heating element, you can test its conductivity with a multimeter. If no electricity is conducted, then it means that the heating element is broken. You can buy spare parts on your own, but the best option is always to bring it to a technician.
Story time: One time, I removed the carafe while the coffee was still brewing. It resulted in a small puddle of coffee resting on the warming plate. Some got through it and reached the heating element.
The thermostat controls the operation of your coffee maker’s heating elements. It automatically shuts off (opens the circuit) when it detects a higher than normal temperature. Depending on its age, a coffee maker’s thermostat can get stuck in an open circuit position, prevent the electricity from reaching the heating elements.
To fix this, you can also access this part from the base of the coffee maker (always remember to unplug your coffee maker before doing this). The thermostat is attached to the horseshoe-shaped heating element and can be distinguished by its cylindrical shape. With a multimeter, check if it is conducting electricity. If not, then remove and replace this part. Once again, you should have an experienced technician handle this for you if you do not know how to.
This problem is inherently mechanical in nature, and hence you will have no choice but to buy spare parts and repair it (or have it repaired for you). You should always debate whether repairing your coffee maker will make more sense for you than just replacing it outright.
By the way, we’ve recently reviewed a coffee maker model from Hanabishi a while back, go check it out!
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.