How To Fix A Kettle Turning Off Before Boiling

Electric kettles are a convenience that we all take for granted until that time when you can’t enjoy your morning cup of coffee because it’s acting up and keeps on turning off before it can boil water.

To fix a kettle that turns off before finishing boiling water descale the appliance. This will remove any hard water from the sensor. If your kettle still won’t boil correctly it could be the result of a faulty thermostat which can be replaced.

Luckily, both these solutions are relatively easy and quick to complete and should leave you with a kettle that’s able to once again work as normal.

Descale Your Kettle

The most common cause of a kettle turning off before reaching boiling point is built up limescale.

Limescale comes from the high concentration of calcium found in hard water.

When water is heated, this calcium builds up on the element, sensor and thermostat inside your kettle.

The thicker the layer of limescale, the harder it becomes for heat to pass through it. As a result, your kettle will take longer to boil and may even turn itself off before reaching boiling point.

To descale your kettle:

  • Fill your kettle with equal parts of water and white vinegar solution.
  • Let the solution sit in the kettle for 30 minutes before discarding it.
  • Rinse out the kettle several times with fresh water to remove any lingering vinegar taste/smell.

Even if you’re not living in a hard water area, and can’t see the limescale on the inside of your kettle it’s important you don’t skip this step.

This is the quickest and easiest way to attempt to fix your kettle and I’ve found that most issues I’ve had with my kettle (including it turning off before the water had finished boiling) were as a result of this.

To prevent limescale from building up inside your kettle moving forward you can purchase a water softener, use bottled water or get a descaling solution for your kettle.

Check The Switch

If descaling doesn’t do the trick, then it’s time to check the switch.

The switch is located on the side of the kettle and its primary function is to turn off power to the element once the boiling point has been reached.

A faulty switch will cause your kettle to turn off prematurely or not turn on at all.

In some cases, the switch could get stuck or be unable to click on correctly to trigger a boil as a result of a faulty spring or some debris stuck behind the kettle.

To fix this remove the kettle from its electrical stand and wipe down the outside with a damp dishcloth paying special attention to the switch area.

Then, using a small brush (toothbrush, paintbrush, etc.) clear any debris that might be present around the switch before testing again.

In some cases, you can investigate the switch further by disconnecting it from the wires and then reconnecting it.

During this process, you may notice some damage or some erosion on the wires that you’re able to fix quickly & affordably.

Clean The Heat Contacts

If your kettle still won’t boil it’s time to check the heat contacts.

The contacts are what send power from the element to the thermostat. If these become dirty or damaged, they can cause electricity to jump and arc which will prevent your kettle from boiling.

To clean the heat contacts:

  • Unplug your kettle and remove any water.
  • Using a cotton swab dipped in white vinegar, rub along each of the contact points (you should see a discolouration on the swab as you’re doing this).
  • Rinse off any remaining vinegar with fresh water and dry completely before plugging back in and trying again.

Fix Or Replace The Thermostat

Attempting to fix or replace a thermostat can void the warranty of your kettle. Therefore if your kettle is within warranty it’s best to skip this step and look into replacing the kettle with the manufacturer.

In addition, this process is more time consuming and difficult when compared to the others and still isn’t guaranteed to repair your kettle.

As such if your kettle is of a certain age or in poor condition it may be worth considering replacing the kettle unit altogether.

If however, you’re happy to continue trying to fix your kettle then the next area you want to look at is the thermostat itself.

The thermostat is located on the element and its job is to monitor the water temperature.

When the set temperature is reached, the thermostat will trigger the switch to turn off the power to the element and stop boiling.

A faulty thermostat can cause your kettle to turn off prematurely or not turn on at all.

If you think this might be the issue then you’ll need to open up your kettle (this usually involves unscrewing a few screws on the bottom) and locate the thermostat.

Once found, remove any debris that might be present before testing again. If this doesn’t fix your kettle then, unfortunately, you’ll likely need to replace the thermostat which can only be done by a professional.

Replace The Kettle

If your kettle still struggles to reach boiling point having completed the processes above then it’s time to consider replacing the kettle.

If the appliance is still within the manufacturer’s warranty consider contacting them or the store you purchased the kettle from originally for advice.

If not, then you can begin looking for a new kettle.

Electric kettles are relatively affordable and can be picked up from most major stores.