Coffee machines are one of the most popular appliances sold worldwide. Many of us (myself included) depending on them to give us energy in the morning.
It can therefore be extremely frustrating if you find that your coffee machine isn’t working correctly. One of the most common faults occuring across all coffee machine brands is the machine turning off either during or quickly after the brewing process.
Depending on how far through the brewing process you’ve got this will either leave you with no coffee, or cold coffee, neither of which are ideal.
There are two main causes of a coffee machine turning off during or shortly after the brewing process, they are; a faulty sensor or damaged heating element.
In some cases, these issues can be fixed without having to replace the machine (and I’ll go over how later in this post), however, in othercases the cost and time required to fix the machine (especially an old coffee machine) is negligable compared to the cost of a new one.
Check The Automatic Shut Off Settings
Modern day coffee machines come with two automatic shut off sensors. The first is designed to shut the machine off when an issue has occured, such as an overheating element or a clogged pipe.
The second is designed to turn the machine off shortly after brewing or after not being used for a set period of time. This setting helps to minimise the amount of electricity the appliance is consuming while not being used.
This setting will stop the machine keeping the coffee warm after a set duration which is usually either 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours and 4 hours.
It’s important to check both of these settings prior to replacing or repairing your coffee machine. If you’re unsure how to change these settings or whether or not your coffee machine has an auto shut off feature, simply Google the make and model. You’ll usually find information online and in some cases even the appliances original manual.
Clean The Coffee Machine
If you’re still unsure as to what might be causing your coffee machine to shut off during or straight after the brewing process then consider giving the machine a deep clean.
During this time you’ll be taking some areas of the coffee machine apart and may see damaged parts in the process which maybe the reason for your problem.
Even without seeing damaged parts during the cleaning process, you very well may fix the problem, especially if you use your coffee machine regularly and don’t clean it often.
Cleaning a coffee machine is a relatively straight forward process, and uses common mild household cleaning products. The process is however time consuming as the majority of the parts have to be cleaned by hand due to the electric components.
The time it takes you to clean your coffee machine could be over two hours in some cases, especially if you use the machine regularly and you’ve not cleaned it before or in the last couple of months.
If you do find this fixes your machine then be sure to take the time to schedule a coffee machine clean regularly the frequency should relate directly to how often you use the machine.
If you use the machine daily I’d say clean it monthly, meanwhile if you only use it on weekdays I’d suggest cleaning it every 2 or 3 months instead.
Check The Guarantee
Before making any major decisions about your coffee machine moving forward it’s important you check the appliances guarantee.
If the guarantee is still active then I’d suggest contacting the manufacurer directly (phone numbers, contact forms etc are readily available online), explaining the problem and asking for a replacement.
A number of things may happen when you contact the company about your faulty machine which is within warranty of guarantee;
- They’ll send an enegineer to fix the issue
- They’ll send you replacement parts with instructions
- They’ll send you a replacement machine (depending on the age of your machine and whether it’s still in production this might not always be the same make or model).
Replace The Heating Element & Heat Sensor
If none of the steps above have helped to fix the problem with your coffee mahine then it’s time to look at replacing parts. From experience we know that the two main elements which cause this issue are the heat sensor and the heating element.
If during the cleaning process you didn’t notice any damage to either them then it’s a blind guess as to which one is actually causing the problem (and remember, it’s no gurantee. While these are the components with the faults most commonly related to heating it could be something else entirely).
It’s up to you as to whether or not you replace both parts at the same time or one to see if that fixes the problem before moving onto the other.
When it comes to buying the replacement parts, in most cases you should be able to do so online simply by googling ‘replacement [insert coffee machine make and mode] heat sensor’.
However, if your appliance is relatively old you may find that the components are no longer stocked and readily available.
Once the part(s) have arrived it’s time to remove the old and insert the new. Again, the exact method varies between machines.
It’s worth having someone who is familiar with electrical appliances to do this if you’re not confident or have little previous experience in DIY / repairing electrical appliances. In my case, I often just turn to Youtube to watch multiple video demonstrations from people who have done it before me.
Replace The Coffee Machine
If replacing the parts seems like a false economy, if you’re ready to upgrade your old coffee machine to a newer model or if you’ve tried and failed to fix the components above then it maybe time to replace your coffee mahcine.
The average lifespan of a coffee machine is around six to eight years, and in that time I know it’s saved me hundreds of dollars by preventing me from going to Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts so I often don’t mind spending $100 to $200 on a new one when the time comes.