Troubleshooting your coffee maker before you've had your cup of coffee can be frustrating. Let's dig into this troubleshooting guide to get your morning cup brewing and start the day off right.
While this guide is focused first on automatic drip coffee makers, a good starting procedure for any device is to follow proper maintenance and cleaning practices — follow this coffee maker cleaning guide and replace old filters. When using soft water, clean your machine with a 1:1 vinegar and water solution every 3 months; when using hard water, clean every month.
When the source of the leak is due to an overflowing or overfilling — where the filter basket overflows — start with the fixes directly below. In the event water is pooling at the base of machine jump to cracked pot.
Improper Placement of Filter
Be sure that the area where you place the filter is properly placed in the top of the coffee maker. The lid should close with ease and the tabs should fit into their proper holes.
Too Many Coffee Grounds
It is possible that you have placed too many coffee grounds into the filter. This will cause clogging and not enough water to get through. Remove all grounds and try again, using the specified amount of grounds.
Improper Placement of Pot
The glass coffee pot may be incorrectly aligned with the warming plate. Place the pot and ensure that it is centered on the warming plate, and try brewing again.
There could be hard water buildup on the spout from the filter to the pot, or it is damaged.
Inspect your coffee pot for cracks! Cracks will allow coffee to flow everywhere you don't want.
Pouring Excess Water
The problem may be that you are simply using too much water to brew your coffee. Locate the gauge that displays how much water you have poured in, and do not pour above the 12-cup mark.
Tubing Loose or Damaged
Since high temperature tubing in the bottom of the machine could be loose or damaged from movement or heavy use, inspect these hoses for secure connections.
- Remove your bottom plate to access the water lines.
The hoses and their hose clamps can then be removed and visually inspected for disconnections or buildup.
- Clean orifices with a needle or paperclip, and clean insides with soap and water and a small pipe brush.
Heating Coil Leak
Using strong cleaning chemicals to remove scale from the coffeemaker can damage the heating coil.
If the source of the leak is not from overflow water, turn the machine over (while empty), remove the screws from the bottom of the machine, and locate the source of the leak.
The warming plate may have melted or otherwise damaged the O-Ring, a rubber ring that lines the connection between the warming plate and the base of the machine. It is supposed to keep water from leaking through the base of the coffeemaker.
- If the seal is in a removable water reservoir, you can replace the reservoir.
- If the seal is built in, you may have to replace the coffee maker
Clogged Valve Pump
Mineral deposits and grounds will stop proper water flow. Verify the fill tube is clear and allowing water to flow by removing the bottom of your coffee maker and inspecting the line. Clean and replace if necessary.
Corroded Heater Tube
The heating element on some coffeemakers is made of aluminum, and will eventually fail due to corrosion.
- Replace the heater tube.
- Optionally apply paint to further waterproof.