Thread Number: 73554  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Old Coffee Pot
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Post# 971311   12/3/2017 at 15:46 (352 days old) by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

My grandpa has an old Mr. Coffee coffee pot, I'd say its around 20 years old or so. It failed last week, but it was kind of strange. The actual percolating part is getting weak. When switched on, it makes the noise but only goes for a few drops and just cuts out. The warmer plate still heats up fine. It has done well having been used daily for the past 7 years (it was rarely used before then, had a built in unit that was used). I've never had a pot fail before so don't know if this is normal or not, I figured it would be the warmer plate that would go, or the unit would leak. I'm wondering if it is hard water build up that lead to this failure, although we ran vinegar thru it regularly.

Post# 971320 , Reply# 1   12/3/2017 at 16:40 (352 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I've had good luck with pouring a whole bottle of straight vinegar into the reservoir and letting it sit in there for an hour (Cusinart support team's advice for their auto-drip brewers, and although I don't know why it should make any difference, it does), then starting the machine.  Then I repeat the process (but not the waiting an hour part).  I use a filter in the basket so I can check to see the amount of scale/deposits that have been removed.


I've had a Bonvita automatic drip machine for about a year.  They don't want you to use vinegar because its taste can linger -- I agree with that.  There are packets of granulated cleaner that they recommend and I have to say that they really work well.  I got mine on line, but maybe BB&B carries it, or something similar.  Make sure you get the stuff that does the descaling and not the stuff that just gets rid of coffee residue in the brew basket, etc.


Or, since you've been doing the vinegar thing regularly, you might have to take the machine apart and check for a loose or broken wire, likely associated with the heating element.  It gets a lot hotter for brewing than for just keeping the brew warm, so a bad wire could still manage to heat the plate, but not the water.


I've had my sister's beloved '70s Chemex Automated apart for issues like this over the years and wires and/or connections have been the culprits.

Post# 971324 , Reply# 2   12/3/2017 at 17:18 (352 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I agree with Ralph about doing a super cleaning with either straight white vinegar or any of the powdered descalers. But you might also want to check out You Tube. I once ran across some videos about repairing a Mr. Coffee, and I watched a couple. Thery were very informative. As I recall one of the videos worked on the tube that runs from the water heater element to the shower over the coffee grounds. It seems that there is a small ball in this tube that can get hung up. Anyway, Iíll bet youíll find your answer on You Tube. Good Luck!

Post# 971515 , Reply# 3   12/4/2017 at 16:06 (351 days old) by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

I'm very curious now after watching a couple of videos on youtube. Basically the ONLY part in these is the heating element. I was under the impression that the heater for the plate was separate than the percolating heater, turns out there are the same and just connected with a tube. I'm wondering if it may have just gotten gummed up or if the little one way valve got stuck. I would think if the tube came apart water would be leaking. Definitely going to try a couple things now.

Post# 971517 , Reply# 4   12/4/2017 at 16:26 (351 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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in one the You Tube videos that I watched I recall that the guy took the tube off and cleaned it out to free the ball inside that acts like a valve. I think that you are on the right track. Good Luck, these older Mr. Coffee machines are very good and I bet you will get it up and running.

Post# 971540 , Reply# 5   12/4/2017 at 18:18 (351 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Oh yes, the Chemex Automated also had an issue with a leak.   I used a tiny hose clamp to fix the flex tube connection.   The leak caused things to rust, which caused more problems down the road. 


After I had made the second of two subsequent repairs to the separate heating element connections, I remembered after my sister left that I had failed to remove the plastic sleeve on the new spade connector I installed.  Since these get hot, I told her she might notice a melting plastic smell during the first couple of uses.


I can't believe that machine continues to operate normally!

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