Few things can match the feeling of a fantastic cup of coffee first thing in the morning. The combination of a great taste and a real kick in the pants to get your day started really can’t be beaten. That’s why you want the best home espresso machine that’s up to the task. You wake up, head to the kitchen, and automatically kick-start your coffee-making appliance. With your eyes still closed shut, you head to the restroom for a quick wash, hoping you’ll have your coffee ready when you come out. Alas! You find the carafe empty, and your machine seems not surprisingly silent.
It happens. Even the most expensive appliance can reach its limit. Your coffee or espresso maker may have met its end. Wait! Don’t throw it out yet. You can still rescue your coffee-making wonder machine if you follow these simple steps on how to repair a broken coffee maker and espresso maker.
How to Repair Broken Coffee Makers
Whether you have a budget coffee maker or an expensive one, coffee makers are straightforward to repair. They have a fundamentally simple design that consists of a few essential components.
A simple drip coffee maker has several electronic components that work to heat water and deliver it to the coffee grounds. It also has a mechanism for keeping the coffee-containing carafe warm.
Fixing a broken coffee maker involves isolating a problematic component, including the power switch, fuse, heating element, thermostat, and warming element.
You may want to check out this video to help you repair any drip coffee maker.
Step 1. Prepare Your Coffee Maker
Always start the repair process by unplugging your appliance. Empty the water reservoir. You do not want any water dripping into your unit’s electrical components. Additionally, remove the coffee basket and the filter.
Check your owner’s manual for instructions on removing the machine’s shell or base. You may need a special screwdriver for this step, depending on your unit.
Step 2. Check the Power Switch
Set your multimeter to ohms and place the testing probes together or near each other. Check the reading on your tester because you will use this information as a reference.
Activate your coffee maker’s power switch and place the testing probes on the terminals. The reading should be similar to your reference value. If not, you may have a busted ON/OFF switch. Coffee maker power switches can cost you about a dollar to five dollars.
If you want more accurate testing of any power switch, you may want to check out this helpful video.
Step 3. Check the Fuse
Fuses can fail a lot faster than other electrical components. Using the same method described above, you can also check the circuit’s continuity.
If the reading is not similar to the reference value, you may have a busted coffee maker fuse. You can buy a fuse for about three cents to three dollars.
Step 4. Check the Thermostat
Locate your coffee maker’s thermostat and check its electrical connection. A busted thermostat requires a replacement that can cost you about $3 to $10, depending on the brand.
You must buy a thermostat with the same voltage and amperage ratings as the defective thermostat. For example, if the defective unit has a rating of 120 volts and 16 amperes, you should get a 120V 16A coffee maker thermostat.
Step 5. Check the Heating Element
Perform the same test on the coffee maker’s heating element. If defective, mark the different heating element components and wires with masking tape. Remove the defective heating element and replace it with a new unit. Reconnect the different wires and components.
Step 6. Check the Warming Element
Your coffee maker has a warming plate that accommodates the coffee carafe. You can test its heating element using the method we described above and replace the component if defective.
Step 7. Reassemble Your Coffee Maker
Once you fix your coffee maker, you can reassemble it by securing the base or casing. It would be best to test all the components before reassembly.
How to Repair a Broken Espresso Machine
A manual espresso machine is a lot easier to repair because there are no complicated mechanical parts. You deliver the pressure by pressing a lever.
On the other hand, automatic espresso machines have complicated components and circuitry that can be challenging for even a seasoned DIYer. Regardless, you can perform a few quick fixes on a broken espresso machine.
Step 1. Check If Water Runs Through the Machine
Heated boiler air can exert pressure on the machine’s pump to create a vapor lock.
To repair, turn off your espresso machine for about 30 minutes. Refill the machine with filtered, fresh, and cold water. Power on the appliance, activate the steam wand and run water through it for two minutes.
Activate the brew mode and backflush your unit for two minutes, while keeping the steam wand in the ON position. Turn off the brew mode and let the water run through the steam wand again for another two minutes. Power off your machine.
Step 2. Check for Steam from the Steam Wand
Ensure the steam gauge reads at least 1 bar. If it is, your machine may have a different problem. If the pressure gauge reads ‘0,’ you may want to reset it and check if it solves the issue.
Clean the steam wand tip with an appropriate tool to remove any blockage. It should give you sufficient steam for your milk-based coffee drinks.
Step 3. Check If Your Espresso Has Crema
A rich crema differentiates a fantastic espresso from a mediocre caffeinated drink. If you do not see this luscious layer on your espresso shot, there must be a problem.
Understand that crema quality is a function of coffee beans. Too coarse coffee grounds or burnt coffee beans do not produce velvety crema. Water temperature can also affect crema production, with the ideal temperature at 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check your machine’s brewing pressure, too. Ideally, you want an espresso shot within 20 to 30 seconds. Faster or longer pulling can result in poor-quality crema. It also tells you the machine has a brewing pressure issue.
If performing the vapor lock treatment does not solve the problem, you may have to bring your espresso machine to the service center.
Most coffee makers and espresso machines have straightforward designs. Only complex super-automatics require a more professional repair. Otherwise, following the simple steps on how to repair a broken coffee maker and espresso maker should save you the hassle of buying a new unit or hiring a professional to do it for you.