5 Tips for Troubleshooting your KitchenAid Coffee Maker

repairing kitchenaid

Most people love coffee. What’s there not to love? It wakes you up, keeps you awake, and makes your mornings wonderful. If you have a coffeemaker, you’d understand how important it is to have it functioning at all times.

There is probably nothing as annoying as a broken coffeemaker when you desperately need some coffee.

So what are the necessary steps you need to take to ensure that this never happens? And what are the steps to take when this actually happens?

Here are 5 quick tips that will help you in the kitchen and with your coffee maker.

1. Clean, clean, clean

The first step and perhaps the most important one people tend to skip is the most basic; keeping the machine clean.

Most of the problems that arise with coffee makers and other kitchen appliances, in general, are because of dirt. Dirt and grime can quickly accumulate inside appliances and this leads to greater complications.

A good offense is the best defense.

Detachable parts of your coffee maker should be regularly cleaned with soap and water in order to avoid more complex problems caused by residue getting into unwanted places.

cleaning kitchenaid

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and keeping your coffeemaker clean is a good step in the right direction. In fact, most problems that arise with coffee makers are because they aren’t cleaned regularly. Cleaning now and then is sure to help keep your coffee maker from loads of trouble.

2. Fixing A Coffeemaker That Won’t Heat

Most coffeemakers come down with a chronic case of “won’t brew/heat” at a point in their lives. It can be really frustrating and some people just give up and buy another one. However, with a screwdriver and some cleaning equipment, you can increase the lifespan of your precious machine.

How to deal with this problem

When your coffee maker doesn’t brew, it is likely that the tube that supplies water to the heating equipment has been obstructed. Just remove the screws beneath the coffee maker, and you’ll see the heating element attached to the heating plate.

The tubes that supply water are attached to the end of the heating element. The heating element is usually shaped like a horseshoe and has 2 tubes attached to its ends.

coffee maker heating tubes

When coffee machines don’t heat, the most likely problem is that either or both of the tubes supplying water to the heating element have problems. Either the valve is faulty or the tube is dirty, either way, you need to take care of the problem if you still want to spend money on a new machine.

Remove the tubes and thoroughly clean with water and soap and reattach them to the heating element. Before doing this, be sure to test if the tubes are working. It has a valve that regulates flow. Blow air through one end, and check if it comes out the other hole. Blow air through another end and check if comes out from the other end as well.

If you’ve done your job well, air should go through one end and come out the other, while not doing the same for the other end. After this, attach the tube back, fix all the screws in and close up the coffee maker. It should be as good as new!

3. Use Vinegar

holding vinegar

Most people use mainly soapy water to clean. However, water may not be as effective as vinegar. This is because vinegar is acidic. This makes it quite effective against lime buildups that are very common in tubes and filters of coffeemakers.

It also works as a disinfectant and helps remove rust and calcium buildup quicker than conventional cleaners. It is also useful for getting rid of troublesome stains that just won’t go away.

If you want your coffeemaker looking shiny, neat and also in remarkable working condition, you shouldn’t hesitate to use vinegar for cleaning.

4. Dealing With Error Codes

Some coffee makers have a LED display that may display error codes. Error codes may mean different things, and they vary with different models.

Here’s a list of coffee maker models and what their error codes may mean.

Error codes, what they mean, and how to clear them

The model of the coffeemaker is written above their error codes

KCM5

Err1 – This error code is usually shown when the coffeemaker is in a cold condition— perhaps out in the cold or near an outside wall. This code may also show when the water is ice cold. This can be cleared by moving the coffeemaker to a warmer place or using warmer water.

Err2 – electrical component difficulties. This error code cannot be cleared. You might have to get a new one or take it to a repair shop.

Err4 – stuck button. This can be cleared by releasing all the button.

KCM111

Err1 – stuck or jammed button. It can be cleared by unjamming it or plugging the machine into a grounded 3-prong outlet.

KCM1402

Err2 – If a brewing cycle doesn’t complete within 15 minutes, this error code may be displayed. This indicates an issue with the heater.

KCM0802

4 – This code may be displayed when there is no water in the water tank. Clearing this is relatively easy as you just need to add water to the tank.

For any other error code, you only need to press the brew button to reset it.

KCM1202

Er1– jammed or stuck button. Unplugging the coffeemaker and pressing each button several times should clear the code.

5. Clogged Tubes

Half of the problems that you’ll face with your coffeemaker are a result of clogged tubes. This is a quite common issue and fairly easy to solve too!

However, this isn’t always the reason that water isn’t flowing properly in your coffeemaker. It could also be a broken thermostat or timer. In this case, you may have to consider getting a new coffeemaker if the one you’re using isn’t terribly expensive.

If that isn’t the problem, you should consider checking the pump valve to check whether it is broken or stuck.

coffee maker pump valve

Unfortunately, the aforementioned aren’t the only reasons why your coffeemaker can get clogged. This can also be by a broken heater.

However, most times, this problem can be solved by checking the tubes and filters and making sure that they aren’t blocked. If they are, this is probably because of calcium build-up. This can be properly cleared with CRL or Vinegar and water, depending entirely on you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Coffeemaker go bad?

Anything made up of parts, electric and mechanical can go bad, and it is actually inevitable that at some point you’d be faced with the question of fixing your coffeemaker or replacing it.

So yes, a coffeemaker can go bad. This is unavoidable. However, you can save yourself some money by learning how to troubleshoot yours.

broken coffee machine

Why Is My Coffeemaker Not Brewing?

In most cases, this has to do with the heating element. However, they are some practical steps that must be taken in order to find the actual culprit.

First, you must make sure the coffeemaker is properly plugged into a power outlet. You should also examine your circuit breaker to make sure that the circuit for the coffeemaker is in commission.

Make sure that there is water in the water tank – there can be no brewing without water.

If you’ve done all this and your coffeemaker isn’t brewing, it means there is a problem with the heating element.

How Do I Fix My Coffeemaker?

Coffeemakers have issues and have different ways of fixing. However, there is one certified way of preventing problems with your coffeemaker – regular cleaning.

By cleaning your coffeemaker regularly, the chances of having issues with the machine are drastically reduced. Below, though, there are tips that can guide you in case you do have to fix it.

How Do You Fix A Coffeemaker That Won’t Heat

If your coffeemaker won’t heat, you’re facing a serious problem. When this happens, a lot of people throw away theirs and simply get a new one.

With a little luck and expertise, this problem can be easily solved. Most times, your coffeemaker doesn’t heat because of a problem with the heating element.

man fixing coffee maker

You have 2 options in this case.

  1. either attempt to fix it yourself
  2. contact a repairman

If you do attempt to fix it yourself, the most likely problem is that the tube that supplies water to the heater is blocked. The general way to solve this problem is by clearing the tube of obstruction and making sure that it functions properly.

You Can Repair Your Coffeemaker Yourself

Having a broken coffeemaker can be one of the most agonizing things you might have to endure in the kitchen. It’s annoying and can force you to spend money that you don’t have.

You don’t have to be a handyman to repair your coffeemaker. If you follow my guide, you should be able to solve most problems faced when using your coffeemaker. 

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5 Tips for Troubleshooting your KitchenAid Coffee Maker

Did your KitchenAid coffeemaker ever break down? Write your issues in the comments below.

About Mario 118 Articles
I am the owner of the Kitchen Guru Ideas. I've set up this site so I can share my kitchen tips and hacks that have been passed on to me from my parents and grandparents and show you how a wonderful experience cooking is and not just a way to save money. Even in this hectic lifestyle, there is time to prepare and most important enjoy a home-cooked meal.

40 Comments

  1. My coffe maker is not pumping I tried sucking water using a pump it’s still not sucking. Is it possible to fix a pump of a coffe maker

  2. My single cup kitchenaide coffee maker power button is not working. I unplugged it for 15 minutes I changed different wall sockets it still will not work. How do I fix it or replace it.

    • Hi Brenda, If it’s under warranty, claim it. If not, check the cord for any cuts or other damages. If you have a spare one, try that as well. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to open your coffee maker and check the on/off button, switches, fuse, and thermostat. In most cases, the mechanism inside the on/off switch broke or the fuse has burned.

  3. Today, Kitchen Aid coffee maker KCM1402ER decided to stay hot. Unplugged it; plugged it, got hot. Suggestion?

    • Some machines like the KCM1202OB shut down automatically after 2 hours. You’ll have to either wait or unplug it.

  4. I have a KitchenAid KCM1202OB coffee maker. Our problem is the clean light is on constantly and thus won’t brew. I cleaned the charcoal filter and it still reads “clean”.
    How do I reset it?

  5. Hello, my KitchenAir KCM1204 stopped brewing yesterday. It does the three beep after 1 minute of being on either brew or clean/brew cycle. I thought I could get to the water intake by removing the bottom, and now I can see where the pump tubes are routed around the heating element. Is it possible to get to either the tubes or where the water enters the tubes? I do have very scaly water and although I clean it regularly (about once a month) I’m sure there is buildup in there. This machine is about six years and has worked great until yesterday. Thank you!

  6. Hi I bought recently a kitchenaid coffee maker model KCM0802. It’s about couple days that it flashes clean I unplugged it and even pushed menu buttons and +button together, but it doesn’t stop flashing.
    The other thing, coffee is not warm after brewing.

    • Hi Fara, you should wait for the flashing to stop. It takes a while but it will go away eventually. Unplugging interrupts the cleaning cycle and that’s why it keeps flashing clean even after plugging it back. The other thing, your coffee is not warm because the heater is not working. Is the machine new? Do you have the receipt?

  7. I have a Kitchen Aid KCM1208, purchased from Walmart earlier this year. Of late my off/on button on the front button slips either is
    slips back in or cocks. My husband discovered that is broken. This is a design problem, will my warrantee cover it?

  8. I have owned a KCM1202 for 6 years. My issue is the Display is so very dim, it has become illegible. Surely this product should have a longer service life. Is there any way to change the bulb etc? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

    • The display is LED, so you can’t just change a bulb and be done. Unfortunately it very difficult to fix this as the display and the circuit that’s on are soldered in many, many places. This video shows just this (the model is not the same, but the issue is). I’ve also checked the internet hoping to find a replacement display, but I couldn’t find one. So, unfortunately, if you’re not tech-savvy and don’t know how to use a soldering iron, then your options are a new coffee maker or take it to a professional.

    • Unfortunately it very difficult to fix this as the display and the circuit that’s on are soldered in many, many places. This video shows just this (the model is not the same, but the issue is). I’ve also checked the internet hoping to find a replacement display, but I couldn’t find one. So, unfortunately, if you’re not tech-savvy and don’t know how to use a soldering iron, then your options are a new coffee maker or take it to a professional.

      • Thanks Mario, yes that is a depressing video to watch. Gives no hope of a home remedy. Hope Kitchen Aid fixed this manufacturer defect somewhere along the line. To bad because it is a nice unit otherwise. Considering the cost I will probably shop a different vendors product for next purchase. Thanks again for checking into this. Jim Otto

  9. Our KitchenAid 1208DG suddenly stopped yesterday mid brew. It won’t run through a cycle at all for us to try to descale it. We always descale when the light comes on but our water looks very hard lately. I have taken off the bottom and cleaned one of the tubes going from reservoir to heating element. I checked the valve and it seems to still be working properly. When I turn it on and run it no water pumps into the machine but I can hear it clicking inside like it’s trying to warm up. Any ideas?

  10. My brand new KitchenAid espresso machine is acting strange. It worked for a couple of weeks, but now will blow the fuse when I turn the machine on. The plug used is for only that machine (nothing else is used on that circuit) and the fuse is more than strong enough to accommodate the machine. Could there be a loose wire inside, or a problem with the plug or ???

    • There’s a wiring problem with the machine, the sockets in your home are fine. You have a warranty, use it – request a new one.

  11. You have been very helpful with repairing our 4 year old Kitchen Aid Coffee Maker:KCM1204. It would not brew so I pushed all the buttons several times and filled the carafe with white vinegar and water. It is now cleaning (brewing)!! We almost thought it was a throw away. We have hard water here at our home, so perhaps it will need cleaning more often than when the light comes on for cleaning! Thank You!

  12. MY KitchenAide Drip Coffee Maker is leaving a brown, dust-like residue when I open the top after brewing. It is around the edges of the brew basket and gold-tone filter. I recently cleaned my machine with vinegar as directed in my manual and inserted a new water filter in the water tank. What is causing this as this is a new occurrence?

    • Do you clean the machine regularly? If no, the residue is probably leftover coffee residue. Clean it again to see if the issue persists.

      If it’s been a while since you last cleaned it, I suggest running multiple cleaning cycles.

  13. Model KCM 1204 turns off and beeps after 1 min. Took off bottom cover to unclog but how do I remove the red valve? Or could it be another issue?

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