Is your coffee maker refusing to brew? There might be some obstructed components. Try these 6 quick fixes!

Caffeine and mornings just go together. Brewing a hot cup of coffee to get you going for the day is a must. So, when your coffee maker fails, you’re stuck with the instant, soluble alternative, which is, to be honest, not great.

And while a coffee maker is much more prone to fail when it’s been around the block a few times, even new ones can give you trouble now and then. The good news is, the problem behind your coffee maker’s failure might be easier to solve than you think.

Below, I’ve prepared a list including the 6 most probable causes to your issues and how you can address them in no time.

Let’s get you back to your glorious mornings!

Your Coffee Maker Might Be Refusing to Brew Due To…

  • A bad outlet/cord
  • Not having enough water
  • A loose part
  • Thermoblock calcification
  • A bad heating element
  • A fried circuit board

You’d be surprised at how many times a coffee maker fails, not because there’s something wrong with its electronics, but because it’s being operated incorrectly.

Sometimes reading the user manual pays off.

Man Serving Coffee Cup
Nine times out of 10, faults are a result of poor maintenance, care, and user error. So before you blame the machine, let’s see how you can work through some common problems.

#1 Your Power Cord/Wall Outlet Is Bad

Check your power sources first

There is a very big chance there’s nothing wrong with your coffee maker.

Sometimes, when an appliance fails, we’re so determined to find the internal component at fault, that we forget to think about the external factors. If your coffee maker’s power cord is always tangled or pressed against a wall, it might have sustained some damage over time.

There’s also the possibility that your cord is unscathed, but the outlet it draws power from is bad. Whatever the case, you can fix this problem in a jiffy!

Solution: Try a different power cord or wall outlet.

Unplug your coffee maker and try brewing coffee on a different outlet, ideally as far as possible from the one you normally use. If that fixes the issue, your outlet was bad. If it doesn’t, your cord is to blame.

Worry not, though, replacing a coffee maker’s cord is very simple, and you can find them virtually anywhere for cheap.

#2 You’re Not Using Enough Water

Make sure to measure your water correctly

Brewing a good cup of coffee is all about using the right portions.

If you use a lot of water, but not enough ground coffee, your cup of Joe will be bland, whereas if you use too much coffee, but not enough water, you’ll probably get a very intense flavor.

Your coffee maker might be having trouble brewing because you have not put in enough water. If you suspect this to be the case, and you’re not sure as to how much you should use, you can always check your user manual or do a quick Google search.

Solution: Not much to fix here, just make sure you use the right amounts for every brew, and you should be fine!

#3 Something’s Loose or Not Closed Properly

Always double-check your coffee maker

Modern coffee makers have all sorts of safety measures built into them.

I mean, after all, they’re appliances that heat water almost to a boiling point, so manufacturers have to make sure that the user is protected at all times.

If the wall outlet you use is fine, and your power cord is not the problem, chances are there’s something loose or not closed properly, which prevents the coffee maker from beginning the brewing process.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled with this issue, only to find that the top lid was half open. It’s like one of those times you’re looking desperately for sunglasses you’ve been wearing all along.

Trust me, when in doubt, just do a quick check.

Solution: A post-it near the coffee maker, maybe? Works great for me!

#4 Your Thermoblock Is Calcified

A calcified heating element

Have you ever had a calcification problem in your sink pipes?

If the answer is yes. You know how inconvenient that is and how much it compromises proper water flow. The same thing can happen to your coffee maker’s thermoblock.

A thermoblock is the little component within your coffee maker that is responsible for heating the water you use to brew the delicious beverage. Not to be confused with the heating element, though, we’ll get to that.

Depending on where you live and whether you use tap or bottled water to brew your coffee, sediment might form at different rates on your thermoblock’s pipes. This adhesion compromises how effectively they can heat the water passing through.

Solution: There are two main methods to fix this issue. With a commercial descaler, or with vinegar.

Either one should clear your thermoblock’s pipes from any sediment stuck to them and allow for proper water-pipe contact, providing adequate heating and brewing.

#5 A Bad Heating Element

No heating element, no brew.

Is your heating element acting up or broken?

The quickest way to tell is a cold cup of coffee. If your coffee maker turns on and operates normally, but the water is cold and there’s no indication of heat being generated within the appliance, that’s your answer.

When your heating element fails, it becomes unable to transform the electric energy it’s getting from the wall outlet into heat to brew. Fortunately, you can always use a multimeter to test its viability.

And even if you determined that it needs to be replaced, doing so is not very complicated.

Solution: For this, you’ll need a screwdriver, pliers (optional), and the multimeter mentioned above.

Be sure to unplug your coffee maker before opening it.

Once you remove the screws at the top and expose the coffee maker’s guts, You can look for your heating element and test it for conductivity. If there is none, it’s time to get a new one.

In most cases, fixing your heating element will take care of all your brewing temperature issues.

#6 A Fried Circuit Board

I have saved the most severe case for last.

As you can probably imagine, a fried circuit board in your coffee maker is terrible news. This can be caused by a wide variety of factors, one of them being power spikes from blackouts or other electrical disturbances.

Normally, coffee makers are equipped with fuses as countermeasures to these occurrences, unfortunately, these are only so effective and there’s still a chance that, if the power spike was too great, it might have also damaged the circuit board.

Frontal Photo of Coffee Maker Circuit Board
The primary function of a circuit board is to connect all the electronic components of a device in a compact space. Therefore, your coffee maker won’t work if there is a fault with this component.

Luckily, discarding the possibility of a fried circuit board is really simple, as your coffee maker won’t even turn on if this is the problem.

I hope this is not your case, but if it is, there are a couple of solutions you can try.

Solution: Depending on where you’re standing regarding your warranty coverage, you might want to call a technician or send your coffee maker in to your manufacturer for repairs.

That being said, it all depends on how much you want to spend and how old your coffee maker actually is. If your appliance has seen some seasons, or if you were already thinking about buying a new one, go ahead and do so. This will be less troublesome in the long run.

A technician might offer to try and repair it, but there’s no real guarantee that it will operate as it used to, and things might get expensive very fast.


A coffee maker that does not brew, does not work. What’s the point of having a cup of coffee if it’s colder than an Alaskan igloo?

When a coffee maker refuses to brew, trying to look for a technical failure right away is a big mistake. There could be some things that you, as a user, could be doing or not doing that are causing the issue.

Before bringing out your toolbox and your multimeter, I would advise making sure everything is closed properly and the outlet you’re using to power your appliance is functional.

Remember that 90% of the causes behind a coffee maker refusing to brew can be fixed without having to replace the appliance, so try not to spend money you might not need to.

That being said, there’s no shame in calling in a technician if you need an extra pair of hands, Just make sure to read about your coffee maker’s components beforehand, so you can paint a clearer picture to the professional.

Lastly, always make sure to check your warranty’s coverage, as doing some repairs yourself might void it.

Thank you for reading and remember to stay safe. If you learned something new from this article, why not check out all the other wonderful resources below?

Happy DIY’s!