Kettle Switching Off and Won’t Boil? 3 Ways to Fix


Does your kettle switch itself off before the water starts to boil? Then let’s not put up with tepid cups of tea and lukewarm coffees for any longer. Coming up in this article are 3 ways for you to fix this problem.

If your kettle switches off and won’t boil, do the following

  1. Descale the kettle
  2. Change the thermostat
  3. Clean the contacts

As you can see, a kettle that won’t boil water might not be ready for the garbage just yet. Take a closer look at how you can fix your kettle in the next section.

3 Ways to Fix a Kettle That Won’t Boil

The kettle clicks off and you pour the water. But it’s tepid at best. It’s just warm enough to get a little color out of your tea bag and heat the outside of the mug. But this couldn’t be further from the steaming hot cuppa you had been hoping for.

Does that sound like a familiar scenario to you? Then it is time for you to fix your kettle that won’t boil. Coming up are 3 methods for you to do so. Take a look, fix the problem, then enjoy a real hot cuppa to celebrate.

#1 Descale the Kettle

One of the most common reasons why kettles won’t reach boiling point is because they need descaling. This means that the limescale buildup inside the kettle has started to affect the kettle’s internal mechanisms. This will stop the mechanisms from functioning properly.  A simple descale can solve this problem. You should do this even if your kettle doesn’t seem to be scaled up.

How often should you descale your kettle? That depends on how often you use your kettle and the type of water you have. Here is a general guide for you to follow.

  • If you live in a soft water area, you should descale your kettle once every 3 months
  • If you live in a hard water area, you should descale your kettle once a month
  • If you use your kettle more than 5 times a day, you may need to descale your kettle more often

Ok, so that’s enough chat about what we need to do. Let’s move on to how we can do it. Here is a list of the tools you will need to descale your kettle.

You Will Need

  • White vinegar*
  • Non-abrasive cleaning sponge
Natural cleansers
Use natural cleansers to clean your kettle – avoid any generic cleaners with a lot of chemicals.

*NOTE: Instead of white vinegar, you can also use citric acid, lemon, or a commercial decalcifier. When using a commercial decalcifier, follow the manufacturer’s use instructions. This will make sure you get the best results.

Once you’ve gathered your tools, here’s what you should do.

  1. Half fill the kettle with an even mix of tap water and white vinegar
  2. Put the kettle to boil (as best as it can)
  3. When the kettle clicks off, leave the water and vinegar solution inside it overnight
  4. In the morning, boil the kettle once more
  5. Once the kettle has finished boiling, pour out the solution
  6. Use a non-abrasive cleaning sponge to remove any stubborn limescale inside the kettle. This should now wipe away very easily.
  7. Fill the kettle with water, boil it, then discard it three times. This should eliminate the vinegar taste from the kettle.

Fancy watching these steps instead? Then take a look at this quick tutorial video.

#2 Change the Thermostat

If you have descaled your kettle and it still won’t boil properly, then the thermostat could be to blame. The thermostat in your kettle switches it off automatically once the water has reached boiling point. But if your thermostat is not working properly, it could turn off before your kettle has had a chance to heat up the water.

If you suspect that the thermostat in your kettle is to blame, you will need to replace it. But here are a couple of things you should consider before you start pulling your kettle to pieces.

  • The age of the kettle. The average kettle only lasts a mere 4 years. Is your kettle older than that? Then there is a chance that once the thermostat is fixed, something else will go wrong with it. It might be best for you to replace the kettle.
  • The kettle’s warranty. Are you having problems with a relatively new kettle? Then you should contact your supplier as the kettle may still be under warranty. If it is, do not attempt to change the thermostat, as doing so will no doubt invalidate the warranty. If your kettle is still covered, you may be able to get a replacement or a repair free of charge.
  • Looking for and purchasing kettle parts. Because kettles are so often replaced, it is not all that simple to find spare parts. Finding a thermostat that matches your kettle could be tricky. The cost of the thermostat with your labor when changing it might make replacing the whole kettle the cheaper overall solution.

Have you decided that it is still best for you to go through with the thermostat replacement? Then here’s everything you will need for the job.

You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Replacement thermostat pin
  1. Start by removing the screws from the base of the kettle. You can use a screwdriver for this job.
  2. Once the screws on the base of the kettle are removed, you should be able to access more. These are the screws that keep the heating elements locked onto the base of the kettle. You should remove these too.
  3. Remove the heating element and the thermostat from the kettle
  4. Remove the melted thermostat pin. Use the screwdrivers to undo the thermostat housing. You can use the pliers to get under the pin and pull it out.
  5. Push a replacement thermostat pin into place
  6. Slot the thermostat housing back together then fix them in place with their screws
  7. Return the thermostat housing to the heating element and screw that back into the kettle’s base
  8. Fix the kettle’s base using its original screws and a screwdriver

Some things are better seen than explained. So why not check out this tutorial video when you are completing this job?

#3 Clean the Contacts

One last way you can kick start your kettle back into working order is to clean the kettle’s contacts. You should remove any oxidization or unwanted substance from the contacts. If the contacts on your kettle are oxidized, the appliance won’t work properly.

Are you ready to get started with this method? Then here’s a list of the things you will need to fix your kettle.

You Will Need

*NOTE: Avoid using a lubricant such as WD40 instead of a contact cleaner. This is because a lubricant could make the problem worse due to the dust that tends to form around the contacts.

Gather your tools then meet me at step 1.

  1. Undo the screws on the base of the kettle. You can use a screwdriver for this job.
  2. Locate the central pin next to the on/off switch. There will be 2 copper contacts on either side of the pin
  3. Spray the contacts with switch cleaner
  4. Assemble the base of the kettle
  5. Without plugging the base into the power outlet, flick the on/off switch on the kettle a couple of times. This will clear any oxidization or unwanted substances from the contacts.
Pressing kettle switch
Flick the power switch a couple of times to clean away any oxidization


What should you do if your kettle keeps switching off and won’t boil? Don’t let a lukewarm cuppa spoil your evening. I am sure the 3 methods in this article have shown you what you can do to fix the problem. They’ll no doubt have you boiling a steaming hot drink again in no time.

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Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more