For those of us that depend on a cup of coffee to start our day, a kettle that won’t heat up or turn on will not suffice. Check out the 5 ways you can solve this problem in this article.

If your kettle won’t heat up or turn on try the following

  1. Check the connection to the mains
  2. Inspect the power cord
  3. Do not dry-boil the kettle
  4. Descale the kettle
  5. Clean the contacts

Are you ready to check out these 5 steps in more detail? Then take a look at the extended guide below.

5 Ways to Repair Your Kettle

There’s nothing like the awakening feeling that comes with the first sip of your morning coffee. But if your kettle is playing up, your get-up-and-go ritual might be disrupted.

Anything that stops you from having your pre-work jitter juice or from sipping a relaxing mug of tea in the afternoon is a serious problem. So, let’s jump straight into the 5 things you can do to repair your kettle.

#1 Check the Connection to the Mains

Let’s get the ball rolling with the easiest repair you can do for your kettle. That is, to check its connection to the mains. This will help you determine whether there is a problem with the kettle itself or your power socket.

To complete the check, do the following.

  1. Plug an electrical appliance such as a hairdryer into the plug socket you use for the kettle
  2. Turn the hairdryer on. If it works, unplug it. You can be assured that the mains power is working properly.
  3. Fill the kettle with water.
  4. Plug the kettle into the mains. Check that the power cord is inserted correctly.
  5. Turn the kettle on. If the kettle doesn’t begin to boil the water, there is a problem with the kettle. Move on to the next step in this article.
power cord
Ensure that the power cord is correctly inserted in the mains

#2 Inspect the Power Cord

For our second step, you will need to inspect the kettle’s power cord. This is so you can check that there isn’t a fault in the cord that could be rendering it faulty.

When inspecting your kettle’s power cord, look out for these signs of wear and tear.

  • Bends in the wire
  • Broken plastic casing and live wire showing

If you spot any signs of damage to your kettle’s power cord, discontinue its use immediately. You will need to repair it or replace it. (For replacements, see the list of available parts and spares in this article.)

Kettle with cord
Inspect that the power cord is not damaged

#3 Do Not Dry-Boil the Kettle

Some kettles are made with a safety feature called dry-boil protection. This feature will turn your kettle off when you attempt to turn it on with insufficient or no water inside. This feature stops you from doing damage to the heating elements in the kettle by turning it on without filling it.

To reset the dry-boil protection, follow these steps.

  1. Lift the kettle from the base
  2. Fill it with cold water
  3. Return the kettle to the base and turn it on

#4 Descale the Kettle

If your kettle is struggling to heat up or turn on it could have a problem with limescale. Descaling your kettle helps to prolong its life. This is especially true if you live in a hard water area.

How often should you descale your kettle? Take a look at the guidelines below for average kettle use (boiling 5 times a day).

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

So what should you do to descale your kettle? Fill it with a vinegar and water solution then allow it to boil. But, how can you descale your kettle if you can’t get it to turn on? Here are the steps you need.

  1. Fill the kettle with a half water half white vinegar solution
  2. Leave the solution to soak overnight
  3. Empty the solution in the morning and rinse the kettle a couple of times to remove the smell of the vinegar. If your kettle was particularly scaled up, you might need to repeat these steps. Complete steps 1-3 until you can remove all the limescale.

NOTE: If you don’t want to use a vinegar mix, you can also use the following to descale your kettle.

  • Citric acid
  • Commercial kettle descaler (available from most homeware stores)

#5 Clean the Contacts

Have you tried the fixes in this article but still cannot get your kettle to turn on? Then you might have a problem with clogged or dirty contacts. This is a simple issue to fix that should get your kettle to work properly again.

The only tool you will need for this job is some fine-grit sandpaper. Once you’ve got hold of some, meet me at step 1.

  1. Unplug the kettle
  2. Rub around the contacts with the fine-grit sandpaper. Ensure to rub it around the contacts on the base of the kettle.
  3. Clean any grit from the contacts
  4. Plug the kettle back in and turn it on

Spares and Parts for Your Kettle

What should you do if you need to replace a specific part for your kettle to work properly? You could be in need of any of the following parts.

  • Filter
  • Heating element
  • Base cord
  • Lid assembly

Some kettle manufacturers do not provide a lot of spare parts for their appliances. This is because they do not want consumers to open up the base of the kettle and touch the heating elements or other electrical parts of the appliance. The lack of parts available could make it tricky for you to do the repair job your kettle needs.

So, how can you know which parts and spares are available for your kettle? Coming up is a list of parts and spares that you can buy directly from your kettle manufacturer. You can purchase them via their websites.

Filter Heating Element Base Cord Lid Assembly
Russell Hobbs✓*XXX

NOTE: ✓*Spare parts are only available for certain kettle models

What can you do if you cannot get the spare part you need from your kettle’s manufacturer? Then, you might be able to find spare parts from other stores online. But, with the wide range of kettles on the market, you might struggle to find something that fits your kettle. That is why it is sometimes easier for you to replace your kettle altogether instead of trying to repair it.


There’s nothing better than a hot cuppa in the morning. Is a faulty kettle stopping you from having yours? If your kettle won’t heat up or turn on, then I’m sure the 5 tips listed in this article will help you get it back into working order. The list of parts and spares will assist you in getting a hold of anything you need to replace.

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Have a great day!