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The most common problem with coffee makers is the buildup of mineral deposits from the brewed coffee. Regular cleaning will make your coffee pot last much longer. But, as with any appliance, electrical problems can occur.

Here is a list of problems and how to fix them. But, first, you need to know how to disassemble your coffee pot. Always make sure you do any of these repairs well after the pot is cooled.

1. How do you disassemble a coffee maker?

Unplug the coffee maker, remove the screws at the base of the pot, and pry it away. If you need to remove any of the parts inside, loosen the brackets with a screwdriver, and remove the part.

2. What if the hot water does not flow from the drip tube?

a. Before you do any coffee maker repairs, check the power source and power cord. If the cord is damaged, replace it. Then move on down the list.

b. You might just need to clean the tube; it could just be clogged.

c. Test your thermostat. It regulates the temperature. Follow step one for disassembly, and then get your VOM. Set it to RX1, and touch the probes to both ends of the thermostat. If the reading is zero, the thermostat is fine. Keep going.

d. If your coffee maker pumps water from a holding tank beside the pot, to the top of the pot, the pump valve might be clogged or broken. First, disassemble the pot; then see if the valve is sealed. If so, you cannot clean it, so buy a new one. If you can clean it, try, to see if this helps.

e. If your coffee pot overheats, the thermal cutoff will automatically open a circuit, and shut down the pot. You can test the cutoff with a VOM. Place the probes on each side of the cutoff. Set your VOM on RX1. If the meter reads zero, the cutoff is fine. If not, replace the cutoff.

f. The heating element is what heats your water. To test the element, follow step one for disassembly; then get your VOM. Set it on RX1 and touch the probes to the element terminal. If it reads 100 to 300 ohms, then the heating element is fine. If not, you will need to replace the whole heating element.

3. What if your coffee does not stay warm?

a. First, check to see if the warming element is working. You will do the same thing set out in step 2, but test the warming element. Like the heating element, if it does not read 100 to 300 ohms, it needs to be replaced.

b. It could also be the warm element switch. Some coffee makers have these. If so, test the switch with a VOM by testing the leads to the switch. There may be more than one lead. Just test two at a time. If the readings are zero, the switch is fine.

4. What if my coffee pot leaks?

a. First see from where it leaks. If it is from the bottom, disassemble the pot, and check the tube connectors. If they are worn, replace them.

b. If the water is from anywhere else, the pot probably needs to be cleaned.

5. What if my coffee tastes bad?

While we cannot do anything for bad beans, it could be the pot itself. Try cleaning the plastic plates above the pot. Coffee pots need regular cleaning to work well and maintain a good flavor for coffee.