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Why is my Coffee Maker Tripping my GFCI?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you’re wondering, “Why is my coffee maker tripping my GFCI?” then keep reading. The world is in a DIY repair revolution, and this comes with snags in the road. For coffee makers, this can include the outlets they’re plugged into.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • You most likely use your coffee system with a GFCI outlet since kitchens have mandated them since the late 1980s. Any kitchen newer than that cannot legally use a non-GFI outlet.
  • GFCI outlets have little buttons on them that allow you to test for a connection to electricity without risking an electrical shock.
  • Troubleshooting is complicated if you don’t have a background in electrical, so take all emergency questions and legal questions straight to professionals.

Any good tech repair news site will warn that electricity is dangerous, especially when your outlet is compromised. A task’s difficulty increases anytime you involve electricity. The rest of this article will help troubleshoot problems that pop up with a GFCI outlet.

If you can’t resolve the issue, there are several new models to consider. The best coffee maker creates water hot enough to steep coffee grounds but not burn them. The right model will produce predictably perfect coffee.

Troubleshooting a Coffee Maker and Circuit Breaker

GFCI stands for “Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor.” This system allows worry-free usage of outlets in places like your kitchen and bathroom. Hot water, steam, and general moisture spell disaster for electrical appliances. You’ll need to troubleshoot both your coffee gear and the outlet.

This will give you a sneak peek into where the issue is, but you’ll need to investigate further to find a more thorough answer. Here are some reasons your coffee maker is tripping the GFCI:

  • The strain relief clip is broken
  • A fuse has been blown
  • There is a ground-to-neutral fault

There are plenty of problems you might experience with coffee machines. If you’re having trouble creating the perfect coffee, you might be wondering, “Why is my coffee maker making weak coffee?” If so, you’ll find our answer helpful.

Check the Coffee Maker First

The first step is to check the coffee maker to ensure that it’s not an issue with the appliance. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to brew your perfect coffee to get your morning going. If your coffee gear doesn’t get going, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot your outlet.

Insider Tip

Ensure that you understand what a ground wire is and why they’re vital before you attempt messing around with loose wires of any type.

If you crave further information on different coffee systems, compare a coffee maker cone vs a basket filter. For different models, check out this mashup of the Keurig K50 vs K55.

Alternatively, if you have more coffee machine questions, we have answers. Read our guides discussing why coffee makers are so big, where to place a coffee maker in the kitchen, and whether should you use distilled water vs purified water in a coffee maker.

Unplug Your Coffee Pot

Your coffee pot will have either a 2- or 3-prong plug. Whichever one it has, take it out carefully to avoid an electrical shock. Ensure that you’ve turned the coffee machine entirely off, including cutting power to the heating element.

From there, plug in a different wattage appliance. An electrical coffee grinder will work if you have one. If that appliance works correctly, you know it’s an issue with your coffee gear rather than the outlet.

Understanding Ground Fault (GFCI

There will rarely ever be a non-GFCI outlet in your kitchen. You can tell which one these are from their unique appearance, which includes “test” buttons. You’re able to see whether the outlet is receiving electricity or not just by pressing those buttons.

If your coffee brewing machine isn’t to blame, it’s likely a ground-to-neutral fault. You can pull quick answers from all over the web on fixing this issue. However, we don’t recommend it.

Testing Your GFi Breaker

In the previous section, there was a reference to two small buttons on your outlet plate. You should use these test buttons from time to time. If you hear a “buzzing” sound, then electricity has been cut to that outlet.

This doesn’t always work because the GFi breaker is prone to wear and tear and can break. Luckily, they are fixable products with a wide selection of repair guides available.

Checking Your Electrical Panel

The next destination for tech repair is your electric panel. Unless you’re a trained electrician, you won’t have much hope of understanding the different components and loose wires. There is no such thing as a stupid question, especially as it relates to the writing in your house.

Warning

Any appliance question you have should be directed to industry professionals. There are no stupid questions where your safety is concerned.

F.A.Q.S

What are the best features to have in a coffee maker?

Beyond making water hot to steep coffee grounds, your appliance should perform a few other functions. Make sure it has a quality guarantee, extracts lots of coffee flavor, and has a big enough tank of water. Whether it’s a single-cup coffee maker or providing pots of coffee at a time, these are crucial.


Who should buy an Espresso machine?

An espresso maker is perfect for those who seek an elevated coffee brewing experience. While a single-cup coffee maker might create a lovely cup of warm coffee on its own, it’s no match for espresso.


How do I fix a ground fault occurrence?

You may not find this answer helpful, but that’s okay. The point is never to play with any loose wire you find in your electric panel. Whether it’s a ground fault occurrence, neutral wire, or anything else, always ask a professional for assistance. If you have to ask, you need a professional on your side.


Is a single-cup coffee maker worth purchasing?

That depends on your lifestyle. While you won’t be able to drink pots of coffee at a time, you’ll have a more manageable coffee experience. These machines typically provide the same coffee flavor as their traditional counterparts.


STAT: Over 70% of American respondents said they chose to buy pre-ground coffee for brewing at home. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image