A coffee maker is an essential kitchen appliance that is used daily, so having one that is faulty or malfunctioning can be a nuisance. All appliances can trip GFCI if used improperly, causing the circuit breaker to shut off when it senses an imbalance in the flow of current. Some coffee makers also have fuses that may blow, causing the appliance to stop working.
If a coffee maker trips GFCI, you’ll need to identify if the problem is with the receptacle or the coffee maker. If there is water in the circuit or if it’s overloaded, it can cause the appliance to trip. If there is no problem with the GFCI, check for a blown fuse and replace it if necessary.
In this article, you will learn how to identify and fix a coffee machine which trips GFCI. You will also understand how to check if the thermal fuse in a coffee maker has blown and how to replace it. While also discussing the preventive measures to stop this from happening again. Let’s dive in!
Check if the Circuit Is Overloaded
The most common reason for a GFCI outlet to trip or break the circuit is when it is overloaded. This simply means that there is an excess of electricity demand from a circuit, which it cannot deliver. When it fails to handle the excess demand, it senses overload and breaks the circuit.
The reasons for a circuit overload could be due to a defective device, a loose connection, or a worn-out wire. To figure out what the problem is, unplug all other devices except the coffee maker from the circuit. If this doesn’t fix the issue, then there might be a more serious problem.
However, before you investigate more, follow the steps below to figure out where the problem lies:
- Unplug all the devices and appliances connected to the circuit.
- Next, reset the circuit in the fuse box.
- After some time, plug the appliance back in and switch it on.
- If all is well, conduct the same experiment with all the other appliances that were connected to the circuit. This way, you’ll be able to figure out which appliance is responsible for the trip.
Check for a Faulty Outlet
If you’ve tried resetting the GFCI outlet and it still doesn’t solve the issue, it could indicate that the outlet is defective. This isn’t very uncommon, as the outlets’ internal circuitry tends to get worn out and dysfunctional over time.
If this is the case, the outlet will need to either be repaired (if the problem is minor and fixable) or completely replaced. It is advisable to hire a professional electrician for this job as it isn’t easy and is definitely dangerous.
However, testing an outlet to see if it’s working or not before rendering it faulty can be done without a professional’s help if you know how to use a multimeter.
Here’s a demonstrative video that explains the process in detail:
Check for a Ground Fault Occurrence
A ground fault occurrence occurs when two wires inside the outlet or the coffee maker come into contact with each other. This creates a surge in electricity, which in turn causes an overload and results in the breaker tripping. If this is the problem, you will first need to find out if the short circuit is in the coffee maker or the outlet itself.
First, to do this, unplug the coffee maker from the circuit and plug in a different appliance. If this appliance works, you can be sure that the problem is with the coffee maker. If it doesn’t, then the short circuit is likely in the outlet itself.
To know if there is a problem with the outlet, remove the receptacle’s cover on the wall. Then, inspect the wires (visually) to see if there is any problem on the outside. If all seems well, you will have to inspect the wires inside the coffee maker in the same way for any signs of worn-out insulation, which could result from the wires touching the metal frame and causing a short circuit.
Ensure That the Electrical System Is Not Worn Out
With time, all wires are prone to becoming worn out and brittle. The protective insulation covering the wire can become thin and damaged, leading to a short circuit and making the GFCI trip. Having worn out insulation can lead to more leaks as well. If the insulation is worn out in the outlet or the coffee maker, the wires can become rusty and loose and will need to be fixed or replaced.
Check for Moisture
Moisture accumulation in the receptacle is one of the most common causes of GFCI tripping. It may seem unlikely that water may have gotten into the outlet, but areas that have high humidity can cause moisture to build up and also make it impossible for water to evaporate from the receptacle box.
To know if this is the cause for the trip, start by switching off the breaker before you open the box containing the receptacle. Then, inspect the receptacle for moisture. Be sure to dry the box completely before you attempt to reset the GFCI. This can be done with the help of a blow dryer to speed up the process.
However, it is advisable that you attempt to do so only in a professional’s presence, as you never know where things may go wrong.
Once this is done, the problem should be solved. However, do remember to use weatherproof and locked boxes when living in areas of high humidity, or even if the receptacle is located in the bathroom or kitchen. This is to ensure that accidental electrical shocks do not occur.
Check the Thermal Fuse
If you’re absolutely sure that neither the coffee maker nor the outlet is tripping GFCI, then you can be sure that the coffee maker might have a blown or faulty thermal fuse. Thermal fuses that are found in coffee makers are used to ensure that the flow of power stops when the coffee maker becomes too hot. Sometimes, this can get burned out and will need to be replaced.
To check for a blown or burned out fuse, remove the coffee maker’s bottom cover and check the heating assembly and wiring. This may be located in different areas in different models and brands, so make sure you read the manual before you begin.
Then, to check if there is continuity, check the fuses using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, the fuses will have to be replaced.
- Do not overload a circuit with too many appliances.
- Inspect the appliances for worn-out insulation every once in a while.
- Use weatherproof receptacle boxes to avoid electrical shocks and moisture accumulation in the future.
This article is a quick guide on identifying and fixing a GFCI trip or fuse in a coffee maker. Here’s a short summary below:
- Make sure the circuit isn’t overloaded with too many appliances.
- Check if there’s a problem when the coffee maker is connected to the outlet. If the problem isn’t with the coffee maker, check if the outlet is faulty.
- Check for ground fault occurrence in the coffee maker and outlet.
- Check for worn-out insulation.
- Make sure there is no moisture in the receptacle box. Use a weatherproof box to avoid electrical shocks or tripping GFCI in the future.
- Check if the thermal fuse is burned out.