November 21, 2014

Repair a Leaky Cuisinart


My Cuisinart Grind and Brew developed a leak. There was a small hole in the plumbing. It would leak all over the counter. That made it more of a Cussinart in my household. Here's how I fixed it with a little metal epoxy that I got from the local hardware store.

Most of the posts I see online about leaky Cuisinarts blame a clogged thermos lid, using too much coffee, using too finely ground coffee, or a clogged filter. If yours is leaking clear water like mine did, the problem isn't any of those. Before I opened it up I suspected a leaky hose or a cracked reservoir (though there really shouldn't be any reason for the reservoir to crack).

There are 4 hex or torx-bit screws holding the bottom panel on. My tools weren't skinny or long enough to fit in the narrow hole, so I just drilled the holes out. I probably used a 7/16" bit.

When I opened it up I saw a rusty (and cheap) clamp on those big orange hoses. I thought that might be the problem. But I also saw some discoloration in a spot on the aluminum pipe. Now that I had the bottom off I filled it up with water to find the source of the leak. I saw that it was leaking from the aluminum. So, I sanded the area of the leak and cleaned it off. That made the hole more visible. I patched it with some epoxy made for metals that I got from the local hardware store. The smallest size cost $6 and is much much more than I'll ever need, but that's cheaper than a new Cussi..., er, Cuisinart.

Since I drilled out the bottom I can't just reattach it with the original screws. I'll use a little glue (not too much) to hold the bottom on. Superglue might work. JB Weld would work well. Some other assorted craft glues that I have lying around should work.

If yours has a leaky hose, that should likewise be an easy fix. You can get a new hose from your hardware store. Zip-ties and new clamps are easy to come by.

Good luck! Let me know if you find this useful.

10 comments:

  1. I just found the same leak on mine. The screws in the bottom are T10 security torx. I was able to buy a driver off of ebay for less than $3. My leak appears to be under the clip that holds the sensor on to the heater.

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  2. my problem is as you describe only my brewer leaks for the first cup or two and stops. a full carafe of 12 cups will net 10ish. So why does it stop leaking or did you experience the same? Thank you!

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    1. I don't think I experienced that. My guess would be that you have a small hole that is perhaps sealed as the heating element heats up and expands. My repair, by the way, eventually failed after about a year, and my 2nd repair created an odor that my wife disliked, so the unit ended up in the trash. Good luck!

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    2. My problem is as you described: leaks for 2 cups. I always load the machine up at night and put the timer on. Not sure when the leaking occurs (overnight, or during brewing). Still investigating. On the plus side, standard screws were used for my unit (no need to struggle with recessed security screws!)

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  3. Your finding is spot on! I opened mine expecting a damaged hose, but found rust at on the heating element. My leak looks like is in the crevice. I need a high temperature epoxy to seal that. I don't want to contribute to our ever growing landfill so will try to fix this leak.

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  4. I followed your procedure for a Cuisinart DGB-700BC coffee maker with a small crack in the aluminium tube attached to the hot plate. The leak from the tube was stopped. One think you didn't mention was the smoke and smell from the epoxy when the coffee is finished brewing. It smells like burning plastic but the smell goes away fairly quickly. Also, with each use of the coffee maker the smoke and smell decrease.

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  5. I've had the same problem with my DCX1200 and using JBWeld. It put out a stink with the first several brew cycles and eventually failed, leaking about an ounce in a cookie tray I placed underneath the unit. I've read you can weld aluminum and wonder if that is possible here.

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  6. thanks. do you know where i can buy a new elemen?

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  7. Andrew - Found same problem on mine - corrosion/leak at aluminum water tube / heating element at bottom of coffee maker. Cleaned up area with rough sand paper and seal with 2-part metal epoxy. Quick and easy fix!
    Hardest part was getting access to leak. As someone else posted bottom is held on with four Torx T-10 security screws. My bit for those was missing - have a T8 and T12, but of course they wouldn't fit. Elsewhere I read you could jam a small flat head screwdriver in to the Torx head to remove the screw. Sure enough, that worked! Once the bottom was off, the fix was easy!

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  8. Same symptom as mine...irritated that Cusinart does not sell the heater element separately; the inside of the tube is grossly corroded too. Yes, they just want to sell us more "planned obsolescence" junk.

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