Thursday, June 2, 2011
Keurig Model B60 Coffee Machine - clogged and slow to pour
See update to this entry - we had a failed component, not a clog, that was causing the problem. See this update!
See this update - we give up on new replacement machine.
First, to test if you have a clogged exit needle: without any kcup in the holder, put a mug under the dispenser, and ensuring there is water in the left side water reservoir, press a 'brew' button. Water should flow through the machine into your mug. If it is flowing faster than before, then you have a clogged exit needle, and so use the following instructions. If it does not flow faster, then you have a different problem.
It was hard to ignore the fact that our coffee moved out of the machine and into our cups much more slowly than before.
A cleaning, as recommended in the 'Use & Care Guide', using white vinegar, improved but did not correct the situation. It only made it a little better.
I checked the bottom of the "K-Cup Holder" and ensured that I could see daylight through the bottom of the whole thing.
Then my sweet wife noticed something in the manual that I had not noticed, page 12, section 3, "Cleaning the Exit Needle". "The Exit Needle is located on the inside bottom of the K-Cup Holder Assembly. Should a clog arise due to coffee grinds, it can be cleaned using a paper clip or similar tool. Remove K-Cup Holder, insert the paper clip into the Needle to loosen the clog and push it out. The K-Cup Holder is dishwasher safe".
I had observed the 'needle' at the bottom of the K-Cup Holder. I thought it was just there to punch a hole into the bottom of the cup, and then the fluid would just drain out of the plastic cup into the area where the cup was being held, then exit through the bottom. But that is wrong. Instead, fluid flows through the needle! There's a little slot in the side of the needle that allows fluid to pass from this chamber into the lower chamber where it then exits. So the needle can indeed become clogged. Looking at the needle, everything appeared to be clear. I took a paper clip, straightened it out, and tried to push it through - it didn't budge. I thought, well, there's a bottom here, so no fluid flows through this after all. But that was wrong. It just so happened that I finally pushed just hard enough, using a pair of pliers to hold the paperclip, that the paperclip finally broke through the plug. I was surprised at the amount of force necessary to push through the plug.
So the important thing to understand is: fluid must flow through the needle.
I wish they had shown a drawing of the needle, but they don't. It's a small black thing that sticks up at the bottom of where you insert the K-Cup. If you gently move your finger around the bottom of the holder, you will bump into it. You may need a flashlight to see it. Mine also had a small gasket on it. You shouldn't need to remove the gasket to push the paper clip through, just look for the slot in the side of the needle to push the paper clip through.
Now it works fine!
Update: It didn't work 'fine' - we had a failed component. See this update!