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Coffee Percolator Not Working: 8 Causes and What To Do

There are several reasons your coffee percolator may not be working, but the two most common reasons are either the percolator is clogged or it’s not hot enough. These machines are pretty simple to use, but there are a few parts that can go wrong. 

If your coffee percolator isn’t working, determine whether it’s receiving power or not. If it isn’t receiving power, check the cord and outlet to ensure there isn’t a problem. Additionally, if the percolator is plugged in, check whether it’s clogged or not. 

In this article, I’ll discuss how to make sure your percolator is getting the right amount of power, and I’ll also cover what you can do if it’s clogged.

What To Do if Your Percolator Won’t Power On

There are many reasons why your percolator doesn’t switch on, from a faulty electrical switch to issues with the control board.

Let’s explore some of the reasons that’ll cause your percolator to lose power or not power on. 

1. There Could Be an Issue With the Electrical Plug and Switch

If your coffee percolator won’t turn on, check that it’s plugged into an electrical outlet. Ensure it has been turned on and set up correctly for your household voltage if you have power.

The percolator’s switch could be faulty and need to be replaced. You can tell it has a defective switch if the power light doesn’t come on when you press it.

The switch on your percolator controls the power and can be replaced without too much effort.

If the light comes on, but your percolator still won’t work, there might be a problem with the control board. Another possible reason is an issue with one of the wires from the control board to another section in your coffee maker. 

How To Fix

Try unplugging the machine and plugging it back in again. For some devices, this will reset any issues with timers or thermostats, which may be preventing them from working properly.

To remove and replace the switch:

  1. Unplug the machine, then turn it upside down. 
  2. Remove the plastic cover’s bottom screws. 
  3. Your coffee maker may have three connections to the power switch, although this varies from model to model. 
  4. Slide these back and squeeze the power button to release them from its socket. 
  5. Attach the wires to your replacement power switch and slide it into position.

2. You May Have a Faulty Thermal Fuse

A faulty thermal fuse in a coffee percolator can be responsible for causing the appliance not to turn on. Your coffee percolator’s thermal fuse is a safety feature that senses the temperature of the water and, if it gets too hot, will shut off power to your percolator. 

The thermal fuse is responsible for controlling the heat inside of your percolator. When it becomes faulty, it won’t let enough heat through to make a full pot of coffee. 

If you’ve determined that there’s a faulty thermal fuse in your coffee maker, then it’s likely something simple like replacing this part can fix up your machine again. To be honest though, unless you have an expensive model, it’s probably best to just replace it.

How To Fix

Inspect the thermal fuse to test whether or not you have one that’s faulty. As with any electrical appliance, two wires should be plugged into it and attached by screws on either side that maintain its connection. 

If the ceramic part has come off from around its terminals, then this indicates that it needs replacing as well since they’re an integrated unit when manufactured together. Once replaced, check if your machine can now produce a cup of hot coffee again! 

3. Issues With the Control Board

An issue with your percolator’s control board will also stop it from working. If water isn’t heating up due to this problem, the control board will need to be replaced since there are integrated components within your machine at manufacture time. 

To test the control board in your percolator: 

  1. Remove the cover from the machine to expose the control board.
  2. Flip the device upside down and then pull out the screws that hold the plastic bottom in place.
  3. The control board may be secured with a bracket and screws.
  4. Check if there are any burnt components on it or faulty connections.

At this point, you might find issues with your percolator’s control board at fault for your coffee maker not working. 

How To Fix

To replace a percolator control board, you’ll need to follow a few steps: 

  1. Empty out your coffee maker and then disassemble it. 
  2. Remove the wire connector assembly from the control board. 
  3. Remove the old board from its place and replace it with another one and reattach the wire assembly.
  4. Reattach the control board with its bracket and screws, then reassemble the coffee maker.

In some cases, if there are significant issues with control boards or other parts of a percolator not working as they should be, professionals may have to repair them, especially if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself at home. 

4. A Faulty Thermostat

Your coffee percolator has a thermostat that controls the temperature of your pot. A faulty thermostat will prevent it from working at all. The thermostat is responsible for operating the heating element and must be replaced if you find that your coffee percolator won’t heat water or brew as desired.

Another common cause of this issue is that the device itself has overheated and shut off due to an internal fuse malfunctioning. This can occur when dust gets into the thermostat control switch over time, causing it to fail. 

Additionally, an internal fuse can malfunction when things like excess minerals in the water get stuck inside parts where they aren’t supposed to go (like faucets). That’s what causes mineral deposits that affect performance and other pieces in contact with these parts throughout regular use.

How To Fix

After you’ve spotted the thermal fuses and confirmed they’re in working condition, you can quickly check the thermostat. The thermostat is a tiny white device held in place with a metal clasp. Check for continuity on the thermostat terminals with a multimeter.

If the thermostat is bad: 

  1. Remove the metal clip with a screwdriver. 
  2. If the thermostat wires are welded in place, you’ll need terminal ends to connect the new thermostat to them. 
  3. Snip off the wires, strip them back, and crimp on the terminal ends. 
  4. Install the new thermostat using the metal clip and reassemble your coffee maker.

Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Electric Percolator Coffee Maker with Cool Touch Handle, Stainless Steel (40614R)Opens in a new tab.

What To Do if Your Percolator Will Power On but Won’t Percolate

If your percolator will power on but not operate properly, there are several reasons behind this. We’ll go over some of these causes below to help you determine what may be wrong and how you can resolve the issue if it occurs.

1. The Percolator Tube May Be Clogged

The percolator tube (aka stem) is often overlooked when it comes to percolators not working. If the tube is blocked or clogged, your coffee maker won’t brew correctly, and you’ll notice an extreme lack of flavor in your cup! 

This is usually caused by mineral deposits from the water in your system. You can tell your percolator is clogged if it does not perk or the coffee brews exceptionally slowly.

If the tube itself has been damaged (broken), this will cause a poor brewing process, resulting in weak coffee that doesn’t taste great at all! This can also happen if there’s debris inside of the perk hole, no matter how tiny. 

You should always check for any shreds around this area and clean them out accordingly. There might even be some buildup from old coffee grounds here, too, so make sure you clean it up before attempting to use your percolator.

How To Fix

An excellent way to test for this is by filling the percolator with a mixture of vinegar and boiling water (equal parts). If your machine begins to perk, you know that clog has been removed.

One thing you should do once every few months is clean out any mineral deposits left behind. You can use a brush to clean out this tube or replace it with a new one.

Regularly cleaning the parts will help prevent rusting and corrosion issues for longer periods between maintenance checks—keeping everything working correctly and looking fantastic!

Weak coffee is often the first sign of a problem with the perculator stem. Read this guide to solve it.

2. The Coffee Percolator Stops Working Mid-Cycle

If your coffee percolator stops working mid-cycle, there are some things you can do. Simply unplugging and letting it cool will fix this issue. You can also replace any broken parts, such as a gasket that has come loose from its seal. 

How To Fix

Use these steps to troubleshoot your machine and get it working again:

  • Make sure the unit is plugged in correctly. If not, unplug it and plug it in.
  • Clean out mineral deposits from inside the coffee percolator. This will help keep everything running smoothly and looking great! 
  • Do regular maintenance. One thing you should do once every few months is clean out any mineral deposits left over from regular water use—this keeps everything running smoothly for more extended periods between service checks or visits.

Regularly cleaning your parts also helps prevent rusting and corrosion issues for longer periods between maintenance checks or visits.

3. The Coffee Pot Won’t Stop Bubbling

If your coffee pot doesn’t stop bubbling, this can be caused by an overfilled water chamber, which needs to have just enough room for the brewing process without overflowing into the glass bulb on top of the percolator. 

It could also mean that sediment has built up in your unit—this may cause a clog or buildup inside of it. 

How To Fix

Ensure there isn’t too much water. This can cause bubbles because of excess pressure inside the chamber where boiling takes place. When there’s no more space left, boiling makes coffee come out through spout holes continuously until all water runs out.

Regularly cleaning out mineral deposits from where the boiling occurs will help keep everything running smoothly and looking great! You should clean this part once every few months and regularly clean all parts to prevent rusting and corrosion issues between maintenance visits.

Ensure the unit is plugged in correctly. If not, unplug it and plug in again until everything comes on, which may take several tries. If this doesn’t work, make sure there isn’t a fuse or circuit breaker tripped somewhere else, and try resetting it before calling for service. 

4. The Percolator Won’t Heat Up

If your percolator isn’t heating, the most common cause is a faulty element in the base of the coffee maker. 

If you own a glass percolator, make sure there isn’t any debris in the bottom of the unit that keeps it from heating up. Use tweezers to clear out anything blocking this process.  

To test your percolator’s heating element:

  1. Remove the coffeemaker’s base using a screwdriver. 
  2. Remove the appliance’s base and empty any water and coffee grounds from it. 
  3. Using a multimeter, check for between 100 and 300 ohms on both sides of the element terminal.

How To Fix

To fix a faulty heating element in a basic glass percolator, unplug the unit and either replace or clean the component. 

If your coffee maker uses an electric coil to heat up its base, you can try adjusting it with a screwdriver by turning it clockwise until you hear the water boiling again. If that doesn’t work, then replacing it is your best option.

To replace your coffee percolator’s heating element:

  1. Open it by removing the screws on its base.
  2. Detach the wires and unscrew the old element, threading them through to attach them to your new heating unit.
  3. Reattach all of these pieces before closing up your percolator again.


Coffee percolators are a great way to make coffee quickly and easily, but sometimes they can stop working. If you find that your machine isn’t working, it could be because the cord is unplugged or clogged with grinds from beans or mineral deposits from your faucet water source. 

To fix these problems, try plugging in the power cord first, then cleaning out any foreign objects blocking the flow of water into the device before using it again.

This is the perculator that I have and I love it (link to Amazon).

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