Ever have this happen to you?
…you wake up super tired but excited for your cup of coffee, only to notice a giant puddle from your leaking coffee maker?!
Well – it’s happened to me. I didn’t know what to do! And I was too scared to make my cup of fresh coffee. Or try to fix my coffee machine.
This guide would have saved me back then. It covers what I should have checked and how to solve the leaking ASAP.
I also did a bit of research and included tips for common coffee maker companies: Hamilton Beach, Keurig, and Cuisinart coffee makers.
Hopefully you’ll find these useful, and save yourself from your own dreadful coffee-deprived morning!
Why Is My Coffee Maker Leaking From the Bottom?
There are 3 main categories why you have a leaky coffee maker:
- your coffee maker needs to be cleaned
- your coffee machine has to be fixed
- you can improve how you’re using the coffee maker
Your Water Hose Might Be Loose or Damaged
Check the water hose at the bottom of your coffee maker.
It could be loose even if it was properly installed, so try seeing if you can tighten it.
It might also be worn out over time, since brewing coffee requires very hot temperatures. Replacing your faulty water hose could be all that’s needed to stop your coffee maker leaking.
Your Valve Pump Might Be Clogged
Your valve pump is what causes water to flow throughout your coffee maker. If it gets clogged, then you can expect water to leak out to the bottom of the coffee maker.
You’ll want to try descaling (see below) – which can often fix your water leak issue.
Sometimes though, the valve pump might stop opening and closing. This sucks because if you want to stop water leaking, you’ll have to contact the coffee machine company for advice.
Just remember: if they send you a replacement part, then unplug your machine and let it cool + dry before trying to fix anything.
Tips for Different Coffee Machine Companies
For Hamilton Beach coffee makers, we recommend checking the tank seal.
First, you want to unplug your coffee maker. Then take the brew tank and hold it upside down over the sink.
Press the dispensing valve (located at the bottom of the brew tank) + wash the valve for 30 seconds with sink water.
For your Cuisinart coffee maker, leaks are usually caused by one of these broken parts:
- rubber tubes
- tube connectors
- heating tanks
- holes or cracks in your carafe
You should unplug your Cuisinart coffee maker, empty out any water, then unscrew the bottom to find out which part is broken.
Then contact Cuisinart for further assistance on how to replace the part, hopefully with warranty!
From our experience, Keurig coffee machines have the highest number of reasons why they are leaking water.
So please try the steps I wrote for Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart coffee makers, since they are likely to work for your Keurig coffee maker.
Luckily, you aren’t likely to have issues with Keurig machines in the first place. They’re easy to clean and tend to be one of the best coffee makers for Airbnb rentals.
Using Your Water Reservoir
This sounds silly, I know… but please make sure you’re not using too much water.
One time I thought my coffee maker was leaking, but it turned out to be because I was pouring in tons of water from my Brita filter!
The excess water can escape the water reservoir and then goes through the rest of the machine, leaking from the bottom.
Also try to be careful with the water reservoir. You should check often to make sure there are no cracks. Make sure it’s put in the right position and that the seal is intact.
Last tip: don’t touch or fill the water reservoir while the coffee maker already started to brew coffee. You might overfill the reservoir. But also this adds pressure which makes it easier to get leaking water.
How to Prevent Leaking Coffee Maker
Rather than fix a leak after it happens, it’s much easier to prevent leaks to begin with!
Descaling your coffee maker is important to remove debris and mineral deposits from your sink water. Clogs cause coffee maker leaks after all.
Check the instruction manual that came with your coffee maker. Usually it will tell you what kind of descaling solution to use.
You can also make a homemade version. Just mix together white vinegar with hot water. (Note: don’t use this homemade vinegar and water solution for Keurig coffee machines, since they are more sensitive!)
Run this mix through your coffee maker several times. Then run sink water by itself through 1-2 more times to clear out minerals AND the vinegar. Simple as that!
Use Filtered Water
If you don’t want to descale your leaking coffee machine, no problem.
Just use filtered water which is better for coffee makers. You’re way less likely to get clogs or lime deposits – allowing water to flow through your pump valve better.
And filtered, clean water is better for coffee makers in general.
Clean and Check Often
Descaling around every 2 months will help prevent water leaks AND help with brewing a better cup of coffee.
This is one of the best ways to prevent leaking, so we suggest you check out our coffee maker deep cleaning guide for more information about descaling + other easy cleaning methods.
You can also run filtered water through your coffee machine often, once after you’re done using it + once before if you haven’t used it in a while.
Next, remember to check your coffee maker often for any broken parts. You should fix or replace parts soon after they’re broken. This will prevent water leaks from getting worse.
You might even need to replace your coffee maker if you wait too long, so don’t hesitate!
Use Coffee Grounds Properly
Another tip – that might be so obvious:
Make sure not to use too many coffee grounds! Use a spoon or your finger to level the coffee grounds, so that you don’t spill too much outside.
But also try not to use super fine grounds. Using proper coffee grounds will prevent clogging the filter or overflowing the basket. (Note: using a paper coffee filter might help prevent clogs)
Your coffee maker might come with a manual. Check that out, it might have clearer tips on how fine coffee grounds to use.
Sometimes you might have more luck with certain types of coffee beans too.
And make sure to:
- The coffee filter fits your coffee maker properly
- Put your brew basket in the right position
- Clean out all the grounds after you finish brewing your cup of coffee
How to Stop Leaks
What if you already have a leak? Let’s see how we can hopefully fix the issue.
Fix the Filter Basket
Just a reminder: the filter basket is where the filter and ground coffee goes.
You should check and make sure it’s clean and unclogged. Make sure there are no holes or cracks. Replace it if there are any issues.
Otherwise you might get water to overflow and leak to the bottom of the machine.
Adjust the Coffee Carafe
Make sure the carafe is in the right position, underneath the basket. Make sure there are no gaps between the carafe and the basket.
Sometimes removing and putting back together all the machine parts – including the basket and the carafe – will help fix the leak.
Seal All the Cracks
If cracks are causing your water leak problem, then there is no permanent solution. Making coffee with cracks will only make your problem worse over time.
But you can use epoxy or silicon sealant (or some other waterproof sealant safe for drink/food contact) to fill the cracks, as a temporary fix.
For a plastic water tank, you might be able to use plastic wrap or duct tape instead.
Make sure to stop brewing coffee and let your coffee maker dry and cool down.
Then refill your water tank and try brewing with only plain water again. Make sure there is no more leak.
Of course, you might have to replace the water tank, brew basket, drip tray, damaged lid… whatever part that has the crack!
And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you understand now why your coffee maker could be having water leakage from the bottom.
Whether it’s a Hamilton Beach, Keurig, or Cuisinart coffee maker.
Remember to check your coffee machine often for damaged parts, such as:
- faulty water hose
- cracked water tank
- worn out fill tube
- damaged pump valve
- clogged coffee filters
You might need to replace any of these damaged parts.
And remember to clean and keep your coffee maker in good shape with a regular cleaning cycle:
- Use a descaling solution or distilled white vinegar mix every 2 months
- Clear out mineral deposits
- Get rid of extra remaining ground coffee
Lastly, make sure all the machine parts are put in the right place. And check that there are no cracks OR they are patched.
You won’t need to deal with your coffee maker leaking, any longer!
By day, Bryan is a software engineer with experience at startups and top software companies. By night, he runs and writes for My Kitchen Sensei. Bryan is especially proud of his cheap excursions to cheap Michelin rated restaurants throughout Asia and in Hong Kong during his exchange there. His favorites include nitro-cold brew coffee and steak.