Cuisinart Coffee Maker Troubleshooting Guide

Making that morning cup of coffee by yourself is alright, but nothing beats the convenience of a Cuisinart coffee maker.

Sadly, these fantastic machines do experience problems from time to time, and that can throw a wrench in your morning routine!

Not to worry, though. In this article, we’re going to do some Cuisinart coffee maker troubleshooting to help you sort out familiar problems with your coffee maker.

Once we sort the problem out, you’ll be back to enjoying your morning cup of coffee just the way you always do.

Not Powering On

Let’s explore what happens when you discover that your Cuisinart coffee maker simply won’t turn on to start this list.

First Steps: The first thing you should check is that it is plugged into the wall socket and turned on. Then, inspect the entire length of the power cable to ensure it’s not cut off somehow. 

If the coffee maker is plugged in but still won’t turn on, you might want to try plugging it in somewhere else. That way, you can rule out a faulty wall socket as the cause of the problem.

Suppose your Cuisinart coffee maker still won’t power on. Then, it’s time to dig a little deeper, because you may have a problem with the circuit board.

Why this happens: Most household appliances these days have a circuit board inside of them.

You can think of that as the brain of the coffee maker, as it coordinates all of the machine’s different mechanisms to make your coffee for you.

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Problems start to occur when one of the components on that circuit board malfunction.

Perhaps one of them burned out or short-circuited somehow, which might be why your Cuisinart coffee machine can’t turn on at all.

Usually, this is caused by an electrical surge or a faulty component on the control board. Less likely, however, is that water may have somehow found its way into where the control board is located.

What you can do: The most practical solution is to unplug power for 1 hour or so, then plug it in and see if will power up again. But if it will not make any difference, the faulty control board needs to be replaced entirely.

You can bring the Cuisinart coffee machine in for repairs, and they’ll do it for you.

However, if you’re more of the DIY type, you might prefer buying the control board online and replacing it yourself.

Suppose you decide to fix it yourself. Always be sure to unplug the machine before opening it up, and be sure to refer to the user manual for guidance.

Doesn’t Show The Time

Plenty of Cuisinart coffee maker models come with LCD displays that show you the time.

Not only does that help you tell the time, but it also lets you program the machine to brew your coffee at an exact time before you wake up each morning.

When that clock fails, however, then you’ve got a problem on your hands.

First Steps: The first thing you want to do is to confirm that the coffee machine is still functioning.

If the machine isn’t turning on at all, then you should refer to the previous section of this article.

However, if the machine still brews normally but can’t show you the time (which means that you can’t schedule your coffee either), then you’ve narrowed the problem down to the LCD display.

Why this happens: There are two possibilities in this situation. You may have a damaged or faulty LCD display component, or the control board for the display is the part that’s problematic.

Pinpointing the root cause can be quite challenging. Any of the components on the display or control board could have shorted out, or one of the electrical connectors may have come loose.

There is a possibility that excessive heat and moisture may have found its way into the LCD area causing those problems for coffee makers.

What you can do: The first step to solving this problem would be to ensure that the electrical connectors to these parts are still secure. If not, they’ll need to be reconnected correctly.

It would also be a good idea to look for any burn marks or smells that might indicate a short circuit or similar damage.

Suppose you find that a part of the LCD or its control board is burnt. That would require a total replacement of those parts, as fixing them may not be a feasible option.

As usual, always be sure to unplug the machine before working on it, and always refer to the user manual guidance specific to your particular Cuisinart coffee maker model.

Not Heating Up and Brewing Any Coffee

Suppose you turn your Cuisinart coffee maker on. You should be able to leave it alone while it brews your coffee within minutes.

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you go back to the machine only to find that there isn’t any coffee brewing. Worse yet, none of the water has heated up either!

First Steps: Your first reaction should be to check that everything is plugged in and working as usual. Then, you may want to shut the coffee maker off and wait 30 seconds before powering it back on again.

With the coffee maker turned on, remove the coffee pot and carefully try to sense if the heating plate is functioning correctly.

Be careful! To avoid injury, try not to touch the heating plate with your fingers.

You may find that there is no heat coming from the heating plate whatsoever.

Why this happens: The heating plate or heating element requires a constant supply of power to function correctly.

If the power contacts have somehow gotten disconnected, that could be the reason why the machine isn’t brewing any coffee.

Alternatively, it could be the heating element itself that’s faulty. If that’s the case, the heating element will never generate heat despite receiving the power supply it requires.

What you can do: Firstly, you should check to see that the electrical contacts are connected to the heating element.

If they’re not, that’s the part that requires your attention. However, you may need to replace the heating element or heating plate if it’s faulty.

To do this, disconnect the power supply before removing any panels on your Cuisinart coffee maker to replace these or any other parts.

Clogged Water Spout

Here’s how your Cuisinart coffee maker should work. When you fill the reservoir with water, that water will get heated up and sent through the water spout.

Then, the hot water will flow through your coffee beans to brew your perfect cup of coffee each morning.

As water makes its way through the water spout (or what some people call the ‘showerhead’), clogs sometimes occur over time.

That can be a big problem as it stops hot water from reaching the coffee, making the entire machine useless.

First Steps: Firstly, you should examine all the other parts of the machine to ensure they’re working correctly.

That way, you can rule out problems with any other part.

You’ll want to make sure that the heating element is hot and that there is indeed water in the reservoir.

Once that’s done, and you’ve narrowed down the problem to the water spout, then you can decide what to do next.

Why this happens: The water in your Cuisinart coffee maker should only flow one way; that’s from the reservoir into where the coffee grinds sit.

Small debris or other impurities that find their way into the water reservoir could end up clogging other parts of the machine.

On the other hand, it could be that the coffee grinds somehow find their way into the water spout and clog it that way.

What you can do: There are two options for clearing clogs in your coffee maker.

The first involves flushing the machine out with water and vinegar.

To do this, empty out all the water inside the reservoir while dispensing any water that might be in the inner tank.

Then, fill up the reservoir with a mixture of water and vinegar.

You’ll want to dispense part of that mixture to ensure that part of it has filled up the inner tank.

Then, leave it for about 20 minutes before running plain water through the entire system to flush out the vinegar.

Alternatively, you could try to remove the water spout manually and clean out any debris that’s stuck in there.

This would require added caution as those parts are made of plastic, which can break if you apply too much force. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to troubleshooting your Cuisinart coffee maker, there are a few critical things to remember.

Firstly, before removing any panels on the appliance, always shut off the power and remove the plug from the wall socket. Next, always keep the user manual close to you at all times as a quick reference.

Don’t worry if you’ve lost the user manual. Cuisinart and other repair websites online host backup copies of those user manuals. You can simply download the one for your model and refer to that instead.

Lastly, if you’re ever unsure about the problem that you’re facing with your Cuisinart coffee maker, always err on the side of caution and get a professional to look at it for you.

Sure, there’s an added cost to doing it that way, but their expertise and experience will solve that problem for you quicker than doing it yourself.

Reader Comments (18)

  1. Two days ago, I forgot to put the lid on my Cuisinart DCC3400 coffee pot. Of course grounds were all inside the coffeemaker. I cleaned it out and it worked after that. Now today, two days later, it has a erl code. I can unplug it and wait a few minutes, plug it back in and the clock appears for a couple of seconds, then the erl code shows up again.

  2. brand new brew basics ss-12. Worked fine at first but now when I turn it on only the carafe brew light tuns on a and I can not get the pod brew light to turn on or respond nor will pod size light turn on. It worked fine for first 4 days but now I can only use the carafe brew

    • did you find a fix for this, because I’m having the same problem. The carafe side heats the water but the single serve side doesn’t so I get a cup of cold watered down coffee.

  3. I just literally opened my new Cuisinart coffee center SS-15FR.

    The blue lights keep flashing and we aren’t able to use any of the features.

  4. So my cuisnart coffee maker SS-15 will turn on then blink for 2 secs then shut off. Do u think it’s electrical or maybe a clog?

  5. We have had our cuisinart coffee maker for less than a year and use it on a daily basis. I always pre-program it for the next days coffee.
    This morning i woke up to a counter top full of my freshly made coffee. It had leaked the entire coffee reservoir. What can i do to fix it? Thanks

    • I assume there is a crack in the reservoir. You need to disassemble the coffee maker and check for cracks.

    • I’ve had this happen too. If the area that holds the coffee and filter is not fit back into the machine properly, the water cannot flow into the carafe. If there is even the tiniest misalignment that causes the lid not to lay flat, coffee will pour over your countertop

  6. My coffee maker breaks the seal and it also make a big hole in the upper seal and you get coffee grounds all over and included the cup of the coffee. What can be done with it?


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