Troubleshooting Common Electric Coffee Grinder Problems

Cup of coffee next to a bag of spilled coffee beans.
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50
What You'll Need
Thermal limiter

A common gadget in many residential kitchens is the electric coffee grinder. With the increased popularity of specialty coffees, home grinding adds a fresh flavor and allows you to create the desired coffee ground consistency that you prefer for your cup of Joe. Like all electrical devices, coffee grinders sometimes malfunction, but many issues are easy to repair. Here are some tips to help you keep your electric coffee grinder in good working order.

1. How the Electric Coffee Grinder Works

The electric coffee grinder turns coffee beans into granule-like or powder-fine particles by grinding it with the machine’s spinning blade. A small spinning motor rotates a shaft, thereby grinding the coffee beans into the preferred size. The amount of time used in the grinding process, as well as the sharpness of the blade, will determine the size of the grounds.

2. Common Problems

During the grinding process, you may notice problems because the grinder vibrates or it does not operate at all. One problem is clogged grounds, which slow the motor. Grounds can clog in any area, but this often happens beneath the button that initiates grinding. This lack of contact keeps the machine from functioning. In addition, the thermal limiter would also prevent the motor from rotating properly. The blade on the electric coffee grinder could also bend and dull, or the electric switch could break.

3. Remedies to Malfunctions of the Electric Coffee Grinder

Two cups of coffee next to a ceramic drip coffee maker

Always check that the electrical cord is plugged in and the power is switched on. When the electric coffee grinder operates erratically, take out the plug and clean up the grounds with a fine brush. Use a toothpick to depress the switch button a couple of times. If you're still experiencing a problem, disassemble the grinder and clean it up.

When the machine does not run after you turn it on, disassemble the grinder and clean the shaft and oil it. You may also try replacing the thermal limiter, but purchasing a new grinder is the better option at this point.

If your electric coffee grinder vibrates, check the blades to make sure they are not damaged. Replace damaged or dull blades. Another remedy for a vibrating grinder is to remove the access plate, as the motor bearing could have been damaged.

4. Daily Use Tips for Electric Coffee Grinders

Always ensure the cleanliness of the electric coffee grinder, including the blade and bowl, after every use. Avoid operating the grinder when the bowl does not contain the coffee beans, as this will make the blade spin rapidly and cause damage to the motor. To avoid overheating of the grinder’s motor, don't grind for longer than 30 seconds at a time. Avoid immersing the electric coffee grinder in water because this will ruin the motor of the machine.

Observing these tips on a daily basis may help prevent problems from developing and should prolong the life of your electric coffee grinder.