Home > Uncategorized > The insides of a K-Cup brewer

The insides of a K-Cup brewer


Back in March of 2011 did a blog post with my comparison between the Breville and Cuisinart K-Cup brewers. You can read that post here

I then made an update at the bottom of that post indicating that the Cuisinart had died after only 7 months. On Dec 14 a user by the name of sezron commented that the reason these machines keep failing is because they use a car part designed for turning on and off the flow of air. Well that sounded pretty interesting and it just so happens that I still have my first dead Breville sitting in the basement; don’t even ask why. I finally got around to taking it apart to see if this was true. So here we go.

Here is a picture of the Breville upside down with the bottom plate removed. At this point I can’t see much of anything.

Next I remove the bottom plastic plate which opens up quite a bit more of the machine. Still not nearly enough to trace the water flow and see what devices are on the inside.

Finally, after much cursing I have the entire back off the unit. It is still upside down. You’ll notice two cylindrical devices with hoses going into them near the bottom of the picture.

And here is a close up of those devices.

After getting the rest of the plastic removed I was able to get a much better look. This is a close up of one of those devices.

Sure enough, it is a pneumatic solenoid valve with water tubing connected. This one was on the right hand side of the machine and it appears to have failed. Here is a picture of the one on the other side of the machine.

Well, at this point I don’t know what to say. Is it a bad design? I’m not sure but I’m leaning that way. These valves are not designed for turning on and off the flow of water. I’ll let you all make your own decisions.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Barb Hinson
    May 23, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    Thanks Chuck and other guy for all the insight. My Keurig Elite B40 is on its way out….have to keep unplugging it to get it to sputter out the water for my morning cup. Guess that solenoid made for air handling is the culprit…what crap…. I am not an engineer and I really dont want to take the unit apart like Chuck did. Way too much trouble. I am going to look at getting a small commercial grade K cup maker that will fit in my cabinet. I know Keurig makes several commercial units. First I am going to make sure that the water handlling features inside are meant for handling water…lol.
    Thanks Barb

  2. Sunshine
    June 16, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Great article! Thank you. Our Breville failed after one weekend of use. Thankfully we bought our unit at Bed, Bath and Beyond, who has the best customer service and return policy ever. They took the unit back…no questions asked. They said they are no longer selling that model and that a new model is replacing it soon (as of 6-15-13). It’s too bad Keurig and Breville aren’t reading this blog!

  3. Lauren
    March 13, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    So… Ran across your comparison and link to this update when researching why our cuisinart isn’t working as well, it’s only putting out about half the ounces selected.

    I did think your review was a little biased, I’ve never noticed an issue with the water reservoir being badly designed, in fact I love the groove that makes a great handle for carrying the resovoir to refill. The rinse and hot water buttons are also quite handy, no matter how simple it is to do it yourself there are lots of people out there that wouldn’t thing of using the keurig for hot water or know how to rinse it.

    Just my opinion of course! But I can say after owning 3 breville devices they are well built, and our cuisinart has held up really well over the past 2.5 years as well. I may look into the breville as a replacement just because it would be nice to fit a taller cup in

  4. December 8, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Very cool to see how the K-Cup machine actually works. Thanks for the post, Chuck.

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