Should A Coffee Machine Be Turned Off?

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Coffee fans often return to their coffee machine for an extra cup of joe after their initial morning cup of coffee. If you are a coffee drinker, you may have wondered if you should turn the machine off. Or does it automatically turn off after an allotted amount of time has passed? We've researched these coffee-related questions and have definitive answers to share with you.

Most coffee makers and machines are fully equipped with an automatic shut-off feature that will turn the machine off within two to four hours of inactivity. This timeframe is a generalized estimate, and the window of time could vary from brand or model.  The benefits of turning the machine off before the automatic shut-off surely outweigh the couple of seconds it requires to turn the coffee maker off after the last cup:

  • Reduce the risk of a house fire
  • Save energy
  • Extend the life of the coffee machine/maker
  • Avoid burnt tasting coffee
  • Reduce the risk of personal injury

Perhaps you have wondered if it is bad to leave your coffee maker on? Or if a coffee machine could explode? If you are an avid coffee drinker, please continue reading. We have a lot of pertinent information to share with you that will help you reduced your energy bills and help prevent accidental fires in your home or place of work.

A woman getting a small cup of coffee on the coffee maker, Should A Coffee Machine Be Turned Off?

Is it bad to leave the coffee machine on?

Yes, leaving a coffee machine on is less than ideal and does pose a potential safety hazard in your home. The coffee machine could spark an electrical fire and burn items near it that could eventuate to igniting the rest of your home. Generally, coffee makers are not designed to keep coffee hot all day; instead, they brew, pour a few cups, and remain off until several hours later or the next day.

Allowing the coffee maker to remain on all day will damage the wiring and cause the coffee maker to break down quicker. Hence, you will need to purchase a new one much sooner than if you turned the maker off after brewing.

To reduce the risk of leaving the coffee machine on or worrying about potential fires occurring when you are not home, consider purchasing a programmable coffee machine with auto-off for risk reduction and peace of mind.

Click here to view the bestselling Cuisinart coffee maker equipped with auto-off at Amazon.

Methods to keep coffee hot throughout the day

The primary purpose of keeping a coffee maker on throughout the day is to have hot coffee readily available at all times. Although the conveniences of pouring hot coffee straight from the hot coffee pot are great, the convenience does not outweigh the fire risk associated with leaving coffee pots on for several hours.

Consider using a thermos bottle to fill with coffee before heading out for the day. Stanley's classic thermos states that they can keep liquids hot for up to 32 hours.

Click here to view a Stanely thermos at Amazon.

Utilizing a thermal coffee carafe is another excellent option for home or the workplace, where several people could pour additional cups of coffee throughout the day. Thermal carafes can keep liquids hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours. Not only are these excellent for coffee, but they serve well for hot chocolate or tea.

Click here to view the Cresimo 68 Oz Stainless Steel Thermal Coffee Carafe at Amazon. 

For larger gatherings at the office, consider using a thermal coffee dispenser.

Click here to view Cresimo's coffee dispenser at Amazon. 

What happens if I forget to turn off my coffee maker?

Suppose your coffee maker does not have the auto-off feature or that particular feature has been disabled. The coffee machine will continuously heat the remaining coffee in the pot, resulting in burnt flavored, stale coffee. Or it will heat the coffee until most of it evaporates and the maker starts to over-heat the coffee pot. The inner wiring of the machine will begin to overheat and could start a fire on your kitchen counter.

If your coffee machine does have the auto-off feature, it will turn the machine off within two to four hours after the last use. Word of caution-depending on the model, the auto-off feature could be disabled. In this case, the coffee maker will not shut off automatically. Check the settings on your coffee machine and enable the auto-off feature for added protection.

Refer to the owner's manual if you are unsure how to change or check the programmable settings. Suppose you cannot locate the owner's manual, check the manufactures website for further instructions, or contact the company's customer service center.

When should I stop using the coffee maker?

A coffee maker placed on the table with small slice of bread on the side, Is Keurig Coffee Weaker Than Drip Coffee?

Coffee makers will give the owners several signs that the coffee maker is heading toward the end of its life.

Firstly, does the coffee taste different? Watered down, burnt, or lacking its usually robust flavor? These are signs that the coffee maker is breaking down, and you probably should start shopping for a replacement.

Secondly, the water doesn't heat up quickly or to the correct brewing temperature anymore. Rendering each pot of coffee flavorless and the coffee light in color with specks of unexpected coffee grounds sinking to the bottom of your cup. These issues are apparent signs the coffee maker is dying.

Thirdly, the coffee maker stops working altogether. This problem could occur from several issues, such as the water pump being broken, leaking, or the water tank having cracked internally. If your coffee maker is under warranty, the manufacturer may repair the coffee maker or send you a new one. The best advice would be to contact the manufacturer's customer service for further details.

Wondering if using a coffee filter is necessary? Click here to read our article that explains this topic in great detail. 

The longevity of coffee makers

In many cases, coffee makers have lasted decades, and others have only lasted a few months. There are serval variable factors to consider for how long a coffee maker will last the consumer. How often is it used? What types of water are used? Filtered or tap? Is the coffee maker scaled regularly to ensure that it is working at its optimal capabilities?

Providing your coffee maker with regular maintenance will help extend the life of the coffee maker. Always follow the maintenance guidelines provided in the owner's manual. Keep the appliance clean and free of debris. Also, perform regular scaling to avoid clogs and internal damages to the coffee maker.

Is your coffee maker leaking from the bottom? Click here to read an article that provides detailed advice for what to do if this happens to your coffee maker. 

Coffee cup levels on the side of a coffee maker pot

Can a coffee machine explode?

Yes, coffee machines can explode if the internal valves become overly pressurized with air supplied to the steam boiler. The broiler will accumulate steam and air pressure.

If the pressure is allowed to keep building without relief from the steam relief valve, frother, or spout, it will pressurize with air that cannot escape. It will continue to build until the structures of the machine give way and explode. This occurrence is relatively rare. However, several news reports detail this issue over the past decade from multiple news sources around the globe.

Preventing an exploding coffee machine is not foolproof or guaranteed. Keeping the machine clean and practicing regular maintenance, and replacing broken parts immediately will significantly reduce the chance of explosion.

Additional thoughts

A large coffee maker pouring coffee on a white mug

Suppose your current coffee maker does not have the auto-off feature. Consider adding a Google reminder to shut the coffee maker off before leaving your home for the day. If you have a routine of household chores, consider adding turning the coffee maker off to your list. Have others work together to create an energy-conscious and safety-first household by helping each other remember to turn the household appliances off.

Suppose you are a parent or guardian to small children; this could be used as a teachable moment to help guide them to understand the responsibility required to maintain small appliances with energy-saving and safety practices in mind.

In closing

Coffee makers bring much joy and motivation to a caffeine-dependent world by making many mornings a bit smoother. Moreover, these machines do come with energy and safety responsibilities that owners should not take lightly. We do hope this article has helped you further your knowledge base regarding coffee makers. Please visit kitchenseer.com for more enlightening and relevant information! Happy brewing!

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