John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.14.13
Cobden, Ontario


How a lowly paper clip repaired my spaceship

Okay, so it wasn't a space ship -- it was my high-tech Keurig Coffee Brewer.

But, I did use a paper clip to fix it which saved my so-called life, so I reckon I won. Or at least didn't go completely stark-raving batshit from lack of morning joe.

The no-brew problem began without warning on Sunday evening when I tried to make a cup of French Roast decaf. All the lights came on, etc. etc. but when I pressed the brew button nothing happened.

Several times the machined groaned "unhh...unh...unhhh" but, alas, no coffee was brewed.

I found the box from Sears Canada it came in but, of course, no manual -- I had tucked it safely away somewhere. On-line, I found a number of text and visual "solutions" to my stated problem. Nothing worked, so I shut it down and planned on giving it a shot early the next morning.

Same old, same old. No water was coming through.

On the Keurig support videos on YouTube I found reference to using a straightened paper clip to "clean" two miniscule holes through which the hot water enters the enclosed coffee capsule via a hole punched by a sharp needle.

"In just eight easy steps!"

But, first you must remove the water reservoir, and the plastic portion pack holder and the attached funnel, then tilt the machine up to get at the tiny hole with your paper clip. Keurig doesn't mention how water will leak from the machine onto the coffee station you so lovingly crafted from solid pine -- it will.

Make sure to have a powerful flashlight so you can see the tiny holes in which to probe with your paper clip.

After mopping up the gratuitous water, I poked and prodded. I saw no evidence of coffee grounds or sludge or anything. I put it all back together, added fresh water to the reservoir and fired the sucker up.

Sure enough, it wheezed and groaned -- as Keurigs do -- and soon I had a fresh cup of coffee.

But what baffles me is how the engineers who designed this coffee-brewing marvel haven't figured out how to design it without tiny holes that plug up, or a better way to clean them out.

Hell, or even provide a free paper clip to do the job that they failed to do.