How does a Drip Coffee maker Work?

drip coffee machine working

A drip coffee maker is really a simple device. Manufacturers of the drip coffee maker have honed the design of drip coffee makers over a period of more than 30 years and so this appliance is pretty direct when you open it up. Once you remove the top from a drip coffee maker, you will find a reservoir, the drip are and the shower head. A drip coffee maker has a depression at the right side; this is the flow of the reservoir bucket. There is an orange tube that passes cold water from a hole at the top of the reservoir. This tube connects to the white tube. A power cord can be seen as well. If you are thinking to buy a drip machine then first know how do these parts of drip coffee makers work?


1. Reservoir

The reservoir is the part that holds the water you pour into the pot when you are starting to make your coffee. The reservoir bucket has a hole at the bottom and a white tube leading from the reservoir base to the drip area. The purpose of this white tube is to carry hot water to the coffee maker’s drip area and that also help you use cleaning solutions when cleaning your machine.


2. Shower Head

The shower head receives the hot water carried by the white tube. Once the hot water hits the shower head, it is sprayed on to the coffee grounds.


3. Drip Area

This is an area that has a plastic disc that is perforated. Not all drip coffee makers have a drip area but in those that do, water flows from the white tube and lands on the drip area then flows through its holes and on to the coffee grounds.


4. Heating Element

The drip coffee maker’s heating element is located at the left side of the appliance’s base. The heating element has an aluminum extrusion that has two sections, a tube that allows water to pass through and a resistive heating element. Water is heated by the aluminum tube and the resistive heating element (Check video here). Basically, the resistive heating element is a coiled wire that is similar to a light bulb’s filament or the element that is found in the electric toaster that heats up when electricity runs through it.

Inside the resistive element is a coil that is embedded in plaster so that it us more rugged. The heating element serves two purposes. First, it heats up when water is poured into the drip coffee maker. Secondly, it keeps the brewed coffee warm once the brewing process is done.


Heat transfer in the heating element

The resistive heating element sits between the aluminum water tube and the warming plate in drip coffee makers. This element presses against the lower side of the warming plate directly. It also presses against the white heat conductive grease that ensures efficient transfer of heat. The grease is really messy and is found in different devices including power supplies and stereo amplifiers that have to dissipate heat.


The Switch

The best drip coffee makers have a switch that turns on and off the power that the heating element uses. To prevent the heating element from overheating, the switch is fitted with components like fuses and sensors. Sensors that are fitted into drip coffee makers are designed to detect when the coil is becoming too hot and stop the current from flowing. Once the coil cools off, the sensors turn on the current again, here you can view inside of drip machine. By repeating this cycle of on and off, they maintain an even temperature on the coil. On the other hand, fuses cut the power off completely when they detect very high temperatures. The fuses therefore serve a safety purpose in case the main sensor stops working.



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