How does a drip coffee maker work?

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Are you going to invest in a drip coffee maker or have been using drip coffee maker for years but do not know how it works? And suddenly some questions are coming in mind like-how does a drip coffee maker exactly works inside the machine and what is happening there? How does a drip coffee maker heat up water so fast and how does water transfer from reserver to pot through the filter? That is why I have written this detailed article to answer all of the questions in simple words. 

Les’s start with the basic components of a drip coffee maker before explaining the topics of how does a drip coffee maker work, we know what are the main components inside. Manufacturers of our drip coffee maker have been working for well over 30 years to develop this modern simple design. A drip coffee maker is a simple device and it is a pretty straightforward machine when you take a look at them on the inside.

When you remove the top of any drip coffee maker you will find the reservoir, the drip area, the showerhead, and heating elements, and many more.

Important components of a best drip coffee maker

Reservoir: The reservoir is nothing but a container that holds the cold water you pour into the pot when you are going to make your coffee. The reservoir bucket has a hole at the bottom and a white tube connected from the reservoir base to the drip area. The absolute purpose of this white tube is to carry hot water to the coffee maker’s drip area. Additionally, this tube also helps you use cleaning solutions when cleaning your machine. For some coffee makers, you will find the option to remove it.

Shower Head: Drip coffee maker has a shower head that receives the hot water carried by the white tube. Its function is to spray water onto the coffee grounds when hot water reaches the showerhead.

Drip Area: Drip area has a perforated plastic disc where water flows from a white tube and flow s through its holes to coffee grounds. The drip area is not available for all drip coffee makers.

Heating Element: The heating element is nothing but a simple wire made of aluminum that is coiled and is quite similar to a filament inside of a light bulb or even the heating element you might find in your toaster. The main purpose of this heating element is to transfer energy from electric energy to heat energy which means raise the temperature of the water using electricity. When electricity starts to flow through the heating element, it starts getting hot. All coffee machines do not require electric supply because some coffee makers like 12 Volt coffee makers are specially designed for outdoor use where the electric connection is not available.


FIG: Heating element of a drip coffee maker

This heating element has an extrusion of two sections, one is a tube that allows water to flow through and another is a resistive heating element connected to electricity.

The heating element does two important jobs. The primary job is to heat up water after putting water in the water reservoir of drip coffee maker and its second job is to keep warm the brewed coffee. 

Plaster: Plaster is basically a pasty composition and plastering is one of the most useful techniques in order to make the coil of a drip coffee maker tougher.

Grease: The heating element is usually placed between the drip coffee makers warming plate and water tube. Heat-Conducting greases are used for proper electrical insulation that ensures the transfer of heat is done efficiently.

Switch: Modern coffee maker has a switch that turns on and off the power that provides electricity to the heating element. When you turn on the switch the heating element will immediately start to heat the aluminum tube, the water in the tube will begin to boil, and bubbles will rise up into the white tube of the drip coffee maker.

One way valve: After that, the water will flow through a one-way valve and into an aluminum tube that is found in the drip coffee maker heating element. Then it goes partially up through a white tube. This all is happening with the help of natural gravity.

Sensor: Temperature sensor, turns on and on the basis of set temperature, is used in the best drip coffee maker to maintain a steady temperature profile of heating elements. To prevent overheating beyond the design temperature at the heating element, the switch is connected electrical fuses so that it can cut the power off completely when it detects very high temperatures. Fuses works as a safety feature in the drip coffee maker.

Now watch this video that will explain details How does a drip coffee maker works

How does a drip coffee maker work (Video Source)

Final Word

An electric drip coffee maker is also known as a dripolator. It normally works by putting water from a cold water reservoir into a flexible hose in the base of the reservoir leading directly to a thin metal tube or heating chamber (usually, of aluminum) called heating elements, where a heating element surrounding the metal tube heats the water. As this coffee maker is operated by power, you will find an electric cable as well.

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