Coffee Maker: Auto-Fill Hack

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Coffee Maker: Auto-Fill Hack
Coffee auto-fill means never having to wait. Photo: Andrew Terranova
Coffee auto-fill means never having to wait.
Photos by Andrew Terranova.

Morning is challenging enough. The day is just starting, and I’m barely functional as I make my first cup of coffee. (Yeah, I’m and addict. So what?) The last thing I need is to hear that awful sucking sound that means the reservoir on my Rancilio coffee maker is out of water. I already had to wait like… two minutes for it to warm up. How am I expected to wait another minute while I refill it? The sink is all the way across the kitchen!

A time comes when you have to say, “I’m not going to take it anymore!” Well, I don’t have to worry about that since I discovered this pretty simple hack by Terry Stockdale to add a water line to the coffee maker. It only takes a few dollars in parts, and if your refrigerator already has a water line running to it, it’s easy to tap into that.

I’m not going to try to reproduce Terry’s blog. It’s already easy to follow. I will add a few comments.

    • First, if you are going to do this, I recommend adding a water filter, if you don’t already have one. Gunking up your nice coffee maker with hard water deposits or other stuff is a bad idea.
    • Second, you could easily adapt this hack to other brand coffee makers. Anything that uses a reservoir would probably work. You may need to hunt around for a float valve with the right dimensions.
    • Third, if it doesn’t seem to you like a big improvement to have water on demand for your coffee maker, maybe you should be drinking more coffee.
    • Fourth… er, there is no fourth thing. Take a look at the pictures below to get an idea of my setup.

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

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