Static shock "killed" my Keurig!

by Matthew Reagan
(Morgantown, PA)

Can static kill your coffee machine?

Can static kill your coffee machine?


QUESTION:


I have a K65 Special Edition, which has been working flawlessly. Last night, I came in, pulled off my jacket and reached over to the Keurig to turn it on. Apparently, taking my jacket off generated a static charge.

When I touched the power button, the static charge jumped to the brewer and killed it dead. Now, when I press the power button, the blue light in the reservoir turns on for 1 seconds and then back off. The LCD display does nothing, nor do the cup size lights ever turn on. Leaving it unplugged for a half hour had zero effect.

Keurig customer support's reaction is to send me a new one, either a new 2.0 model (which won't let me use my custom blended coffee from a small scale roaster down the street) or downgrade me to a K45. sigh

Is there any hope? Are the electronics so fragile that I've cooked them with a static shock? Is it even possible to take the brains out of a K65 with a bad pump and move them into my machine (or move my working pump to a machine with a good brain but a bad heart?

It seems s shame to toss the rest of the machine, but I don't think this is a simple repair.

Thx in advance.


ANSWER:

Matthew, hi

We have addressed a lot of problems with Keurig brewers on this site, but this is the first time I have heard of death by jacket-removal!

I have a call into an electrical engineer friend of mine, and if he has any tips, I’ll pass them on.

In the meantime, the only tip we have received from Keurig owners that stands any chance of working...maybe...is this one:

“Here is a guaranteed way to get your Keurig working if you get the not ready message of doom. At the same time press the 2 buttons next to menu for 5 seconds then press the menu button while still holding the other 2 buttons and hold until all the lights turn off and on then the machine will turn off. Release the buttons and then turn machine on and your Keurig will be alive again.”

I have no idea if this will work in your case, but it’s probably worth a try!

Best wishes,

Nick

P.S. I just heard back from my engineer friend, Jim. Here's what he said:

"Yikes ... yes, although I'm not familiar with the electronics in a Keurig, it's definitely possible.

The problem with static electricity, is that by the time you feel the shock, or see it, you're already up in the thousands of volts ... maybe even tens of thousands ...

Unfortunately, you can fry a chip with only about 80 volts, and you'd never even feel that. So if you're feeling it, it's definitely enough to fry!

That being said, I would expect that the circuit would be designed well enough to minimize the impact of static shocks, but the from the few seconds of Googling I've done, it's seems like it's not uncommon for these to be affected by zapping.

As far as whether or not a transplant would be successful, I don't know ... depends on the assembly, and how accessible the parts are ... and not being familiar enough with the models, I can't say."

If you're into electronics, you can find Jim's website at Learn Electronics Online.

Comments for Static shock "killed" my Keurig!

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Feb 03, 2018
Just killed my keurig
by: Anonymous

Took my robe off and went to cut my 2.0 off and I touched the handle and out went the lights.... Is this fixable or am I pretty much screwed

Nov 03, 2017
Same here
by: Anonymous

Just toasted mine as well.

I turned it on just fine, let it preheat, did the open/close thing to activate the cycle. Went to touch the screen to tell it "yes, dispense the dang hot water" and BAM.

Dead.

Feb 23, 2016
Shocking!!
by: Anonymous

I just did the same thing. Got off the couch to make a cup of coffee, turned the machine on, got a huge shock and killed it!! Unbelievable. Has anyone ever gotten any satisfaction from calling Kuerig on this problem?


Nov 17, 2015
Definitive diagnosis
by: Aaron

The electronic design of your Keurig is not unlike a digital watch. Small, fragile diodes and semiconductors; components that contain small amounts of glass as insulators called: MOSFET. The use of these components is standard in compact electronic devices, however, they are suceptable to static discharge.

When you discharge a static shock, your body, which has accumulated a negative charge from excess electrons, "arcs" to a grounded or positively charged area. You are not hurt (badly) during this transaction of electrons, but the Kuerig can be. The reason: those diodes, semiconductors and MOSFET.

The semiconductors are bad at conducting the charge, thus they cannot disapate it. This can damage the integrity of the device. The MOFSET has a similar problem: the only conductor is a small piece of glass (ionic conduction), which is so fragile that the charge often breaks it, again, destroying the component.

These can be replaced, but only as bulk components on a board. Best bet is to 1.) careful with static. 2.) call Keurig for a replacement. 3.) buy a new one and repeat step 1!

Mar 25, 2015
static electricity
by: Anonymous

Another Engineer here. While most consumer devices are much better about static electricity nowadays, it is extremely possible and sometimes even likely to damage them with static electricity.
I live in an extremely low humidity area. Taking static precautions is just a way of life for me, anti-stat mat (grounded) under my keyboard and used as a mouse pad for instance.
The little screw in the middle of the outlet plate is a good place to discharge yourself before touching anything with small electronic circuits. Taking off a jacket or getting up can generate tens of thousands of voltage potential (easily in my area with a humidifier).
As far as repairs go, well, any easily (and super cheap) extra components on the circuit board are almost never the problem when damaged by static electricity, it's the main chips that are damaged internally.

Feb 21, 2015
Shocked!!
by: Darrell

The same thing just happened to me... I got off the couch (wearing flannel PJ bottoms) and when I touched the lift handle POW!!! Static discharge!! It took out the display and the tank light on my 2.0 and will not respond to anything.

Wow... I cannot believe the coffee maker is subject to such a small amperage of charge... or static to begin with... I would think the chassis would ground it out.

Feb 20, 2015
broke it
by: Anonymous

I slapped mine now the screen flickers

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