Have you noticed water coming out of your Moka pot? It's probably an easy fix, like washing away all the loose coffee grounds. If you ignore it, the problem may worsen, and you might even have to buy a new Moka pot. Read this article to find out how to fix a Moka pot leak.
Why Could Your Moka Pot Leak?
There are a few reasons why a stovetop espresso maker could leak. This could be because of poor maintenance, worn-off seals, poor design, or simply loose coffee grounds at the start of the brewing process. Let's look into the main reasons for water leaks in a stovetop coffee maker.
Where Is Your Moka Pot Leaking From?
The first thing you need to do if you have a leaky coffee maker is to find out where the leak is coming from. To do that, you'll have to see if it's a coffee leak or a water leak. If it's a coffee leak, you'll probably have to be looking at the upper part of the stovetop espresso maker.
Between Water Chamber and Upper Chamber
This is where most leaks happen. The connection between the two coffee pot chambers and the filter basket is where the rubber seals are, and that's where the problems may be. Let's look into what you can try.
Make Sure There's a Tight Seal
As the stovetop espresso maker generates a significant amount of pressure during the brewing process, you'll want to make sure everything is screwed together tightly. This way, the steam won't push through the seals.
This is arguably the easiest issue to fix. You'll simply want to screw the two chambers tightly together.
Check if the Rubber Gasket Is Intact
The rubber or silicone seal is one of the pieces of the Moka pot that are under the most pressure and are usually the first to get worn off. Luckily it's there's a simple solution. You simply need to find the exact model and order the replacement silicone seal online. Once you have it, it's a very easy fix.
Check if You're Putting the Coffee Pot Together in the Right Order
Another very easy fix. When you're putting the Moka pot together to start brewing a cup of coffee, you need to make sure you're putting the rubber gasket where it's supposed to be. This means that you have to put the coffee pot together as follows:
- Filter basket
- Rubber ring
- Filter lid
Check if the Thread is Damaged
To ensure the thread is intact, you'll have to check both the upper and the lower chamber for damage. If the thread is worn out or damaged, it'll be easier for the liquid to leak out, and you may not be able to screw the two chambers tight enough.
Unfortunately, if the thread is damaged, you can't fix it. You'll simply need to get a new coffee maker.
To keep the thread on your Moka pot safe from harm, ensure that both sides are clean, and there are no loose coffee grounds on either. Additionally, you want to ensure you're not over-tightening the two ports, especially on an aluminum pot.
Leaking from Safety Valve
If water comes out of your pot's safety valve, the good news is that it's probably fixable. The bad news, though, is that it will take some time to fix it.
If there's a jet shooting out of your pot's pressure valve, it could be because of too much water. You'll want to always pour water into the bottom edge of the safety valve.
The most common reasons for safety valve leaks are coffee residue and limescale buildup. This may be why the valve may be opening or closing incorrectly.
I. The easiest fix is to push the valve closed (or open). If there isn't too much buildup or it's not completely dry, this may push some of the buildup away and let the valve move freely.
II. If simply pushing it doesn't work, you'll want to try to clean it. The best way to do that is to follow these steps:
- Fill the bottom chamber with water to the top. This time you'll want to cover the valve with water completely.
- Add a tablespoon of lemon juice. Vinegar will also work, but it'll leave an unpleasant smell behind.
- Let the pot sit for a few hours. Usually, around 4 hours will be enough.
- Then pour out some water until it's below the safety valve.
- Assemble your Moka pot
- Go through the brewing process without adding any coffee. You'll want to use only the water and lemon juice already in the coffee maker.
Now, even this may not fix the leaks. If your Moka pot is old, the valve might have worn out. Inside there's a small rubber ring that will harden and eventually break over time. If that happens, water may be leaking out of there.
For some high-end pots, you can simply buy a replacement pressure valve. You'll have to make sure ordering the new part and paying for shipment is less expensive than getting a new pot, though.
How to Prevent Moka Pot Leakage
By now, you have a general understanding of why a Moka pot may leak. Let's see what you can do to ensure it's not going to happen to you.
1. Wash Your Coffee Maker After Each Use.
It's crucial that you wash your Moka pot after each use. You'll want to ensure there are no loose coffee grounds or leftover coffee in the lower and upper chambers and the filter basket.
If you don't clean your pot regularly, coffee and probably limescale will build up and gradually ruin your stovetop espresso maker. Even if that doesn't happen, the taste of your brew will slowly deteriorate.
2. Make Coffee with Distilled Water.
We recommend doing this if you live in an area with hard water. Hard water may be the reason for mineral deposits to build up and lead to a coffee maker leak.
3. Clean Your Moka Pot with Lemon Juice
Every now and then, you'll want to clean your pot with lemon juice. This is especially true if it's an aluminum model.
As aluminum is significantly softer and more fragile than stainless steel, you'll want to avoid using strong detergents when washing it. This is why it's best to use lemon juice or baking soda for your thorough cleaning.
4. Make Sure The Safety Valve Works
It's a good idea to check the pressure release valve of the pot works properly between brews. It's there to release the excessive pressure out of the pot, and if it's not working properly, your coffee maker might leak or even explode.
Even though Moka pots are simple coffee makers, you should still take care of them with each brew. If your stovetop espresso maker is made of high-quality materials and you take good care of it, it'll last you for years. Get your high-quality stainless steel Moka pot now.