What to do when your iced tea maker isn’t working properly.
Although it can be very annoying when any of your household appliances break down, it’s even more annoying still when this happens to something like your iced tea maker, because the matter is really only called to your attention when you have a strong craving for a glass of iced tea. Even if it hasn’t broken down completely, you may begin to notice a slight dip in performance as the days go by, and brewing the same pitcher of iced tea seems to take longer and longer every time.
Now you obviously have no idea how to fix your iced tea maker, nor do you even have the faintest idea how an iced tea maker works, so you’re probably already counting your losses at this point and wondering how much a new iced tea maker will cost you.
But before you go out and actually make the purchase, you should remember that your current iced tea maker may not be an entirely lost cause. In fact, you might not even have to do much to get it working just as well as the day you first took it out of the box.
Here’s what you can do to get your iced tea maker working properly again:
Perform some basic troubleshooting
More often than not, the complaints we commonly hear about iced tea makers have to do with the fact that they either won’t start, they brew tea far too slowly, or the tea they brew is too strong or too weak (even on the designated settings). Well, here are some basic troubleshooting strategies you can apply to resolve each of these problems:
1 – Iced tea maker won’t start:
This is usually an issue with the power button or power cord, and so these are the two things you need to check when your iced tea maker doesn’t start.
The power button can cause problems both when the machine is new and when it’s old. In the former case, the power button is usually too stiff (it gets looser after repeated use) and needs to be held down for at least 5 seconds to get the machine up and running. In the former case, the button is too old and probably broken on the inside; it’s best to let a professional look at it in this case (more on that later).
If the power button isn’t to blame, then it’s probably your power cord that’s malfunctioning and in need of repair. Unless you have a fair understanding of electronics and know how to fix/replace a faulty power cord, we suggest you leave this job also to the professionals.
However, before even checking the cord or the button, we highly advise you check the power outlet you’re plugging your iced tea maker into. As luck may have it, you may just have a faulty socket instead of a faulty iced tea maker.
2 – The Iced tea maker brews tea far too slowly:
Over time, you may notice your iced tea maker brewing tea slower and slower each day, with a pitcher taking 15 to 20 minutes to brew when originally the job could have been finished in under 10 minutes. If your machine is a couple of years old, performance dips like this are to be expected, as your heating element ages and isn’t able to heat water fast enough.
But on a (relatively) new machine, this kind of performance dip is absolutely unacceptable since it points to the faulty heating element or water pump. However, your iced tea maker may just be slow for a third, easily fixable reason: it’s in dire need of a thorough clean up. Salt buildup from previous brews may have coated the insides of your water reservoir and pump, making the machine so inefficient in its operation.
Cleaning your iced tea maker is a relatively simple task and should take you no more than 10 minutes to do (click here to learn in detail how to clean your iced tea maker). But on the off-chance that it doesn’t solve your problem, you’ll have to take your iced tea maker to a repairman after all.
3 – The brew is too strong/weak:
Problems in the brew-strength department signal trouble in the steeping basket, which is where you should focus your attention towards. Start by making sure the steeping basket is clean, with there being no tea residue lodged in the filter or the spot under it.
If the basket is clean, however, the fault may very well lie in your brew control, and so may require a professional to go over it. However, a simple solution around this problem is to just use less or more tea leaves in your next brew, depending on if your tea is too strong or too weak, respectively. It’ll cost you less than a repair job and is really only the logical thing to do.
Know when to seek professional help
Being able to fix your iced tea maker on your own will save you a considerable sum of money, but if you end up causing more harm than you set out to fix, you’d have been better off just taking your machine to a repairman in the first place.
So, here’s a good rule of thumb to remember when it’s time to get professional help: if you can’t completely picture yourself solving the problem every step of the way, it’s time to call it a day and get help. Better safe than sorry.
Know when to give up and just buy a new iced tea maker
While this can be a bitter pill to swallow, sometimes there’s only so much you can do. This is especially true if your iced tea maker is pretty old and run-down in the first place, or if the cost of repairs exceeds more than half the price for which you can get a new iced tea maker. Calling it quits and buying a new iced tea maker instead of wasting more money on your old one would only be the smart thing to do here.