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Coffee grinder - flames inside - presumably overheated. Common issue?

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  • Coffee grinder - flames inside - presumably overheated. Common issue?

    Our Macap M5 purchased 2008 just caught fire this morning. Well, overheated, and I could see something burning in the bottom of it. Got it outside and it continued to smoke, so hit it with extinguisher.

    But is this a common problem? It does not run for long, so wouldn't have a chance to overheat. There are times when it doesn't start, and we took it back to the retailer a few years ago. He twisted the grind adjustment and all was well. So that was how we dealt with subsequent refusals to start, and it usually worked.

    So our old Sunbeam is back on the bench for the time being.

    We make about 4 coffees a day except when we have visitors. So the grinder is not needed to grind for a long period of time at once - if you get my drift. We haven't done any other service apart from the return to retailer to look it over - we were told it didn't need new burrs then.

    I guess we are looking at a new grinder sometime, but not keen to have this issue again.

  • #2
    Errrm,
    I don't think that any electrical appliances should just start catching on fire.
    I would think perhaps that it is shorting somewhere inside, did it not trip a safety switch/RCD or fuse?
    Is it sitting in water/did it get wet?


    Cheers,

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello Cheezel,

      Yes it did trip the RCD fuse. No it wasn't sitting in water. I suspect it somehow shorted too - and it got very hot. I had used it about 30+ minutes beforehand, then went to the computer to see the daily news. I went back to the kitchen to get something out of the oven, heard a loud "pop", saw smoke haze in the kitchen and I thought it was the oven. Then I saw smoke coming from the grinder. Could see something orange inside it, so got fire blanket and tray and got it all outside. Still smoking, any water put on it just boiled and smoked so emptied a fire extinguisher on it, which worked.

      I wondered if somehow coffee grinds had ignited inside with the heat. We had it looked at a few years ago, as I mentioned, but apart from that had not cleaned it up. I was wondering how common this is - overheating for Macaps gets mentioned on websites, but not this sort of thing. Do we need to be more scrupulous with getting it cleaned out? A bit scary.

      But I must say the heat and melting stuff stayed inside the cast-iron grinder. Something leaked on to the bench top, but it was quite removable and there was no damage to the kitchen

      Thank you for your thoughts - Kay
      Last edited by kay; 23 December 2015, 04:02 PM. Reason: typo

      Comment


      • #4
        Bad luck Kay, no, not a common event, fortunately.

        Good to hear no damage done to the house.

        Wonder if it would be covered by your home insurance, fusion! worth asking the question.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you too Yelta. Will look into the insurance.
          Kay

          Comment


          • #6
            Repeated stalling of a motor not designed for this sort of duty will eventually take a toll, with the end result you experienced....

            Moral of the story, is to NOT stall your grinder. Operate it properly and with due care, it will last you forever...

            Mal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Kay,
              Sorry to hear of your misfortune however,I'm interested to know if you might consider packing the whole thing up (ideally,when flame free) and post off to 3690,at my expense?
              The machine may yield some useful spare parts.
              Cheers,
              Mick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mulquemi View Post
                Kay,
                Sorry to hear of your misfortune however,I'm interested to know if you might consider packing the whole thing up (ideally,when flame free) and post off to 3690,at my expense?
                The machine may yield some useful spare parts.
                Cheers,
                Mick.
                Crikey Mick, yer pretty quick of the mark, machine only blew up this AM, still smoke in the air and yer on the scrounge already.

                I suspect the insurance company will want to inspect the grinder if a claim is made.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kay View Post
                  But I must say the heat and melting stuff stayed inside the cast-iron grinder. Something leaked on to the bench top, but it was quite removable and there was no damage to the kitchen
                  From that, my suspicion would be a failed capacitor - if whatever leaked onto the benchtop looked like melted grey plastic, then it's probably capacitor guts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mal, not sure what you mean by "this sort of duty". We only grind for 4 coffees a day. Al this happened 30 minutes AFTER I had my morning coffee - not grinder running for 30 minutes!

                    Will look further into stalling.

                    Mick, don't think there is much useful remaining, not internally anyway.

                    Kay
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by kay; 23 December 2015, 09:34 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kay View Post
                      Mal, not sure what you mean by "this sort of duty". We only grind for 4 coffees a day. Al this happened 30 minutes AFTER I had my morning coffee - not grinder running for 30 minutes!

                      Will look further into stalling.

                      Don't think there is much useful remaining!

                      Kay
                      What a mess.

                      I think the key to what Mal was referring to is in this sentence in your original post "There are times when it doesn't start, and we took it back to the retailer a few years ago. He twisted the grind adjustment and all was well. So that was how we dealt with subsequent refusals to start, and it usually worked." not a refusal to start, unable to start because it was jammed, when you opened up the burrs it freed things up and it was again able to run again, however this happening repeatedly over over a period of time will eventually result in the motor failing.

                      I'm sure Mal will explain it in more technical terms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Yelta, that makes sense. Have been reading up about stalls.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kay,
                          Thank you for your reply,yes.....see what you meant,golly what a mess.
                          Most worthwhile checking your home insurance,if appliances are indeed covered then your insurance people will need a report from you local appliance repaired,this must categorically state the failure was due to electrical fusion!
                          Once that is accepted you will need to weigh up the policy excess cost,hopefully your policy will cover a replacement adequately.
                          Once you are past your worse with this sorry business,you might revisit my offer.
                          Merry Christmas & "Happier 2016,
                          cheers,
                          Mick.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                            I'm sure Mal will explain it in more technical terms.
                            No need mate...

                            What you described is pretty well spot on...

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hello again Yelta,

                              Been looking further into this and wondering how to watch out for in our next grinder. What should we be doing when it stalls, given that we are not particularly fond of taking mechanical things apart? We did take it back to the retailer (certainly won't be buying our new grinder from them) but got no further advice from them. We get our HX machine serviced yearly, should we be sending in the grinder as well? I see other grinders have the stalling issue - and our Macap hadn't been particularly troublesome when this happened.

                              Any comments welcome.

                              Comment

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