Kettle shuts off before boiling?
I had a similar failure. Switch it on and the lights flicker and go out before it boils. Took it apart (Tamper Proof TORX, available from Snap-On, Canadian Tire, probably most auto parts places that also sell tools). The On-Off switch has a mechanical lock out for the lid being open and also for when it is not mounted on the base. The kettle also has three bi-metallic temperature switches. One shuts off the kettle after it has boiled long enough. The other two sit up against the element assembly adjacent to each end of the heating element.They protect against boiling an empty kettle by sensing the higher element temperture when there is no water to conduct away the heat. In the case where the lights flicker and go out, but the switch stays 'On' these are the likely culprit.
In my kettle the contacts did not line up correctly. Instead of making good contact they were only partially overlapping like a couple of the olympic rings or a couple of rings from the Audi logo. This resulted in a localized increased resistance and high heat in one of the contact holders which eventually melted the surrounding plastic. At that point the wires going to the element behaved a bit like springs which forced the contact holder further out of alignment until it all became hot enough to trigger the thermal switch.
I fixed it by bending the contact holder, which is fused into the now hardened plastic, to the optimal position and hopefully it will not generate enough heat to remelt the plastic or trip the thermal switch.
I have boiled a couple of kettlefuls; so far so good!
What ticks me off about this is that I don't mind getting 'Made In China' ****; everything comes from China anyway. But don't charge me a ridiculous amount of money and try to pretend that I am getting a superiour product. If I had paid twenty dollars or less for it I would just chuck it and get the same one again because it looks nice, pours well, doesn't burn the hands, worked OK for couple of years, etc. Instead I walk away from this feeling really ripped off. I have a house full of Braun products(shaver, kettle multiple tooth brushes) but now I won't buy any more.
Oh and if you take your kettle apart and your house burns down it is not my fault. There, now I feel better.
on Apr 19, 2009