Frustrating coffeemaker

Dec 27, 2012 (Updated May 13, 2013)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Brews 12 cups.

Cons:Lid is a daily frustration, condensation leaks, "clean" light reset problem, clock format

The Bottom Line: Who needs the frustration of dealing with the lid, the leaks, a clock in military time only and the annoying "Clean Me!" light.

An inexpensive 12 cup thermal coffeemaker is hard to find.  When I spotted this "gem" for $50, I jumped on it in spite of mediocre reviews.  Am I sorely disappointed.  The fact that it doesn't have a valve in the lid that allows you  to pour a cup without untwisting the lid is a daily frustration.  Twist the lid open slightly and the coffee dribbles out, sometimes off to the side.  Twist the lid open too much and it will fall off when tilting the carafe. After a few months of usage, the markings on the lid will wear off.  Condensation stays in the upper section of the coffeemaker and if one brews a couple of full pots in succession, the condensation leaks out of the side of the coffeemaker, where the water level indicator sits, making one think there is a leak.  After using this coffeemaker for a couple of months, the "clean" light started flashing.  Following the directions, I filled the coffeemaker with the recommended cleaning solution and after three long hours, the clean cycle finished, but the "clean" light kept flashing.  Tried many things to get the "clean" light to stay off, including another clean cycle, another brew cycle, unpluging the unit.  Nothing worked.  Called DeLonghi customer service and was told that the instructions that came with the coffeemaker were wrong, and they emailed me the corrected instructions.  The new instructions were wrong,  I still couldn't get the "clean" light to stay off.  I thought of getting some black paint to cover the annoying "Clean me! Clean me" flashing light, but given the other frustrations with the difficult lid and the occasional leaks from condensation, I unplugged the coffeemaker, hid it in my basement and went back to my perfectly functional 10 cup Cuisinart.
For some, the fact that the clock is in military time and cannot be formatted to show AM & PM can be annoying.  To me, it's an indication that the designers picked a cheap time module, and what else was cheaply made.
UPDATE (5/13/13) The flashing "CLEAN" light would not stop even after leaving the unit unplugged for several months.  Determined not to let this poorly designed program get the best of me, I decided to fix it permanently.  Here's how:
Unplug the coffeemaker, remove the carafe and turn the unit upsidedown.  With a small but long phillips screwdriver, remove eleven screws from the bottom plastic cover.  Some of the screws are in deep recesses.  Lift the bottom off carefully so that the loose screws will not fall out of their recesses.  Set it aside.  Remove eight screws holding the display panel in place, being careful not to let any drop.  Hold a large bowl under the display panel and tip it over so that the screws will fall into the bowl.  Hold the display so that the 24 or so wires that connect to the display are on top. Carefully cut the third wire from the right without disturbing the other wires. The flashing "Clean" light will never bother you again.  Reassemble the coffeemaker.  

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