Kettle Fix

Recently our trusty Brevelle SK500XL electric kettle stopped working. It had been working fine and suddenly just stopped. The lighted display never lit up and the water never heated.

Turns out the Breville has a couple of safety features that turn off the heating element. This particular model has been discontinued, replaced by the very similar BKE700BSS. But read on before you order a new one – it might be an easy fix!

Most electric kettles have a thermal protection circuit that trips a breaker if the unit overheats. This is most common if the kettle is turned on while empty. So… don’t ever do that. If you do, just wait a while and the circuit breaker will cool down. After a fashion it should work.

But in our case it had not overheated. The base had power, nothing looked amiss underneath, it just didn’t work. After some research it turned out the tip-over switch was stuck. This is a safety feature that shuts off the juice should the kettle tip or fall over. It’s simple to repair, if you know what you’re looking for.

Breville SK500xl electrical connector on base. Note small white “tooth” is slightly protruding.

If you hold the kettle up so you can see the bottom (while keeping the kettle upright) you’ll see two white “teeth” inside the receptacle. Or rather… you should.

When everything is proper you should be able to see two white “teeth” if the kettle is upright. Inverting or tipping it will cause them to retract. When retracted no electricity flows through the connection.

To fix it I removed the base cover. This should be simple, but the six anti-tamper screws that hold it on have triangle heads. I have a lot of tools— but no triangle drive bits. But I made do with a small plain screwdriver and used pliers on the really tight ones.

Six screws with triangle heads must be removed to access the business end. I used a plain screwdriver.

Once the cover is removed you can see the safety switch. In the photo below you can see my dental pick pushing out one of the tabs. Repeat for the second tab.

I am using a dental pick to “reset” the white safety switch. Notice there is a second one at the 5 o’clock position.

I buttoned it up and put it back on the base… presto! Works like a champ.

4 thoughts on “Kettle Fix”

  1. A little misleading as u wrote if the 2 the white tabs….When retracted no electricity flows through the connection…..mmmmm…guess depends which way it goes as I opened the Base and inserted 2 toothpicks where you had a dental pick and closed it up….yuk, it wouldn’t obviously sit over the connecting plate. Redid it all and with 2 white tabs stuck on the inside worked fine..

    1. Hmmm. If those tabs are out, my meter reads zilch across that connection. Doesn’t matter “which way it goes” in a simple switch circuit.

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