I've got an outlet in my kitchen that I have several appliances plugged into: a microwave, a cordless phone, and a Keurig coffee maker. If I leave the Keurig coffee maker plugged in to the outlet, after a few minutes the power will cut out on the circuit. It happens anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes after I leave it plugged in. Usually that's enough time to make some coffee in the morning, and then I just unplug it.

It does NOT trip the circuit breaker - if I unplug the coffee maker and leave it alone for a few hours, the power comes back on. If I leave the coffee maker unplugged, the power stays on indefinitely, as evidenced by the clock on the microwave continuing to keep the correct time.

It's seemingly not related to the load - I can run the coffee maker and the microwave together just fine, which is the highest load the circuit would get, if the power is on; and it happens even when the microwave, phone, and coffee maker are idle -essentially just running the clock on the microwave, a small light on the phone base, and the touch screen for the coffee maker.

I'm using a six-port adapter over the standard wall outlet (like so). I've already replaced this with a brand new one, and it still happens (I suspect there was nothing wrong with the old one, but I've since thrown it away anyway). I've also already replaced the outlet.

What could be causing this? I have to think it's related to the coffee maker since it doesn't happen if it isn't plugged in, but I'm hesitant to get rid of the coffee maker since Keurig machines are relatively expensive, and more importantly, my wife "really likes it". I don't understand how one device could cause a power outage not related to the circuit breaker, and then keep the power off after it's unplugged, and then have the power recover.

  • This sounds like a heating problem in the circuitry itself rather than the coffee maker. Something is heating enough to shift and break contact, then reestablish contact once it cools. First guess is outlet, but it could be anywhere. You need en electrician who can troubleshoot.
    – bib
    Aug 19, 2016 at 19:52
  • Wouldn't that be related to the load though? I could see things heating up when the microwave is running and the coffee maker is brewing, but it happens with the same frequency/interval AFAICT even when both are idle.
    – dpw
    Aug 19, 2016 at 20:18
  • There is some draw by appliances even when idle, but that tends to be pretty small. Intermittents are the toughest to figure out.
    – bib
    Aug 19, 2016 at 20:21
  • Yes, that's why I'm hesitant to call an electrician. My fear is I'll pay him a couple hundred bucks and he'll fix nothing.
    – dpw
    Aug 19, 2016 at 20:25
  • Have you checked the integrity of the terminals of the outlet in question? (Be sure to turn off power first)
    – bib
    Aug 19, 2016 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


So, I finally paid an electrician to come fix this; at long last, the power had failed to the outlet and stayed off.

I had two problems:

  • The breaker was corroded and needed to be replaced.
  • One outlet on the circuit was "upstream" from the others (I'm not sure the exact terminology here, but it was closer to the breaker than the others) and had gotten corroded badly, likely due to a window leak I'd had fixed years ago. The neutral wire running from that outlet to the "downstream" outlet that I had my coffeemaker plugged in to needed to be replaced.

The outlet that the coffeemaker was plugged in to was replaced with a GFCI outlet. The electrician did not see any corrosion in it (naturally, as I had replaced it last year) but given that he was already here and fiddling with my wiring, it seemed prudent to have him replace it.

The cost for this job was just under $300, which was more than I was hoping for but less than I feared.

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