Keurig Hack Now Automatically Fills The Water Reservoir


This hack makes your Keurig experience fully automatic. For those that aren’t familiar with the hardware: this type of coffee maker includes a water reservoir. Coffee is brewed One cup at a time by drawing from that water, quickly heating it, then forcing it through disposable pods containing coffee grounds and a filter. This takes the user-friendly design one step further by automatically keeping the water full.

This goes beyond the last water reservoir hack we saw. That one routed a water line to the machine, but included a manually operated valve. [Eod_punk] added a solenoid valve and level sensor in this project. The level sensor is submerged in the tank and is monitored by a Basic Stamp microcontroller. When the level is low the BS1 drives the solenoid via a transistor, letting the water flow. This is all shown in the video below.

26 thoughts on “Keurig Hack Now Automatically Fills The Water Reservoir

  1. Cool project, I’m a sucker for automation :D

    I just don’t understand why people use Basic Stamps. I mean I have nothing against them per say they are just so darned expensive and there are so many cheap effective alternatives.

    1. I agree, there are many other ways of accomplishing the same goal. However, as a recent convert from basic stamps and picaxe dev boards to AVR/Arduino, I can understand wanting to make a simple project with equipment and experience already available. I have 2 BS2 and 1 BS1 board just sitting around and a handful of Picaxe chips I have no idea when I will use, since I am addicted to the Attiny and Atmega chips now!

  2. Pretty cool!
    I see they let the water actually get low so that the water stays fresher.

    Nice work!
    Hey if they had a Basic Stamp laying around, why not use it for something?

    1. It is a popular kitchen appliance with one really annoying issue (manually filling the tank). Why is anyone surprised there are multiple solutions.

      Now, if this was the 14th Keurig hack and not the 2nd…..

      1. There are not just multiple solutions, there are many. We don’t need a post about each one, especially since the comments section on the first post includes discussion of numerous design routes This issue has been overcome in some way by every moderately intelligent Keurig owner and no aspect of this project is in any way particularly clever or interesting. Sorry if I expect Hack a Day to publish content focused on novel, clever, and skilled solutions as opposed to the type of everyday ho-hum engineering I see in person, well, every day.

        1. HackaDay is great because it does post very obscure/complex hacks, but at the same time, most folks (including me) enjoy just seeing the integration of technology and the physical environment and the different approaches to the same problem. These approaches may spark an idea for another (unrelated) project. I recall a build just a couple of weeks ago where someone (link missing) was measuring water levels with a sonic sensor. Certainly not how I would have attacked the problem, but interesting nonetheless.

    1. If you’ve got a programmable solution instead of a float valve, you can set it to wait a bit after the water level drops before filling, so you’re not pouring cold water in while it’s brewing coffee. Maybe the Keurig provides enough isolation that it doesn’t matter, but you’ve got a choice.

  3. This is pretty cool! I’m working on a similar project, and I’d like to know what kind of solenoid valve he used, as well as where he got it. I do know from his original thread that it is 12V DC, but otherwise I can find nothing. Any ideas?

    1. I can tell you that a refrigerator ice/water fill valve is a good choice because it’s meant for water, likely FDA approved, and pretty cheap as far as solenoids go. You may need a few fittings to cram it in there but the price should make up for it. Just search eBay for “refrigerator fill valve”. I’ve seen them for less than $10.
      You can use a float valve to determine water level or a proximity sensor hung just above where you want the water level to be if you’re afraid of anything contacting the water.

  4. It was interesting to read about the milone etape, but $35 for a sensor seems a lot. My friend’s coffee machine water sensor uses a reed switch (or hall sensor) and float with magnet. If you are using a microcomputer anyway, I wonder if a capacitive sensor would be simple and reliable (could detect failures).

  5. I am not sure why he is using an extra sensor when the keurig has a built in level sensor that activates the LED lights when it gets low. If you just tap into that you wouldn’t have to have the etape at all and wouldn’t be putting anything extra in the water tank.

    1. I have been wanted to try using the etape in a project so thats why I used it. Also using the etape I can press the button and top off the tank from any point (not just when its empty) as long as its not already full.

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