Let’s put this post in the category “doing something for a really big company that would save a lot of people a lot of frustration if the big company would take 5 minutes and update their website.” Let me ‘splain…
The B99 and I were in the coffee maker shopping state for a while, and eventually we decided on the 10-Cup Thermal model by Mr. Coffee. Wendy (my Better 99%) had one requirement – the thermal carafe – and I wanted something that made it easy to brew coffee, since I do most of the coffee making in the home. I’ve got to say, this machine is the real deal, and we have been very pleased with it, except for when the clean light came on.
A quick Google search for our model (BVMC-PSTX91) took me right to the manual on Mr. Coffee’s website and right there on page 12 were the simple step-by-step instructions for what to do when the clean light comes on. I followed them to a “T” and pushed the clean button. Basically the cleaning cycle pushes 3 cups of white vinegar through, pauses for 30 minutes, and then pushes the last cup of vinegar through. Then you run a few cycles of water through and you’re good to go.
Right. Except for the fact that after the first 3 cups went through, the clean light started blinking and the coffee maker started emitting this high-pitched, shrill noise that went on continuously. The first time this happened I was outside and so the B99 let it go since I had told her not to touch anything until the cycle was finished. So, when I came back in I heard an ungodly, piercing noise and found Wendy in the corner in a fetal position mumbling something that sounded like “make it stop.” I tried pushing the clean button, but when I pushed it again, the soprano from the land of hockey sticks was back. I unplugged the machine and waited a bit before plugging it back in. She was gone!
I decided to try again. I poured in 4 more cups of vinegar and pushed the clean button. Same thing happened, only this time it was worse because I had to hear it, too. I told the B99 that we’d let it run for 30 minutes and hopefully it would stop at that point and run through the rest of the cleaning cycle. We passed the time trying to match the high pitched noise. By the time the 30 minutes were over, we still had a piercing shrill coming from the coffeemaker and a yard full of neighborhood dogs.
At this point, I turned back to my friend, Google. I typed everything I could think of to try and find a solution.
“Mr. Coffee makes high-pitched sound during cleaning”
“BVMC-PSTX91 cleaning cycle not finishing after 3 cups”
“Police find couple twitching uncontrollably after neighbors call to report an odd, high screeching noise coming from home”
Nothing. Even when I clicked the link at Mr. Coffee’s website for “special cleaning instructions,” there was nothing about a noise during the cleaning cycle.
Finally (and the fact that this was my last step should give businesses a clue about how important their internet presence is), I actually called Mr. Coffee for help. Surprisingly, Mr. Coffee sounded like a female living in Indiana. I think I was expecting more of a Juan-type voice. She asked what I needed, and I told her about the problem with the cleaning cycle and the shrill noise and that my wife was in the corner of the kitchen rocking back and forth. She mentioned that others had been experiencing this same type of beeping during the cleaning cycle, and I clarified with her that we weren’t hearing beeping, but rather one continuous “fingers on a chalkboard” sound that made us want to kill somebody.
She laughed – nervously – and seemed relieved to hear that we hadn’t actually hurt anyone.
The solution, she told me, was simple. “Just put 2 more cups in the reservoir and that will trigger the cleaning cycle to continue until it is complete.” Apparently the sound that makes you want to stick something in your eye is just coffee maker-speak for “please add 2 more cups than the instruction manual calls for.” The obnoxious noise is the way the coffee maker punishes people like me for not knowing that intuitively.
So, I am now putting this classified information on my blog in case some other poor sap finds himself uncontrollably slapping small animals that show up in his yard during an attempt to clean his Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker. It would be much simpler for the company that makes the appliance to put it on their website, but that’s crazy talk.
Besides, my version is A LOT more fun to read.
(here is the link to the Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker manual if you need to download it)