How To Connect Any Keurig To a Water Line!
Have you ever wondered if there was a “better way” to refill your Keurig reservoir? Well, you CAN!
Personally I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to have to refill something….but maybe in some cases, it could make your life easier depending on your own situation. Maybe you use that thing more heavily needing to dispense hot water at odd times of day for food items, or maybe you’re someone who has some physical limitations (like arthritis, or wheelchair bound) and you want to kind of make it easier on yourself to get great coffee.
Or perhaps the “Add Water” light coming on persistently (and sometimes reading falsely) is getting to be a pain in the you know what.
Well, the good news is that some people are figuring this out, and you don’t actually have to own the Keurig K150 or K155 with the direct plumbing line already established to make this work. The Classic, Elite and Platinum editions can be hacked with a water refill system too! Just abut all of them with the exception of the Mini can be plumbed. It does require a different set of tools than for the units mentioned earlier.
Doesn’t just have to be a Keurig either! ANY k-cup brewer with a reservoir can be hacked 🙂
Warning: There are two important caveats here:1) This does take some legwork, and 2) This process may void the warranty on your Keurig. Now that I’ve established that, let’s lay it out there:
What's on this page?
- A length of 1/4″ poly tubing
- A 3-way 1/4″ brass compression fitting (it is kind of t-shaped)
- A float valve (the kind made for fish aquariums)
- Drill and bit
- A 1/4″ Brass needle shutoff valve with compression fitting
- Teflon tape
How “Hacking the Reservoir” Works
The float valve you will need is one made for aquarium use. It has a similar purpose (and design) to the accessory part by the same name used in your toilet tank. However it’s a lot smaller. (It’s going to literally float atop the water in your reservoir, so naturally it’s going to be small.)
Basically the operation will be the same -when you brew cups of coffee, the water reservoir will refill back up much like your toilet tank does when it is flushed. Your modus operandi will be hooking this apparatus up to a water line that connects to another direct water source -say, your refrigerator. Hopefully this sounds exciting to you and not too scienc-y 🙂
First I’m linking to a post by a coffee drinker who has pulled this off like a real pro. It’s very indepth if you need a good reference with pictures to go by. Plagiarism is not cool (and dishonest) so I paraphrased the major points.
First determine the place of the water hookup – Behind the refrigerator seems like the obvious choice, but there are other options. It will all depend on your situation. and whatever room you use the brewer the most. If you look behind your refrigerator you should see your water line easily.The average diameter for most home water lines is abut 1/4″ in diameter.
First determine the place for the hole to go-it needs to be in a certain location enough so that the float valve is in the right place. I know this is tricky because Keurig reservoirs have that roundish-semicircular shape-so you may want to experiment with the valve placement and see how much it will move under the reservoir lid before you make your mark. When you have the designated spot mark it on the outside with a piece of tape on the area and a Sharpie.
Drill on the outside of the lid and to further protect your reservoir lid (it’s plastic and you have to be uber careful with drilling in plastic) place a piece of tape over the designated area.
Now take your float valve and twist off the ring nut (it’s close to the top) and thread it over the poly tubing. Thread the neck of the float valve into the hole you made in the reservoir lid and check for movement. The neck part that is showing on the outside, should be secured with the ring nut.
A shutoff valve will be important on those occasions you need to halt the water flow when descaling (yes, you’ll still have to do this) or well,.. Murphy’s Law. It needs to accommodate the same tubing thickness, 1/4″
Before you proceed with connecting the tubing going into the float valve to the tubing that will lead to the water line, temporarily shut off your water supply. (When I last had to do this, it is in the front yard, I take something called a “church key” and twist it clockwise)
Here is a video so you can see what this baby will look like when all is said and done…
Connecting the Tubing
Sandpaper the ends of your tubing…Thread one end into the ring nut end going into the Keurig and push the compression nut over it. Connect this length of tubing into the brass shutoff fitting and tighten. Wrap a few rounds of teflon tape around the area where the tube meets the nut to secure it against leaks.
You’re then going to insert the opposite end of the tubing into the three way connector fitting. Again push in the tubing until it stops and secure with teflon tape.
Thread the other tubing piece into the water line and the other end into the three way fitting.
When everything is connected and secure you can turn the water back on and do a little checking of the fittings if necessary.
Testing It Out
Alright…Now to see if your work has passed the smell test there are several steps involved. Start brewing a cycle and check for the following: First off, there should be no leaks. If you see water flowing into the tube but a slight trickle out, you may need to wrap the connector fittings with a little more teflon tape.
Number two…As the coffee brews into your cup does the amount of water you used for your coffee automatically re-flow back into the reservoir and then stop (very much like the manner in which your toilet tanks refills and then stops when full)
If so…Great!! Congratulations, you have successfully rigged your reservoir! At this point you should treat yourself to your favorite brand of coffee. You have earned it!
Top image Attribution: Creative Commons Image Courtesy of Moresheth