Keeping the Bunn Trifecta coffee brewer in shape takes fidgeting, but it’s worth it!
Can I see a show of hands for all those peeps out there with the Bunn Trifecta in the house? (Sound of crickets chirping and paint peeling).
Ok, maybe it’s just me but this coffee brewer is truly one of a kind, very roughly speaking, a home version of the Clover commercial brewer (yes, the one Starbucks absorbed into their fold and then tenderly smothered out of existence. Supposedly they are relaunching it soon as the Vertica).
The main issue with the Bunn Trifecta coffee brewer is the little spring-loaded one-way valves. Your Trifecta might start dribbling when it shouldn’t , not dribbling when it should … you know, humiliated by the aging process in a way that needs to further elucidation.
If you have the Trifecta special tool, you know that sometimes a single grain of coffee can get into the valve in the bottom of the brew chamber, and it will cause the brewer to constantly leak in the brewing process.
If valves start to leak, you can swap them out for a while, in particular the valve that aerates can be swapped with a leaky drain valve, but eventually you will just have a bunch of bad ones and need to revive them. Supposedly they are available but they seem to cost crazy prices… I bet they are used in some other technology or application. I doubt Bunn designed and manufactured these just for the Trifecta. But I have not been able to find them.
There are actual 4 valves in use at all times. Two are in the water dispensing head of the machine, over the removable brew chamber. And 2 are in the brew chamber. One is for the forced air agitation coming in, and the other is for water drainage when the brew is done.
Taking apart the valves is a bit of a trick and for this, the nearest thing i found that worked was a small brad nail to apply pressure and pop the valve apart. Take care! When doing this, parts can fly across the room and will be hard to locate. You do NOT want to lose the plastic parts here!
The best o-ring I found for the outer is the #5 size which is pretty easy to find at a big box hardware store.
The interior o-ring is probably the most important to replace. And the smaller rings were a bit harder to find. I went to a better hardware store and was able to find the #60 and #61 o-rings. Of these I preferred the #60, which is thick in profile but when stretched fits well.
But sometimes you need to “rebuild” the valve and for this you need to get some very tiny o-ring washers before proceeding. If you have some tiny tweezers and a micro flathead screwdriver that will come in handy.
If you have any tips or tricks you use to keep your Trifecta working, let us know in the comments here.