UPDATE: People smarter than me have realised that you do not need to go to the trouble of de-soldering the buzzer – you just need to remove the metal diaphram from the buzzer. See their excellent comments below this post.
Stopping a KitchenAid kettle from beeping, at all. My wife and I were recently in the market for a new electric kettle and were having trouble finding one of suitable quality and visual appeal. Eventually our attention was drawn to the KitchenAid KEK1722 kettle which, although somewhat expensive, seemed to offer what we wanted. We don’t own any other KitchenAid products, but thought that as it is a respected premium brand, there wouldn’t be be any issues with it right? Wrong. Once again, I didn’t bother to check online reviews. If I had, I would have quickly noticed a very common complaint with this product – it produces a very loud cheap-sounding piezo beep every time a button’s pressed, when the water’s boiled (three beeps!), even when you just put it on the base. And there’s no option to turn the beeps off. To quote Amazon reviewer Charlie2095, who ended up sending his kettle back: At first the beeping isn’t a big deal. After a while, it becomes annoying. Then grating. This thing beeps for every reason it can think of. It even beeps when you set it back on the base! What the heck for? “Beep! I am back on the base!” “Beep! You just pushed a button! Beep! You pushed another button!” It astounds me how some of these products get through the design process and out the door with such an annoying and in this case totally unnecessary “feature”. They’ve obviously put some careful consideration into the visual design, but what happened after that? Did they just hand if off to the electronic design guys and say “here you go, we’re done with the visual design, just do what you want and throw it in a box”. Did they not do any customer testing on the final product? It’s not just the fact that it beeps too much, it’s also the quality of the sound. We have a Samsung dishwasher that beeps, but it is a quieter and more acceptable polyphonic chime, not a cheap loud piezo buzzer screech. At the extreme end of the scale, our Asko washing machine (mentioned in another post) has no beeps at all, and it’s no problem from a functional point of view. Anyway, like Charlie2095, I put up with it for a couple of days, then couldn’t stand it anymore. But I didn’t send it back, no, I got out my soldering iron and fixed it good! So if you came here because you have an annoying KitchenAid KEK1722 kettle, and you don’t mind voiding your warranty, here’s how to do it. Note that I would not recommend this procedure to anyone without electronics soldering experience and a good temperature controlled soldering iron. To silence the beeps, you need to locate and remove the piezo buzzer. The circuit board containing the buzzer is located under a cover on the bottom of the kettle itself (not the kettle base that plugs in to the wall). You will need to remove two triangle recess screws (photo below). I didn’t have the correct screwdriver bit, but I managed to use a tri-wing bit. Even a simple flat-bladed jewelery screw driver of the right size will work. Before you start, remove the AA batteries if installed. Remove the triangle screws and carefully lift off the cover.
You should now see the circuit board with the piezo buzzer as shown below. There are three connectors, indicated by yellow arrows, that will need to be unplugged so that you can lift up the board in order to de-solder the buzzer. These connectors were covered with a hot-melt glue in my kettle, so the first task was to very carefully prise away the glue. Once the connectors are un-plugged, remove the three philips screws holding the circuit board (blue arrows). This should allow the board to be lifted from the right hand side as viewed in the photo. You will need to hold the connector wires back out of the way to get the board past them.
You should be able to lift the board enough (the two wires that pass across the blue capacitor can be pulled out of the base a bit to give some slack) to get in behind with a soldering iron and remove the buzzer (the black component indicated by the red arrow above).
I didn’t take photos of the de-soldering because I was on my own, but I just gently pulled on the buzzer with a pair of pliers as I heated each of the two pins in turn on the back side of the board. There are some surface mount components near one of the pins, so be very careful with the iron. Once the buzzer is gone, push the board back down and replace the screws and connectors.
Put the batteries back in and replace the covers. That’s it! No more beeping, just the gentle sound of heating water.