how-to easily add automatic water fill to a Terra Kaffe TK-01 coffee machine

workin hard to be lazy

Aimee got a fancy coffee robot (Terra Kaffe TK-01) that makes some really smooth black gold, but it’s a needy little bitch… always with the “empty my bin!”, “my drip tray is full!”, “i need more water!”. so, i hacked on an automatic water-filler to calm at least one of those little nags.

this is a super quick and easy project anyone can do with minimal tools, and it should only cost around $25!



  • sharp utility knife and/or scissors
  • drill
  • 3/8″ or 5/16″ drill bit
  • optional:
    • 3/4″ step drill bit (just easier than using the knife)
  • if tapping in under sink instead of at ice-maker:
    • adjustable wrench



  1. 1/4″ float valve kit (tubing, float-valve, t-fitting, shut-off)
  2. corrugated plastic sheet aka Coroplast (also at Home Depot, Walmart, etc.)
  3. optional:
  4. if tapping in under sink instead of at ice-maker:


let’s do it!

using the push connect t-fitting included in the 1/4″ float valve kit, tap into your ice-maker water supply line behind your fridge.

or, you can tap into the cold water supply line going to your sink using the adapter listed above.

don’t forget to turn off the water at the wall first, lest ye be wet soon.

tap that... line

route the new 1/4″ tubing to your Terra Kaffe.

cut off and save a 2 foot long section of tubing from the end.

attach the push-connect shut-off valve to the end of the tubing, this will get tucked behind the coffee machine so you can easily turn off the water when it’s time to change the water filter (and maybe clean that water tank monthly so it doesn’t get skank).

professional hand model at work

drill a 3/8″ (or 5/16″ minimum) hole into the top back corner of the latch recess in the water tank door panel.

shit just got real

ease the sharp corners on this hole with a utility knife (or even a nail file).

clean it up kids

use the top of the water tank as a template to cut out a section of corrugated plastic. trim the piece till it fits easily down inside the tank.

be sure the channels in the plastic run length-wise on the piece you make, so it won’t accidentally bend later.

loosey goosey fit

drill a 3/4″ hole near the filter end of that plastic piece. this is for the float valve, so be sure you place it where the valve will clear the filter and tank handle.

if you don’t have a 3/4″ drill bit, you can just trim a little square with a knife and then poke the valve through the soft Coroplast.

we all float down here

after attaching the float valve to the corrugated plastic, install the push connect elbow fitting onto the valve so it points at an angle towards the front outer corner of the tank.

so when do we get coffee

attach that 2 foot section of 1/4″ tubing you saved earlier to the shut-off valve and route it through the hole you drilled in the door. then plug the line into the elbow fitting (on the float valve).

layin pipe getting close now

re-install the tank with your new contraption sitting in it…

there is one specific spot with enough space to route the tubing out of the tank so that it won’t be squished (see the photo below). this also lines it up perfectly to exit through the hole you drilled in the door.

the perfect spot

close the damn door! then you’re pretty much done.

you can now twist open the shut-off valve and you should hear the water filling the tank… and hopefully automatically stopping!


bonus points:

i used some black tape to make a little “flag” on the tubing that tucks under the rear foot of the Terra Kaffee to keep the line tight against the side.

neatness counts tube tucked tight

everything in the photos up to here was done with the white tubing included with the float valve kit. once i knew the POC worked, i bought black tubing to match our Terra Kaffe and swapped it out.

i also added some Techflex style expandable sleeve to the short section of tubing, just to church-it-up a notch.

wrap your tube



that’s it kids – cheap, simple, minimally invasive, works well, and doesn’t look too ghetto.

it took me longer to write this than to actually do the whole project… so go get-r-done yourself!

can i have my damn coffee already

say something about this post

  • (will not be published)

one response to “how-to easily add automatic water fill to a Terra Kaffe TK-01 coffee machine”