My 'Mr. Coffee' finally konked out for the last time. (Repair parts weren't in my stockpile and would cost a significant fraction of a new coffee maker, considering shipping and taxes.)
On disassembly, I discovered two brown silicone tubes that pipe the water to and from the heating element. I removed the checkvalve from one and slid them both over the handles of my electronics needlenose pliers, using alcohol as a lubricant.
Trimmed to size, they give me a very comfortable grip, just like the expensive quality pliers.