Keurig Troubleshooting

Keurig Troubleshooting: Won’t Brew, Won’t Turn On, Not Dispensing Water, and More

A Keurig, through the use of k-cups (their version of coffee pods), delivers an amazing cup of coffee almost every time. We said ‘almost’ for a reason, though – every so often, the unfortunate happens, and a Keurig machine will encounter a problem. 

In order to understand how these problems come about, it’s important to first understand how your coffee machine works. 

Keurig Troubleshooting

Keurigs essentially hold the coffee pod in a position that allows for hot water to be run through it, creating a delicious, hot, and fresh cup of coffee. When something goes wrong with the hot water, or the pipe that the hot water travels through, your Keurig may encounter some problems.

That’s why we’ve put this guide together – to help you figure out exactly what’s wrong with your Keurig, as well as how to solve it. 

Keurig Won’t Brew / Only Brews a Small Amount

If you’ve noticed that your Keurig doesn’t brew properly, or it only brews a meager amount of coffee each time, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a clogged machine. 

To unclog a Keurig, you can run the machine without using a pod. This forces hot water through the machine, hopefully cleaning out any problematic debris in the process. If this doesn’t work, we have more information on unclogging and descaling your machine later on in this article. 

Other possible reasons for your Keurig not brewing in the way that it should are: 

Air Bubbles

Air bubbles within the line and the water reservoir can lead to problems with brewing, as they can block the water pump. 

Removing Air Bubbles from Line

To remove any air bubbles from the line of your Keurig, make sure that your water reservoir has water in it – fill it to a quarter of the reservoir. 

Now, gently shake your Keurig’s water reservoir in a fast up and down motion in order to push the air bubbles up to the surface of the water. The air bubbles will leave the water this way, removing any air bubbles from the line of your Keurig. Once the air bubbles stop appearing, you should have removed them all. 

To test whether this has worked or not, fill your reservoir up in the way that you usually would, and press brew with a cup under your Keurig machine’s coffee spout.

If your Keurig brews efficiently, you should have rectified the problem. If you find that this doesn’t work, you can repeat this process a couple more times to ensure that you have removed all air bubbles. 

Keurig Needs Time to Heat Up

If you find that your Keurig doesn’t brew, there’s a chance that you aren’t giving it enough time to warm up properly. 

Your Keurig will need some time to warm up when you first switch it on, and it will also need a little time to warm up again between cups of coffee. Make sure that you are waiting the required time for your model to both preheat and warm up before attempting to brew any coffee. 

Difficulty Starting my Keurig

If you are having difficulty starting your Keurig coffee machine, this may be down to a few different things.

The first of the reasons for difficulty starting your coffee machine is that your Keurig may be dirty, leading to clogs –  in this case, you should refer to our advice on unclogging your machine, later within this article. A lack of starting may also be due to damage, a system malfunction, or a lack of correct assembly. 

Other than cleaning your machine, to cover all of the bases, you can follow this step-by-step below:

How to Reset Your Keurig

  1. Open and close the pod holder, as sometimes this can solve the problem immediately.
  2. Switch your Keurig machine off, and make sure that you unplug it from the power supply. Wait for a couple of hours, and allow your machine to reset. 
  3. Remove any air bubbles from the water line in your Keurig. You can do this by jostling the machine with water in the reservoir until air bubbles stop appearing. You can also hold your machine over a sink, giving it a tap on the side in order to remove any air bubbles – make sure not to do this too hard, as this might cause damage to your Keurig coffee machine. 
  4. Remove the water reservoir and leave your Keurig alone for a further thirty minutes.
  5. Make sure that you position the water tank correctly, and then plug your Keurig back into your power supply. 

Hopefully, this reset guide will help you to solve any problems that may have been preventing your Keurig from starting. If this doesn’t work, you may find another solution more specific to your problem within this article. 

Keurig Won’t Turn On

Is your Keurig Connected to the Power Supply Correctly?

Whilst this seems like a fairly obvious thing to try, it’s still worth double-checking, just to make sure. 

Make sure that your Keurig’s power chord is properly connected to your power source. 

Is Your Power Supply Turned On?

You should also make sure that the power supply is turned on, as when switched off, your Keurig is not being supplied with the necessary electricity to power your Keurig. 

If you find that this doesn’t work, or you’ve had the power supply turned on the entire time, it’s worth trying a different outlet, in case the outlet was the problem. 

If this is also unsuccessful, we would recommend that you examine the wire to see if there is any damage, as if this is the case it will need replacing. You should ask a professional to do this for you.

Contact Customer Support

If after going through all of these checks, your Keurig still won’t turn on, you should consider getting in touch with Keurig’s customer support, as they may be able to help you to diagnose and fix the problem. 

Keurig Won’t Come Out of Preheating Mode

Keurig’s will enter a preheating mode automatically when additional water is added to the tank. Sometimes, debris clogging the needle of the pod holder, or the nozzle of the machine can be the issue. 

Make sure that you wait for the machine to cool down before doing this. You can then follow Keurig’s instructions on how to clean your machine’s needle and nozzle as instructed within your Keurig’s instruction manual.

If you don’t have the instruction manual for your Keurig, you can find this by searching for the name of your specific model, followed by the words “instruction manual”. 

Simply using a paper clip to clear any debris out from around your needle (safely, with the machine turned off) will usually do the trick. After this, you can run a water cycle to ensure that any remaining debris is cleared out. 

Coffee is Always Weak

If your Keurig only produces weak coffee, there’s a good chance that this is due to your coffee pods. 

This could be due to them being past their use-by-date, or due to the type of coffee that you are using – you may want to buy new pods or darker roasts. 

It can also be because of a blockage in the upper needle of your Keurig – this needle needs to pierce into your K-cup, before running water through the cup into your cup, infusing the water with the coffee pod of your choice in the process. If your needle has a blockage, the water may not run through the cup in the way that it should, resulting in weak, watery “coffee”. 

Coffee is Always Cold

If you’ve found that your morning coffee is unexpectedly cold, straight out of your Keurig, then your Keurig is probably dispensing water without heating it up. 

If this is the case there are a few different things you can try to diagnose the problem. 

Switch It Off and On Again

This rule applies to most things, and Keurig coffee machines are not an exception. Sometimes, simply turning your machine on and off again is all that is needed to fix certain minor malfunctions. The same rule applies for unplugging your machine, waiting a while, and plugging it back in again. 

You can also try holding down the brew button of your machine for a few seconds. 

Water Tank

Make sure that your water tank is positioned correctly, as this can always cause problems. Remove your water tank before replacing it again. 

You should also check that the float within the water tank is positioned correctly. Sometimes, this can move out of place, causing your machine to malfunction. Tap your water tank near the float until it repositions itself correctly. 

Water Pump

If the water from your Keurig isn’t being heated up, one important place to look is the water pump. 

Often, issues with the heating system are a result of a problem with the water pump, due to the fact that the heating element will automatically turn itself off if it detects any problems with the pump. This is to ensure that it doesn’t overheat.

Often, unclogging your water pump is the solution to this problem – you can sometimes do this quite easily by cleaning the valve at the bottom of the water reservoir. We fully explain how to clean your water reservoir later within this article. 

Your water pump may also not be working due to air bubbles or damage. If damaged, you can replace the water pump (or enlist a professional to). We have explained how to remove air bubbles earlier within this article. 

Unclog your Machine

We have a section where we explain how to unclog your Keurig machine later in this article. 

Keurig Continuously Pumping Water

If you find that your Keurig starts to pump water without any signs of stopping, it may be worth ensuring that there aren’t any clogs in the waterline, pipes or valves of your machine. 

You can unclog the needle by using a paperclip or a toothpick and following the manufactures instructions as detailed in your instruction manual. Ensure that you remove all of the debris from around your needle, as any remaining debris can still cause build-up. This should be done routinely. 

Descaling your machine may also help. We explain how to do this by using Keurigs descaling solution later in this article. 

Ensure that everything is fully cleaned, by emptying and cleaning your water reservoir, replacing any filters, and cleaning around the pod holder. 

Keurig Turns Itself Off 

If you’ve found that your Keurig often decides to turn itself on or off without you doing anything, this may be alarming – however, everything’s okay!

Keurig machines include an automated brew setting, which many people may not realize is activated. If this is the case with your machine, simply deactivating or turning this setting off should stop your machine from starting itself up all by itself again. 

Another potential cause for this issue could be your placement of the water reservoir when replacing it. Every time that you reattach the reservoir to the machine, ensure that you are positioning it correctly. 

Coffee is Grainy/ Coffee Granules in Coffee

This may be due to debris in your needles (in which case, consult your instruction manual for advice on how to unclog them safely), using unsuitable coffee in a refillable coffee pod (coarse grind is the right type), or incorrect closing of the lid. 

Coffee Tastes Nasty/ Doesn’t Taste as Good

If you find that your Keurig has started producing bad or strange-tasting coffee, there are a few different reasons as to why this may be happening. 

The first is that your coffee pods may not be within their use-by date. If they have expired, you may find that the quality of your coffee declines, and in some cases, it may not taste very nice at all.

This may also be, once again, due to debris clogging your machine, as the hot water in your coffee travels through the same pipes that these bits of debris can gather in. To solve this problem, follow our tips on how to unclog your machine as discussed previously within this article. 

To avoid future bad-tasting coffee, make sure to properly rinse your machine if you do use either the dish soap or the vinegar method, as both of these cleaning materials will cause your coffee to taste bad if not thoroughly rinsed off. 

If any odors or weird tastes remain, you can also replace any filters within your machine. Failing this, run hot water through the machine and rinse the water reservoir with hot water as well. 

Keurig is in Brewing Mode, But Nothing is Being Produced

This may be due to a number of issues.

Some of these problems can be electrical – in these instances, you should consider resetting your machine by unplugging it for a short amount of time. We explain how to reset your Keurig really efficiently within the “Difficulty Starting My Keurig” section of this troubleshooting guide.

Sometimes, however, a lack of any liquid being released from your machine can be due to a blockage in the water flow. Try running the machine without a pod in it to see if it’s able to release any water at all. It may be worth descaling your machine in order to make sure any blockages are cleared.

You can also follow the manufacturer’s guide to cleaning your needle. 

Keurig is Leaking

If you’ve found that your Keurig is leaking water, this is definitely an issue that you’ll feel is in urgent need of addressing. 

Water Reservoir

These leaks will most likely be coming from your machine’s water reservoir. 

To check whether or not this is the case, look underneath your water reservoir to see whether there is a puddle of water underneath it, as this will help to indicate whether water is coming from your water reservoir or not – if there is a puddle underneath, the reservoir is almost certainly the problem. You can also hold the reservoir over a container or your kitchen sink in order to see if there are any leaks.

Make sure that the reservoir is positioned properly, as this may be the source of the leak. 

It is also a good idea to ensure that you are using the correct K-cup size for your machine. Check the instruction manual that came with your machine, or search the model of your machine with “K-Cups” online to double-check which type of pod you should be using. 

If you found that your cold water reservoir is leaking, then it may be time to buy a replacement. Contact Keurig’s customer care team before doing this though, as they may be able to advise you on how to fix this

Keurig is Noisy

If you find that your Keurig is a lot noisier than before, this is yet another symptom of a blockage somewhere within the machine.  We would advise you to follow our guide on unclogging your machine later within this article. 

Another reason for this can be that you are not using the correct water. Using tap water in your Keurig may lead to a mineral build-up within your machine, due to the minerals that can be present in tap water. Using bottled or filtered water (not distilled) is a good way to ensure that you are avoiding a build-up of minerals such as limescale within your Keurig. 

Keurig is Asking Me to ‘Prime it’ 

If your Keurig is asking to be primed, this can be fixed by ensuring that your water reservoir is properly placed within your machine. Remove the reservoir and put it back in the appropriate place to be certain that you have done this correctly.

Run a brew cycle on your machine without a pod to ensure that the water is flowing as it should. 

You can also try replacing the filters in your coffee machine, or unclogging and descaling your machine as mentioned later in this guide.

Keurig Won’t Brew – Says to Descale It 

If your Keurig is instructing you to descale it but it won’t brew to allow you to do this, you might need to give it a firm tap over a sink to dislodge any debris that may be interfering with the water flow. 

Be careful when doing this – you should wait for a little while (maybe an hour or two) before doing this in order to ensure that the water has cooled down and that you won’t burn yourself After doing this, run a few brew cycles without any K-cups, and descale as per the descaling section later within this article. 

The Water Reservoir is Full but the Machine is Asking to Add More Water

If your Keurig is displaying the message “More Water Please”, but there is a sufficient amount of water in the reservoir, this could be down to a few different reasons. 

The first thing we’d suggest is that you clean your water reservoir and refill it, as well as switch your machine off and on again. 

If this does not work we have a few other things you can try. We’ll get into these below. 

Wrong Water

If you use distilled water in your Keurig coffee machine, then this is possibly the culprit. This is because your Keurig machine uses an electrical sensor to detect the water level, and distilled water can interfere with this, due to its lack of solids for the electrical current to pass through. 

To test this, simply swap out your regular water for filtered or bottled water. If the message disappears, you have fixed the problem. 

Is the Reservoir Connected Properly?

If your water reservoir isn’t in the correct position, there’s a chance that it will cause this error message. Make sure that your water reservoir is set in position correctly by taking it out and putting it back in again, as this may solve your problem. 

Descale your Keurig

You can also try descaling your Keurig. We have information on how to descale your Keurig later on in this article. 

Reset the Float

The float can sometimes become displaced, and this can result in your machine believing that there is an incorrect amount of water in the water reservoir. 

To fix this, you can try to jiggle your machine by lightly shaking it or jostling it to help the float regain its correct position. 

Broken Water Pump

You may have a broken water pump to contend with if none of the previous solutions work for your machine. Unfortunately, this can happen, as, despite their durability, these water pumps can break or wear out with a lot of use. 

If this is the case, you can purchase a new water pump. These parts can be specific to their particular Keurig machine, so make sure that any parts you purchase are the right fit for your specific models. 

If you find this process daunting, you can ask a technician to do this for you, and ensure that your water pump is replaced correctly.

Contact Customer Support

If none of the above suggestions work, we would recommend contacting Keurig’s customer support team. 

How to Clean your Keurig’s K-Cup Holder

  1. Remove the K-cup holder, ensuring that you don’t hurt yourself with the needles. 
  2. Rinse with warm water. If you use soap, ensure that you rinse it effectively to avoid any bad tastes. 
  3. Place the K-cup holder back into the machine. Do this carefully to ensure that it is done properly. 

Run water through your machine by completing a couple of brew cycles without a pod to ensure that your pod holder is fully clean. 

How to Clean your Keurig’s Water Reservoir

  1. Fill your Keurig’s water reservoir with a dish soap and water solution after removing it from your machine. Use a soft cloth to clean the inside of the reservoir. 
  2. Rinse the water reservoir, ensuring that there isn’t any soap left behind – this may affect the taste of your coffee. 
  3. If possible, air-dry your reservoir. This ensures that you don’t further clog up your machine with any bits of fabric that may be left behind in the reservoir from drying with a cloth. 
  4. Replace the reservoir, fill it with water and place it back in its correct place.  Ensure that this is connected correctly, as your machine may not work properly otherwise. 

Unclogging and Descaling your Keurig 

A clogged Keurig is the bane of anyone’s existence. The last thing you need is debris piling up within your machine, disrupting both the water flow within the machine and potentially even the taste of your coffee.

If you are finding that your machine refuses to start, or has difficulty in brewing your coffee, there’s a good chance that this is because there is a clog somewhere in your machine’s system. 

Fortunately, coffee machine clogs are often quite easy to fix, and a lot of the time professional assistance isn’t even necessary – this can be sorted by you, at home, without any special tools!

To clear any debris from your machine, you have a number of options. We’ll list these below! 

Use A Straw

Blowing through a straw will allow you to potentially disrupt, or dislodge any debris from your machine. This works as a quick fix, however, it may not solve all instances of clogging. 

Wash Your Machine with Water and Dish Soap

Using a combination of water and dish soap to clean your machine in a similar manner to how you would clean your dishes can definitely work miracles. 

The water that you use in your machine may contain high levels of certain minerals, such as calcium, which can lead to a build-up and clog your machine.

Make sure to unplug your machine before washing it, and also take care not to get any electrical components of your machine wet. For optimal cleaning, remove both the drip tray and the pod holder, as these can contribute to clogging within your machine, also. 

To avoid using too much water and damaging your machine (or causing an electrical fire) always make sure that your machine is unplugged, and that you use a damp cloth in order to do this, to ensure that the water doesn’t get into any electrical components. Rinse your machine with another cloth, dampened with just water, in a similar fashion, before drying your machine with a towel of some kind. 

Wash Using Vinegar and Water 

If you find that your dish soap and water solution isn’t quite doing the trick in shifting any of the calcium build-ups, you can also try using vinegar and water, although we wouldn’t recommend this as the other methods are far better for your machine, and avoid any nasty odors or tastes from the vinegar sticking around. Once again, unplug your machine, remove the pod holder and the dish tray, and make sure to use a damp cloth instead of bathing your machine, as this will ensure that your machine gets cleaned efficiently, and safely, too.

Remove All Debris

To ensure that you have removed all debris from the machine, unplug the machine, remove the drip tray, water reservoir (empty it), and pod holder. 

Clean any visible debris, such as coffee grains or just general gunk. You may want to use a q-tip to really get in there – just be careful not to damage anything or push anything further in. We have information on how to clean both your pod holder and water reservoir later in this article. 

Once you have ensured that any debris is removed, replace the water reservoir and plug your machine in again.

You may want to run a few cycles of water (without any coffee pods) through your machine in order to ensure that there is no debris within the line of it. 

Descaling Your Keurig

Descaling your Keurig may seem a bit daunting at first, but it’s actually not as hard as you’d think. 

Keurig has descaling solutions that you can purchase, making this process a lot easier. 

  1. To descale your Keurig, the first thing that you should do is remove the water filter. 
  2. Now, pour your descaling solution into the water reservoir of your Keurig coffee machine, mixing it with some water. 
  3. Find a suitable container to catch water from your Keurig, for example, a bowl or a large cup. Place this where you would usually place your coffee cup when making a coffee normally. 
  4. Make sure that you don’t have a coffee pod inserted into the pod holder,  before pressing the brew button on your machine to run water throughout it. 
  5. After you have run the descaling solution through your Keurig, you should rinse your machine out by adding more water to the reservoir and running it on a few more cycles, without a coffee pod, once again. 
  6. Once your machine produces water without any remnants of the descaling solution, such as a bad odor that may ruin your coffee, your Keurig is successfully descaled.