One downside to a Keurig machine, as with any household appliance, is that you sometimes encounter problems. Don’t despair–you can save yourself a headache and quite a bit of money if you know how to figure out what is causing the issue and how to fix it.
Today, we’ll look at some of the most common problems that arise with Keurig machines and show you how to fix them.
Keurig is the original producer of single serve coffee makers and their coffee pods. These commercial brewing machines were first marketed at businesses in the 1990s and quickly caught on.
By 2005, Keurig had cornered the in-home market for single serve coffee machines and caught the attention of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, who went on to buy the company in 2006.
The rest is history, and today Keurig/Green Mountain is a name synonymous with coffee.
Amazingly, nearly 25% of American households own a Keurig machine, and most consumers are more than happy with them.
It’s easy to see why, too, with over 400 varieties of drinks to choose from, including more than 60 brands of coffee. Keurig has whatever you want to drink in a convenient single serve K cup pod.
If you own a Keurig coffee maker, read on to learn how to troubleshoot problems and maintain your machine to keep it brewing well for a long time!
Common Keurig Problems
Over the years, Keurig has continuously improved its original design, tweaking the product progressively. Almost 60 different models of the machine have been created in total.
From the classic Keurig to the newer Keurig 2.0 models, each has its own benefits and its own set of problems. However, some problems seem to be universal among these countertop machines.
Some of the most common complaints among Keurig owners are:
- Machine won’t turn on
- Machine won’t heat the water
- Machine doesn’t properly dispense water, so a full cup can’t be brewed
- Machine dispensing too much water, overflowing coffee cup
- Machine is leaking water
- Machine is leaving coffee grounds in coffee cup
- Coffee brewed by Keurig tastes weird
- Machine randomly shuts off mid-brew
- Keurig won’t work at all
These problems can cause you a headache, whether it’s because the machine is acting up or from the ensuing caffeine withdrawal. If you are a coffee junkie like so many people out there, you will want to rectify these issues as quickly as possible to get a good cup of coffee brewing.
Fortunately, most of these problems have rather easy fixes if you know how to do them.
If your Keurig is plagued by any of these common problems facing single serve coffee machine owners, don’t throw your brewer away just yet! Keep reading and try these suggestions before you give up hope on getting your cup of coffee…
Before moving on to more intense Keurig troubleshooting methods, ensure the simplest things are not the root cause of your problems.
Simple Fixes: Make sure your machine is plugged in, your water reservoir (if you have one) is full of water, and a K cup pod has been properly inserted into the machine.
If none of these are at fault, then move on to try to determine what the problem might be.
We’ll delve further into the most common complaints of Keurig owners now and find the reasons for the problems and solutions to fix the problems.
We will also go into more detail below on different Keurig models you may own as well. Keep in mind that many of the problems and solutions are the same across the board, which should help your troubleshooting process.
1. Keurig Won’t Turn On
If you wake up ready to start your day only to be greeted by a machine that refuses to cooperate, you will probably be very annoyed. Try these simple adjustments to see if they might get you back to brewing.
- Problem: Keurig Needs Restarting
Solution: Unplug your coffee maker and plug it back in
- Problem: Machine Has Not Been Turned On
Solution: Press the power button and hold it down until the Keurig screen lights up
There are a couple of other possible causes for this issue, and the solutions are simple.
- Problem: Water Reservoir Is Not Seated Properly
Solution: There are magnets in the water reservoir that need to make proper contact with different magnets in the machine to work properly. Make sure the water reservoir of your machine is sitting correctly in its place to ensure the magnetic contacts are touching. Remove the reservoir from the machine, then set it back in place.
- Problem: Air Bubbles in the Tubes
Solution: The tubes within the Keurig can sometimes get bubbles trapped inside them. When the machine is powered off, these bubbles can’t escape, and your coffee maker thinks there is a clog, so it won’t work as it should. To remedy this problem, fill the water reservoir part way and give the machine a couple of gentle shakes to get water flowing through the lines again.
2. Keurig Is Not Dispensing Water
Over time, you might find your Keurig is no longer dispensing water as well as it once did. It could be that your machine is only putting out a portion of the necessary water, or it might not be giving out any water. When no water is dispensed from the Keurig, you won’t get the cup of coffee you are waiting on.
This problem can sometimes be fixed by one of the options listed above. Check your water reservoir is seated properly in the machine. It’s possible the reservoir was bumped while your Keurig was brewing your coffee, and the machine thinks it is out of water.
If that doesn’t solve your issue, then there is likely a clog somewhere in the machine. The answer is to unclog it, but how? Here are a few suggestions…
- Problem: Unspecified Clog Somewhere in the Machine
Solution: Run a cycle or two through the machine with no K-cup in the brew basket; just use water. This is often helpful in getting the clog out of the Keurig machine
- Problem: Clog in the Exit Needle
Solution: Clean the exit needle. Your Keurig might have come with a special plastic tool made for cleaning the needle. If your machine does come with this tool, use it to gently clear any clogs from the needle.
Some machines don’t come with this tool. If yours did not, then you still have options. Many people report success with using a paperclip that has been straightened out or even a toothpick. Use these to gently clear any clogs from your machine.
Keurig is not a fan of this as a method of fixing the problem, and it might void your warranty, so proceed with care. Once you have cleared the clogs, run the machine through a cycle using only water, no K-Cup.
- Problem: Machine is Dirty and Needs Deep Cleaned with a Descaling
Solution: It might be time to descale Keurig and deep clean your machine. To do this properly, follow the instructions listed in the how to descale your Keurig section below.
3. Keurig Shuts Off or Turns on By Itself
If your coffee machine starts turning on or off without your help, don’t worry; your house probably isn’t haunted! There are different causes depending on which model you own, but most are simple fixes.
- Problem: Auto Off Function Has Been Left On
Solution: If you own a Keurig Elite, there is a setting for Auto Off. Look for a green light to see if your machine’s Auto Off function is turned on. This indicates that the machine has been told to power down automatically two hours after brewing. Simply press the Auto Off button to disable this function
You must review the selections in your machine’s programming menu to find the selection that disables the Auto Off function. Once you find it, simply shut it off, and your problem should be fixed
- Problem: Keurig Stops Working in Mid-Brew
Solution: This is not a common problem, but it sometimes happens. Usually, the culprit is that the water reservoir has been knocked out of place. As explained earlier, there are magnets in the reservoir and the machine that must make contact for the machine to function as intended. To fix this, remove the water reservoir and put it back in place. Start the machine again, and hopefully, your problem will be solved.
4. Keurig Machine Is Leaking Water
Some consumers have reported that their Keurig machine has sprung a leak. This can quickly become a mess, so it is important to fix it immediately.
- Problem: Gasket in the Upper Part of the Coffee Maker Was Installed Incorrectly. Sometimes This Gasket Has Gone Missing.
Solution: You’ll find the gasket in the area surrounding the puncture needle on your Keurig. When you find that your machine is leaking, be sure to check here first. Hopefully, you just need to alter how your gasket is sitting in its spot to ensure it is correct. Move the gasket around until it creates a good seal between the K-Cup and the puncture needle
- Problem: The Water Reservoir Was Overfilled
Solution: Make sure you are only filling the water reservoir to its max fill line. If you overfill it, the machine cannot work correctly and will probably start leaking water on your counter.
5. Keurig Brewed Coffee Is Weak
As with traditional ground coffee, different K-Cups have different brew strengths. However, sometime K-Cups seem to give weak coffee no matter what brew strength you opt to use. This can be the fault of the K-Cup or due to something in the machine itself.
Some consumers have reported that their Keurig machine has sprung a leak. This can quickly become a mess, so it is important to fix it immediately.
- Problem: Light Roast K-Cups Giving Super Weak Coffee.
Solution: You might not prefer a bold coffee, but often the weaker brews of K-cups don’t work that well. Due to how a Keurig functions, the water passed through the K-Cup coffee pod doesn’t spend much time in contact with the coffee grounds. Unfortunately, this can lead to a weak drink that seems more like coffee flavored water than the dark elixir we know and love. To rectify this problem, try using a K-Cup that is a stronger brew than you are accustomed to using.
Alternatively, you could simply brew a double cup without all the water. If you have a newer Keurig model that allows you to choose the cup size, choose a smaller one than the one you are actually using. If your cup is 8 ounces, brew from the 6-ounce selection. Brew 2 K-cup pods of coffee for one cup of coffee to get coffee that is to your desired strength.
- Problem: Coffee Is Weak When Using a Reusable Pod
Solution: To handle this situation, you might want to do the same thing you’d do when getting a weak brew from a K-Cup pod. Opt for a darker or stronger roast. Maybe a finer ground coffee would be better (though be careful because this can lead to another problem we will discuss shortly!)
- Problem: Coffee Is Weak No Matter the Size of the Cup, or Strength of the Brew
Solution: Your Keurig might not make a good cup of coffee because it is dirty. Follow the directions in the “How To Descale Your Keurig Machine” section below, and hopefully, your problems will be solved.
6. Coffee Grounds In Your Cup
You might find that your coffee is beginning to taste a bit grainy over time, and this is because your Keurig is releasing the ground coffee from the K-Cup into your cup along with the brewed coffee. This can make for an experience that is not at all pleasant.
- Problem:Puncture needle or exit needle are dirty
Solution: The Keurig uses two needles to function. One needle punctures the top of the K-Cup so that water can flow into the coffee, and one punctures the bottom of the K-Cup, allowing the brewed coffee to flow out and into your cup.
Sometimes, the coffee grounds in the K-Cups can get into the exit needle, and when the brewed coffee flows out, it brings these coffee grounds with it. You need to clean the exit needle to get rid of this problem.
Your machine might have come with a small plastic tool for cleaning the needles. If it did, use the tool to gently scrape the coffee grounds out of the needle. If your machine does not come with this tool, you can use a toothpick or a straightened paperclip to do the same thing.
Just be careful and gentle, so you don’t risk pushing the grounds further into the needle and clogging the machine.
7. Coffee Tastes Bad
You might find that the coffee brewed from your machine starts to taste off or bad after a while. The cause of this is that your machine is dirty. It might be due to mineral or bacterial deposits in the water reservoir, the water lines, the brew basket, or the puncture or exit needles. Wherever the problem lies, you must clean your machine to avoid contaminating your coffee or breaking your coffee machine.
Follow the instructions in the how to descale your Keurig section below to properly clean your machine so that it can work correctly.
Keurig Duo Troubleshooting
The Keurig K-Duo is another Keurig machine you might encounter as a coffee lover. Below you will find some of the most common problems this coffee maker experiences with solutions for fixing those problems.
- Problem: Low Water Sensor
Solution: When the low water sensor is on, the water in the reservoir is low. The reservoir is attached to this machine with two pipes. You will find one attached to the water pump and the other to the low water sensor.
If you see an Add Water message when you turn your Keurig on, unplug the machine, put some water into the reservoir and apply some pressure to the plunger to gently remove any air bubbles there may be. You can do this a few times and then check your machine.
If this doesn’t work, you need to check the pipe that connects to the reservoir to see if the pipe is blocked or damaged. Doing this should help the water move from the reservoir to the pipe and sensor, eliminating your low water sensor warning.
- Problem: Water Pump Is Not Brewing Coffee
Solution: If you turned the machine on and it isn’t brewing your coffee, check the pipes connected to the reservoir and water pump. You may have a buildup of residue or debris that stops the coffee maker from working. Clean and descale the machine. More on this below. If this doesn’t work and you hear a grinding sound, the problem may be with the motor.
Keurig Duo Descaling Troubleshooting
If you need to descale your Keurig Duo, start by emptying the water reservoir and removing any coffee pod still in the machine. Turn the auto-off feature off if you have it, and then turn the brewer off. To descale, you can use a bottle of Keurig descaling solution in the water reservoir. You can also use white vinegar and water if you don’t have any descaling solution on hand.
Once you empty it into the machine, fill the bottle with cold water and add it to the water reservoir. Find an empty mug to place in the Keurig, lift the handle up and down, and select the 10-ounce button. Press it to start the descaling process. Pour out the mug’s contents and repeat the process until you see the add more water light come on.
Let the Keurig sit powered on for at least thirty minutes, dump out any leftover water and fill it with fresh water. You can repeat this process up to twelve times to rinse out the Keurig, adding water when necessary.
Keurig K-Mini Troubleshooting
Keurig coffee makers are already compact, but the Keurig K-Mini is even more so. You walk into your kitchen to make a cup of coffee but find that your Keurig Mini isn’t working. What do you do?
If you own a Keurig Mini, this machine is designed to power off automatically after 90 seconds of inactivity. There is no way to change this setting, as it is hardwired into the machine. Instead, you need to press the power button each time you want to use the machine.
- Problem: Keurig Mini Is Not Pumping Water
Solution: If you have recently cleaned and descaled your Keurig, the problem might be that water is already in the heating component. If this is the case, your power light probably won’t stay lit. Brew a cup of coffee like you normally would but avoid pressing the brew button just one time. Instead, hold it down.
Make sure there is no K-cup in the machine when you do this. This will make any remaining water in the heating component release. When done, fill your water reservoir, and you should be able to brew your next cup of coffee.
Another Keurig Mini troubleshooting tip is ensuring the water level doesn’t get too low. Keep it above the minimum level. This prevents any air from getting into your heating components.
Keurig K-Supreme Plus Troubleshooting
As long as your Keurig K-Supreme Plus is working properly, it will provide you with consistent cups of coffee each and every day. However, if it fails to do this job correctly, you may need some Keurig K-Supreme Plus troubleshooting tips.
- Problem: Not Brewing Properly
Solution: If your Keurig K-Supreme is not brewing properly, you could have a buildup of debris blocking the pipes, air bubbles in the lines, or the unit has properly warmed up.
To remedy this, use softened water, especially if you have hard water. This will cut down on buildup. If you suspect air bubbles, fill the water tank with water, unplug the machine, and quickly give it a shake. This should remove any trapped air. Finally, before brewing, make sure to give the machine time to warm up.
If none of these solutions work, there may be a technical issue, and you should contact customer care for more Keurig K-Supreme troubleshooting tips.
- Problem: Machine Won’t Turn On
Solution: If your machine doesn’t turn on, make sure it is plugged in and the electrical outlet works as it should. Next, make sure you have adequate water in the machine and the cable is attached. If your machine still doesn’t turn on, contact customer support for more help.
- Problem: Machine Is Turning On and Off
Solution: If you have an auto-timer set, this can cause your machine to turn on and off. You can turn this feature off and adjust the time with the timer button. Another issue may be a misplaced magnet. Remove the water reservoir and make sure you place it in the machine the right way. If the machine thinks no reservoir exists, it will automatically shut down.
Keurig K-Slim Troubleshooting
If you notice that your Keurig K-Slim stops working, you want to figure out the problem as soon as possible, so you can return to that delicious cup of coffee.
- Problem: Water Level Low
Solution: To work properly, the water level needs to be above the minimum fill line. It requires at least 6 ounces of water to brew your coffee. Add more water and press the brew button repeatedly until it starts working again.
- Problem: Keurig Is Shutting Off
Solution: Your Keurig Slim was designed to be energy-efficient. It automatically shuts itself off if it is not in use for five minutes. If it shuts off more frequently than this or has no power, you may have an overloaded circuit in the home. Try placing your Keurig K-Slim on a different circuit, separate from your other kitchen appliances.
- Problem: Needles Are Clogged
Solution: If you notice partial brewing, your needles may be clogged. When this happens, the exit needles or entrance needles build up pressure and can’t brew properly.
To unclog the needles on your Keurig brewer, unplug the unit, take the K coffee pod out, and remove the funnel from the pod holder. You can use a paper clip in the tube at the bottom of the pod holder to clean the needles.
Stick the paper clip in, move it around for about thirty seconds, and this will unclog the needle. It is the same instructions we already included above in our general troubleshooting tips.
How To Descale Your Keurig
If you have hard water or use your Keurig often, you will find it becomes dirty fast. This can result in clogs in the machine, mineral buildup or bacteria hiding out. All of these can cause problems for your machine and affect your coffee’s taste. If not handled soon enough, they can even affect your health. You must properly clean your machine regularly to circumvent these problems.
The Keurig brews many things, from coffee to tea to cocoa, and all of them can leave traces in your machine rendering it dirty. You must be mindful of this and clean your machine several times yearly. The first step in the process of cleaning a Keurig is called descaling.
In this section, we will cover how to do this task correctly.
1. Descaling Your Keurig Coffee Brewer
- For a proper Keurig descale, empty the cold water reservoir and remove the water filter if your Keurig brewer uses one
- Disable the Auto-Off function of your machine (remember that this is not an option with the Keurig Mini, though). If you don’t do this, your machine will shut off and not run through the descaling process as necessary
- Turn off the power to your machine
The Keurig company sells a special descaling solution for this task. You can buy the solution from a retailer that sells Keurig machines or online. Use this solution to perform the descaling rinse for your machine.
- Empty the full bottle of descaling solution into the cold water reservoir of your Keurig. Fill the empty solution bottle with water and pour the water into the reservoir as well
- Power on the Keurig and place a large mug in the drip tray of the machine
- Lift and lower the handle, but do not place a K cup pod in the pod holder
- Select a 10-ounce brew from the menu, hit the brew button, and begin the brewing process
- Once your Keurig has run through this brew, pour your mug of liquid into the sink and place the mug back in the drip tray
- Run your Keurig through another 10-ounce brewing cycle and continue following these steps until your machine says, “More Water Please”
- Do not shut off your machine; simply let it be for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes are up, pour out any solution that remains in the reservoir and clean it thoroughly
Your Keurig coffee machine has now been descaled. You don’t want to drink any remaining descaling solution the next time you go for a cup of Joe, so you will want to follow these steps to finish the cleaning process.
2. Cleansing Brew
- Fill the water reservoir to the maximum fill line with clean water and place it on the machine
- Place your large mug in the drip tray again
- Lift and lower the handle while still not adding a K-Cup pod into the pod cup
- Select a 6-ounce brew from the menu and run your Keurig through this cleansing cycle
- Empty the liquid from your mug and place it back on the drip tray
- Continue to follow these steps 12 times, and make sure to refill the water reservoir when it needs to be refilled
Your Keurig is now ready to brew a great cup of coffee.
Avoid Problems in the First Place
No matter what, you will have to descale your machine a few times a year, but if you want to avoid potential problems in the first place, you must regularly take care of your Keurig.
You should clean it on a weekly basis, though a deep descaling clean isn’t necessary that often.
1. Cleaning the Water Reservoir
Cleaning the water reservoir is simple, but keeping your Keurig in good shape is important. To do this, follow these steps:
- Remove the water reservoir from the Keurig and take the lid off it
- Fill the water reservoir with warm, soapy water and wipe it out using a soft cloth
- Rinse the soapy water from the reservoir, but don’t use anything to dry it. Small bits of lint from a drying cloth could be left behind and would eventually clog your machine or wind up in your cup of coffee. Instead, allow the reservoir to air dry
- Once the reservoir is dry, fill it back up with water and place it back onto your Keurig making sure it is properly seated on the machine
- Follow the steps above to run your Keurig through a cleansing brew. Do this twice
2. Cleaning the Pod Holder
You will also want to periodically clean the pod holder to ensure it is not harboring any bacteria or junk that will get into your drinks.
- Carefully remove the pod holder from your Keurig machine, watching out for the needles
- Using warm water but no soap, rinse the pod holder and allow it to air dry, then replace it in the Keurig
- Ensure you are lining the arrows up so that the pod holder is inserted correctly into the Keurig
- Follow the steps above to run a cleansing brew before you make a new cup of coffee
If you have done everything you can to determine what is causing your problems with your Keurig but have had no success, it might be time for you to contact Keurig’s customer service.
Luckily, the company provides excellent care for its customers. They place a high value on the satisfaction of the people who buy and use their product and are eager to help you out when trouble arises.
Before trying any of these fixes listed above, check to see if your Keurig is still under warranty. If it is, contact Keurig directly and see what they can do to help you with your problems.
Make sure you have your serial number on hand when you call or write to Keurig, so they can help you. If you still have your receipt from when you purchased your machine, that could also be useful. Your serial number can be found on your machine, on a sticker that is behind the water reservoir.
To contact Keurig’s customer care department, call 1-866-901-BREW (2739) or contact them through the provided link on their website.