15 Keurig Problems (And How To Fix Them!)

Like any other appliance, Keurig machines can often encounter issues causing your coffee maker to break down, leak, or stop working all together.

The good news is that most problems with your Keurig can be easily fixed. The bad news, is you’ll have to attemp this without a cup of coffee!

In this post, I’ll discuss the most common problems you’ll likely face and provide you with simple solutions to get your brewing back on track.

Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚

The Most Common Problems With Your Keurig Machine 

The Keurig machine is convenient but it’s no stranger to faults. We surveyed you guys, trawled the comments section on past articles, and combined this with faults we’ve experienced first hand to come up with the 17 most common issues you’ll face. These are:

  1. Keurig won’t turn on
  2. Keurig won’t brew
  3. Keurig machine keeps turning off
  4. The machine isn’t heating
  5. Keurig says “Add water” but it’s full
  6. Keurig descaling light stays on
  7. Keurig machine is tripping your circuit breaker
  8. The machine not dispensing any water
  9. Keurig not dispensing enough coffee
  10. Keurig dispensing too much coffee
  11. Keurig keeps pumping water
  12. Keurig machine is leaking
  13. Coffee grounds transfer to the cup
  14. The machine produces bitter or burnt-tasting coffee
  15. Keurig brews weak or watery-tasting coffee

Issues Getting Your Keurig To Run

Let’s tackle this in chronological order, so firstly ‘things that are preventing your Keurig from running all together. These might include;

1. Keurig Won’t Turn On – Check the Plug

Not is as annoying as trying to get your first pick-me-up of the day and the machine refuses to turn on. If you’re experiencing this problem, it means there are improper or loose electircal connections.

How to fix:

  • Check the power connection: Ensure that the Keurig machine is properly plugged in both at the machine itself and the wall outlet. 
  • Test a different outlet: Plug it into a different outlet. If it works, consider having the initial outlet fixed.
  • Inspect for damage: Check for frayed or loose wiring and ensure that the power cord is intact.

2. Keurig Won’t Brew – Check The Water Reservior

If the water reservoir is not correctly placed in the machine, it can prevent the brewing process. Also, coffee grounds or debris can accumulate in the brewer’s needles, obstructing the flow of water and hindering the brewing process.

How to fix:

Take out the reservoir and carefully reposition it, ensuring it fits securely. Use a paperclip to gently clear any obstructions from the needles. 

3. Keurig machine keeps turning off

Older models have a flow valve positioned before the pump, while recent models have it located after the pump. There is a metering spring within a flexible rubber housing that can become too stiff, preventing water from entering the heating chamber. This triggers the machine’s automatic shut-off mechanism as a safety precaution.

How To Fix:

  • Modify the metering spring: Stretch the flexible line to gain access to the metering spring. Remove the spring and carefully trim it down to reduce its stiffness. 
  • Re-seat the water tank and power cycle: Remove the water tank from the machine and then re-insert it, ensuring it is properly seated. You can also unplug the machine from the power source and wait for 30 seconds before plugging it back in. 

4. Machine isn’t heating

The four main reasons the machine isn’t heating include:

  1. Water pump malfunction: If the water pump is not functioning properly or is not pumping water through the brewer, the heating mechanism may shut off to prevent overheating. 
  2. Auto-off mode activated: The Keurig machine may have an auto-off mode that turns off the heating element to conserve energy. 
  3. Mineral deposits: Scale can accumulate and affect the machine’s performance.
  4. Faulty heating element: If the heating element is damaged, it can prevent the water from heating properly.

How to fix

  • Press and hold the brew button for 5 seconds to purge any remaining water in the system.
  • Descale the Keurig using a descaling solution.
  • Make sure the machine is not in the auto-off mode and adjust the settings if necessary.
  • Have a professional assess and repair the heating element.

5. Keurig says “Add water” but it’s full

When you know the reservoir is full but the “Add Water” button persists, it means there’s air trapped in the water line.

How to fix

  • Partially fill the reservoir: Fill the reservoir about ¼ full with water and place it back on the machine. This creates a vacuum inside the machine and helps remove the trapped air.
  • Agitate the reservoir: Lift the reservoir rapidly up and down, causing it to create movement in the water. Observe the bottom of the tank near the water intake area. You should see small air bubbles rising up. Continue agitating until the air bubbles disappear. 

6. Keurig descaling light stays on

If the descaling light refuses to go off then you probably skipped some key steps or the needles are clogged.

How to fix: 

Descale your machine using a descaling solution or vinegar. Using a paperclip, clean the puncturing needles. If this doesn’t work, you can reset your machine by following the steps below.

  1. Press and hold the power button.
  2. Press and release the small, medium, and large cup buttons simultaneously.
  3. Release the power button.
  4. Turn your brewer on.

7. Keurig machine is tripping your circuit breaker

If your machine keeps tripping the circuit breaker it means it’s malfunctioning or your circuit is overloaded.

How to fix

  • Malfunction: Check for any electrical connection debris or residue near the plug. If everything seems fine, unplug the machine for a few minutes and then plug it back in. Also, inspect the water reservoir, filter, and descaling cartridge for any damage, and replace any broken or faulty parts.
  • Overloaded circuit: Move the machine to a different circuit. You can also reduce the number of devices connected to the same circuit to reduce the power load. 

Issues With Your Keurig Not Brewing Correctly

8. Not dispensing any water

When our machine isn’t dispensing water, we found the culprit to be one of 5 things.

  1. Air in the Water Lines
  2. Clogged Water Tank
  3. Clogged Needles
  4. Rusty Reservoir Spring
  5. Damaged Water Pump

How to fix

  1. Clear the water path: Use a baster pipette to force water through the line. You can also turn the machine upside down and give it a gentle smack. 
  2. Unclog water tank: Turn off and unplug the machine, remove and empty the water tank, soak it in a descaling solution, and remove any debris or mineral buildup using a brush. Wash the tank with soap and water, rinse it thoroughly, fill it with fresh water, and replace it in the machine. Run a water-only cycle to flush out any residue. 
  3. Unclog the needles: Use a paper clip to clean the nozzles.
  4. Replace reservoir spring: Find the reservoir spring inside the machine, and carefully remove and replace it with a new one.
  5. Replace water pump: If the water pump is damaged, you will have to replace either the motor or the entire machine. 

9. Not dispensing enough coffee

If your Keurig is not dispensing enough coffee, you might have selected an incorrect brew size, or the brewer’s needles are clogged.

How to fix:

Check the settings on your machine to verify you’ve chosen the correct brew size. Alternatively, clean the exit and entrance needles.

10. Dispensing too much coffee

A calibration issue with the brew settings can cause an overflow or result in larger servings of coffee.

How to fix

Adjust the brew settings by reducing the cup size.

11. Keurig keeps pumping water

If your Keurig continues to pump water even after the brewing process has finished, there may be an issue with the internal pressure system. 

How to fix

Unplug the machine from the electrical outlet. Let it sit for a few minutes. Plug the Keurig machine back in.

12. Keurig machine is leaking

The mess of a leaking machine is no fun. Here’s why it may be behaving this way.

  1. Scale buildup and clogging
  2. Damaged seal on the water reservoir
  3. Broken or loose upper gasket
  4. Cracked water tank
  5. Overfilling 
  6. Damaged heating element or internal components

How to fix

  1. Clean and descale the machine.
  2. Replace the perished seal on the water reservoir.
  3. Replace or reseat the upper gasket.
  4. Replace the cracked water tank.
  5. Avoid overfilling the water reservoir.
  6. Have a professional repair a damaged heating element and internal components.

Issues with the quality of your Keurig coffee

13. You’re getting coffee ground in your cup

Discovering coffee grounds in your cup while using a Keurig machine can be frustrating. This problem typically arises because of two main reasons:

  1. Improper puncturing of the K-Cup
  2. Clogged exit needle

How to fix

Correctly insert the K-Cup into the machine by aligning it with the puncturing mechanism.

14. Your Keurig coffee tastes bitter or burnt 

The reason your coffee tastes burnt or bitter is:

  1. The brewer needs descaling
  2. You’re using the wrong cup size setting
  3. You’re using a dark roast or robusta coffee
  4. You’re using expired or unsealed K-cups
  5. You’re using poor-quality third-party K-cups

How to fix: 

  1. Clean and descale your machine
  2. Use good quality pods 
  3. Purchase 100% Arabica pods, a blend of robusta and Arabica, or opt for light roasts
  4. Brew with filtered water
  5. Adjust the cup size

15. You’re Keurig coffee tastes weak or watery

The issue of weak or watery-tasting coffee from your Keurig machine can be attributed to:

  1. Clogged needle
  2. Mineral or coffee residue buildup
  3. Improper usage of reusable pods

How to fix

  1. Clean and descale your machine. 
  2. Fill the pod with coffee to the max line and give it a gentle tap before inserting it into the machine. If you prefer a stronger coffee flavor, try using a smaller cup or mug to concentrate the flavors. 

Still Not Fixed? Try Keurig Support 

Tried all the above solutions and are still experiencing issues with your machine? It’s best to reach out to Keurig support for further assistance. Their team can provide specific troubleshooting steps or guide you through the repair process if needed. 

Final Thoughts

Keurig machines might be convenient, but like any other appliance, they can encounter problems. From heating issues to dispensing questionable brews, this post will help you eradicate all those pestering concerns. But, if you have tried all the suggested solutions and are still experiencing difficulties, we recommend contacting Keurig support for further assistance. 

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