Keurigs are sophisticated machines with a simple purpose: to brew delicious coffee. Like any household appliance, regular usage can lead to mechanical problems or decrease in quality of your brew over time. If you find yourself googling “Keurig coffee machine not working properly” on an early morning when you should be drinking your first cup of joe, you’re bound to get frustrated.
Fortunately, it’s easy to identify most Keurig malfunctions and fixing them is quick. Let’s take a look at eight of the most common reasons your Keurig isn’t working properly and how to fix them in a flash.
1. The Needle is Damaged
Are you starting to notice loose grounds at the bottom of your coffee cup? Maybe every now and then, you sip your coffee and notice some grounds have managed to make their way into your cup. This is one of the most widespread problems when it comes to Keurigs, and many owners assume that there’s nothing that can be done to fix it. Actually, you can stop your Keurig from leaking grounds almost instantly by checking the needle inside the brewing chamber.
Needles are prone to being clogged or dulled by coffee grounds, plastic, or other types of debris. You can gently swab the debris away, but take care because the needle is very sharp. Once you’ve done that, try brewing some water without a K-Cup. The water should be clear and free of any grounds.
2. The Water Pump is Clogged
Nine times out of ten, Keurig malfunctions have something to do with the water reservoir chamber. For instance, the Keurig may be brewing small amounts of coffee, despite selecting 10 or 12 oz options on the menu. This is usually due to an issue with the water intake valve inside the reservoir.
When this valve located at the bottom of your tank becomes clogged, with sediment or debris, the pump will not be able to siphon the correct amount of water. An easy fix is to detach the reservoir, pour out the water, and hold it upside down. Tap the intake valve a few times and look for any buildup on either side of the valve. Press it firmly back into position and brew a cup of water to test it.
3. There’s Scaling in the Lines
Tapping the intake valve a few times will fix under-brewing issues most of the time. However, if your intake valve looks fine and your Keurig is still under-brewing, it could mean that there’s a clog somewhere in your lines. Many Keurig owners have no idea that they’re supposed to clean and descale their machines monthly. If you don’t (or ignore the pop up message on your display), then your Keurig’s lines will accumulate sediment and hot water build up over time.
Hot water leaves mineral deposits in the lines of your Keurig, just like you might see on your shower head or faucets. To descale your Keurig, you can buy a brewer cleanser kit from the company. Empty the descaling powder into your reservoir and fill it with water. Brew several cups of hot water, without any K-cup inserted. This will dissolve the sediment. Be sure to flush your system by brewing a carafe of clean water after descaling.
4. The Filter Needs to be Replaced
Keurigs just hold water, so they can never get dirty, right? Actually, all Keurig models can get dirty and need to be cleaned on a weekly basis. Keurig sells rinse pods for this exact purpose. You simply pop in a rinse pod K-cup, brew it, and voila, your machine is clean. Doing this weekly will help prevent buildup and loose grounds. But the biggest benefit is that it makes your coffee taste far better. Water borne bacteria, limescale, and old grounds can make your coffee taste bitter or skunky. You can also help fix this by changing out your water filter. Regular cleaning of the machine will help improve its longevity.
5. The Reservoir Tank is Not Attached Properly
Is your Keurig leaking water on your kitchen counter? This could be because the revsevoir tank isn’t fitted correctly. When you attach your tank to the machine, make sure it clicks in place. Some models have hooks on the side of the tank to help secure it in place. Make sure those are attached properly, as is the base. Press down firmly on the tank to ensure the intake valve is properly connected. If the tank is loosely placed on top, the connection won’t be secure and water will leak. Check and make sure your drip tray isn’t full, either.
6. Your Settings Have Changed
Does your Keurig keep shutting off? This can be a major inconvenience, especially when you’re in a rush in the morning. To fix this, check your settings. If you have a digital display, look for the energy saving option or auto off. You can program your machine to turn on and preheat at a set time every morning. Or, you can have it stay on and ready to brew at any time.
For machines without touchscreen displays, there should be an “auto off” button near the top. If you select this, it will turn your machine off after two hours of inactivity. To turn it off, press the button so it turns red.
7. The Gasket Seal is Loose
One overlooked part in Keurig maintenance is the gasket. The gasket used to be a separate tube located next to the needle that would pump water through the K-cup. Now, the gasket and needle are one piece, so your needle is both puncturing the cup and pushing water through it. In order to do this, there is a seal around the gasket/needle apparatus.
This thin rubber seal will often come loose and dislodge, leading to leaks or sputtering. Double check and make sure the seal is firmly in place. You can also order replacement seals for relatively cheap.
8. Your Water is to Blame
Is your water causing damage to your keurig? The company warns against using soft water in your system as it leads to build up and frequent clogs. If your tap water is soft, try using bottled or filtered water in your machine.
When Your Keurig is in Hot Water…
Keurig machines are relatively ease to fix and maintain. With a little troubleshooting, you can fix most problems within a few minutes. If your Keurig is still having issues, consider reaching out to the company. Persisting problems may indicate a manufacturer defect, which the company can help fix.