The Dolce Gusto system is a great choice for brewing excellent quality, café style coffee at home – without breaking the bank. But, like any kitchen appliance, they’re not indestructible.
Wear and tear (And sometimes just bad luck) can cause your beloved Dolce Gusto machine to break just when you need it most!
If you notice water pooling underneath your machine or dripping from the capsule holder, it’s likely you have a leak. Some people can be tempted to conclude that their coffee brewer has had it, and resign to throwing out and buying a new one. However, this leakage problem can often be quickly resolved if you locate the cause.
In this article, we’re going to look in-depth at the possible cause why your Dolce Gusto coffee machine may be leaking, and offer some advice on how to fix it!
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 💚
Table of Contents
So, why is my Dolce Gusto machine leaking?
There are several possible culprits that could cause your Dolce Gusto machine to leak. These include;
- Machine needs to be descaled.
- Water leaking from the capsule holder
- Water leaking from the base of the machine
Follow our step-by-step troubleshooting guide below to identify the likely fault, and see a breakdown of what causes each of these issues.
We’ll also give some tips on how to resolve them (without having to buy a new machine) so that you can brew your favorite coffee flawlessly again.
Once fixed, follow our guide to increase the life span of your Dolce Gusto coffee machine to make sure you never run into this problem again.
Quick check: have you checked that your drip tray is empty? Yep, we know this is ridiculously obvious.. but we have had some people think their machine is leaking when in reality their drip tray is just full and overflowing!
Step 1: Machine needs to be descaled
Tip: We’ve found the most common reason your Dolce Gusto machine is leaking is because it’s long overdue a descale!
Descaling should be performed at least every 3 months, or 300 coffees – whichever comes first
We’re written comprehensive guides on how to descale your Dolce Gusto machine here (because each one is slightly different), so give this a try first to see if that fixes the problem.
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Mini Me
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Infinissima
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Lumio Machine
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Picolo XS Machine
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Genio Machine
Please give your machine a quick descale to see if this fixes the problem, before continuing with the steps below.
Not sure what descaling product to use? We’ve reviewed the best descaling products for your coffee machine here, and found the De’longhi EcoDecalk is both the best bank for your buck and best for the environment! You can pick up a big bottle for as little as $18 from Amazon.
Step 2: Is the water leaking from the capsule holder?
This leakage issue typically occurs when water fails to enter or exit the Dolce Gusto capsule correctly.
You’ll be able to tell if this is the problem if:
- Water is coming out the sides of the capsule holder – this often inficates the water isn’t entering the pods correctly.
In a properly functioning Dolce Gusto machine, the water should flow through the capsule at high pressure and pour down into your mug or cup. However, if there is an issue with the injection nozzle, or the pods aren’t being correctly penetrated by the nozzle then leakage will occur.
Some of the causes and solutions of water loss through the capsule compartment include;
a. Bent/damaged injection nozzles:
The pin-like injection nozzle is unfortunately a really common source of failure for these dolce Gusto machines.
It has to work really hard to first pierce the thick plastic membrane on top of the capsule, and then deliver high pressure hot water into the pod.
Clumsy loading of capsules can cause this to get bent, damaged, or worse, snapped off! This can cause water to spray out – rather than going inside the capsule.
- If bent, carefully try to bend the nozzle back into place. Careful: the metal is brittle and too much movement willl cause it to snap off
- If broken, unfortunately your best bet is to replace your Dolce Gusto machine. Replacement parts are hard to come by and even harder to install.
If you are replacing your beloved machine, then we’d recommend the newer Dolce Gusto Genio 2. It’s one of the more affordable machines, and we think it’s slightly better built to withstand wear and tear like this. You can grab one here for as little as $100 from Amazon, or check out our complete review of the best Dolce Gusto coffee machines on the market.
- The NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Genio 2 is an automatic capsule coffee machine, designed to perfectly fit your single cup, black and specialty coffee brewing needs with a small footprint
- COFFEE HOUSE INSPIRED DRINKS - Explore the wide variety of decadent flavors and coffee house inspired drinks offered by the NESCAFE Dolce Gusto capsule-based coffee machine - choose from authentic Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, and more
- EASY INTERFACE - Use the toggle-stick to adjust the LED display controlling the size and intensity of your coffee, match the LED bars to the bars on your Dolce Gusto capsule, position the toggle stick to either hot or cold, and brew
b. Gunked up injection nozzle
Every time you make a coffee a little residue is left behind on the nozzle. Over time this can build up and eventually clog the pipe. This can be due to both calcifications (limescale) and leftover coffee residue from the the capsule itself!
When the nozzle is clogged, water pressure and flow are affected, leading to leakages.
Depending on your machine’s brand and model, you can use a needle or pipe-cleaner to unclog the nozzle. Nonetheless, some overzealous prodding can lead to your machine getting damaged do refer to the user manual first.
c. Defective capsules
If you are using 3rd party coffee pods, or reusable capsules, they might not be exactly the right size for the dolce gusto machine. They also may have a thicker film lid which is harder to penetrate.
Grab a couple of genuine Dolce Gusto pods to check the capsule isn’t causing the problem.
If this does fix the problem, you may want to switch to another brand of coffee pod. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, then move on to step 3 below.
Step 3 – Is Water Leaking From The Base Of The Machine?
Next, check for water loss that occurs underneath your Dolce Gusto machine.
This usually starts when you switch on the machine and leads to the formation of water puddles or droplets on the countertop below. Try lifting up the machine immediately after use to check for pooling. The amount of water loss can vary depending on the extent of the issue.
If this is happening on your Dolce Gusto machine, it’s most likely be because of a damaged component or seal in one of the following:
- The water tank
- The heating element
- The internal pipework
1. The water tank:
Carefully detach the water tank and check for any breakages. Additionally, you need to inspect the water tank’s connection to the rest of the device and ensure the rubber seals that join these components with a pipe are intact and have no leaks.
Try leaving the water tank full of water on the bench and see if any water continues to leak out. Placing a paper towel underneath makes it easy to detect any leakage.
This means the valve at the bottom of the tank has perished. You can contact Keurig or DeLonghi to purchase a replacement water tank or try searching in second-hand shops or recycling centers. We’ve been able to find some models on Amazon with fast shipping if they’ve got the correct model for your needs.
2. The Thermoblock or Internal Pipework
A simple way of finding leaks is by running the coffee machine while it’s disassembled to see if you can detect any water loss. Attempting this procedure offers clear insight into possible breakages that may be causing leakages.
Note: Operating the machine with the case open is extremely dangerous and should be undertaken at your own risk. Water and electricity don’t mix!
To be sure what is causing the leakage, you need to carefully disassemble the Dolce Gusto machine by removing the back screws and opening up the rear panels. Note that doing so can void your machine’s warranty, and you should only do so if the device’s warranty period is over. Always unplug your device before any servicing to prevent shocks and electrical short circuits.
3. The boiler (Thermoblock)
High temperatures associated with the Dolce Gusto heating component can degrade the pipework and seals. This is due to the metal heating and expanding, then contracting again once it cools.
If this leakage issue occurs over time, you may find the boiler has a darkish pigment resulting from the continuous dripping of water on the hot component.
4. The pump, and water pipework
Since a Dolce Gusto machine can experience a few bumps and knocks in a residential or office setting, some water circuit components can come loose, leading to leaks.
How you can resolve it:
Once you have identified what Dolce Gusto component is leaking, you can seek a quick replacement at your local service or spares Center. Afterward, you can replace the affected piece or pay a qualified service technician to do it.
You should replace the damaged Dolce Gusto part rather than attempting to repair it. A new genuine component is likely to work better and longer than an old patched-up piece. You can use special heat-resistant glue to seal off joints in the water circuit.
If the issue was a loose component in the Dolce Gusto machine’s water circuit, you can manually reposition it and secure it firmly.
Though it’s the last thing anyone needs first thing in the morning, a leaking Dolce Gusto machine needn’t spell disaster. Through a couple of quick troubleshooting steps, we can quickly identify what the part is that is causing the leak, and what to do to fix it.
If this still hasn’t solved your problems, check out some of our other Dolce Gusto guides such as
- How to increase the life span of my dolce gusto coffee machine
- What does the light on my Dolce Gusto machine mean?
- What is the best coffee machine descaling solution?