Why is my Keurig Coffee Machine Leaking (A Step-by-step Troubleshooting Guide)

In today’s fast-paced world, a coffee maker is a must-have piece of equipment in the home or office.

Keurig coffee maker is among the leading coffee-making machines today (vying with Nespresso for the top spot in the American market). It is a delightful blend of innovation and technology that delivers efficiency and effectiveness. However, like other tools, coffee-making machines can run into problems, and Keurig is no exception.

One of the common issues is leaking, and you may wonder, why is my Keurig leaking? Suddenly the convenience of a one-button coffee doesn’t seem so good when you have to mop up a puddle after every brew!

The coffee machine can leak at the top or the bottom, making the surfaces dirty. In this article, we will look at how you can remedy these leakages.

We’ve found the top 9 reasons your Keurig machine may be leaking are as follows:

  • Machine needs to be descaled.
  • Perished seal on the water reservoir.
  • Bad O-ring
  • Cracked water tank
  • Overfilling
  • The Brewer does not grip the k-cup
  • Clogging
  • Broken or loose upper gasket
  • Defective capsules
  • Damanged heating element or internal pipework
  • Faulty tube connectors and worn-out filters
  • Dirty Puncturing Needle

Read on as we explain how to recognize these issues, and how you can easily fix them!

Step 1: Machine needs to be descaled

Tip: We’ve found the most common reason your Keurig 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.

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 – Identify where is the leak coming from?

If descaling didn’t solve the problem, the next thing we need to establish (before we get stuck into the troubleshooting) is to identify where the water leak is coming from. We’ve split this into three distinct groups:

  • Water leaks from the base of the machine
  • Water leaks from the capsule holder
  • Coffee Leaks

Figuring this out is a little harder than it may seem, as all the water seems to end up on the countertop anyway.

Is your brewer leaking at its base? Check whether the water is leaking from the reservoir that holds cold water. To inspect this, remove the reservoir that holds the cold water and fill it with water. Hold the cold-water reservoir over the sink and watch for any leaks or drips. Below are some reasons for Keurig leaking from the bottom.

Causes of water leakages at the bottom of your Keurig

1.    Perished seal on the water reservoir.

When the reservoir is full, the bottom of the cold-water tank is pushed to the unit’s base. It exerts pressure into a valve connected to the pump. You can see the seal on the valve when you look down at the maker. Water usually leaks from the seal.

To remedy this, restore the seal. You can use Oatey Silicon Grease for restoring it. The grease to restore Silicon seal is cheap and goes for about $3 in many DIY stores. Place the grease on the brewer’s water tank feed, where it joins the coffee brewer. To spread the grease, remove and re-insert the water tank a couple of times. Fill the tank and put it on a dry surface to recheck if there are still some leaks. Most times, the silicone valve may not be broken. However, it wears off at the point of attachment with the water tank. Ensure that you regularly grease the silicone seal to preserve its sealing characteristics.

2.    Bad O-ring

The other reason your Keurig water reservoir may leak at the bottom is because of a bad O-ring. To remedy this, replace the O-ring with a new one. The good thing is Keurig has amazing customer support. Call them, and they will deliver a replacement to your doorstep. However, you must know your brewer’s model because the O-rings differ per model.

3.    Cracked water tank

The water reservoir may have a crack or a pinhole. It is common if the brewer has fallen on the floor. However, there can be hairline cracks in the water reservoir which can also be a reason for leakages.

Depending on the extent of the crack(s), you may have to replace the reservoir if it cannot be repaired. If repairable, you can use a dab of hot glue to repair them. You can also solder it.

If you have the resources, the best remedy is to replace the entire unit. Keurig recommends this. You are free from the frustrations that come with Keurig leaking from the bottom.

Leakages at the top of the Keurig

Water may leak from the top of the machine. It usually occurs when brewing, unlike the bottom leaks that happen all the time. There are several reasons water may leak from the top side of the Keurig brewing machine. Below are some causes of Keurig leaking at the top:

Causes water leakage at the top of the Keurig coffee maker

4.    Overfilling

Yes, one cause for water leakage on your brewer is that you have overfilled the water reservoir. For brewing machines such as the K-15 Mini, this is common. You may also feel the need to fill the Keurig machine to the brim to have enough coffee for your friends. When the heated water expands, it leaks.

Ensure that you do not overfill the coffee maker as this can cause severe damage if the pressure builds up inside but lacks a place to escape from. Always fill the water up to or less than the set amount to prevent leakages. If a machine can hold 1litre, do not place 1.5 liters.

5.    The brewer does not grip the k-cup

The other reason there may be leakage at the top of the brewer is that the brewer is not holding the K-cup lid tightly. The water pressure within the brewer builds up and blows the ground coffee and water out into your mug.

If you have a Keurig leaking at the top, you can contact Keurig customer service to bring a K-cup lid that can tightly fit into your brewer. Other remedies include using a material around the K-Cup that adds a tight grip with the brewer.

6.    Clogging

The other reason the brewer may leak on the top side is that it may have a clogged needle. You must clean the coffee machine every six months. To fix this, clean the K-cup holder and the needle. Double-check to ensure that the valve at the bottom of the water has no sticking particles. To clean, ensure that you unplug it 30 minutes before. Never wash the coffee machine when it is plugged in. then, remove the lid and water tank and remove it from the stand that it sits on. Remove the K-Cup holder and the needle and wash them with warm soapy water. Before assembling them, ensure that they are dry.

7.    Broken or Loose upper gasket

The other reason your brewer may leak on the top side is because of a broken or loose upper gasket. It is a silicone part that tightly seals the water hose and the K-cup.

Ensure that they align the gasket properly by closing any gap between the K-cup and the puncture needle. The following are the steps for repairing the upper gasket.

  1. Remove the water reservoir and reservoir cap from the brewer by pulling them up and out.
  2. Using the screwdriver, remove the three screws that secure the circular screen located at the bottom of the reservoir.
  3. The circular screen has an O-ring around it. Pry off the rubber Seal using a plastic opening tool and replace it with an undamaged one.

If you still have the warranty, contact Keurig for repair or replacement.

8.       Defective capsules

If you are using 3rd party coffee pods, or reusable capsules, they might not be exactly the right size for the Keurig coffee. They also may have a thicker film lid which is harder to penetrate.

Grab a couple of genuine Kcup 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.

9.      Damanged heating element 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 your Keurig 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.

How you can resolve it:

Once you have identified what 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 Keurig part rather than attempt 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 Keurigs machine’s water circuit, you can manually reposition it and secure it firmly.

Is coffee leaking from the machine?

The other issue people experience is less common but just as frustrating. That is, coffee leaking out of the machine.

10.    Faulty tube connectors and worn-out filters

Faulty tube connectors are the primary reason coffee leaks into your mug. It makes the coffee content in your cup to be higher than you had set. If your filters are worn out, coffee may leak into your mug.

To prevent further leakages, replace the tube connectors and the filters with new ones from Keurig.

11.    Dirty puncturing needle

A clogged Keurig apparatus may cause the bottom needle not to puncture. However, the damage to the puncture needle may also cause this. Have you noticed a clogged bottom puncture needle in your Keurig machine? The primary sign is the appearance of thin steam flowing from your machine when you are brewing coffee. It causes the flow of excess coffee to grind into your coffee mug. If you have noticed this, do not panic, you can clean the exit needle easily.

The exit needle is sharp; handle it with caution. It can cause lacerations and minor cuts. Below is cleaning the Keurig exit needle;

Cleaning the Keurig exit needle

  1. Lift the Keurig coffee maker’s handle to the lid
  2. Remove the K-cup holder assembly. To do this, pinch the K-cup holder left and right. You can also do some slight jostling in this step.
  3. Then, separate the Keurig funnel from the assembly of the K-cup holder. You can do this by pulling the pieces away from each other until there is a faint snap. It reveals the disconnection between the two.
  4. You then insert a pointed object into the needle compartment at the bottom of the K-cup holder. A paperclip is the best for such a task. It helps remove the debris in the needle compartment. If the debris is dry, you get better results when you do it under running water.
  5. It is also wise to clean the puncture needle found under the Keurig lid.

However, if the needle is bent, it is better to replace it although, you can also repair it.


Keurig is a leading manufacturer of coffee brewers. However, as with any other coffee maker, the machine is not indestructible, and leaks will happen from time to time.

As we have seen above, it may leak from the bottom, on the top, or even the coffee may leak. We have provided you with a guide to repairing your Keurig machine. We also gave the answers to the question, why is my Keurig leaking? If the above guide does not offer insights, contact Keurig customer service.

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