The Nespresso 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 Nespresso 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. Luckily buy following a few simple troubleshooting steps we can identify the problem and this leakage can often be quickly resolved.
In this article, we’re going to look in-depth at the possible cause of why your Nespresso 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 Nespresso machine leaking?
There are several possible culprits that could cause your Nespresso machine to leak. These include;
- The 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 lifespan of your Nespresso machine to make sure you never run into this problem again.
Step 1: The machine needs to be descaled
Tip: We’ve found the most common reason your Nespresso 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’ve written comprehensive guides on how to descale your Nespresso machine here, 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 that THIS ECO DESCALER is both the best bang 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 Nespresso capsule correctly.
You’ll be able to tell if this is the problem if:
- Water/coffee is coming out of the front of the machine, around the capsule holder or drip tray
- It only occurs when you make a coffee through the machine.
In a properly functioning Nespresso machine, the water should flow through the capsule at high pressure and pour down into your mug or cup. However, if there are spaces or cracks between the capsule and its compartment, you will experience this issue.
Some of the causes and solutions of water loss through the capsule compartment include;
a. Nozzle obstructions:
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.
When the Nespresso 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 Nespresso machines can get damaged when you use this approach so kindly refer to the user manual.
b. Gunked up capsule holder
Out of sight – out of mind? Unfortunately, the insides of the capsule holder are actually the dirtiest part of most Nespresso machines.
One common cause of Nespresso leaks is the piercing plate gets a buildup of gunk and stops working properly. If the capsule can’t be pierced, the backpressure can cause the machine to leak!
Use a stainless steel wire brush (or even an old toothbrush!) along with a cup of hot soapy water to scrub the inside of the capsule holder.
We’ve got a guide here on how to clean your Nespresso machine, which may help fix your problem!
c. Defective capsules
If you are using 3rd party coffee pods, or reusable capsules, they might not be exactly the right size for the Nespresso machines capsule mechanism.
Grab a couple of genuine Nespresso 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 onto step 3 below.
Step 3: Is water leaking from the base of the machine?
Next, check for water loss that occurs underneath your Nespresso 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 Nespresso machine, it’s most likely be because of a damaged component or seal in one of the following:
- The water tank
- The thermoblock (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 Nespresso 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 Nespresso 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 Nespresso machine by removing the back screws and opening up the rear panels. Note that doing so can void your Nespresso machines warranty, and you should only do so if the device’s warranty period is over. Always unplug your Nespresso device before any servicing to prevent shocks and electrical short circuits.
3. The Boiler (Thermoblock)
High temperatures associated with the Nespresso 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 Nespresso machine can encounter a few bumps 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 Nespresso 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 Nespresso 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 Nespresso machine’s water circuit, you can manually reposition it and secure it firmly.
Some Nespresso machines start leaking when their drip tray fills up and ends up dripping water onto other components. Such a complication requires you to empty the tray, and your device will no longer leak water.
Though it’s the last thing anyone needs first thing in the morning, a leaking Nespresso 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.
First, try descaling your machine to make sure there are no internal blockages. Empty the drip dray and capsule holder, and clean the puncture plate and injection needle. Run a pipe cleaner or paper clip through the nozzle and also check the water tanks’ seal is good and fitted correctly. If these steps don’t work, you may have a more serious issue
If this still hasn’t solved your problems, check out some of our other Nespresso guides such as
- Why are the lights on my Nespresso machine flashing?
- Why is my Nespresso Machine not piercing the capsules?
- How to descale your Nespresso machine?