Troubleshooting Keurig Coffee Maker: 30 Common Problems+Fix

Keurig coffee machines are famous and have become a lot more accessible in recent times, but they do not come without flaws. From time to time, it will break down. So, owners should learn a few basic troubleshooting steps to fix them independently. 

You don’t have to replace the coffee maker or hire an expert constantly. For example, if the Keurig coffee maker doesn’t brew coffee, troubleshoot it by cleaning the filter and water lines or checking the alignment of the machine parts. 

There are numerous other problems, and as coffee machine owners, people must learn to troubleshoot them. This article combines all possible causes and simple troubleshooting steps to avoid future issues. 

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Common Keurig Coffee Maker Issues and how to troubleshoot them

Enjoying a morning cup of coffee is made simple and quick with the convenience of a coffee maker.

A Keurig coffee maker is a true wonder of modern times, especially for coffee addicts like me. 

I bought my first Keurig coffee maker a few years back, and it has been my savior since then. 

One cup of coffee every morning fuels my whole day. 

Although a Keurig coffee maker gives you a quick brew every morning, everything comes with a cost. 

Keurig coffee makers will encounter specific issues like every other electronic device. 

It is better to learn some DIY troubleshooting steps beforehand to fix the coffee maker yourself instead of replacing it or calling an expert every time. 

Keeping this in mind, I started researching the coffee maker, the problems it can face, and how to troubleshoot them. 

Whether you are looking for troubleshooting steps for some existing issues in your Keurig coffee maker or learning them beforehand to stay prepared, this article has everything you need. 

So, let’s have a look at the problems and their troubleshooting steps:

Problem with power connectivity on the Keurig machine

Problems related to power and connectivity are one of the common issues found in most Keurig coffee makers. 

Fortunately, the solutions are easy. 

Suppose you press the power button of your Keurig coffee machine, but nothing happens. 

It can occur any time of the day, but the mood gets poorly disturbed if it happens during morning coffee time. 

There are very few reasons for this:

  • The machine is not plugged in properly
  • The power outlet is not working
  • The power button is not pushed properly 

So, check the plug and see if you have securely plugged it in. 

Next, check whether the switch is pushed correctly. 

If both these are done correctly, you might have a problem with the outlet. 

Try plugging in other appliances in the same outlet.  

If the appliances fail to turn on, you need to examine the outlet and get it fixed. 

If the other appliances work, but your coffee machine is the only one not working, some internal damage may have happened. 

Get the appliance checked by an expert.

If you have a Keurig 2.0 or Plus, your machine will have an LCD where you will find the power icon on the lower right. 

You need to press that to turn on the coffee maker. 

Keurig turns on and off automatically

It is a discerning issue with the Keurig coffee maker. 

A suspected reason is ENERGY SAVER mode, or AUTO ON/OFF mode, is turned on. 

Another reason could be a problem with the water reservoir’s magnet.

Some Keurig coffee makers will have an ENERGY SAVER mode. 

In this mode, the machine will turn off after some time. 

The same happens in the AUTO ON/OFF mode for an automated brewer, where the machine will switch on and off unexpectedly. 

A simple fix is to turn these features off. 

When it comes to the magnets, the magnetic contacts in the water reservoir should stay in contact with the magnets on the machine. 

If there are not, the machine will turn off. 

Remove the reservoir, check, and realign the magnet, and put the water reservoir back in place. 

Brewing Problems

Sometimes the machine won’t brew when you choose the BREW option. It can be very frustrating.  

Here are a few things to look at:

The attachment and alignment of Keurig’s parts

When you remove the reservoir or try cleaning any other parts of the Keurig coffee maker, the parts of the brewer might be misaligned or positioned wrong. 

Try checking the cup holder, the water tank, the K-cup lid, and the handle. 

These should be attached correctly. 

If not, attach them well. 

Also, ensure that you have filled the water tank correctly for brewing. 

Clogged needle 

A clogged needle can sometimes create issues in brewing coffee, especially when they are clogged. 

You can clean it using a paperclip. 

Clogged filter

Some Keurig coffee makers’ water reservoir contains a filter. When this filter gets clogged, it will stop the water from pumping from the tank. 

As a result, the machine won’t be able to brew coffee without water.

Clean the filter and run a brewing cycle with clean water to fix it. 

If the machine can dispense the water smoothly, the pump will work and pump water. 

Use filtered water instead of tap water. 

The minerals in the tap water can create a buildup and block the filter frequently. 

Trapped air bubbles in the water lines

The air bubbles in the water lines can prevent the coffee machine from pumping water from the tank. 

To fix it, unplug the machine and gently tap it to release the air bubbles. 

The coffee maker needs descaling

Descaling the coffee maker involves using a descaling solution to remove the scale buildup. 

This happens when you use hard water. 

Its minerals deposit and eventually make your machine stop brewing. 

To avoid this problem further, use pure, filtered water. 

A bad or burnt taste 

Changing the coffee brand can bring changes to your taste. 

You have been familiarized with one brand for so long, and now you suddenly change it.

It is common to have a strange taste. 

But the problem occurs when the coffee tastes too bad and smells pungent vinegar. 

Common reasons could be not cleaning the machine too long or using tap water and low-quality K-cups. 

Here are some troubleshooting steps:

  • Regularly clean and descale the machine. For descaling, you can use vinegar and then wash the machine with fresh water to remove the vinegar smell. 
  • Coffee becomes 98% water with a vinegar smell when the water tank is not adequately rinsed after washing with vinegar. So, remember to rinse the reservoir with fresh water to remove the smell. 
  • Sometimes, the plastic parts can absorb the vinegar. For thorough cleaning, use warm water to remove the smell. 
  • Make sure that you use filtered water to prevent scale buildup. 
  • New coffee machines sometimes release a strange smell. I received a plastic smell when I bought the new machine at home. After some time, it vanishes. 
  • Use K-cups with fresh grounds or use high-quality K-cup brands. 

Keurig not heating 

It is one thing to prepare to make cold coffee and receive it correctly.

But for hot coffee lovers, it is irritating to get cold coffee instead of hot.

It means that your Keurig is not heating correctly. Problems might be:

  • The water pump is out of order.
  • The heating device is malfunctioning due to overheating when water is not pumped out. 
  • Coffee grounds or buildups are clogging the machine. 

With a malfunctioning water pump and heating device, you need a replacement. 

If there is any clogging, clean and descale the coffee maker. 

Remove the water reservoir, K-cup holder, funnel, drip tray, and tray cover. 

Clean these parts using a dishwasher or an all-purpose cleaner. 

Remove the clothes around the needles with paper clips. 

If you are not using the machine for too long, keep the reservoir empty.

After you attach the reservoir to the machine, add some vinegar and water in equal amounts. Use filtered water. 

Put a mug on the stand and run the brew cycle without placing the K-cup. 

Empty the mug each time after it is filled with water. 

Repeat until the reservoir empties the vinegar and water solution. 

Wash the machine thoroughly 3-4 times to remove the vinegar smell. 

You can follow the same process using a descaling solution instead of vinegar and water to descale the reservoir. 

Inconsistent Cup Sizes or Output

Putting the right amount of water and coffee grounds into the machine should give you the right amount of coffee. 

But when it gives you only a half cup of coffee or sometimes less than that, your machine has some problem with it. 

 It won’t mess up your countertop. But receiving less than half a cup of coffee when you need more is frustrating. 

Here are some things you can check:

  • One of the common reasons could be clogging. The base of the needles and the water line can trap dirt, debris, and coffee grounds. Clean the coffee machine’s entrance and exit needles, and then run a few water-only brew cycles. 
  • If the problem persists, descale the machine to remove the scale buildup caused by the water quality. 
  • Avoid using tap water, and prefer filtered water. 
  • Run a water-only brew cycle after each use, mainly after you use hot chocolate or a cocoa pod. 

Display and Indicator Malfunctions

Some Keurig models come with some lights and an LCD. 

It is alarming when you see that the lights on the display are blinking on their own. 

Some lights are blinking on the display

Based on the model, you can solve some of them. 

For example, if you have a Keurig classic, and the ADD WATER, HEAT, or MEDIUM CUP lights are flashing:

  1. Ensure the position of the cold reservoir is correct. 
  2. Run a 6 or 8 oz. water-only brew cycle into the measuring cup. If the water dispenses at the correct volume, it is okay. 
  3. If you use a water filter, run a water-only brew cycle, and if it works, remove the charcoal filter and use the water filter back in the brewer. 
  4. Perform three more 6 or 8 oz. water-only brew cycles. If the last brew dispenses the right volume of water, the problem is solved. 

Prime light blinking on the display 

Some models will have a PRIME indicator on the display. 

When the machine needs to PRIME, the lights on the display may blink. 

It happens to the Keurig Elite or Classic model. 

In this case, you need to clean the water reservoir and cleanse the brews:

  1. Remove the water reservoir and take it to the sink. If you have a water filter, remove it from the reservoir and keep it aside. 
  2. Throw away the water left in the reservoir and thoroughly clean the reservoir with soapy water. 
  3. Now, rinse with fresh or warm water and let it air dry. 
  4. Reinstall the water filter into the reservoir and reseat the water reservoir correctly into the coffee machine. 
  5. Refill the reservoir with clean water. 
  6. Turn on the machine, and run water-only brew cycles thrice with 6 or 8 oz. water. While doing this, put an empty mug onto the tray. 

All lights blinking on the display 

Now what if all the lights on the Keurig’s display are blinking or have turned on? Here’s what you need to do for troubleshooting:

  1. Please turn off the machine and unplug it from the outlet. 
  2. Leave it briefly, and plug it back into the outlet. 
  3. Press and hold the power button and turn it on with the lid open.
  4. Press the cup size buttons – small, medium, and large – several times. 
  5. Close the lid and repeat pressing the buttons again in the correct sequence. 

This will reset your machine. Temporary glitches are to be blamed in this process. 

ADD WATER indicator not flashing 

Suppose you have a K-Mini, K-Plus, or K-15, and you have recently descaled your coffee machine. 

In that case, chances are that the ADD WATER light will not flash even if the reservoir is empty. 

Simple troubleshooting steps for this glitch-like problem are:

  1. Ensure that your coffee machine has a proper power connection. 
  2. Raise the handle and release the water from the reservoir to the brewer. 
  3. If the light doesn’t flash, turn off the machine and keep a mug on the drip tray. 
  4. Hold the BREW button until all the water is in the mug. 

This should solve the problem. If not, reset your machine, or consult an expert. 

Addressing Leaks or Drips

With leakage, you will face two issues: leaking from the bottom and water leakage while heating. 

Leakage from the bottom 

The reason might be a damaged o-ring or water reservoir or overfilling the water reservoir. 

For a damaged o-ring, you need to replace it. 

It is present at the bottom of the water reservoir. 

Avoid overfilling the water reservoir. 

The excess water can fall into the drip tray and leak from the bottom when the filling exceeds the maximum water line. 

Ensure that water comes out of the reservoir. 

If you find water at the bottom, remove the reservoir, check for leftover water, empty it, and check for leakages. 

If you are done troubleshooting these issues, the last thing you can do is empty the internal hot water tank. Here are the steps:

  1. Place the mug on the drip tray. 
  2. Turn off the machine but keep it plugged into the outlet. 
  3. Lower the cold water reservoir lid and press the BREW button until all the water comes from the reservoir into the mug. 
  4. Wait for 3-5 seconds and let the water begin dispensing. 
  5. Wipe the moisture from under the machine and empty the drip tray. 
  6. Now pour 6-8 oz. of water into the reservoir again and perform a water-only brew cycle without the pod. 

Leakage while heating 

If water leaks while heating, common reasons could be an overfilled reservoir, a clogged machine, a broken upper gasket, or debris in the puncture needle. 

If the reservoir is overfilled, consider throwing away some water and always filling it only to the maximum line.

If the gasket seems loose, you can tighten it. 

But if it has broken, you need a replacement. 

Check the puncture needle and clean debris or grounds with a paperclip. 

Clean the reservoir, and descale your machine to remove the dirt and debris.

Follow the cleaning process from the “Dispensing System” point and descaling from “Keurig not Heating” point. 

Coffee grounds in the cup instead of liquid coffee 

Possible causes of this problem could be clogged exit needles and scale buildup. 

You need to unclog the needles and clean the scales from your machine. 

Other reasons could be incorrect pod size or pod failure, refilling the cup not using the correct ground size and improper positioning of the pod lid. 

Here are the troubleshooting steps for each problem:

  1. Remove and clean the exit needle, run a small-cup water-only brew, and watch the grounds coming out of the machine. 
  2. Repeat the process until the cycles are clear of the ground. 
  3. If this does not solve the problem, you need descaling, 
  4. If you use a reusable water filter, ensure using coarse coffee grounds. 
  5. Meanwhile, fill the basket at the bottom of the brown band. 
  6. Ensure the pod size is compatible, and the lid is correctly placed over the pod. 

Keurig stuck in the preheating mode 

If you have an old version of the Keurig coffee maker, like the 2.0 K400, it can sometimes get stuck in the preheating mode. 

To troubleshoot this, turn off the machine and unplug it. 

Plug it back after some time and switch on the power. 

If the problem persists, a loose wire might be inside the machine near the lid. 

This results from regular opening and shutting of the lid, thus leaving the wire detached from the microswitch. 

If the machine no longer has a warranty period, try removing the plastic cover and reaching the wires to reattach the loose white wire to the microswitch. 

Call an expert if you do not feel confident or have the warranty period left. 

Dispensing System problems 

You will hear a loud grinding noise when the Keurig coffee machine has a water-pumping problem. 

It indicates that the Keurig pump has failed to pump the water. 

Several reasons are responsible, but the common ones are scaling, dirt and debris, water pump interference, and needle clogging.

Some easy troubleshooting steps are:

  1. Take the reservoir out, empty it, and refill it again. 
  2. Shake the water around the reservoir, empty it entirely, and find the opening where the machine pumps the water into the brewer. 
  3. Clean the opening and ensure no dirt and debris are left. 
  4. Clean the needles as well with paper clips. 
  5. You can also remove the container, turn it upside down, and tap slightly to remove the dirt and debris. 

Another problem with the dispensing system is that the Keurig machine dispenses too much coffee. 

Too much coffee is too messy to handle. However, there are some tricks to fix it. 

First, clean the puncture needle with a paperclip. 

This should solve the problem. 

If that doesn’t resolve, try the Keurig burp:

  1. Unplug the coffee maker, and remove the water tank from it. 
  2. Take the machine to the sink or basin and turn it upside down. 
  3. Now, slightly tap the base on the machine several times. It will dislodge leftover or stuck dirt and debris. 
  4. Reassemble your coffee machine and run a water-only cycle. 

Now, your Keurig will brew the right amount of coffee.

Blocked water lines are also responsible. 

If you still face the same issue, your machine needs a thorough cleaning of all the parts, a descaling cycle, and running more water-only brew cycles to fix the issue finally. 

Using Compatible Pods

Keurig coffee makers will have pods. 

Pods are single-serving coffee filters that are enclosed with plastic.

Pods are inserted into the coffee maker, forcing hot water through them. 

Since all the machines do not have coffee pods, you must buy a compatible pod for your Keurig coffee maker if the previous one is broken or damaged. 

If you receive poor-quality coffee and sometimes plain water, incompatible pods are to be blamed. 

They do not fit well, deliver poor quality, and can also damage the machine over time.  

So, use the right pod type for your Keurig coffee maker. It should sit and fit well in the chamber. 

Error Messages and Alerts

Two common errors will be visible in your coffee maker’s display:

ADD MORE WATER error message 

This message is mainly shown when you do not put enough water in the reservoir for your coffee. 

But if the message is shown when you have given enough water, it is an error message. 

It happens when the machine has issues with the water reservoir. 

To troubleshoot the problem, remove the reservoir and clean it with soap. 

Rinse it well with fresh water again and put it back.  

PRIME error message 

This error message appears when the water does not come from the reservoir. 

Water not coming out can be the result of reasons like improper alignment or clogging. 

To troubleshoot the problem, you must first clean the dirty reservoir, put it back, and run the water-only brew cycle to check if it works. 

While removing and replacing the reservoir, ensure no air bubbles are inside, and everything is aligned correctly. 

After cleaning the reservoir, refill it and see if any of the above error messages are displayed. 

If it is, there must be some glitches. 

In that case, try resetting the coffee maker once. 

This should solve the problem. 

Brewer Reset and Rebooting issues 

At times, the Keurig coffee maker does not reset. 

Resetting is a process that most users love as it is a simple solution to most of the problems I have discussed in this article till now. 

The above reasons do have some specific reasons, but at times, some glitches are to be blamed, which get fixed by a reset. 

Resetting can restore the default functions and settings in the coffee maker and help you brew coffee again. 

Also, it improves the brewing process. 

But what will you do if the reset is not working? 

Troubleshooting the problem is easy. But you need to contact an expert if the malfunction continues.

Here are some reasons that do not allow the machine to reset:

  • The coffee maker is not put together correctly. The magnetic reservoir might not be adequately sealed. 
  • Air is trapped between the internal parts of the machine, causing malfunctions. 
  • Keurig’s internal system is malfunctioning. The computer or the device may have stopped working. 

To troubleshoot the problem, try the following solutions:

Solution 1:

  1. Please turn off your machine and keep it unplugged for some minutes.
  2. Plug back the machine again and turn it on. 
  3. Start a brew cycle. 

Solution 2: 

  1. Please turn off the machine and unplug it. Keep it like that for several minutes. 
  2. Remove the water reservoir. 
  3. After some time, plug in the back and turn on the machine. Put back the water reservoir and start a brewing cycle. 

Solution 3: 

  1. Open and close the K-cup holder. 
  2. It will reset the coffee machine when the brew cycle gets interrupted. 

Another reset you can try is Advanced Reset:

  1. Together, press the SMALL and MEDIUM cut buttons and release them at the same time.
  2. Press the MENU button 3 times immediately after this. The clock will read 6:09 when you do these steps correctly. 
  3. After 6:09, press the MENU button again. The display will show BREW 0:00. 
  4. Press the MEDIUM MUG button and then press and release the MENU while pressing the MEDIUM MUG button. 
  5. Now press the SMALL MUG button while holding the MEDIUM MUG button simultaneously. 
  6. Unplug the coffee maker several times, plug it back again, and start checking. 

Contacting Keurig Customer Support

After exhausting all the possible troubleshooting steps, if your Keurig coffee machine is not working correctly and you are having the same problem repeatedly, hiring customer care is the last resort. 

The professionals will thoroughly look at your machine, internally and externally, find the correct problem and fix it quickly without any mistakes. 

The best way to contact the customer support team of Keurig is to call them directly on their phone line. 

The hotline number is always available. 

You will be connected to a representative via live chat, where you will share the problems, and the expert will suggest you some troubleshooting steps. 

You can also submit a ticket on the Keurig website and explain your problems. 

After they get your ticket, a representative will contact you through email. 

There, you can explain the problems you are facing and also receive a solution. 

If needed, they will come to your house to fix the machine. 

Final Thoughts

Keurig coffee makers can face several issues, and knowing the troubleshooting steps is essential. Even if you have not faced any issues yet, learning them is good for the future. This troubleshooting guide can be helpful for you even when things seem dire. 

You can implement these tips and fix your machine’s problem. If all these tips fail, don’t worry. You still have the option of resetting the machine or consulting for help from the customer support team. 

Sometimes, resetting can solve whatever issues you are facing. But if the problem remains, you have to troubleshoot it with these tips I have shared or hire an expert for a solution. 

Why is my Keurig coffee machine making weird noises?

A Keurig coffee maker is already a noise machine. There will be strange sounds when it is brewing your coffee. But if you hear loud grinding noises, there might be some dispensing issues. Maybe it is struggling to pump water. 

Why is my Keurig coffee maker’s frother not working?

Frother is an excellent addition to the coffee maker. Common reasons behind the frother not working could be low-quality milk, the lid not closed properly, too much milk, or the incorrectly placed whisk. Check these things and fix them to solve the issue.

Reference: Keurig Coffee Maker

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Jeniffer Smith

Hi, I am Jeniffer Smith, a housemaker and blogger, and I grew up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. I have been researching and fixing appliances and other things around the home and kitchen from a young age to help my single mother. Every time something went wrong, I couldn't rest until I fixed it. And ever since, I have enjoyed fixing things around my home, and I am always ready to help my friends and family with advice and hands-on help. Since we were always looking for affordable ways of fixing things, we rarely hired experts and tried to fix most things ourselves. That interest brought me to write for this blog, as I realized my knowledge could help many people trying to fix things around their homes on their own without spending hundreds of dollars.

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