Coffee Facts

Keurig Coffee Maker Problems: A Trouble Shooting Guide


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The conditions of your cup of coffee can make or break your morning. The Keurig coffee maker can be a great way to ensure you get your morning java with simplicity and speed! Being one of the most popular coffee makers on the market, you can expect to have a consistent taste and manageable machine. That is, however, if your machine is working properly.

Although the Keurig is an effortless way to get a quick brew, everything convenient comes at a cost. Your machine will have issues and need some troubleshooting now and then. Luckily the solutions are quite easy and don’t require complex technical skills. So to protect you from a ruined morning and a broken heart, let’s go over common Keurig coffee problems and how to fix them.

Though we here at Roasty prefer more hands-on brewing methods, such as a french press or pour-over, this machine can be great and will make your life a bit easier.

Let’s dig into some common Keurig coffee maker problems and what you can do to fix them.

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Keurig Coffee Maker Problems

How Do You Fix a Clogged Keurig?

If you find that your Keurig isn’t brewing hot coffee, this can leave you frustrated and regretful about purchasing your Keurig machine. Don’t panic; let’s check to see if your machine is clogged and how you can clean it properly.

Too much debris in your machine

Keurig cleaning can be a drag, but it’s necessary for your machine to function correctly. Before cleaning your Keurig, make sure you unplug your coffee maker first. Ensure your machine has thoroughly cooled before cleaning. 

After you are certain that the water inside has cooled down, remove the water reservoir. Next, remove the drip tray and the pod holder and prep all these parts to be washed. Make sure to use liquid dish soap and hot water when washing these parts.

A clogged Keurig is a common cause of most problems with your machine. If you have been using your Keurig coffee brewer for more than six months, you likely need to have it cleaned. Luckily they have made the coffee maker easy to take apart, which makes the cleaning process much more taxing.

How Can I Reset My Keurig?

Resetting your Keurig shouldn’t be difficult, but sometimes you may encounter errors. Here are some of the main reasons why you can’t reset your Keurig:

  • Your Keurig isn’t assembled correctly.
  • Your Keurig has damaged or dirty parts.
  • Your internal computer systems have a malfunction.

How to reset your Keurig coffee maker:

  • Turn off your brewer by pressing the power button, then unplug it for a few minutes.
  • Remove the water reservoir before you plug your machine back in, then wait a few minutes.
  • Reconnect your machine and power it up.
  • Attach the water reservoir back to your machine.
  • Open and close the k-cup holder.

If you still cannot reset your Keurig after trying all these solutions, you may need to contact their customer support.

What Is Wrong with My Keurig?

Rather than going through every possible problem you may encounter with a Keurig coffee maker, let’s cover the most common issues users face with their machines. If you finish this article and still haven’t found a solution, you may need to contact Keurig customer support.

My Keurig turns on/off on its own

Although the Keurig coffee maker is a brilliant piece of java tech, it does not have a mind of its own (even though it can sometimes seem that way). A common problem some Keurig owners face is that their machine sometimes turns on or off on its own. Before you think your Keurig is haunted, there is an easy fix for this issue.

Sometimes the genius of the Keurig machine can get in its own way. The new and improved models tend to have settings that many Keurig owners don’t know are active. The automated brewing feature is one of the most sneaky issues of Keurig troubleshooting.

So if your Keurig seems to be haunted, it’s more likely that you have accidentally activated the automated brewing feature. After you turn this setting off, your machine will start to behave itself again. If you always like your coffee at the same time each day, this feature may be helpful to you.

My Keurig won’t stop leaking

Seeing all that water on your countertop can really ruin your morning coffee experience. I mean, who wants to clean up water early in the morning? Especially when you expected to brew a perfect cup of coffee instead.

If you notice water leaking from the cold water reservoir, you may need to order a replacement tank. How do you check if the water is leaking from the cold water reservoir? You can follow these steps:

  • Make sure your cold water reservoir is seated properly
  • Remove the cold water reservoir and see if there is water in the well underneath.
  • Hold the cold water reservoir over the sink and see if water leaks out.

If you discover that your cold water reservoir isn’t the direct source of the leak, other parts might be misplaced, causing the leak. Your gasket may not be lined up properly. The gasket is located around the puncture needle.

It’s best to be aware of leakage because having a countertop full of water is one thing. But having a sludgy mixture of water and coffee grounds will really make you grumpy when you try to brew your coffee.

My Keurig only brews a little bit of coffee

How sad it can be when you insert a delicious Blueberry k-cup only to find a tiny amount of coffee was actually brewed. Please hold back the tears, and let’s solve this quick fix!

A clogged Keurig is a likely culprit here. Over time, your Keurig can get clogged, affecting the quality and quantity of the coffee you brew. One super-easy way to fix this is to brew a few rounds without a k-cup. This will flush water through the system and clean out any gunk or scaling inside your machine.

If you are still facing this issue after applying this fix, you can revert to the steps above on how to clean your Keurig coffee maker thoroughly.

My Keurig coffee tastes bad

If you are consistent with your k-cups, there is no reason why the taste of your coffee should change. Once again, the flavor of your coffee can be ruined by a clogged Keurig machine. Why does this affect the taste of your k-cup? When the water line is clogged with debris, coffee grounds, or calcium buildup, these nasty bits can get into your Keurig coffee.

Even though most of the newer modules have an indicator light to tell you when to clean your Keurig, you should clean your machine every 3-6 months, depending on usage. This will protect you from an awful bitter “good morning!”.

So make sure you keep your Keurig clean and look out for those coffee-ruining minerals.

My “Add More Water” message stays on

Sometimes your Keurig can look like the dashboard of an old used car. All of these weird, confusing lights are messing with your morning coffee! Don’t get overly frustrated at these occurrences because they are not difficult to sort out.

First, you want to ensure the water reservoir has been properly filled. This error message might not actually be wrong. I know I’m guilty of making this error, especially before my morning mug(s).

If you have filled the water reservoir to the appropriate level, it may be time to clean your cold water reservoir. Use warm water and liquid dish soap and gently scrub the reservoir with a damp cloth.

Still no luck? You might need to contact customer care and have a replacement part ordered.

My Keurig 2.0 won’t turn on

Are you the proud owner of a Keurig 2.0? If you are, you probably haven’t run into this problem yet. While most people enjoy this intricate coffee brewing system, others can’t even get it started.

When this unfortunate day comes, and you encounter this issue, here’s what you do. First, make sure this isn’t a human error, because they happen…a lot! Check that the power chord has been properly plugged into the power source.

If your Keurig machine is properly connected to power, you may want to try a different outlet. If you are still having trouble powering on your Keurig 2.0, you may need to contact their customer support.

My Keurig keeps shutting off

If you have a strict morning routine, nothing can be more annoying than your Keurig shutting off unexpectedly! First, check the reservoir magnet, then make sure all timers and automatic shut-off features are inactive.

My Keurig is making weird noises

Your Keurig is already a pretty noisy machine. There will be some strange sounds when you brew your coffee, but most are normal. Just make sure that your Keurig machine is cleaned properly to prevent any damage to the pumps.

My Keurig isn’t heating

Keurig Heating Up

Sometimes your Keurig might dispense water but won’t heat up. You may need to check if your Keurig coffee maker is experiencing any of the following:

  • Your water pump isn’t functioning properly.
  • The heating system inside is malfunctioning due to issues with the water pump.
  • Calcium buildup or dried coffee grounds are clogging your Keurig, causing malfunctions.

Again, please never forget to keep your machine clean to prevent clogging or other damage. If coffee grounds or minerals build up and clog your Keurig, you will have a bad time.

Though it can be tedious to clean over and over again, remember all the joy your Keurig brings you in the morning. Respecting your coffee equipment is a huge part of having a pleasant coffee experience.

If your Keurig machine is clean and you still have issues with heating, you may need to focus on the water pump. If it is damaged or malfunctioning, it could be time to order a replacement. In that case, make sure to contact Keurig customer support.

My Keurig leaves coffee grounds in my cup

Coffee grounds floating at the top of your morning cup? Yuck! Don’t throw your Keurig out just yet, as the solution might not be in the machine. The type of grind for the beans in your k-cup can be why you have coffee grounds in your coffee cup. This can easily be avoidable by using a coarse grind for your k-cup.

If you aren’t satisfied with the taste or consistency of your coffee, I suggest choosing a darker roast. This will help to give you more flavor and a more desirable cup of coffee. There is a wide variety of k-cup flavors to choose from. If you get bored with one, experiment with another. The Keurig is great for this reason; there is a wide variety of coffee to explore!

My Keurig dispenses too much coffee

You’ll want to start by checking that your cold water reservoir is seated properly. Make sure that everything is aligned correctly. Then do this test:

  • Start a water-only brew and see if your Keurig has dispensed the correct amount. You can check using a measuring cup.
  • Check for the presence of a water filter.
  • Power off your machine and then unplug it.
  • Clean your needles (be careful, they are sharp!)

Contact customer service if you still face this issue after trying the steps above.

Why is my Keurig frother not working? 

The Keurig milk frother is a great addition to your coffee bar because it lets you make barista-quality lattes from the comfort of your own home. But, just like any other machine, sometimes it stops working. Common issues people run into are a failed milk frother even though the light is on or the frother heats the milk without frothing it. 

If this is the first time you’re using your milk frother, make sure you use the correct milk. Skim milk, creamer, or milk alternatives like almond milk might not froth the way you’re used to. According to Keurig, the best milk to froth is either whole milk or 2%.

If you’re sure you’re using the right milk and it’s still not frothing, make sure the lid is on correctly and the milk level is not over the max fill line. If it’s still not working, ensure the whisk is correctly placed inside the machine and free of any gunk or debris. 

If none of the above steps give you the frothy milk you need for your lattes, Keurig sells replacement parts on their website. 

My Keurig dispenses too much water  

One of the most common issues people report experiencing with their Keurig machine is that it dispenses too much water. So, if you’re experiencing an excess water leak after your coffee has finished brewing, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, it’s an easy fix. 

First, make sure your water reservoir is correctly aligned with the machine. An improper alignment could lead to excess water dripping. If everything lines up and your machine is still dripping water, unplug it and let it cool off. Remove the water reservoir and flip the machine upside down while shaking gently and lightly tapping the bottom of the machine. 

My Keurig will not power on 

If your Keurig isn’t turning on, ensure it is properly plugged into the outlet. Next, try using a few different outlets around your kitchen to ensure the issue is your machine, not the outlet you’re using. 

If it still won’t power on, it’s time to troubleshoot your machine. Contact the Keurig customer service department at 1-866-901-BREW(2739).

My Keurig splatters while brewing 

If your Keurig splatters while brewing, you might be experiencing a clogged brewing needle. Sometimes if the machine is not cleaned and descaled on a regular basis, excess coffee grounds might build up inside the brewing needle. 

To do this, make sure the machine is off and cool. Take a needle and gently remove the debris from inside the brewing needle. 

My Keurig will not close 

Verify that you’re using a Keurig-approved coffee pod and that it fits correctly inside your machine. Using a third-party K-pod might cause your machine not to close because it’s too big. Make sure there is nothing else that could be blocking your machine from closing. 

If it’s still not closing, locate the ring under the brewing chamber head. Adjust the ring to make sure it’s sitting nicely in its spot. This should ensure your Keurig closes correctly. 

My Keurig is beeping at me 

Beeps are the only way your Keurig machine has to communicate that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing excessive beeping, it might be time to clean and descale your machine. If this does not stop the beeping, ensure all Keurig pieces are properly aligned and the machine is plugged into the wall correctly. 

If your Keurig is still beeping, you may need to call Keurig customer support at 1-800-901-BREW(2739) for further help. 

Keurig leaks while preheating 

Your Keurig should not leak water while preheating, so if it is, you might have a clog. Make sure the brewing needle and k-cup holder are free of debris and accumulated coffee grounds. 

If this doesn’t fix the leak, verify that the valve at the bottom of the water reservoir is clean and free of debris. Additionally, you can flip the machine upside down and gently tap the bottom to remove any clogs. 

If this does not solve your leaking issue, the problem is not due to a clog, and the issue is with the hardware. For hardware issues, you may need to contact Keurig customer support at 1-800-901-BREW(2739) or purchase a new machine if your current one has run its course. 

Why is my Keurig only making half a cup? 

The first step to figuring out why your Keurig is only making half a cup of coffee is ensuring the water reservoir is aligned properly. Keurigs operate with magnets, and any misalignment can lead to problems with your machine. 

If it’s still not brewing a full cup of coffee, your machine is clogged and needs to be cleaned. Carefully use a needle to clean the tip of the brewing needle and clear out the accumulated coffee grounds. Use white vinegar or Keurig’s descaling kit to clean out any limescale buildup inside your machine. 

Descale your Keuring regularly to ensure you do not face this problem again in the future. When you brew coffee with your Keurig, the inside of your machine accumulates limescale buildup. Descaling is the process of removing that buildup and thoroughly cleaning your machine to ensure you have the perfect cup of delicious coffee every time. 

My Keurig display is blank

Make sure your Keurig is plugged in, and your chosen outlet is working correctly. To determine if your outlet is working correctly, try plugging a few different appliances into the outlet to see if they work. If they also don’t turn on, the issue is with your outlet, not the machine.

If that does not turn your screen on and you’re sure the outlet is not the problem, try unplugging the machine, waiting 30 seconds, and plugging it back in. 

Call the Keurig customer service department at 1-800-866-BREW(2739) if your Keurig screen still does not turn on. 

Why is my Keurig smoking or steaming? 

Your Keurig should not be smoking or steaming during the brewing process. If you see smoke, unplug the machine immediately. Remove any flammable objects near your machine and watch it for a few minutes to ensure nothing catches fire. Your safety is worth more than your cup of coffee. 

Some common problems that might lead to steaming or smoking Keurig are an empty water reservoir, a dirty machine, over usage, or faulty electrical components. To prevent smoking or steaming, never operate your machine with an empty water tank, and clean your Keurig regularly. 

Coffee machines should never start smoking, so if you’re experiencing this issue, it might be time to get a new one. 

My Keurig coffee pot leaks while pouring 

A leaky Keurig coffee pot has plagued coffee lovers since the invention of the K-Duo Carafe. The leaking you’re experiencing could be due to a ridge left by the plastic mold for the carafe spout. This ridge can be removed by gently sanding it down with sandpaper. 

Make sure you properly clean the coffee pot before using it. 

Why does my brand new Keurig taste like plastic?   

Well, because it’s brand new. Think about it, your new Keurig has never had water run through it before, so it’s only natural you might experience a bit of a plastic taste in your first brew. To get rid of it, brew a few cups of coffee without a coffee pod in the machine. This will run hot water through the machine and eliminate the remaining plastic taste. 

Why does my Keurig light stay on? 

Keurig Display Light On

It can be frustrating when you’re trying to brew a cup of coffee by pushing the blue light on your machine, but the light stays on, and there is no coffee brewing. Lucky for you, there is a simple fix. Open and close the brewing lid and press the button again. Your Keurig should begin to brew your coffee. 

My Keurig shuts off when I brew 

As with most issues you might run into, your Keurig shutting off mid-brew could result from a clog. Sometimes, the bottom needle gets clogged by excess coffee grounds and does not properly puncture the bottom of the K-cup. The machine will sense this and turn off to prevent an overflow of water. To unclog the puncture needle, use a needle to gently scrape out the accumulated coffee grounds. 

If the puncture needles are not clogged, make sure your water tank is correctly aligned in its holder. If all else fails, your Keurig machine needs to be descaled. 

Keurig is running slow 

A clog or dirty machine is the main culprit behind a slow brewing cup of coffee. To ensure your machine stays operating and at its full potential, descale it regularly to prevent buildup. 

If your Keurig is still running slow, you may need to contact Keurig customer service at 1-800-901-BREW(2739). 

Keurig makes noise when drawing water 

If you’re like me and use your Keurig every morning, you’ll notice when something doesn’t sound right. Like other common problems you’ll run into with your Keurig, a clog or buildup of limescale could be the culprit. Make sure you clear out any clogs and descale your machine when it starts making loud noises. 

Additionally, your machine might be making loud noises when drawing water because the water tank is not properly aligned. Double-check to ensure the reservoir is where it’s supposed to be and full of water before you brew your next cup. 

If all else fails and your machine still makes noises, it might be time to contact Keurig customer service. They can be reached at 1-800-901-BREW(2739). 

Keurig will not pump water 

Keurig Water Reservoir Cleaning

The first step to finding out why your Keurig will not pump water is to verify the water tank is properly aligned with the machine. Many Keurig components run on magnets and will not work if everything is not where it should be. 

If that doesn’t solve your water pumping problem, it’s time to clean the water reservoir and ensure the water pump’s opening is clean and free of debris. Additionally, you can flip the machine upside down and gently tap the bottom to clear out any final clogs. 

Hopefully, this will solve your water pump problem, but if it doesn’t, it might be an internal issue with the machine’s pump. For additional help, reach out to the Keurig customer service department at 1-800-901-BREW(2739). 

Why does my Keurig keep saying to add water? 

If there is water in the water tank and your Keurig keeps telling you to add water, remove the tank and thoroughly clean it and the water pump opening on the base. Make sure the tank is sitting correctly in the base. 

Be sure to clean the Keurig and water tank regularly to keep it operating as it should. 

Why is my Keurig blinking? 

There are a few reasons your Keurig machine might be blinking at you. The most likely reason is your machine is sensing a buildup of lime scale and needs to be descaled. If you’ve just recently cleaned your machine and it’s still blinking, make sure the water tank fits nicely in the base and is full of water. 

If none of the above stops the blinking, unplug the machine, let it sit for 30 seconds, and plug it back in. 

Keurig runs water when turned on 

You don’t want your Keurig to immediately run the water when turned on, and it could be caused by excessive air getting in the machine and triggering the pump. To fix this, gently flip your Keurig machine upside down and tap on the bottom to clear any clogs. 

What does Fr mean on my Keurig Duo? 

This might sound odd, but the Fr error message on your Keurig Duo means the machine is too cold. You might see this message frequently if you live in a colder climate or if you just took your Keurig Duo out of storage. To fix this, bring the Keurig Duo into a warmer environment and let it sit for about 30 minutes to warm up to room temperature. If you live in a cold climate and anticipate your machine getting too cold continually, consider bringing your machine into a warmer room overnight. 

Keurig says this setting is not compatible with the carafe 

If you have a Keurig 2.0 Carafe, you might experience a problem where your Keurig says the setting is incompatible with the carafe. This message lets you know you’re using a K-cup that Keurig doesn’t authorize. To fix this, make sure you’re using a Keurig approved K-cup, as using any third-party pods might damage your machine and void your warranty. 

If you’re receiving this message and have verified you’re using an authentic Keurig K-cup, your machine needs to be cleaned. 

Why does my Keurig keep saying water under pressure? 

Like almost every other issue you might run into with your Keurig, an error message that says water under pressure could be caused by a clogged puncture needle. When the needle is clogged, it messes up the water pressure since water can’t get through to brew. To fix this, carefully clean the puncture needle with a needle or straightened paper clip to remove built-up coffee debris. 

As always, you can avoid this problem by making sure you descale and fully clean your machine regularly.

Keurig FAQ

What is so special about a Keurig?

If you are a coffee fanatic, then this device should be the new love of your life. Now you can get your coffee almost instantly, with virtually no prep work like grinding beans, measuring or weighing coffee, etc.

You can also use your machine to brew tea, hot chocolate, iced coffee, and many other hot beverages.

This machine is designed to make a fine cup of joe in about 60 seconds. You no longer need to deal with messy grounds or wasted coffee from over-brewing. But with every great invention, there is some need for troubleshooting from time to time.

Other Keurig Troubleshooting Questions

Is a Keurig better than a regular coffee maker?

When you hear “regular coffee maker,” that normally refers to a drip coffee maker. The first significant difference between the two is the cost. A Keurig is a bit more expensive than the average automatic drip machine. However, we cannot just look at the price tag when we talk about which one is better.

  • The Keurig brews a lot faster than an automatic drip machine but can only brew one cup at a time.
  • Automatic drip machines are versatile, while a Keurig is a single ecosystem.
  • Drip coffee brews more coffee at once.

So which one is better? Well, the drip coffee maker wins that one. But Keurig is more about convenience than award-winning coffee, so if “fast coffee” is your #1 priority, then a Keurig might be right for you.

Can Keurigs become moldy?

Though mold is not a common problem for your Keurig coffee maker, you could run into some if your machine isn’t cleaned regularly. Make sure to always rinse and wash your water reservoir. To learn how to wash your brewer, refer to the steps above.

How long do Keurigs last?

The short answer is about ten years. However, there are a few factors to consider:

  • The model of your brewer.
  • How often your Keurig is cleaned.
  • The volume of usage

If you take good care of your machine, you can expect it to last a while. If you neglect troubleshooting your brewer, you could run into problems frequently.

Can you leave water in a Keurig?

You shouldn’t leave water in your reservoir for long because it can lead to an unpleasant experience. It is recommended that you run a cleansing brew each day after usage. If you don’t, you can find a nasty buildup of limescale and other wanted guests in your brewer.

What water should you use for your coffee? Most would recommend filtered water. This can improve the overall quality and taste of your drink.

What to do with your Keurig when you go on vacation

Your bags are packed, and a new adventure awaits. Unfortunately, you can’t bring your favorite coffee maker with you (or can you?). One thing that is strongly recommended is to descale your machine before you head out the door. This will help you to avoid buildup and germs in your brewer.

Then, just to be safe, make sure to run a few cleansing brew cycles with fresh water when you arrive home. This will ensure your machine is ready and back in action.

Does vinegar kill bacteria in a Keurig?

Is it time to descale your machine, but you’re all out of the descaling solution? Luckily there is a common ingredient found in most kitchens that will have you back to brewing in no time.

Vinegar won’t kill all of the bacteria in your machine, but it will kill most of them. This makes vinegar a useful way to clean and descale your coffee maker. Many experts recommend white vinegar.

How do I remove the vinegar taste out of my Keurig?

If you used the method mentioned above to sanitize your coffee maker, it’s vital that you know how to remove the solution’s powerful smell.

Dissolve two teaspoons of baking soda in water and then run it through your machine a few times. If that doesn’t work, try adding more baking soda.

Can I put bleach In my Keurig?

Bleach kills everything, so it must do a great job of sanitizing my coffee brewer, right? No! Not only is using bleach an ill-advised solution for cleaning your Keurig, but it’s also not recommended for cleaning any coffee brewers.

Bleach is a dangerous chemical product that should never be ingested. So please keep your bleach on your clothes and out of your coffee.

How do I know if my coffee maker has mold?

Mold is a fungus that wants to ruin your morning cup of Joe. One way to ensure your brewer doesn’t contain any of this nasty stuff is to keep yours polished at all times. As soon as you slip up, the mold begins to creep in.

What Is the best Keurig to buy?

If you want to upgrade your at-home barista lifestyle, you may consider looking at the best Keurigs on the market. As for which model you choose, it all comes down to your taste and how you like to brew your lifeblood. Don’t forget to also explore the wide variety of k-cups available.

To take home

This has been a lengthy troubleshooting guide on how to take care of your Keurig. If you diagnose your problem and try one of our solutions, remember to contact Keurig customer support if you still don’t have any luck resolving your issue.

Always remember that this machine requires attention and maintenance. So unless you want to go back to drinking cowboy coffee, I suggest you look after your Keurig.

Over the years, people have come to find that most problems with Keurig aren’t the end of the world. They wouldn’t trade their ultimate source of convenient coffee for anything.

While there are a lot more durable and convenient coffee brewers out there, not many can match the simplicity or consistency of the Keurig coffee maker.

Finally, the Keurig community is large, and there are many forums and guides to help you if yours ever breaks down. You can also compare and discover different flavors and little hacks to make your experience a better one.

Happy Caffeinating!

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