Coffee Facts

Keurig Coffee Maker Problems

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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 easy 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. Every now and then your machine is going to have issues and will need some troubleshooting. Luckily the solutions are quite easy and don’t require any complex technical skills. So in order 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 methods of brewing, 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.

How does a Keurig brew coffee?

The Keurig was designed to brew a single cup of excellent coffee. A k-cup or small pod of coffee is inserted into the brewer, and then the magic happens. A few buttons are pressed, then small pins from the brewers penetrate the k-cup and release hot water which brews the grounds inside. It’s that simple! That is why the Keurig machine is such a household brand. Easy coffee at your fingertips.


How Do You Fix a Clogged Keurig?

If you find that your Keurig isn’t brewing coffee this can leave you frustrated and regretful of purchasing your Keurig machine. Don’t panic and let’s check-up 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 properly. Before getting started cleaning your Keurig, make sure that you unplug your machine first. Please be careful that the water inside the reservoir isn’t hot, especially if you have recently used your machine to make coffee.

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 you are washing these parts.

Then use a damp cloth to gently scrub these parts to make sure all debris and calcium scaling is removed. Make sure that all visible coffee grounds are removed while rinsing and washing your Keurig parts.

A clogged Keurig is a common cause for most problems with your machine. If you have been using your Keurig coffee brewer for more than six months, it’s likely that you need to have it cleaned. Luckily they have made the coffee maker easy to take apart which makes the cleaning process a whole lot 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 properly.
  • Your Keurig has damaged or dirty parts.
  • Your internal computer systems have a malfunction.

How to reset your Keurig coffee maker:

  1. Turn off your brewer, then unplug it for a few minutes.
  2. Remove the water reservoir before you plug your machine back in, then wait a few minutes.
  3. Plug your machine and power it up.
  4. Attach the water reservoir back to your machine.
  5. Open and close the k-cup holder.

If after trying all of these solutions you still are unable to rest your Keurig, you may need to contact their customer support.

What Is Wrong with My Keurig?

Rather than going through every possible problem that you may encounter with a Keurig coffee maker, let’s cover the most common issues users face with their machines. If after finish this article and you 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 seem that way at times). 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 Keurig machine can get in its own way. The new and improved models tend to have settings that a lot of 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 useful to you.

My Keurig won’t stop leaking

Seeing all that water all over 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.

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If you notice that water is 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:

  1. Make sure your cold water reservoir is seated properly
  2. Remove the cold water reservoir and see if there is water in the well underneath.
  3. 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 of a moment it can be when you insert a delicious Blueberry k-cup only to find a tiny amount of coffee has actually been brewed. Please try to hold back the tears and let’s solve this quick fix!

A clogged Keurig is a likely culprit here. As mentioned above, over time your Keurig can get clogged which will affect 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 after you are still facing this issue, you can revert to the steps above on how to thoroughly clean your Keurig coffee maker.

Keurig Coffee Make

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 build-up, these nasty bits can get into your Keurig coffee.

Even though most of the newer modules will have an indicator of when you clean your Keurig, but 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 that 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 make sure the water reservoir has been properly filled. This error message might night actually be in the wrong here. I know I’m guilty of making these kinds of errors, especially before my morning mug(s).

If you have filled the water reservoir to the appropriate level, you may be due to clean your cold water reservoir. Make sure to 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 prowed owner of the Keurig 2.0? Well if you are then you probably haven’t run into this problem yet. While most get to 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 do happen…a lot! Check that the power chord has been properly plugged into the power source.

If your Keurig machine is properly plugged in, you may want to try a different outlet. Afterward, 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 out of nowhere! The first thing you want to do is check the reservoir magnet, then make sure all timers and automatic-shut off features are not on.

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

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

  1. Your water pump isn’t functioning properly.
  2. The heating system inside is malfunctioning due to issues with the water pump.
  3. Calcium build-up or dried coffee grounds are clogging your Keurig causing malfunctions.

As mentioned numerous times above, please never forget to keep your machine clean to prevent clogging or other damages. If coffee grounds or minerals build up and clog your Keurig, you’re going to have a bad time.

Though it can be tedious to clean over and over again, just remember all the joy your Keurig brings you in the morning. Having respect for 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 look at the water pump. If it is damaged or malfunctioning, it could be time to order a replacement. In that case, make sure to contact the 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 though, as the solution is not just to do with the machine. The type of grind for the beans in your k-cup can be the reason why you have coffee grounds in your 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 pack more flavor and a more desirable cup of coffee. There are tons 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’re going to want to start by checking that your cold water reservoir is seated properly. Really make sure that everything is aligned up the correct way. Then do this test:

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

If you are still facing this issue after trying the steps above, contact their customer service.

How to descale your Keurig

Many of the common problems you may face with your Keurig are connected to descaling. Descaling is getting rid of all of the mineral build-ups that clog your machine and ruins the quality of your coffee. Here is the correct way to descale your machine:

Step 1: Make sure your machine is powered off.

Step 2: Add your Keurig descaling solution or homemade solution to the water reservoir.

Step 3: Add water to the reservoir.

Step 4: Turn on your machine and perform a cleansing brew.

Step 5: Pour the contents out of the mug.

Step 6: Continue this method until the “add water” light comes on.

Step 7: Let the brewer sit for 30 minutes

Step 8: Rinse and wash thoroughly

If you want the quality of your brewing to last, you cannot skip this part of the Keurig troubleshooting process. By keeping your machine descaled, you will avoid all of the toxins and unwanted minerals from ruin the flavor of your k-cup. A descaled Keurig is a happy one!

K cup

How to use the Universal My K-Cup

My k-cup is great because you can use your Keurig to brew your favorite coffee with the same “push button” process. If you are looking to combine your favorite coffee beans with a high tech brewing system, get ready because here is how you get the “My K-cup” party started!

  1. Remove the lid from the filter so your filter basket is exposed.
  2. Fill up the basket to the desired amount with your favorite coffee grounds (avoid fine grind like for espresso to prevent blockage).
  3. Put the lid back onto the filter basket.

How to brew the My K-Cup Reusable Filter

Now that you have added your favorite coffee to your k-cup, you are ready to see your brewer in action. Follow these steps in order to brew a perfect cup:

  1. Remove your k-cup holder.
  2. Insert your Universal My k-cup reusable filter to the holder.
  3. Lower the handle and select your desired brew size.

How to clean the My K-Cup Reusable Filter

After your successful brew, it’s time to clean your k-cup and get it ready to be used again. Here is an easy solution –

  • Disassembly your machine.
  • Rinse each part individually.
  • Use liquid dish soap to wash your parts.

Make sure to do this after each and every use, because the build-up of residue is a common problem for your machine. So please keep your Keurig cleaned and polished!

Is the Keurig Worth It?

The Keurig coffee maker is a little bit more on the expensive side when compared to the common Automatic Drip Maker. But if you are a person of convenience, you may find you like the no-brainer approach of popping in a pod and pressing a button to make a cup of coffee.

What we love about the Keurig coffee maker

  • Very convenient and functional. It’s a great brewer if you like your coffee at the same time each day.
  • A wide variety of flavors to choose from.
  • The quality of the coffee is usually decent.

Things that could be better

  • You can only brew one cup at a time, and the cost of pods can add up.
  • Hard to achieve certain textures normally found in drip coffee.
  • It requires constant maintenance.

A Keurig can be a great asset to your kitchen if you are someone who enjoys their coffee the same every time. As long as you are vigilante with Keurig troubleshooting, you are in for some fast morning java. So in order for you to get the best answer, you would need to go out and try a one yourself. But now you will have a solid background on how the machine works and what quality to expect.

Keurig FAQ

What is so special about a Keurig?

If you are a fanatic of coffee then this device should be the new love of your life. Now you can get your coffee in almost an instant, 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 you 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.

Is a Keurig better than a regular coffee maker?

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

  • 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 in quality while 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 if Keurig is more about convenience than award-winning coffee, so if you need “fast coffee” as your #1 priority, then a Keurig might be right for you.

Can Keurigs become moldy?

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

How long do Keurigs last?

The short answer is about 10 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 water 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 build-up of limescale and other wanted guests in your brewer.

What water should you use for your coffee? Most would recommend going for 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, 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 again will help you to avoid build-up and germs in your brewer.

Then just to be safe, when you arrive home, make sure to run a few cleansing brews with fresh water. This will make sure 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 of cleaning and descaling your coffee maker. Many experts claim to use white vinegar.

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

If you used the method mentioned above about using vinegar to sanitize your coffee maker, it’s highly important you know how to remove the powerful smell of this solution.

To begin, you can try to use baking soda. Simple let about 2 teaspoons fully dissolve into your water and then run it through your machine a few times. If no luck, try adding more baking soda.

Can I put bleach In my Keurig?

Look, I understand. Bleach kills everything, so it must do a great job of sanitizing my coffee brewer. 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 carpets 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 make sure your brewer doesn’t contain any of this nasty stuff, keep yours polished at all times. As soon as you start to slip up, the mold starts to creep in.


What Is the best Keurig to buy?

If you are looking to make an upgrade to your at-home barista lifestyle, you may consider looking at the best Keurigs on the market. As for which model you should choose, it all comes down to what your taste is 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 happen to diagnose your problem and try one of our solutions; remember to contact the 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 the 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.

On a final note, the Keurig community is large and there are tons of forums and guides to help you if yours ever breaks down. Not only that, but you can also compare and discover different flavors and little hacks to make your experience a better one.

Happy Keuriging!

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