Coffee Makers, Troubleshooting Coffee Makers

Keurig Coffee Maker Troubleshooting: Fixes for Common Issues [CONSUMER EXPERIENCES]

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

As a devoted Keurig K-Cafe user and an active member of several Keurig user groups, I’ve been closely following the conversations. It’s hard not to notice the array of problems many Keurig owners face – from minor hiccups to more baffling issues, leaving many at a loss.

That’s exactly why I felt compelled to create this guide. It’s a compilation of real experiences from fellow Keurig users. The challenges they’ve encountered with their machines, and more importantly, the solutions they’ve discovered.

So let’s begin.

12 Common Problems & How to Fix Them

Every story, every fix, is shared with their permission. This guide isn’t just a collection of tips; it’s a testament to the community’s ingenuity and willingness to help. Whether it’s a quirky malfunction or a persistent error message, here you’ll find a resource born out of shared experiences and resolved with collective wisdom.

1) Keurig Won’t Stop Pumping Water

If your Keurig keeps pumping water non-stop, it’s a signal that something’s off. Let’s dive into some quick solutions.


  1. Soft Reset: Unplug your Keurig for 10-15 minutes. Often, a brief reset resolves minor glitches.
  2. Clean the Needle: This small yet crucial component, if clogged, can cause continuous pumping. Cleaning is usually a quick fix.
  3. Descale Regularly: Mineral buildup from prolonged use could be the culprit. Regular descaling with a suitable solution, followed by rinsing cycles, can keep your machine running smoothly.
  4. Invert Your Coffee Maker: Sounds odd, but turning your Keurig upside down and gently tapping it has proven effective for some users.

2) Keurig Not Pumping Water

When your Keurig isn’t pumping water, it’s a hurdle to your coffee routine. Here’s how to troubleshoot and solve this issue effectively.


  1. Clean the Pump Opening: Check and clear the pump opening by shaking water in the reservoir, and then wiping the opening with a damp cloth.
  2. Use the Turkey Baster Method: For deeper clogs, use a turkey baster to force water through the channel until it runs clear.
  3. Prime the Pump: Gently shake the machine to dislodge air bubbles and keep the reservoir from running completely dry to avoid airlocks.
  4. Replace Motor/Pump: If the motor is faulty and the water flow is affected, consider replacing the motor to get your Keurig working again.

3) Keurig Not Turning On

Finding your Keurig unresponsive in the morning can be quite a headache. Let’s troubleshoot this and get your coffee flowing again.


  1. Check the Power Connection: Start by ensuring your Keurig is firmly plugged in. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as switching to a different outlet.
  2. Hold the Power Button: If your Keurig has a power button, hold it down for 10-15 seconds. This extended press can sometimes activate the machine.
  3. Perform a Soft Reset: For Keurigs that have been recently maintained, removing the water reservoir and unplugging the machine for about an hour can reset the system.

4) Keurig Won’t Brew

Nothing is more annoying than a Keurig that just won’t brew your much-needed coffee. Let’s tackle this head-on with some straightforward solutions.


  1. Check Your Setup: First, ensure everything is properly set up – your Keurig is plugged in, the water reservoir is full, and the settings are correct.
  2. Reset Your Keurig: If the setup is fine but still no brew, try a reset. Open/close the brew head, turn off and unplug the machine, remove the reservoir, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Clean Your Machine: Coffee grounds and mineral buildup can block brewing. Clean your Keurig thoroughly following our guide.

5) Keurig Descale Light Stays On

Keurig Descale Light Stays On

Notice your Keurig’s descale light persistently on? It’s a sign your machine craves a deep cleaning. Neglecting it might lead to clogs or worse.


  1. Descale Your Coffee Maker: Heed the descale light’s call for a thorough cleaning. Use a quality descaling solution and focus on the machine’s interior for effective scale removal.
  2. Clean the Needle: Check if the issue is a clogged needle. Gently clean it, avoiding sharp tools, to prevent damage. Rinse well afterward.

6) Keurig Leaking from the Bottom

Experiencing a leak from the bottom of your Keurig? Let’s quickly address the common causes and their fixes.


  1. Check Reservoir Level: Ensure you’re not overfilling the reservoir; stick to the max line to prevent leaks.
  2. Inspect Reservoir for Damage: Examine the reservoir for cracks or a damaged O-ring, and replace if necessary.
  3. Regular Cleaning and Descaling: Clean and descale your Keurig regularly to avoid clogs that can cause leaks.
  4. Clear the Valve Pump: Make sure the valve pump is not clogged to prevent water from stagnating and leaking.

7) Keurig Dripping After Brewing

When your Keurig keeps dripping after a brew, it’s time for a quick fix.


  1. Check and Clean Needles: Inspect both entry and exit needles for clogs. Coffee grounds stuck in the needles often cause post-brew dripping.
  2. Regular Needle Maintenance: Regularly cleaning your Keurig’s needles can prevent future dripping issues.

8) Keurig Not Making a Full Cup

If your Keurig isn’t brewing a full cup, it’s time to look into a few quick fixes.


  1. Descale Your Coffee Maker: Scale build-up can obstruct water flow, preventing a full cup brew. Regular descaling is crucial.
  2. Clean the Reservoir Tube: Ensure the tube is clear of debris. Cleaning it with a damp cloth and warm water can improve water flow.
  3. Shake Out the Air: Trapped air in the pump can impact brewing. Gently shake the machine to release air and help the pump function correctly.

9) Keurig Making Noise

Hearing unexpected noises from your Keurig after brewing? It’s time to investigate the possible reasons and find a solution.


  1. Check the Surface: If your Keurig is on a hard surface, it might amplify vibration noises. Place it on a cloth to dampen the sound.
  2. Assess Coffee Maker’s Age: Older Keurig models tend to be noisier. Check your model’s serial number to determine its age.
  3. Inspect for Loose Parts: Unusual noises could indicate a loose part inside your coffee maker, signaling the need for a check-up or repair.

10) Keurig Overflows

Dealing with a Keurig that overflows can be both messy and risky. Here’s how to tackle the common causes.


  1. Reservoir Positioning: Check that the water reservoir is correctly seated. A misaligned reservoir can lead to overflow.
  2. Replace Charcoal Filters: Change old or clogged charcoal water filters. Regular replacement can prevent overflow issues caused by filter clogs.
  3. Watch the Water Limit: Fill the reservoir only up to the indicated line. Overfilling can cause your coffee maker to overflow.

11) Keurig Turns On or Off on its Own

Does your Keurig coffee maker have a mind of its own, turning on or off unexpectedly? Let’s explore why this happens and how to fix it.


  1. Check the Exit Needle: A clogged or damaged exit needle can cause these issues. Regularly clean the needle, avoiding sharp objects that could damage it.
  2. Adjust the Water Magnet: The water reservoir magnet might be misaligned, affecting the machine’s ability to detect water levels. Realign the magnet to ensure proper function.

12) Coffee Grounds in Your Cup

Keurig Coffee Grounds in Your Cup

Finding coffee grounds in your brewed cup from a Keurig is unusual and certainly not what you want to start your day with.


  1. Check Filter Size: Ensure your reusable filter is the correct size for your Keurig model. A mismatched filter can let grounds slip through.
  2. Clean the Exit Needle: Regularly clean the exit needle to prevent clogs that could result in coffee grounds in your cup. After cleaning, run filtered water through to flush out any lingering debris.

Model-Specific Troubleshooting Guides

Sometimes, general fixes just don’t cut it. If you’ve tried all the common solutions and your Keurig is still giving you a hard time, it might be time to delve into model-specific guides:

Key Advice to Conclude (READ THIS!)

If you haven’t been able to resolve the problem using this guide, here are my additional tips.

I’ve heard numerous stories in Keurig user groups about experiences with Keurig customer care. Frankly, many users report not getting the help they hoped for. It’s crucial to check if you still have a valid warranty. If you do, claiming a replacement should be your go-to option.

But here’s the deal:

If your warranty has expired, you might find yourself at a crossroads. The bitter truth is, for more complex issues, repairing your Keurig might not be cost-effective. Coffee makers, in general, are priced in a way that makes intricate repairs less justifiable, unless you’re really into DIY repairs.

In such cases, investing in a new coffee maker could be more reasonable. I know it’s not the ideal solution, but sometimes it’s the most practical one.

If you’re considering a new coffee machine, I recommend Nespresso. True, the pods are somewhat more expensive, but in return, you’ll enjoy a completely different coffee experience. Additionally, they tend to be less prone to faults than Keurigs. Here is my review of the Nespresso Vertuo, which I personally use.

If you’re aware of an issue not covered in this guide, or if you have experience with an alternative solution, please share it in the comments. Your input can help others too!

Erica Cervenkova
Coffee Connoisseur, SCA Member

As a coffee connoisseur and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, I am dedicated to understanding the sustainability of coffee pods and the impact it has on the environment. My expertise lies in the realm of capsule coffee machines, from the likes of Keurig and Nespresso to other well-known US brands. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others make informed decisions about their coffee choices. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a new way to enjoy your morning cup, I'm here to help.


4 thoughts on “Keurig Coffee Maker Troubleshooting: Fixes for Common Issues [CONSUMER EXPERIENCES]”

  1. Picked up a Keurig at a Goodwill store for $12.50,;needle was plugged. Cleaned it and works like new for last 5 years. Just clean once in awhile.


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