Coffee Makers, Troubleshooting Coffee Makers

Nespresso Indicator Light is Blinking Orange: Here are a Couple of Possible Reasons!

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

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Your Nespresso coffee machine uses the indicator light to tell you when there might be trouble. The machine was made to help create that coveted cup of coffee.


You need to take proper care of it so it can keep doing what it was made to do. That being said, there are a few meanings behind the blinking orange light outlined below.

Meaning Behind Your Nespresso’s Blinking Orange Light

Your Nespresso coffee maker is a technical piece of equipment. The orange indicator helps simplify troubleshooting the device. Depending on how frequently the light blinks over a set duration, it could need to be descaled, emptied, refilled, or reset. You can determine what the light means by checking the provided manual.

1. Your Nespresso Needs Cleaning

Using your machine over a long period of time creates a gunk build-up. Everything between scaling and minerals can clog up the pathways within your machine.

As such:

To avoid problems, you need to clean your Nespresso coffee maker as frequently as possible.


Your machine will alert you if the build-up reaches a dangerous amount. The orange indicator light will blink twice a second when it needs to be cleaned.


Your Nespresso coffee maker has a clean function that automates the task of clearing the build-up.


You may want to start by manually cleaning the parts within your reach. Here is how to clean your Nespresso coffee maker.

Nespresso Lifted Lid
  • Step 1: Lift the Nespresso head and clean as much as possible with a damp rag. Remove any K-cup left in the holder.
  • Step 2: Remove the water reservoir and clean it if necessary. Fill it with tap water and set it back in place.
  • Step 3: Clean the cup stand with a damp rag and place a sizeable cup underneath the nozzle.
  • Step 4: Close the lid and lock it in place. Your machine should draw in and heat water from the reservoir.
  • Step 5: Wait for the heating sequence to end and for the light to stop blinking. We can now start the cleaning function.
  • Step 6: You can start the cleaning function by pressing the central button three times within a second.

The cleaning should take about 7 minutes to complete. You can pause it if necessary by pressing the button once and resume it the same way.


The cleaning cycle should clear the build-up within your Nespresso coffee maker and stop the orange light from blinking.

2. Nespresso May Be Overheating


Hot water is essential when brewing coffee. It needs to be scalding as you brew, and your Nespresso coffee maker is designed to bring water to this temperature.


Your Nespresso coffee maker has its own way of regulating its internal temperature.


It may still overheat from time to time. It’s dangerous to have your coffee maker working at high temperatures. It could damage some sensitive parts.


You can tell when your Nespresso coffee maker is overheating. The orange indicator light will fade in and out subtly, hinting at the high temperatures.

Fear not:

You can easily remedy this problem. Hold down the power button to shut off your Nespresso coffee maker. Let it sit unpowered for a minute, then turn it back on.


Leave the machine to cool down while powered for 7-10 minutes. The fading indicator light should stop.


If it persists, your machine may be in descaling mode. Hold the power button for 7 seconds to deactivate the descaling mode.

3. Nespresso Error

Like most other machines, your Nespresso coffee maker is programmed to deal with common errors.


You will know your machine is facing an error when the orange indicator blinks twice fast and fades for a long time.


This usually happens when you’re trying to brew a cup of coffee. Here is how to troubleshoot the problem.

  • Step 1: Open the lid and check that the coffee pod is correctly placed within the pod holder.
  • Step 2: Remove the water reservoir and make sure it is filled adequately. Your machine requires at least enough water for one brew.
  • Step 3: If the light persists, try using a different coffee pod. Replace the pods and unplug your machine for ten seconds before you start brewing again.

This indicator can also appear when you are descaling your machine. You may have forgotten to remove the pod.

Nespresso Pod


Take out the pod, and ensure that the latch is firmly locked in place. You can also unplug your coffee maker and let it be for ten seconds to be on the safe side.


Trying the above should stop the light from blinking rapidly and fading.

4. Fill Water Tank

Nespresso Water Tank

Make it a habit to check your water tank before you start brewing your coffee. This may seem obvious, but it can be overlooked when you have a lot to think about.


Your Nespresso coffee maker cannot work without water. The brewing process requires piping hot water to work.


Nespresso recognizes that we can forget to check our tanks. The orange indicator light will glow for 1.5 seconds and dim for 0.5 seconds if the tank needs filling.


The light will stop once you have filled the water tank to a satisfactory height. Make sure to fill it enough for at least one cup of coffee.

5. Nespresso Needs to be Reset

Most Nespresso coffee makers have a handy feature that informs you when the machine needs to be reset.


Users have to reset their coffee makers at their discretion.


Your Nespresso coffee maker will alert you when it runs into an error that requires a reset.


The orange indicator light will blink five times within ten seconds. If you notice this, then it is time to reset your Nespresso coffee maker. Here is how.

  • Step 1: Ensure that the pod holder is empty and the latch is fixed firmly in place.
  • Step 2: Within the timeframe of three seconds, tap the Lungo button five times in quick succession.

After this, you should see the orange light flash five times. This indicates that the machine has been reset successfully.

6. Lack of Descaling

Your machine may develop a severe case of scale build-up if used for a long time without cleaning.


Your Nespresso coffee maker will inform you when it is time to descale the machine. This is indicated by the orange light flashing three times a second.


Descaling your Nespresso is no cause for concern. It’s a long process, so ensure you have enough time to finish it. Once initiated, the descaling process cannot be stopped.

  • Step 1: Empty the pod holder and the water reservoir.
  • Step 2: Thoroughly clean the drip tray.
  • Step 3: Pour the Nespresso recommended descaling solution into the water tank and add an adequate amount of water (17 ounces, to be exact).
  • Step 4: Replace the drip tray and water tank. Place a large cup under the nozzle.
  • Step 5: Close the lid and unlock the safety latch.
  • Step 6: Hold the espresso/power button for seven seconds to initiate the descaling process. This will give you 45 seconds to confirm that everything is in place.
  • Step 7: Lock the safety latch and press the button to start descaling.

The process should take 20 minutes in total. You should be left with a cup of murky liquid. Pour out this liquid and wash the cup.


Refill the tank with clean water and press the button to rinse out the machine. Leave it to dry for a little while before plugging it back in.


This should deal with the blinking orange light.

Models Commonly Affected

Any model of the Nespresso coffee maker could fall prey to the above-listed problems.


Below are some models usually associated with the issues. They also use the indication methods mentioned above.

1. Nespresso Vertuo

Nespresso Vertuo

The Vertuo is one of the most commonly owned models of the Nespresso coffee makers. It makes excellent espressos and brews a mean coffee.


The pods could be inserted incorrectly, and the tank needs to be placed properly before brewing. Doing this wrong may trigger the warning light.

2. Nespresso Vertuo Next

Nespresso Vertuo Next

The Nespresso Vertuo Next is a more compact model from the coffee maker brand. It may be small, but it is capable of fantastic feats.

You see:

The Vertuo next has a variety of brewing options and modes. However, it can develop limescale buildup problems when used frequently.


Scale build-up will trigger a warning light.

The Vertuo Plus also falls under models commonly affected by problems that could trigger the orange indicator light. As such, you should treat your machines carefully to avoid issues.


The orange indicator light can be a lifesaver when acted upon promptly. Your coffee maker can tell you what it needs, but you need to do as prompted.

We’ve seen that:

The orange indicator light could mean one of the following.

  • Your Nespresso needs to be cleaned.
  • Your machine may be overheating.
  • It could be facing an error.
  • You may need to fill the water tank.
  • You may need to reset the machine.
  • It could be time to descale.
  • You may have ignored the descaling light for too long.

You should:

Heed the lights before it is too late, and you should be able to save your Nespresso machine.


We hope you found this guide useful. Do you think we may have missed something? Please, let us know in the comment section!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does the Blinking Orange Light Mean on Nespresso Vertuo Next?

The blinking orange light is a safety feature. It could be warning you about a problem, depending on how it is blinking.

Common problems include a need for cleaning, overheating, facing an error, and much more.

How Do You Fix a Blinking Orange Light on a Nespresso Machine?

The blinking orange light could mean that your machine is overheating. Let it sit for about twenty minutes if you have been using it for quite some time.

The orange light should stop once the internal temperature comes down.

How Do I Get My Nespresso Out of Descaling Mode?

You can get your coffee maker out of descaling mode by holding the Espresso button for about three seconds. The indicator light should stop blinking after this.

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.


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