Your Nespresso coffee maker uses scalding hot water in the brewing process. Water flows from the reservoir, through your machine, and out of the nozzle.
Your machine cannot function as intended if it refuses to pump water. So, what could cause your Nespresso coffee maker not to pump water?
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There are quite a few key parts in your machine that contribute to water flow. Your Nespresso may not be pumping water for any of the following reasons. An empty water tank, a blocked water inlet, clogged pipes, or a faulty water pump. You may also need to descale your machine to restore water flow.
1. Make Sure there is Water in the Tank
Let’s begin with the basics. It’s best to work your way up from the simpler solutions.
This may seem obvious, but it is possible that the water tank doesn’t contain enough water for your morning or evening brew.
Your machine cannot pump what isn’t available. So, double-check that your water tank is filled to the appropriate level.
Be careful to keep your tank as full as possible before starting the brewing process. Your machine may end up developing an air pocket otherwise.
Troubleshooting this particular problem is easy. Unlatch the water tank and place it under the tap until it is filled to an appropriate level.
2. Clear the Inlet
The inlet serves as a gateway to your Nespresso coffee maker. It usually sits at the bottom of your machine’s water tank.
Water flows into the inlet once prompted by the machine.
The inlet should be clear for water to flow into your coffee maker. A small obstruction could disrupt this flow and prevent your Nespresso from pumping water.
You can solve this problem yourself. Safely detach the water tank from its seat and look for the inlet.
Do not use any sharp objects when trying to clear the obstruction. Use a damp towel to clean any muck that may have accumulated in the inlet.
Wash the reservoir and fill it with clean water. Your machine should start pumping water again.
3. Clear the Pipes
It’s safe to say that your coffee maker will accumulate mineral buildup the longer you use it.
This build-up may prevent water from flowing through the machine. You may end up having to descale your machine if it gets bad enough.
There is a way to quickly and temporarily restore flow to your machine.
Safely detach the water tank from your coffee maker and look for the water inlet. Try and grab a turkey baster small enough to fit snugly in the inlet and create an airlock.
Fill the turkey baster with some water, fit it into the inlet and give it a squeeze. You should feel something given within the machine.
This should move some of the build-ups and restore water flow. But you will need to descale your coffee maker after.
4. Descale Your Coffee Maker
Scale build-up is impossible to ignore when using a coffee maker.
We often work with hard water when brewing our coffee. This hard water deposits minerals in your machine, and it could cause an obstruction over time.
Nespresso coffee makers have their own way of alerting you when it is time to descale your machine.
You should be able to tell that your coffee maker needs descaling when it finds it hard to pump water.
The descale method varies depending on your Nespresso model. But the general guide is as follows.
- Step 1: Make sure the pod holder is empty and remove the water tank.
- Step 2: Pour in your choice of descaling solution and mix it with the right amount of water.
- Step 3: Place a large cup under the nozzle.
- Step 4: Initiate the descaling mode as described by your machine guide.
- Step 5: Empty the cup and wash the water tank.
- Step 6: Fill the tank with clean water and start a normal brew.
Repeat step 6 until the water coming out of your machine is clear.
5. There Might Be An Airlock
Here’s the thing:
An airlock is a mass of air that finds its way into your coffee maker. It stops your pump from moving water through the machine.
You can get an airlock if you start the brewing process when your water tank is empty.
Your Nespresso coffee maker has a handy function that helps clear airlocks.
- Step 1: Lift your Nespresso handle into a vertical position.
- Step 2: Press either the Lungo or the Espresso button.
- Step 3: Shift the handle back a little further.
This should prompt your Nespresso coffee maker that it needs to prime.
It should start brewing normally again.
6. Check Your Water Pump
Your Nespresso water pump is a vital part of the machine. It is responsible for moving water from the tank through the pipes out of the nozzle.
Your Nespresso coffee maker won’t pump water if the water pump is faulty. This, however, is an extreme case.
You would need technical experience to fix this problem yourself.
Nespresso has you covered. So feel free to contact Nespresso customer service. They will either install a new pump or give you a working model, provided you are under warranty.
Assuming you haven’t faced this problem yet. You may be wondering if your model may run into this issue in the future.
Here’s the thing:
All Nespresso coffee makers could end up facing this problem. But here are a few models that are commonly associated with the issue.
1. Nespresso Vertuo Next
Now, the Nespresso Vertuo next does not have a handle. So, clearing an airlock will be a bit different. This method works with most Nespresso models.
You can still accomplish this by placing a straw over the inlet valve. Make sure it is big enough to create a seal and blow.
This should create enough pressure to overcome the airlock in your machine.
2. Nespresso Pixie
The Pixie is a compact Nespresso model.
It may accumulate a critical amount of scale within a shorter amount of time. This will prevent water flow. You can avoid this by descaling the machine as often as possible.
3. Nespresso Citiz
The Nespresso Citiz is another compact model from the coffee maker brand. However, it is prone to suffering from the pumping issue.
To prevent this:
Be sure to keep the water inlet free of obstruction.
4. Nespresso Maestria
The Maestria comes equipped with a few more handy features and settings than other Nespresso. But even this mighty brewer isn’t immune to scale build-up.
Be sure to clean, descale, and take care of it diligently.
5. Nespresso Le Cube
Do not let the eye-catching design of the Le Cube distract you from checking the water tank before brewing.
The last thing you want is to get an airlock in your Le Cube. This would cause your machine to encounter difficulties pumping water.
6. Nespresso Essenza Mini
The Essenza mini is a popular model that is renowned for its compactness.
Due to its small water reservoir, it could easily develop problems that stop it from pumping water.
Other versions that could suddenly stop pumping water include the Inissia and the Vertuo.
All in all:
Your machine is meant to pump water during the brewing process. While the situation might seem dire, you can easily troubleshoot the problem.
You may be lucky enough to find a trivial cause behind the problem. As such, be sure to:
- Make sure the water tank is full.
- Clean the inlet.
- Clear the pipes.
- Descale your coffee maker.
- Check for an airlock.
- Check the pump.
This is a good place to start when troubleshooting this problem. But if all else fails, do not hesitate to contact Nespresso customer service.
Did we help you solve your problem? Is there something you think we may have missed? Do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your Nespresso is likely not pumping water because it has developed an airlock. This prevents the pump from moving water through the machine.
You can clear an airlock by forcing the water out of the tank and into the machine.
Some models have a feature that helps prime the pump. However, the best way to universally clear an airlock is to force water out of the reservoir and into the coffee maker.
This will recreate the flow and have your machine pumping water again.
If your model has a handle, lift it into the upright position. Single press either the Lungo or the Espresso button and wait until you hear the pump.
Shift the handle back a little more, and your machine will prime the pump without any extra effort.
Check the water tank and ensure it is filled with enough to make a cup of coffee. You can also clear obstructions in your Vertuo by descaling it.
You may end up damaging the part further if you attempt to fix it yourself without the technical know-how.
Be sure to call in a technician for assistance once the problem is beyond your scope of expertise.
It depends on how well you take care of the machine. Typically, your Nespresso coffee maker should last you between 5 to 10 years.