Coffee Makers, Troubleshooting Coffee Makers

Nespresso Not Pumping Water: These Fixes Will Solve Your Problem!

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick


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?

The Reason Your Nespresso Isn’t Pumping Water

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.

Nespresso Lifted Lid

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

Nespresso Inlet

The inlet serves as a gateway to your Nespresso coffee maker. It usually sits at the bottom of your machine’s water tank.

You see:

Water flows into the inlet once prompted by the machine.

As such:

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

Nespresso Water 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.

You see:

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.

Beyond that:

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

Nespresso 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.

As such:

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.

Models Commonly Affected


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

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

Nespresso Pixie

The Pixie is a compact Nespresso model.

As such:

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

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

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.

As such:

Be sure to clean, descale, and take care of it diligently.

5. Nespresso Le Cube

Nespresso Le Cube

Do not let the eye-catching design of the Le Cube distract you from checking the water tank before brewing.

You see:

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

Nespresso Essenza Plus

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.

In addition:

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.

Who knows?

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

Why Is My Nespresso Not Pumping Water?

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.

How Do I Clear My Nespresso Airlock?

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.

How Do I Prime My Nespresso Pump?

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.

How Do I Fix My Vertuo Machine Not Pumping Water?

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.

How Do I Fix My Nespresso Pump?

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.

How Long Do Nespresso Machines Last?

It depends on how well you take care of the machine. Typically, your Nespresso coffee maker should last you between 5 to 10 years.

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.


5 thoughts on “Nespresso Not Pumping Water: These Fixes Will Solve Your Problem!”

  1. Thanks so much. I tried other fixes (blowing air into ziploc bag and compressing in water tank to try to release air bubble in line; using straw to do similar) and then got to your comments. Tried the turkey baster method and even though I didn’t think it worked, my husband heard something go through and then IT WORKED!!! Thanks for saving us from
    any more than 1 day of going out to grab the morning cappuccinos.

  2. Thanks so much for the zip lock bag trick. I thought my water tank was full but I soon learned from a dreadful noise that my water was missing… since I no longer could get it to work I was ready to buy a new machine. I will say I couldn’t get the small bags to work they kept deflating , so I pulled out a giant size ziplock and stuffed it into the tank, then I inserted a straw into the bag and blew it up. Suddenly I had coffee coming out of my machine again.

  3. I’ve descaled my inissia and water is running thru perfect. When I add a coffee pod it does not filter thru the pod, only drips of coffee……🤷‍♀️


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