You'll agree with me, we've really come to love Keurig coffee makers - they allow us to make a delicious cup of java with no mess, no fuss. Period.
As Keurig has evolved over the years, so has their ability to help their users maintain them. While all Keurig needs a bit of attention every now and then, the latest (Keurig 2.0) models alert themselves when it's time to descale or add more water.
But it's not always the case and often times you deal with some problems like it leaks, won't brew, won't turn on or won't read the K-cups.
This can be frustrating but you don't need to cry over spilled milk, luckily, most of these problems require minimal efforts to fix your machine.
In this article, I've jotted down the best possible methods to help you fight against most commons Keurig problems.
Let's get started...
Problem 1: Keurig Isn't Working / Brewing Coffee Properly
There could be many possible reasons that cause your machine stop brewing coffee. Here is how to make your Keurig fully functional when you face any of the most common problems:
1. Too much scales build up blocking the internal pipes / debris clogging the water lines.
This mainly happens due to the quality of water used in your coffee maker.
If you're using hard water, with the time, it will begin to fill up with scales (mineral-based deposits) and eventually your machine will stop functioning properly. In addition to that, if the water is too lacking in minerals, it will also make your machine struggle to function fully.
Here are the best water treatments to help coffee connoisseurs:
1. Softened Water
This type of water contains a high level of sodium and bicarbonate ions. In areas with hard water, using softened water (encapsulated with minerals) can be a useful option to stop building up of scales in your coffee machine.
2. Ultra Pure Water (Reverse Osmosis)
Sounds complicated but it's really quite simple.
This another great approach not only prevents the debris build-ups but also improves the overall lifespan of your machine.
This process of this method involves keeping the water under pressure as it passes through the minute holes. The large particles (magnesium, copper, sodium and even fluoride) leave behind, while the clean water is filtered through.
However, using the water with no mineral will make you overly-acidic and unbalanced cup of coffee.
What's the fix?
Baristas around the world use the following methods to achieve the right balance for coffee and coffee machines:
So, using the right type of water is important, not only for making your Keurig fully functional but also for the brew.
2. Water lines have air bubbles.
To get rid of air bubbles in the lines:
- 1Fill the Water Reservoir.
- 2Turn off the Keurig and pull the plug.
- 3Now, give your Keurig a quick gentle shake.
Performing this technique will ensure, there's no air trapped in the water lines.
Alternatively, you can use a straw to blow to getting rid of stuck air.
3. Mis-positioning of machine parts inside the unit.
This isn't very common in machines with magnetic components but you can do a quick check to confirm if they are seated properly or not.
4. Insufficient warm-up time.
Forcing the machine for brewing without giving an insufficient heating-time either makes it stuck within the brewing process or it will give you a very little or inadequate amount of brewed coffee.
So, if your Keurig machine isn't working properly, performing the given methods/techniques will more likely reduce the chances for non-functionality while giving you a smooth and well-balanced cup of java (if quality of water is the concern).
Problem 2: Keurig Won't Turn On
This is quite common problem when you're trying your set up your newly purchased Keurig machine or powering the one you've been using for a while.
Here are the possible fixes for this issue:
If nothing helps, it's time to call the Keurig Customer Care support.
Problem 3: Keurig Keeps Shutting Off by Itself
There could be two possible reasons that cause your brewer keep shutting off randomly.
1. The magnet in the water reservoir is out of place.
For instance, once you remove the water reservoir, you'll have to make sure you're placing it correctly, in other words, magnetic contacts on the reservoir should be in contact with the ones on the machine. If it's not on its right place, Keurig will be shut down as it'll not sense any reservoir for fresh water.
Fixing this issue is so easy: Simply use your hand to realign the magnet and place back your water reservoir properly.
2. Auto off timer is set.
Keep in mind, some machines in the latest Keurig line have auto shut-off feature that might cause your brewer shut off automatically.
If you don't want this feature, you can adjust or disable the timer so it will no longer be set to "auto" and cause your brewer power down unnecessarily.
Once you're done making the possible fixes, resume the brewing process to see if the problem is resolved.
If none of the solutions work, Keurig Customer Care can assist you better on this.
Problem 4: Keurig Machine is Leaking Water
Keurig customers often complaint about water leakage mainly while heating OR out of bottom. Here are the possible fixes to encounter those problems:
1. If Keurig leaks water while heating
This might happen due to clogged needles or by using incorrect capsule size. You can try cleaning both exist needles and K-cup holder. Also make sure the valve at the bottom of water is clean and looks fine.
About correct pods size, there are many trustworthy instructions available to guide you better and also make sure you follow the Keurig guidelines to prevent unwanted damage of your machine.
2. If Keurig leaks water from the bottom
In this case, the problem might be due to ring at the bottom of the water reservoir or damage on the hose or seal inside the machine.
If it's an o-ring that's causing the water leakage, you can easily replace it with the new one (here is the tutorial on how to replace the o-ring inside Keurig). However, if it's due to the hose or seal inside the machine, you'll have to disassemble your Keurig that I won't recommend.
If nothing helps, It's always better to call Keurig Customer Care service for further assistance.
Problem 5: Coffee Is Tasting Like Feet All of a Sudden
For instance, if you haven't changed your coffee brand, there would be several reasons that can affect the taste of your coffee, i.e; pungent vinegar smell and bad coffee taste.
Here are the possible solutions to most common reasons:
1. Leaving a filter paper during descaling
If you knowingly left the filter paper while descaling, it's now soaked with vinegar water that causes your coffee taste flat due to unwanted sharp vinegar smell.
In this case, it's helpful to consult the user-guide and make sure you've removed/replaced all the filters.
2. Water reservoir isn't rinsed properly
Your coffee is 98% water, if water tank isn't rinsed properly after cleaning with vinegar, the brewed coffee leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
The easy solution to this problems is emptying the water reservoir thoroughly and refill it. Before doing this, please ensure that the unit is cooled down for several hours.
3. Absorption of vinegar by plastic parts
The easiest solution to this problem is rinsing your Keurig with hot water to get rid of irritating vinegar smell in your cup of java.
4. Oil/Scale buildups
As we're already discussed in the #1 Problem, make sure you use right quality of water to avoid scales built up and make sure you clean the coffee grounds and other dirts that come in contact with your regular cup of java.
Whereas the advance Keurig models alerts automatically for descaling, you'd possibly do well by thoroughly cleaning your coffee maker after every 3 months or even sooner if you brew the coffee more often.
Problem 6: Keurig 2.0 Showing "add more water"
Try filling the water reservoir to the maximum level and see if the error message persists. If this doesn't help, here is the possible way to fix this issue:
- 1Remove the water tank unit and empty the water fully.
- 2Clean the water reservoir with the soap and non-abrasive cloth (not dishwasher safe) then rinse from top to the bottom.
- 3Check the valve at the bottom of the water unit and on the machine where the water unit goes. Sometimes, it gets clogged and causes the problem.
- 4Now, refill the water reservoir to the maximum level and place it back to the machine. Make sure it's placed properly.
- 5Once done, check if the error message is gone.
If the above solution couldn't fix the "add more water" error, it's time to call Customer Care service.
Problem 7: Keurig Touchscreen Not Turning On
Touchscreen issues are very common with the new Keurig 2.0 brewers and in often cases either the touch doesn't work or screen goes all blank.
There's nothing more than you can do except unplug the brewer and plug back in.
If brewer prompting the start a brew or water only dispense, the problem has been fixed successfully but if it's getting frozen or not working too often, it's time to call Customer Service team for further assistance.
Problem 8: Keurig Not Dispensing Water
When your Keurig got water pumping problem, you just hear some kind of grinding noise as the Keurig pump attempts but fails to pump the water through.
There could be several reasons but most likely it happens because of water scaling, debris build ups and interferes with water pump.
Here is the possible way to fix this pumping issue:
- 1Simply take the water reservoir out, empty it out and refill it about a third of the way.
- 2Shake the water around in water reservoir, empty it fully and locate the opening from where the Keurig pumps water into the brewer.
- 3Clean the opening fully and make sure there's no debris that may obstruct the action of Keurig water pumping.
Hopefully, Keurig water pumping should function correctly after this.
But if it still not pumping water, you can try:
1. Insert Turkey Baster
You can try inserting the turkey baster into the part that connects the machine and water reservoir, with some water already in the unit.
You'll notice, water gets cloudy as the scaling and debris forced into the Keurig water reservoir, giving the turkey basket will all the debris from that part and makes it easier for the pump to push the water freely and you'd brew your delicious cup of coffee.
If this is still not effective, try descaling the machine with mixture of vinegar and water and put it through a brewing cycle.
But what if the machine still not pumping water?
2. Shake the machine to force extra air out
It's likely, motor is trying to pump the water but isn't able to do it. This might be due to air bubbles have trapped into the machine, declining the pump's ability to pump the water.
Try various shaking methods to force the unnecessary air out of the Keurig. If this was the problem, try refilling the water reservoir before it gets fully empty in order to prevent this issue again.
But if you don't hear grinding noise and water isn't pumping, this indicates, the motor may be entire broken and in this case motor or entire unit will need to be replaced.
Problem 9: Keurig Stuck on Preheating
Keurig machines usually take around 3 minutes for the initial preheating, if the process takes longer, possibly there's something wrong with the machine. In this case, just unplug and plug back the machine to start the brewing process once again.
Make sure there's enough water in the reservoir and it's seated properly at its place. The problem should be fixed now.
But if nothing happens, there's a method that's reported to work for some Keurig users. It involves filling the water tank with warm water. In this way, Keurig should recognize hot water and start working again.
Keep in mind, Keurig recommends only adding the cool water in the tank so if you follow the above method, please do it at your own risk.
However, if still the problem couldn't fix, call Keurig Customer Care for further assistance.
Problem 10: Keurig Is Giving a "Prime" Error Message
This error message indicates, there's low or no water is channeling between external and internal water reservoir. This can be due to a handful of reasons:
- 1Reservoir is out of alignment
- 2Reservoir is dirty
- 3Debris clogging the needles
This can easily be fixed by cleaning your Keurig and testing it with a water only brew cycle.
Let's start with the cleaning of water reservoir to see if this error persists. Here is the instruction to do it:
- 1Switch off and unplug the machine. Remove the water reservoir and empty it completely.
- 2Take a damp cloth and use clean water and mild dish soap to scrub inside of the water tank.
- 3Once you done cleaning. Rinse it thoroughly and refill it.
- 4Place back the water reservoir and make sure it's seated properly.
- 5Now run a test water only brew cycle without using a K-Cup.
Performing this process should remove the dirt for easy channeling of water between the reservoirs and "Prime" error message should disappear.
But if this doesn't clear the "Prime" error message, you may also need to remove the debris from the needles and holder as well.
Here's how to do it:
- 1Turn off and unplug Keurig machine. Remove the water reservoir and empty it completely.
- 2Gently lift the machine's handle. Hold the Keurig steady in one hand and use your other hand to pull the portion back holder out of the machine.
- 3Tightly hold the portion back holder with one hand and using your other hand pull the funnel out of holder.
- 4Use point of paper clip to scrap around the interiors walls of back portion of the holder. This will help dislodge if there's any debris that may be stuck to the walls.
- 5Force and keep holder and funnel under the water until all the dirt is gone.
- 6Let the holder and funnel dry and then push it back to the coffee maker. Make sure it's placed properly.
- 7Keep the lid open and clear the debris away from the entrance needle using a paper clip.
- 8Once done, fill the water reservoir to the maximum level and run a water-only cycle. This helps removing any debris from the machine.
You should now be able to make steaming hot, delicious brew without interrupting from the annoying "Prime" error.
Still No? Yikes!
Try cleaning the filter screen and "Prime" error message should be gone. If still it's not fixed, it's time to call the Keurig Customer Care to assist you further.
Problem 11: Keurig Isn't Resetting
Periodically, you may experience the technical issues and your Keurig is incapable of completing the brewing cycle that will require you a reset of internal computer. If you're not sure how to do a basic reset to fix the most common issues you encounter with Keurig brewers:
- 1Turn the machine off and unplug for several hours.
- 2Plug back the machine and run a test brew cycle.
This should reset your Keurig. But, if simply unplugging the brewer isn't working, try this approach:
- 1Remove the water tank before turning off and unplugging your Keurig.
- 2Leave the unplugged for several hours without the reservoir attached.
- 3Now plug in your Keurig into its own designed outlet.
- 4Power back the machine and again place the water reservoir. Make sure it's seated properly.
This brew cycle was interrupted, simply opening and closing the K-Cup holder resets the brew cycle.
Problem 12: How to Advance Resetting Keurig
When basic reset doesn't work, an advanced reset technique is required. Here is how to reset your digital display Keurig brewers:
- 1Press the small and medium cup button simultaneously and release at the same time.
- 2Just as you release the buttons, press the "menu" three times. If you see "06:09 on the clock, it means the steps are performed correctly.
- 3Press "menu" once more and digital display change to "brew 0:00".
- 4Press the "medium cup" button and at the same time press and release the "menu" while still depressing the "medium cup" button.
- 5Keep holding the "medium cup" and press "small cup" button. Now release both the buttons at the same time.
- 6Once done, unplug the machine for several minutes and then plug it again.
Following this advance technique should reset the internal computer and resolve all the technical glitches, if there were any.
Problem 13: Keurig Not Brewing Full Cup of Coffee
A short cup occurs when Keurig doesn't brew the coffee size you selected. This might be due to a clogged needle (due to coffee grounds or cocoa mix), machine requires cleaning or water reservoir being removed while brewing.
This is the best possible method to achieve the perfect size:
- 1Make sure there's enough water in the reservoir and it's seated properly.
- 2Perfect a water only cycle on the brew size 6 oz or 8 oz into an measuring cup. If expected amount of water is dispensed it means it's fixed properly. But if it couldn't.
- 3(Optional: If you're using Water Filter): Remove the water filter and run water only cycle, if the machine dispenses right amount of water, you'll have to change the Charcoal filter or Water filter back to the machine. But if it couldn't.
- 4Clean the entrance and exit needles. Now run a couple of water only cycle and with the measuring cup determine if it dispenses the right amount of water.
Hopefully, your machine will begin dispensing the proper amount of water. But if still, it couldn't, Call the Keurig Customer Care service for further assistance.
Problem 14: Keurig Says Brewing But Nothing Comes Out
The initial preheating takes about 3 minutes so be patient. If nothing happens thereafter, then make sure:
- 1There's enough water in the reservoir and it's placed properly at its place.
- 2You fully lowered the handle and there's "brew" setting on the digital display.
If everything seems fine and still your coffee maker doesn't brew, seek help from Keurig Customer Care service to troubleshoot your Keurig.
Problem 15: Keurig Dispensing Grounds in The Cup
Here are the most common reasons, if you're seeing grounds in your waiting cup:
If needle clogging is the reason, you'll need a paperclip for unclogging the exit needle. Run a water only brew cycle and look for any grounds are coming out. Repeat the water brew cycle to clean any residual grounds.
Always use coarse coffee grounds if you're use reusable filter and also make sure you don't overfull the K-cup as it may also make the coffee grounds settle in your cup.
Problem 16: Keurig Brewing Weak Cup of Coffee
Most Keurig models allow you to select the amount of water to go through the grounds. The default is for generally accepted American tastes which is more of flavored water in my opinion.
I'd suggest not using 8-ounce or further higher cup options when you're concerned about weak coffee taste. Since, it will be the same amount of grounds no matter how much liquid you use.
The easier and best possible hack to combat this weak coffee by Keurig is by using the 2 pods on the lowest ounce setting in your machine.
Alternatively, you can use strongly roasted K-cup. The companies like Death Wish Coffee and Barista Prima are claimed to best in terms of strong taste coffee.
If you're a java lover like, you may have come to the point that Keurig is more like a family member and first stop to get you up every morning. I depend on it and living without it would be impossible so I make sure it'll be there for me in long run.
Luckily, Keurig® company offers a generous 1-year limited money back guarantee that mellows me out and take all the risk off the shoulders.
The guarantee begins from the date of purchase, you must save your original receipt to prove and troubleshoot your Keurig if any problem were to arise. Just in case you lost the warranty card that comes with box, try other possible ways like your email address, date of purchase, your name, etc. to verify your purchase and guarantee.
Keurig is pretty lenient to support you if you somehow misplaced your paperwork, but it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Keep in mind this 1-year warranty is only limited to genuine Keurig Units. Buying from other manufacturers like Breville, Cuisinart and Mr. Coffee will carry only 30-day money back guarantee by Keurig.
I'm pretty much pleased with the material it built and craftsmanship involved in its construction. However, Keurig warranty is applicable only if it was intended to be used according to their implied limitations.
So, how does it work?
In most cases, your Keurig brewer will be replaced or replacement of defective part will be mailed to you if it's something simple as drip tray, brew basket, mesh filter. They may prefer to repair your unit or refer you to some near local distributer but this happens rarely.
In most cases, replacement will be a refurbished unit but don't fret as it will carry a new 1-year warranty (starts from the shipping date).
Again, just don't forget to save the original receipt comes with the unit!
How can you take the advantage, if your Keurig is still under the warranty?
A Few Final Words
Keurig has true-hearted fan following and its coffee makers are loved around the world. They are multi-functional and can make you anything from coffee, tea and even hot chocolate - definitely a wonderful choice for anyone who is a fan of speciality beverages.
But waking up to no morning cuppa can be surprisingly daunting when your Keurig doesn't work for any reason. So, it's always better to prepare yourself to deal with such problems rather than not expecting them at all.
I hope this article might have solved the most common problems you encounter with your Keurigs. However, if you're facing any other problem not mentioned in the article, please do let us know with the proper solution, we'll be happy to add so it would be helpful for other readers too.
Lastly, if none of these help fixing your Keurig, the best option is to contact Keurig support centre.
Thanks for reading!
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