keurig troubleshooting guideAll kitchen appliances, mostly coffee machines, are prone to give us a little trouble sometimes. The Keurig Coffee Maker is also not immune to this problem, but on the bright side, almost all problems have a minor threshold and can be fixed with common household tools and a little knowhow.

In this article, we will take a look at the most common problems that Keurig users face with their machines, and some remedies to fix them. Knowing how to fix your coffee machine on your own will definitely help you prolong the life of your coffeemaker.


Keurig Troubleshooting: Common Problems & Fixes

All coffee makers are built with durable technology. But, just like any other machine, Keurig coffee makers are also subject to general wear and tear. If your entire mood depends on the cups of coffee you drink, the depreciation of your coffee maker will definitely effect your day.

The issues and problems covered in this article are based on real world use and user feedback.

The very first tip in enhancing coffee maker longevity is regular maintenance. The universal law to fix ANY broken machine is to turn it off. This way, the machine cools down. The foremost problem your coffee maker can bring you is overheating. So, cool it.

Common problems you might encounter

1.  Keurig Coffee Maker Not Brewing Properly

This could be a few possible reasons as to why your Keurig is not brewing coffee. Some are –

  • Debris from limescale build up blocking internal pipes. This depends on the type of water used in the machine.
  • The lines have air bubbles
  • There is mispositioning of components inside the unit
  • You have not given it enough time to warm-up
  • Everything’s intact, but still not brewing

2.  Unable to turn on the machine

This problem is quite common when you’re trying to set up a coffee machine you have just purchased, or trying to power up a machine that you have been using for a while. Try the following methods –

  • Obvious point, but is the unit plugged in? – A rookie mistake.
  • Plug another electric appliance into the plug socket to ensure it actually works.
  • Locate the power button and hold it down until the machine lights up.
  • Ensure proper placement of the water canister. If not placed properly, there is potential for your Keurig to not turn on.
  • The final thing that you can try is to double check that the power cable is attached properly to the coffeemaker. Contact customer support if any of the wiring is not fixed properly.

3.  Help, my Keurig Keeps Turning Off / Shutting Off

Internal contacts can cause an issue where your Keurig does not stay turned on.

For instance, once you remove the water canister, you have to place it back in the machine correctly. If you fail to do that, the machine will keep shutting off as the machine does not sense any reservoir for fresh water.

Remember, some makes of the Keurig series have auto power-off feature. If you do not want this feature, you can change the settings and disable the timer so it is no longer set to auto.

4.  Keurig Won’t Heat, Or The Water is Luke Warm/Tepid

Every Keurig machine is programmed with a set of functions that are performed in the right order to brew each coffee. The process works like this. Heating of water, then pumping of water, and so on. If this order is changed, that is, if the water is pumped before it is heated, then it becomes a problem. It actually becomes unsafe for the machine.

To ensure your Keurig heats the water properly, check the below solutions –

  • Unplug the machine and replug after a while.
  • Try the universal solution – Shut off the device and turn it back on.
  • Check that the water tank float is working properly, if not, reset it (more on this here)
  • Locate the “brew” or start button and hold it down for a minimum of five seconds.
  • Clean the unit. Spank it softly if necessary (like burping a baby).
  • Dismantle the drip tray and water canister. Empty the water keg as much as possible. Unclog any coffee grains or other debris that has blocked or gummed the machine up. Take the resavouir and refill it with water, then try turning the machine on again.

If you are wondering what on earth we are talking about when we say ‘spank’ the machine, take a look at the video below.

5.  Help, my Keurig is Stuck On Preheating Mode, How Can I Fix It?

There is in-built programming for the device that forces the device to enter the preheating mode if you pour more water into the tank. In case of any debris or clog in the nozzle, the device might enter preheating mode and get stuck there.

Fixing this is easy. Open the top (where the pod goes in) and clean out the needle with something like a paper clip.

  • You should have gotten a tool to clean the needle at the time you purchased the unit. Ensure the water is cold before you begin the cleaning process.

Use a Straw

  • After the machine has cooled down for a few hours, you can try to use something like a straw or similar to suck or blow out the debris in the nozzle.

If nothing else is working and as a final measure and temporary fix, you can simply pour hot water into the tank and override the whole process of preheating.

Below is an easy to follow video showing you how to clean the needle.

6.  Help, my Keurig is Not Brewing a Full Cup of Coffee

Their is a needle that pierces the top of your coffee pod or K-Cup which can get obstructed with bits of coffee or other debris. Moreover, if your tap water is hard, it will contain minerals that can cause limescale deposits which will cause blockages in your coffeemaker.

The solution to this is simple.

  • Clean and rinse using vinegar – the acidic properties of vinegar are ideal for removing all debris that clogs the machine.
  • If at all possible, use distilled water, or water you have filtered, to fill the coffee maker’s reservoir.

Most parts of the coffeemaker can be dismantled, and they are even dishwasher safe. So, remove the parts that you can and wash them with soap and water, and even a dash of lemon to remove any vinegar smell or taste. Citrus is a great cleansing agent. After washing thoroughly, dry them completely before assembling the unit once again.

Important Note: If you use vinegar to clean your machine, run a few water cycles to get rid of the pungent smell and bitter taste.

Keurig Water Filter Kit

You can fit a water filter into the reservoir of most Keurig coffee makers.  Below is a video showing you exactly how to do this.  You can buy the Keurig water filter kit from Amazon pretty cheaply or pick them up at your local store.

7.  Help, my Keurig Only Makes Weak Coffee

Are you using your normal filter coffee in your K-Cup?  If so, you are likely going to get weak tasting coffee.  It is crucial that the amount of coffee and grind size are right for the K-cup, so using your drip coffee is unlikely to work in this scenario.

Remember to maintain a brewing temperature of 192°F or 89°C. For faster brewing, many users tend to keep the temperature at 205°F or 96°C.

It should be noted, that ff you like strong coffee, a Keurig coffee machine is probably not the right choice for you.  Try a darker roast than normal to get a stronger taste.

8.  Keurig Coffee Doesn’t Taste Good Anymore

The pungent vinegar smell and a bitter taste of the coffee after descaling the coffee maker can be because of the reasons listed below –

  • Leaving a filter paper in the machine during descaling, and it is now soaked in vinegar water
  • The water storage unit has not been rinsed properly and has a vinegar smell and taste
  • Absorption of vinegar by the plastic parts of the machine and the release of the smell into the brewing coffee.

The fixes to these problems are quite simple.

  • To fix the first item in the list, consult the user guide, and ensure all the filters are removed and replaced.
  • For the second issue, empty the water reservoir thoroughly and refill. Make sure the unit is cooled down for several hours before you do this.
  • For issue number three, rinsing the keg with hot water is the only solution. This will get rid of the pungent vinegar smell.

9.  Keurig Ground Coffee in My Cup

There may be several reasons for this problem:

  • Pod failure
  • Clogged needles
  • Refillable K cup not using the right ground coffee
  • Other reasons include improper positioning of the pod lid, which will prevent puncturing and make the coffee grounds go everywhere.

In the case of clogged needles, take the needle, rinsing it thoroughly. Follow the step by step guide that came with the package.

Always use coffee which is a coarse grind if you are using a reusable cup. Also, make sure you don’t overfill your K-cup as it may also make coffee grounds settle in your cup.

Tips, Tricks and technical know-hows:

10.  How to unclog a Keurig

It is common for the needles to get clogged, which causes many problems for lots of users, as the water drips through slower than usual.

The solution to this issue is simple. All you need is a paperclip and some vinegar.

Follow the process below to unclog your Keurig –

  • Lift up the lid as if you were to insert a K-cup
  • Locate the needle at the bottom of the lid
  • Use a paper clip to clear out the debris in the opening of the needle. You can also use a toothpick to do this.
  • Fill the water tank with vinegar then press “brew.”
  • Before the dripping of water begins, turn the machine off. Let it sit overnight.
  • Let the machine finish its cycle by pressing “brew” again the next morning. Do this until the water tank is emptied out.
  • Use fresh water to clear out vinegar residue and debris from the machine.

11.  How To Descale Your Keurig

If you use water with high mineral content in your Keurig, the machine becomes dirty soon. This leads to various problems like machine clogs, building up of minerals, and even the formation of bacteria. The ultimate result of all these problems is bad tasting coffee.

Cleaning of the unit on a regular basis is the best way to not have these problems in the first place.

The Keurig is not just a coffee maker. You can brew anything from tea to cocoa in your machine. Obviously, each item tends to leave its traces, and this makes the machine dirty. Hence, the cleaning of the unit is highly important.

The cleaning process involves a few steps, and the first step is descaling the coffee maker. The below instructions will tell you how to do this perfectly.

1.  Descaling Your Keurig Coffee Brewer

  • Empty the water tank and if your Keurig uses a water filter, remove it.
  • Turn off the “Auto-Off” feature if it is applicable in your device. This step is important to keep your device running until the descaling process is finished.
  • Turn off the power

Purchase the descaling solution manufactured by Keurig, which is available either online or in your local stores.

  • Rinse your coffeemaker using this solution.

Your Keurig has now been descaled, but it will be tainted with the descaling solution. So follow the below instructions to complete the cleaning process.

The video below shows exactly how to do this.

2.  Cleansing Brew

  • Fill the water tank to its maximum capacity. The water must be clean for this process to work out. Place it on the machine
  • Place a large mug on the drip tray
  • Do not add a pod into the pod holder.
  • Your Keurig will have a 6-ounce brew option. Select it and let the machine run through the cycle.
  • As and when your mug fills up, empty it and place it back on the tray.
  • Repeat the process at least ten times. Maintain maximum capacity of water in the reservoir.

That’s it. Enjoy your delicious coffee.

12.  Keurig says add water, but it is full?

You have a couple of reasons why this may happen – Either the water you used is wrong, or there is a misreading of signals between the reservoir and the machine. Some versions of the Keurig machines do not care if you use distilled water for your coffee or not. However, distilled water can prevent limescale damage.

If you take a look in the reservoir, you will see there is a water float. It is the indicator of the water level. If the float is not properly positioned at the top of the water level, there will be mixed readings on the water quantity in the coffee maker. To get the float back in place, just gently tap on the sides of the unit to dislodge it and make it float on top again.

13.  Your Keurig Says it is Brewing, but Nothing Comes Out?

This can be either a mechanical problem or an electrical issue. Cases of electrical issues are pretty simple to resolve. Unplug the machine, leave it for a few minutes and plug it in again. This resets the machine, and that’s all the appliance needs to get back on its feet.

If this doesn’t work, it means water isn’t moving. To fix this, remove the pod and run the machine. Double check to see the level of water that is actually flowing.

As already seen a number of times in this article, remove the needle and clean it to be free from all kinds of debris. Descale it as mentioned in the above section to ensure the pipes can draw water effectively.

14.  Help, my Keurig Coffee Machine Keeps Pumping Water, and it Won’t Stop?

Having a continuous stream of water can be because of a clogged waterline (or needle), or even clogged valves and pipes. If you feel scale might be the reason for this issue, check for any debris or grounds of coffee and then run the descale cycle to remove any limescale. Always remember to cool down the appliance for a few hours. You don’t want to deal with burns on your hands when you already have a coffee maker that isn’t functioning properly.

After you make sure, the unit is cooled down completely

  • Remove the water tank, and clean it
  • Get rid of the pod located in the head part of the coffee maker and carefully take the needle out so you can clean it – your unit would have come with a tool to clean the needle. If you can’t find it, you can use a toothpick, paper clip or even a tooth brush for this purpose
  • Empty out the water, and get rid of any old filters
  • Descale the unit with the above instructions

15.  Help, my Keurig is Leaking Water After Making Coffee

The issue, like most issues, already discussed, can be because of clogged needles once again. Or, If you are using the incorrect pod size for your machine, leaking may also occur.

There are many instructions available online regarding the correct pod sizes for your Keurig. But, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines so as not to damage your Keurig. The user manual comes with the product and can also be downloaded from their website or at the end of this article.

Another simple reason for leaking maybe overfilling of the reservoir. Where would all the extra water go, right?

To rectify this error –

  • Set a cup in the trip tray, below nozzle of the water dispenser.
  • Turn the machine off and back on.
  • Then, long-press the “brew” or start button. Your internal reservoir should now be cleared.
  • Fill the reservoir with water.
  • Run the Brew cycle (without a pod)

If the problem persists and water is still leaking, contact customer care, as the machine may be faulty and need to be replaced.

16.  Water reservoir and tank capacity

The water reservoir is one of the beautifully designed parts of the Keurig and adds to the visual appeal of the device. Small water storage units are the aesthetic appeal of the whole device, whereas a larger tank will change the aesthetics of the coffee machine and it could look a little unbalanced.

One major drawback of the product is that it alerts you the water level being too low, after it begins to brew, which is annoying and needs to be addressed by the manufacturer.

Although this is not a biggy, some customers have also been critical of the coffee machines design.

Generally, people prefer fast mounting of the tank with one hand while hitting the brew button with the other. While the sequence may be perfect to some left-handed users, it does not pave the way for smooth operation for right-handers. General statistics have proven the existence of more righties in society, so this works less well for most people. Maybe something for the company to consider in the future?

Like I said, not a biggy.

17.  Does your Keurig make too much noise as it draws water?

New Keurig machines are not exactly known as being quiet coffee makers.

You may notice that the noise level has increased from when you first bought it, try our much mentioned descaling technique. Any blockages in the water pipes force the machine to put quite a bit of extra effort to give you the perfect brew. Hence, the loud noise.

Remember, water which has been filtered is always a clever idea for Keurig machines. Some parts of the machine are sensitive and cannot sustain a build-up of limescale and other minerals. If your groundwater is hard water, then it becomes a problem for the machine. Filter the water before you pour it in the coffee maker.

18.  Help, my Keurig says to Prime it – How Do You Prime a Keurig Coffee Maker

This error message occurs when there is low or no water flowing between the external reservoir and the internal reservoir of the coffee maker. This can be quickly fixed by removing the reservoir and by placing it back correctly.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you need to carefully remove and then clean the outside of the reservoir. Rinse it thoroughly in running water removing all deposits on its surface. Completely dry out the part and place it back.

If you take a close look, you will notice that there are filters located in-between the internal and external reservoirs. Change the filters.

You need double check that there is free flowing water from external to the internal tank. So, fill the external tank with water and run it a few times without the pod. Monitor the flow.

If you are more of a visual learner, take a look at the helpful video below, which will walk you through the process.

19.  Help, I Have Keurig 2.0 Carafe Problems – My Carafe is Not Working

Every carafe for every coffee maker is exclusive. Your Keurig coffee makers carafe is designed to fit only the Keurig 2.0 machine. If not seated properly, there won’t be any brewing. Take the drip tray out, and align it perfectly again to get it to work.

Usage of the correct sized pods or K-cup’s is also essential to using your carafe to make a good coffee. If you shop around, you will find other filter pods available for use with your carafe.

It is important to note that every pot of coffee will taste differently as you will grind the coffee differently and use a slightly different amount in the K-Cup each time.

Your coffee machines are specifically designed, in that the k-cup is specifically made for brewing coffee in a carafe, and the alignment of the carafe in the coffeemaker is essential.

20.  Keurig says descale, but won’t brew

If you are attempting to descale your Keurig but water is just not flowing within your coffee machine, you could always try the burping (or spanking) methodology already mentioned above.

The water in the internal tank is pretty hot, and spanking involves tipping the machine upside down.

However, before you do any of this, turn off the machine and let it completely cool down.

Then, remove the water tank and drip tray, giving them a good wash in running water. Turn the machine upside down and gently smack it on the underneath, not too hard.

Then, bring the coffee maker to the upright position and fill the tank with water, so that it is full. Run “water only” cycles without pods. Now that water is starting to move more freely, perform the vinegar descaling process as described in this article.

Prevention is better than cure:

No matter what, you’re going to need to clean your machine a number of times a year. However, if you wish to avoid potential issues, it’s vital you frequently look out for your Keurig.

Your Keurig could do with regular cleaning, although descaling may not be necessary that frequently.

21.  Cleaning the Water Reservoir

This simple task is important to keep your coffee maker working.

For best results, follow these steps –

  • Remove the water tank, and take its lid off
  • Fill with soapy water, and wipe it out using a soft cloth
  • Completely get rid of all the soap in the reservoir by rinsing it thoroughly. Do not use a cloth to dry the reservoir, as the fabric particles left behind might clog your reservoir, or even worse, end up in your coffee. Air drying is recommended.
  • After drying, refill the tank and put it back in place with the Keurig. Ensure it is perfectly placed on the machine. Dangling reservoirs may lead to non-movement of water into the internal tank.
  • As mentioned earlier, repeat the “water only” cycle twice or thrice before starting to brew coffee.

22.  Cleaning the Pod Holder

From time to time, the cleaning of the pod holder is also necessary. Otherwise, it might become full of bacteria and other microbes, which will eventually get into whatever you are brewing.

To avoid this, perform the below steps –

  • Remove the pod holder. Be careful and watch out for needle
  • Rinse the holder with warm water. Do not use soap, for obvious reasons
  • Put it back in the machine
  • Ensure it is inserted correctly in the unit
  • Perform the steps discussed earlier for a cleansing brew before making a new cup of Joe

The below video shows how to take your Keurig apart and how easy it is to clean it.  Remember to do this regularly to ensure it remains in good working order and prolongs the life of your coffeemaker.

Keurig User Guides and Instruction Manuals

Your Keurig coffee machine came with an instruction guide or user manual, but if you are anything like me, you have probably put it somewhere safe, i.e. lost it!  Or perhaps you were given your Keurig by a friend, and it did not come with a user guide and you are stuck.

Well, don’t worry, below you can find user guides and Instruction manuals for each of the Keurig coffee maker series.

Keurig replacement parts:

As long as your warranty is valid, you don’t have to worry about getting new parts for your Keurig. But, after the warranty is void, you might still have to replace a few parts to keep the machine running.

Below is a list of parts from both the 400 series and 500 series Keurig coffee makers.  All of these parts are easily replaced.

  • Water Tank or Reservoir for K450/400 models
  • Replacement Charcoal Water Filters
  • Keurig 2 Reusable K-Cup Coffee Filters
  • K500 series & K400 series drip trays
  • Keurig 2 Reusable Carafe
  • K500 Series Water Reservoir
  • Needle Cleaning Tool (Keurig 2.0)

Parts are also available for models from different Keurig series.

Although the machines are durable, you might want to go for new ones after using it for about two years. The pipes, plastic parts, and pumps might lose efficiency as they are the least durable parts of all.

You may need to replace parts one after the other in a week’s time or so. So, it is better to purchase the parts together and change them all at once. It’s like changing the tires of a car. Replacing all four of them at the same time is the clever choice.

Looking to upgrade or replace your Keurig?

If you are looking to purchase a new Keurig machine, both the K575 and K555 is highly recommended.

Why the K55?

The benefits of the K55 are many.

  • It is an upgraded version of their smallest coffee maker.
  • It is a basic model, but with a water tank that can be removed, a simple interface and buttons that light up.
  • It is perfect for a small group of people, a maximum of 3 coffee drinkers.
  • It brews one drink, but does this in a no time at all.


The K575 is amazing.

  • It has large water storage and a carafe.
  • It is enough to supply coffee for slightly larger families.
  • Another impressive feature on the K575 is the display screen.
  • The K575 is capable of brewing more cups of coffee than its sibling, the K55.
  • Designed for larger groups of people, this coffee maker is perfect for families rushing for coffee in the morning.

Keurig Warranty:

NEVER lose your receipt. Register your coffee maker on the website as per the user guide that comes with the box. The box will also have the warranty card.

Some things might render your warranty void, for example, refilling disposable cups or hacking the 2.0 K-Cups or coffee pods.

If you decide to invest in a new Keurig coffee machine, at some point in the future, hold on to your existing brewer. You don’t want to miss out on your regular coffee dose while customer support takes their time to resolve your issue with your new machine.

Almost all of the issues listed above are based on customer preference. But, the last item is based on the build of the machine.

After using the machine for a year, users find out how hard it is to get a Keurig replacement. Unlucky are those whose machine breaks down just after crossing the warranty period. The vast majority of the time, they have no option but to purchase a new one.

If you are one such person who has developed a love for the Keurig machines, finding out the non-availability of replacement parts might be a shocker to you.

Recalled Keurig models:

keurig k10 mini recall
If you still own a K10 mini, you should return it to Keurig for replacement

Keurig has also been a victim to negative reviews and negative news. The company had to recall a large quantity of their K10 Mini due to widespread unfortunate incidents.

The company sold over six million units of this machine. Unluckily, 90 people were burned. Thus, the company recalled all the units from all the retailers and stopped online selling of the product also.

Keurig has always prioritized customer’s safety over satisfaction. They upgraded certain parts of this device and released it again. This time, it was labeled as Mini K-15. No issues have been reported with this machine so far.

Some final thoughts:

Keurig has a loyal customer following, and its coffee makers are loved world wide.  The main attraction of this product is its ability to multitask. It can brew coffee, tea, and even hot chocolate. This way, it satisfies anyone who is a fan of hot beverages.

Maintenance of the device is very important. Always, safety first. Before you work on it, ensure the machine is entirely cooled down, to avoid burns.

It sounds obvious, but stick to the instructions in the manual.

Not all plain sailing, unfortunately

There are certain downsides to the products offered by this company.

  • The customer support is not up to the mark
  • The tech support and workmanship quality need to be improved on a large scale

Though there are a few problems that one might encounter, brand loyalty still exists among millions of customers. The reason being the deliciousness of the coffee it brews in such a short span of time.


If this article was helpful, please let us know in the comments section. If you have more tips, comment on them, too. If you are facing other issues than mentioned in the article, please let us know. We’ll see if we can help, or our other readers might help too.

We are not affiliated with Keurig. We are an independent blog. Thanks for reading!

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