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Keurig Troubleshooting Guide [25 Problems With Solutions]

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Last updated: April 10, 2023

I trawled through the Keurig subreddit to find the most common problems people have with their Keurig machines and their solutions.

Unfortunately, Keurig’s instruction manuals contain next to nothing about troubleshooting their machines, which is why I put together this guide. 

I’ll start with problems that seem to affect all Keurig machines, and then move on to model-specific problems.

Here is a table of contents so you can jump to your specific issue:

Machine-Specific Problems:

Keurig Duo Range (K Duo, K Duo Plus, K Duo Essentials)

Keurig Mini Range (K Mini, K Mini Plus)

Old Style Keurig Machines (Keurig K Compact, Keurig K Select, Keurig K Elite)

Keurig K Cafe Range (Keurig K Cafe, Keurig K Cafe Special Edition)

Keurig SMART Range (K Supreme SMART, K Supreme Plus SMART, K Elite SMART, K Cafe SMART)

Keurig 2.0

Keurig Not Dispensing Enough Water

The most common problem that Keurig owners face is their machines not dispensing enough water. This means that you end up with far less coffee than the serving size you selected.

There are three potential causes of this:

  • Water is getting stuck in your K-cup and K-cup port, rather than getting released into your cup.
  • Water is getting stuck in your machine’s internal pipes.
  • Your machine’s pump is not pumping enough water, to begin with.

The fixes for this problem are (ranging from least to most drastic)

  1. Remove your K-cup port and clean the bottom needle in the port with a straightened-out paper clip. This will make sure that all the water that goes into your K-cup will come out on the other side of your cup. You can see a video on how to do this below:

2. Descale your machine: This will stop water from getting stuck into your internal pipes. Not descaling your machine every 3-6 months will also damage its pump which will lead to the machine gradually dispensing less water over time. You can find a guide on how to descale each Keurig machine here.

If neither of these problems works then the issue is with the pump itself. 

All Keurig machines have their pump as their weakest point (i.e. the part of the machine that dies first).

It’s impossible to fix a deteriorated pump, save for replacing it. 

If your Keurig is under one year old you can call Keurig’s customer support and try to get a replacement. Their number is 1-800-901-2739.

Keurig Turns On But Refuses to Brew (No Error Message)

If your Keurig turns on but refuses to brew and does not give any error message like descale or add water then it’s usually because the machine’s needles are blocked and need to be cleaned.

You clean your Keurig’s needles by scraping out the crevices in the base of the needle with a sharp pointy object like a toothpick, pin, or straightened-out paperclip.

Me doing this with my Keurig Mini Plus

If you have a machine that uses “Multistream Technology” then you’ll need to clean all five needles in its top.

You should also clean the machine’s bottom needle. Keurig has a video on how to do this (start at 30 seconds in):

Once you have done this, test out if the machine can brew by making it brew without a K-cup in the port. This will also help wash away any ground coffee from the K-cup needles.

If this does not work then the likely culprit is a blockage in the machine’s internal pipes.

The two most common places where these blockages occur are in the valve which connects the machine’s water tank to its main body, and in the pipe that connects the main body of the machine to its K-cup port.

  • To unclog a blockage in the water tank valve: Take the water tank off the machine and clean both the water tank valve and the valve on the body of the machine with a needle. You can also press your little finger into these valves to release any air from them
  • To unclog a K-cup port pipe: Remove the top of the machine’s lid and take out the rubber pipe from its valve. Squeeze the rubber pipe to try and release any blockages from it. You can find a video of someone doing this below.

If neither of these works then the chances of you resurrecting your machine are low. 

You can try opening it up and fixing any blockages in the machine’s internal tubes with the “detach and squeeze” method, however, this has a good chance of creating more problems with your machine (and will void your warranty).

Keurig Shutting Off Mid Brew

If your Keurig can only make it partway through a brew cycle before shutting off, this is because it cannot pump enough water to complete a cycle.

This will either be down to:

  • A blockage in the machine’s internal tubes
  • An issue with the pump itself

You can diagnose the cause of this issue by trying to run a brew cycle with no K-cup in the machine’s K-cup port.

  • If the machine can complete a cycle with no K-cup port: then the issue is with the final pump that runs water to the K-cup port. You can lift off the machine’s lid and squeeze out any blockage in this pump. You can find a YouTube short of someone doing this here.
  • If the machine cannot complete a cycle with no K-cup port: then you will need to descale the machine. If the machine shuts off during descaling then you just need to get it to descale again and again until all the descaling solution has run through the machine and it has completed 12 rinse cycles on its largest serving size.

If neither of these works then the issue is with the pump itself and you’ll either have to replace the pump (not for the faint of heart) or replace the machine entirely.

I couldn’t find any YouTube videos on how to replace the machine’s pump, all I could find was this Reddit thread talking about it.

“If you have the same issue, you will need to replace the “mini-pump” that creates the air pressure to force the water through the K-cup. Part was CJP37-C12A5, but any comparable sized 12VDC oil-less diaphragm style air pump would work if you are handy with a screwdriver (to swap mount) and soldering iron (to move the cable from old to new pump).” (u/doyen13)

This does not sound like an easy fix at all. If your machine is under a year old then I’d definitely try to get a replacement on warranty rather than attempting this.

Keurig Not Turning On

The first question you want to ask yourself is “has my Keurig ever been able to turn on”.

When doing research for my Keurig machine reviews, I found a few reports of Keurig machines not being able to turn on right out of the box.

If this is the case then just call Keurig and get a replacement on their one-year warranty.

If your machine is not turning on after being able to turn on in the past, then the two likely causes are you having tripped the machine’s thermal safety switch (more common) or its capacitor has does (less common).
Below is a video on how to reset a Keurig’s thermal safety switch (shown on the Keurig K Supreme Plus):

Below is a video on how to replace a Keurig’s capacitors (shown on the Keurig K155):

The process of opening up the machine will vary between models, but the actual resetting of the thermal switch/replacement of the capacitors will be the same on each machine.

Again be aware that opening up your machine like this will void any warranty you have on it.

If your machine is less than one year old you may just want to get a replacement model under warranty and then try these fixes.

Keurig Won’t Turn On After Descaling

This is a really common problem, especially among machines with a dedicated descale mode (K Supreme range, K Slim range, and K Express range).

This is generally caused by the machine’s descale mode tripping its thermal safety switch.

You’ll have to open up the machine and reset its switch. Below is a video of someone doing this on the Keurig Slim:

Keurig’s Descale Light Not Turning Off or Turning On Too Often

Keurig machine’s descale warning light not turning off after descaling is such a common problem that I dedicated a whole article to it – see how to fix a Keurig descale light that won’t turn off.

The fixes are:

  • Turn the machine off and on again
  • Make sure that your machine has descaled in descaling mode (if its a K Slim, K Express, or K Supreme Plus)
  • If its a Keurig K Duo or SMART model then perform a factory reset by holding down the 6 oz and 8 oz buttons on the Duo or selecting the option on the machine’s menu on the SMART
  • Run additional rinse cycles on your machine
  • Deep clean the machine’s needles and water tank valve with a toothpick or straightened-out paper clip
  • Take the water tank off the machine and slap it on its back and side (“burp” the machine)

If none of these work and you are confident that you have descaled the machine properly then just ignore its descale warning light and carry on using the machine as normal.

Just remember that the machine now cannot warn you when it needs descaling so you need to remember to do this every 3 months.

Keurig is Leaking From its Water Tank

You generally cannot fix a Keurig leaking from its water tank.

The valve that connects Keurig’s water tank to the machine’s main unit is really badly made. Try to get a replacement on warranty.

You can try and clean out any blockage in these valves with a toothpick or straightened-out paperclip, as well as try to unblock the valve by pressing it with your little finger, however, these are desperate fixes rather than reliable ones.

This is the reservoir valve on my Keurig K Supreme Plus

Keurig Coffee is Tasting Weaker Than Normal

There are two main reasons why your Keurig coffee might taste weaker:

  • Your coffee maker is not heating your brewing water hot enough
  • Your K-Cup is not being punctured properly

The first thing you need to do to diagnose this issue is to take the temperature of the coffee that comes out of your machine.

If your coffee comes out of your machine at a temperature below 175 Fahrenheit, then the issue is with your heater. You can’t fix this problem, you need to get a replacement.

If your coffee is coming out at a temperature above 175 Fahrenheit then the problem is likely that your K-cup isn’t being punctured properly.

There are three potential fixes for this, I’ll run through them from least to the most effort so you can just do them one by one: 

  • Make sure that the rubber ring that surrounds the Keurig needle(s) actually makes a seal around the needle. You can see a video that explains this here.
  • Clean your top and bottom needles with a toothpick or straightened out paperclip
  • Straighten out a paperclip and wrap it around the lip under your K-cup’s lid (see image below). This will prop up the K-cup in your machine allowing for its top needles to penetrate it deeper. 

Keurig Machine’s “Add Water” Light Will Not Turn Off

This also boils down to a problem with the valve that connects the machine’s water reservoir to its body.

To fix this try:

  • Deep cleaning the machine’s water valve with a toothpick or straightened-out paperclip.
  • Pressing down on the water valve with your little finger

If neither of these works then the likely culprit is that the internal tube that feeds the add more water sensor has come loose. You can find a video of someone taking apart the Keurig K Elite and showing you how the “add water sensor” works below (3:30 – 6:30 is where he talks specifically about the add water sensor, but the whole video is relevant to this problem):

If your machine allows you to brew when its add water light is on then you can just continue to use it as normal – the problem is with the add water sensor only, not with the machine as a whole.

Keurig’s Water is Not Hot Enough

If your coffee comes out of your Keurig machine at a temperature below 175 Fahrenheit then there is a problem with your machine’s heater.

You will need to get the machine replaced. If it is under one year old then call Keurig to get it replaced under warranty.

Keurig Spews Coffee Grounds into my Cup

The solution to this problem can vary depending on whether you are using standard or reusable K-cups

  • Standard K-cups: The problem is with your machine’s bottom needle. Take the K-cup port out of your machine, twist it to take the bottom off, and then clean out the bottom needle with a pin or straightened-out paperclip
  • Reusable K-cups: The problem could be with the K-cup itself or with your machine’s bottom needle. First, try putting more coarse-ground coffee into your reusable K-cup. If that fails then try a different reusable K-cup. If that fails then clean your bottom needle.

This problem seems to be particularly common among machines that use “Multistream Technology” – namely the K Supreme and K Slim range of machines.

Keurig Machine Explodes K-Cup

K-Cups explode when water cannot escape through their bottom. 

This is either caused by a blockage in your K-cup port’s exit hole or by your machine’s bottom needle being blunt or broken.

The first fix for this is to clean out the exit hole in the bottom of your machine’s K-cup port. You can see a video on how to do this below:

If this doesn’t work then you can look if the needle in your K-cup port is broken:

This is where the needle sits at the bottom of your K-cup port

You can call Keurig’s customer support to try and get a replacement needle.

Keurig is Louder Than Usual When Brewing

If your Keurig is louder than usual when brewing then this indicates that the pump is struggling to pump water through your machine.

This is generally a sign that the machine needs to be descaled.

If this doesn’t work then it is likely a sign that the machine’s pump is deteriorating. This naturally happens with Keurig machines, especially after 18 months of regular use.

There’s not much you can do to fix a deteriorating pump.

I’m now going to talk about troubleshooting machine-specific problems: 

Keurig K Duo Range

This includes the Keurig K Duo, K Duo Plus and K Duo Essentials.

For more information on these machines please see my:

1r Error Code

This occurs when the reservoir cannot attach properly to the machine.

Try removing the machine’s water tank, and applying pressure to the water tank’s valve, and the valve where your water tank connects, with your little finger.

You can also try cleaning out these valves with a toothpick or straightened out paperclip.

Unfortunately, Keurig’s system for connecting its water reservoir to the machine’s main unit is poorly designed so the 1r error code usually means that your machine needs to be replaced.

Machine Won’t Dispense Enough Water on Carafe Side

This again is a common problem with Keurig’s K Duo range and does not have a known fix.

Keurig has not developed pumps that can consistently pump out a carafe’s worth of coffee. 

This is the main reason why I don’t recommend Keurig K Duo machines.

Keurig K Mini Range

This includes the Keurig K Mini and K Mini Plus.

For more information about these machines please see my:

K Mini Clicks Every Two Hours

According to this Reddit thread, the Keurig K Mini and Mini Plus clicks every two hours because of a quirk of its auto-off system.

This won’t harm the machine, but if it annoys you then turn off the machine at the power outlet after brewing.

Neither K Mini model has an auto-on option so there is no reason to keep it on between brews.

K Mini Buzzes Between Brews

This happens when water gets stuck inside the K Mini.

It happens to the K Mini line of machines more than any other because the K Mini heats up water in an internal water tank rather than using a thermocoil system.

You can solve this problem by running rinse brews (brews without a K-cup in your machine) until the machine empties its internal tank.

It’s also a sign that your machine may be scaling up so descaling the machine can stop this from happening in the future.

Old Style Keurig Machines

This includes the Keurig K Compact, Keurig K Select and Keurig K Elite. For more on these machines please see my:

“All Lights On” Error

If all your Keurig lights are staying a solid color, and your machine won’t brew, then it’s because there’s a blockage in the tube that connects your Keurig’s body to its shower head.

To unblock the tube you need to open up the lid of the machine, disconnect the tube from its shower head and squeeze it.

You can see a video of someone doing this below:

This can also affect the K Duo line of machines as well as old-style Keurigs.

Keurig K Supreme & K Slim Range

This includes the Keurig K Supreme and Keurig K Supreme Plus. I am going to lump the Keurig K Slim and K Slim Iced here as they use the same underlying technology as the K Supreme models.

These do not have any specific problems, however, the following problems are particularly likely to happen to these machines:

  • The machine spews coffee grounds into my cup.
  • The machine won’t turn on after descaling
  • The machine won’t turn out of the box.

I talk more about these technical issues in my Keurig K Supreme Plus review, Keurig K Supreme review, and comparison between the Keurig K Supreme vs K Supreme Plus vs K Supreme SMART.

Keurig K Cafe Range

With the Keurig K Cafe and Keurig K Cafe Special, most of the technical problems occur with the machine’s milk frother.

K Cafe’s Milk Frother Won’t Turn On

Make sure that the circular whizzy bit that sits at the bottom of the frother is attached to the machine.

If it’s attached, then get the machine to brew a coffee before you try and work its milk frother. Sometimes the machine needs to warm up before its frother will work.

K Cafe’s Milk Frother Won’t Stop Beeping and Flashing

I found several complaints on Reddit that the K Cafe’s milk frother won’t stop beeping and flashing.

You can see a video of this below:

There is no known fix for this, but it should not affect your milk frother’s performance.

K Cafe’s Milk Frother is Inconsistent in its Frothing Performance

The K Cafe’s milk frother is just inconsistent, this is not a technical problem that can be fixed.

I talk more about the K Cafe’s shortcomings in my Keurig K Cafe review.

Keurig SMART Range

This includes the Keurig K Supreme SMART, K Supreme Plus SMART, K Elite SMART, and K Cafe SMART:

Keurig SMART Will Not Connect To Your Network

A lot of people have this problem with their smart Keurig machine.

The most common fix seems to be that you need to turn off your phone’s network so you are only connected to the Wifi.

Keurig machines do not want to connect to a phone that is on a cellular network (5G), you need to turn this off and just be on the Wifi when you connect your phone/Ipad to your machine.

To disconnect from your cellular network on an iPhone go to settings -> mobile network and then slide off the slider on the top next to “mobile network”

Keurig SMART Will Not Read Your K-Cups

If your machine could at one point read your K-cups but now can’t then try a factory reset.

You do this by holding down the left and right buttons on either side of your machine’s control panel, then going to settings, and then scrolling right until you see the factory reset.

You can see a video of someone doing this below:

Keurig 2.0

This includes the Keurig K200, K300, K400, and K500.

“Water Under Pressure” Error

This is Keurig 2.0’s way of telling you that its needles are blocked.

You need to scrape coffee grounds off its top needle with a toothpick or straightened-out paper clip.

You then need to remove its K-cup port and scrape its bottom needle in the same way. Then poke your sharp, pointy object in the hole in the bottom of a K-cup where the water runs through.

Like this

While I could find people online saying this didn’t work, I couldn’t find any other fix. 

If this fails you’ll need to get in touch with Keurig’s product support.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you can find the fix you need for your Keurig machine.

If you’d like to find out more about Keurig, please see my reviews of Keurig machines.

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