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13 Ways To Fix Your Keurig Coffee Machine Shutting Off in 2024

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Keurig shutdowns often stem from scale buildup, so descale regularly. Improper water tank placement or using the wrong K-Cups can also cause issues. More complex problems likely require professional help or a replacement Keurig. Read on to find more potential issues and solutions.

As a Keurig machine owner, I frequently encounter issues. One of those issues included the machine often powering off on its own.

I made this guide to help other Keurig owners with their machines.

I’ll provide various potential issues your machine may face and their solutions. Not all problems have easy fixes and may require a replacement machine. If that’s the case, I’ll let you know.

Afterward, I’ll provide general troubleshooting tips that may also fix your issue.

Here is an overview:

Here we go.

Key Takeaways

  • Keurigs need frequent descaling, especially if you have hard water.
  • Some Keurig models may not accept all types of K-Cups.
  • Make sure the water reservoir is correctly aligned.
  • A power cycle (turning it off and on) can sometimes fix random shutdowns.
  • Electrical faults likely mean the machine needs replacement.

Most Common Issues Causing Keurig Machine Power Offs

Here are the most common issues that could contribute to random Keurig machine shut offs:

ProblemSolution
1. Machine Needs DescalingDescale your machine.
2. Auto-off Timer IssuesAdjust or disable auto-off.
3. Machine Isn’t Detecting Water TankClean sensors.
4. Wrong K-CupsTry official K-Cups.
5. Power Outlet IssuesPlug it into a different outlet.
6. Cracked PlasticReplace machine.
7. Bad Brew SwitchClean the brew switch or hard reset machine.
8. Air in the PumpShake the machine upside down.
9. Clogged Exit NeedleClean the exit needle.
10. Electrical FaultReplace the machine.

The following sections will dive further into each of these potential solutions.

When turning on your Keurig machine, the lights may blink then shut off. Or your machine may not power on at all. I’ll cover potential fixes for both situations.

Let’s dive in.

1. The Machine Needs Descaling

  • Solution: Descaling with a specially formulated solution removes harmful scale buildup.
  • What You’ll Need: Keurig descaling solution, citric acid, or diluted vinegar.
  • Time Commitment: 45–60 minutes.

Scale is the mineral residue left behind by hard water. Over time, this scale can build up inside your Keurig’s internal water lines and components. These blockages impede water flow, make the machine work harder, and can cause overheating, leading to repeated shutdowns.

You’ll need to descale your Keurig to fix this.

Here’s how to descale your machine:

  • Prep: Ensure the Keurig is off and empty the water reservoir.
  • Add descaler: Pour the recommended amount of descaling solution (check the solution instructions) into the reservoir, followed by fresh water to fill it to the indicated level.
  • Run descale cycle: Place a mug on the tray and run the largest brew cycle.
    • After dispensing, discard the contents.
    • Repeat until the reservoir needs refilling.
  • Rest: Turn off your Keurig and let it sit for the timeframe recommended by your descaling solution (usually around 30 minutes).
    • This allows the solution to work fully.
  • Rinse: Remove and rinse the reservoir.
    • Refill it with fresh water and run several full brew cycles without a K-Cup until the water runs clear.

Have you not been descaling your machine this entire time? You should from hereon.

Keurig recommends descaling every 3–6 months depending on your water hardness. Hard water areas may require more frequent descaling—every month or 2.

Don’t descale before reading this. Use diluted vinegar with a 1:1 ratio (vinegar to water). Undiluted vinegar is acidic and prolonged exposure on your machine’s innards can lead to permanent damage on plastic components.

I’d skip vinegar altogether if it’s easy to ship stuff to your home. Opt for citric acid if the limescale buildup isn’t too severe. It’s cheap, effective due to its acidity, and doesn’t leave behind an awful, lingering taste.

If you have severe limescale buildup, or live in an area with hard water, get the descaling solution from Keurig. It has silicic acid and other ingredients that’ll do a better job at breaking down scale.

If this solution didn’t help, your machine may have a more complex issue.

Summary: Scale build-up leads to many machine issues. Descale it to potentially fix it.

2. An Auto-off Timer Has Been Set

  • Solution: Adjust or disable the auto-off timer

Some Keurig models allow you to adjust the auto-off time or enable/disable the feature. It’s possible to accidentally set the auto-off timer to a short interval (such as a few minutes after brewing) without realizing it.

While unusual, a software bug might cause the auto-off settings to change without your input, leading to the machine shutting down seemingly without cause.

The process to adjust the auto-off feature varies depending on your Keurig model:

  • K-Café & K-Select: Press and hold the Strong and 10oz buttons together for 3 seconds. On the K-Select: Ensure the green “Auto Off” light turns off.

The following models cannot disable the auto-off feature:

  • K-Duo Plus
  • K-Mini
  • K-Supreme Plus

These models have a fixed auto-off feature that activates after a set period of inactivity (usually around 5 minutes). If your machine continually shuts off in intervals of 5 minutes, that’s your “problem.”

If you didn’t see your model above, check your manual to see whether there’s a way to adjust or deactivate your machine’s auto-off feature.

Summary: Change or disable the auto-off feature. However, it’s not possible to do so with many Keurig models.

3. The Machine Isn’t Detecting the Water Tank Correctly

  • Solution: Clean the contacts, ensure nothing’s blocking the sensors, or reseal the reservoir.
  • What You’ll Need:
    • Damp cloth

Keurigs have built-in safety features to prevent the machine from running without water in the reservoir. This protects the heating element and other components from damage.

If the machine doesn’t properly detect the water tank, it may assume there’s no water and shut off as a precaution.

They also use sensors or magnets to detect the presence of the water reservoir. Misalignment, dirt or debris on the sensors, or loose connections can interfere with this detection process. Leading to frequent  shutdowns.

Here are some potential fixes:

  • Reseal the reservoir: Remove the water reservoir and thoroughly dry the tank and the base unit where it sits.
    • Reseat the reservoir, ensuring it’s properly aligned.
  • Check for obstructions: Make sure nothing is blocking the sensors or contact points around the reservoir compartment.
  • Clean the contacts: Using a damp cloth, clean the sensor or magnetic contact points (often located at the base of the reservoir and where it fits into the machine).
  • Restart: Unplug the Keurig for 30 seconds, then plug it back in to reset the system.
    • I’ll explain why this could also help with your issues later in this guide.

If you continue to face problems, check for any visible damage to the water tank or its connection points.

Summary: Alignment issues with your water tank can lead to random shutdowns.

4. You’re Using the Wrong K-Cups

  • Solution: Experiment with different types of K-Cups.

While many third-party K-Cups function perfectly well, some Keurig models, especially newer ones, can be less receptive to specific brands.

Here’s why:

  • Keurig 2.0 technology: Certain Keurig brewers use sensors to ‘verify’ officially licensed K-Cups.
    • The machine may reject pods without the right markings, even if they technically fit the machine.
  • Construction differences: Materials used in third-party cups may be thinner or have altered designs, which might affect how the Keurig needle punctures them.
    • This can disrupt water flow and cause errors.
  • Inconsistent quality control: Not all third-party K-Cups meet the same manufacturing standards.
    • Variations in shape or grind can occasionally cause problems.

You have a couple solutions. One, try using official K-Cups. Two, rip off the lid to your third-party cup and the foil lid off an official K-Cup. Then slap the lid from the official K-Cup onto the unofficial one. A Reddit post I found suggested this idea [1].

Here’s another potentially easy fix.

Summary: Some Keurig machines may not read third-party K-Cups properly, which could result in machine issues. Try using official K-Cups.

5. Power Outlet Issues

  • Solution: Connect your Keurig to a different plug outlet.

Your power outlet may have insufficient voltage, an overloaded circuit, or a damaged outlet. I can’t help you with fixing your outlet, because I’m not an electrician.

However, I have a solution that you could try with your Keurig..

Connect a different appliance, like a lamp, to the same outlet. If it operates normally, the problem likely lies with your Keurig. If the alternative device also acts up, your outlet likely has a fault.

For further confirmation, try plugging your Keurig into a different outlet in your home, preferably on a separate circuit. If the machine functions normally, then the original outlet is the source of the problem.

Summary: Your plug outlet may not work properly, which requires you to plug the Keurig into a different outlet.

6. Cracked Plastic

  • Solution: Replace the machine.

The plastic used in the slot where you insert K-Cups is susceptible to heat damage. Over time, constant exposure to hot water vapor and brewing temperatures can cause this plastic to weaken, crack, or melt slightly.

Cracks and exposed components create a higher likelihood of liquid spills seeping into sensitive electrical systems within the Keurig. This can cause a short circuit, which will immediately cut off power.

And Keurigs have fail-safes intended to shut down the machine if electrical anomalies or potential malfunctions are detected. Liquid in unintended places triggers this as a protection against fire or electrocution risks.

You’ll need to replace the cracked parts, if parts are available, or fix the electronics that came in contact with the water. This isn’t an area that I can help you in since the steps to do this will vary by model.

If you notice cracked plastic, I recommend replacing the machine.

Summary: Over time, heat will cause the plastic to crack, which could cause liquids to wreak havoc on the device’s internal components.

7. Bad Brew Switch

  • Solution: Clean brew switch or hard reset machine.

The brew switch is the button you press to initiate the brewing cycle in your Keurig.

If the switch contacts are worn, shorted, or not sending a reliable signal to the Keurig’s control board, it can interrupt the brewing process mid-cycle. This might be perceived as a malfunction, and the machine shuts down as a safety measure.

In serious cases, a failing brew switch could create a short circuit within the system. This will instantly cut power to the entire Keurig as a protection against electrical damage or fire.

Sometimes, the brew switch could become sticky or develop residue from spilled liquids. A thorough cleaning around the switch with a damp cloth (machine unplugged) might resolve minor issues.

Depending on the Keurig model, a hard reset of the machine (unplugging for extended periods, etc.) might clear any errors that stem from faulty switch signaling. I’ll talk more about factory resetting your machine later.

If cleaning and resets fail, a worn or damaged brew switch may need to be replaced. Depending on your technical skills, this might be DIY with guidance from videos or tutorials. I can’t help you here.

But I can with the next point.

Summary: The brew switch may have issues, which requires cleaning or a hard reset.

8. Air in the Pump

  • Solution: Shake your machine upside down.

Here’s why trapped air causes problems:

  • Loss of pressure: If air bubbles become trapped in the pump or internal water lines, the Keurig can’t generate sufficient pressure for proper brewing.
    • This loss of pressure will often trigger automatic safety shutdowns to prevent strain on the system.
  • Interrupted water flow: Large air pockets can completely block water flow within the machine.
    • Some Keurigs have sensors meant to protect against “dry running” and will shut off as a precaution.

Shaking the Keurig upside down helps dislodge large air bubbles trapped in the water lines and pump. Water’s density will allow it to flow through the system despite being momentarily upside down, forcing out the air pockets.

Summary: Shaking your machine upside down may force out air pockets that could cause issues with your machine.

9. Clogged Exit Needle

  • Solution: Unclog the exit needle.
  • What You’ll Need: Paper clip or Keurig needle cleaning tool.
  • Time Commitment: 5–10 minutes

A clogged exit needle restricts the flow of brewed coffee. This creates back pressure within the brewing system, straining the Keurig’s internal pump.

Many Keurigs have built-in safety mechanisms to prevent damage from excess pressure. If the machine senses this strain, it may automatically shut off to protect itself.

Thus, the solution is to clean the exit needle using a paper clip or a cleaning tool from Keurig. The tool doesn’t cost much and may make cleaning easier, but I’ve always used a paperclip. And funny enough, Keurig recommends a paperclip over their own tool.

Avoid using a toothpick for this. Because it could chip and get stuck in the needle.

Follow these steps to clean your needle:

  1. Unplug: Always unplug the Keurig for safety.
  2. Disassemble: Remove the K-Cup holder and funnel.
  3. Locate the needle: Under the brewer head, find the exit needle. It will likely have two small holes.
  4. Clean: Use a straightened paper clip or a dedicated Keurig cleaning tool to dislodge any debris from the needle holes.
    1. Avoid jamming the tool in, as it could damage the needle.
  5. Rinse: Flush the removed K-Cup holder and funnel under running water to clear leftover grounds.
  6. Reassemble and test: Put the parts back together and run a brew cycle with just water to see if the flow has improved.

Here’s a video for visual learners:

Here’s the last issue your machine may have.

Summary: A clogged exit needle may prevent the Keurig from puncturing the pod. Clean the needle to fix this.

10. An Electrical Fault

  • Solution: Replace the Keurig

Your machine may suffer from one of these electrical issues:

  • Sensor issues: Keurigs use sensors to monitor aspects like water temperature and flow.
    • Damaged or faulty sensors can send incorrect signals to the machine’s control system, causing it to shut down.
  • Control board malfunction: The control board is the “brain” of the Keurig. Electrical problems with this board can disrupt its ability to process information and commands correctly, leading to unexpected shutdowns.
  • Loose connections: Over time, vibrations and heat can cause electrical connections within the Keurig to loosen.
    • These loose connections can generate resistance, increasing heat and disrupting the flow of electricity, causing the machine to shut down.

Diagnosing and repairing electrical problems in a Keurig often requires specialized knowledge and tools.  You’d need to arm yourself with a multimeter and test different wires and components in the machine to diagnose electrical issues.

Don’t tackle this issue if you aren’t experienced in repairing appliances.

If you suspect electrical issues are causing the shutdowns, consult a qualified technician or contact Keurig’s customer support for guidance.

The only solution for most people is to replace the machine. If you’re a tinkerer, check all the above issues and see if your Keurig suffers from any of them. If, for instance, the control board is malfunctioning, replace it.

There’s still hope for your Keurig machine. Try common troubleshooting methods and see if any of those will help.

Summary: Various electrical issues could cause your Keurig to malfunction. It’s best to replace your machine.

Keurig Troubleshooting: Easy Solutions to Try

Did you troubleshoot your machine for all the issues above? If those solutions didn’t work, try the following troubleshooting methods:

Troubleshooting methodHow to do it
Apply Elbow Grease When Pushing HandlePress the handle down firmly
Turn the Keurig Off and On AgainPower button, unplug if needed
Perform a Hard ResetConsult the manual for your specific model

I’ll emphasize further on each of these points throughout the following sections.

Let’s go.

1. Apply Elbow Grease When Pushing Handle

Keurigs pierce the K-Cup forcefully with top and bottom needles for water penetration. Not pushing the handle down firmly can result in weak or misaligned piercing. This disrupts water flow and brewing pressure.

As your Keurig ages, the force behind the handle mechanism can slightly weaken. You might get away with minimal pressure for a while until it finally reaches a critical threshold, leading to a shut-down.

Apply a bit more force to see if this fixes any issues. If you have wrist issues or arthritis, I recommend opting for a single-serve coffee maker that doesn’t require as much force to close.

For instance, some Nespresso Original Line machines require you to slide a pod in the machine and don’t require force to close.

Here’s another potential solution.

2. Turn the Keurig Machine Off & On Again

Here’s why resetting your Keurig could fix repeated shutdowns:

  • Clearing temporary glitches: Keurigs have small computers that sometimes encounter software hiccups.
  • Resetting components: This process gives the machine a chance to re-initialize its components, resolving issues related to sensors or internal systems.
  • Addressing power fluctuations: Brief power cuts, surges, or instability in your outlet can disrupt the Keurig’s operation.

A power cycle forces a fresh start and clears these errors.

Here’s what to do:

  • Power off: Use the Keurig’s power button to turn it off.
    • If it’s unresponsive, you might need to unplug it.
  • Wait time: Leave it unplugged for at least 30 seconds.
  • Start-up: Reconnect the power, turn your Keurig back on, and allow it to go through its normal startup routine.

Power cycling isn’t a permanent fix for EVERY Keurig problem. You may need to perform a hard reset.

3. Perform a Hard Reset on the Keurig Machine

While power cycling involves a simple off-and-on, a hard reset goes deeper into a Keurig’s system. Here’s why this might resolve problems leading to shutdowns:

  • Software corruption: Hard resets force Keurig to reload its core software, possibly overwriting problematic code or errors that have developed over time.
  • Settings reset: Resets all customizations (auto-on/off timers, etc.).
    • Often, misconfigured settings cause unexpected behavior, including shutdowns.

Here’s how to hard (factory) reset different models:

K-Supreme/K-Supreme Plus

  • While pressing and holding 2 arrow buttons, press the menu button
  • Continue until reaching “Factory Reset” page
  • Press “K” button
  • After reset, unplug for 10 sec

K-Duo

  • Press power button once
  • Press and hold 8 and 10 oz buttons for 5 sec

K-Classic

  • Press and hold medium cup, large cup, and auto button simultaneously for 3 sec

If your model wasn’t on the table, you’ll need to check online for more details. It’s a bit difficult to find guides on hard resetting other devices, though. Most people talk about power cycling in their “tutorials.”

If I didn’t include your model, sorry. Check the manual for your machine to learn how to factory reset it.

You may have not cleaned your machine recently. Let’s fix that.

Speak to Keurig’s Customer Support Team (Last Resort)

It’s time to contact Keurig and complain. Contact Keurig using one of the following mediums:

  • Phone: 866–901–2739.
    • Available 7 AM–12 AM (EST) daily.
  • Chatbot: Not the most helpful.
  • Service request: You’ll need to provide your name and email.
  • Instagram: There’s a “message” button.
  • X (Twitter): They seem responsive if you tag their account.
  • Facebook: There’s no way to message them.


Note: Don’t use our support. We’re a third party that has no affiliation with Keurig. 

Their website says there’s a way to email them, but that’s not true. When clicking on the “email” link, you’ll find yourself on a troubleshooting page.

Is your Keurig still within the warranty period—within 1 year after purchase [2]? If so, register it online at Keurig.com/new. Doing so will store the device’s purchasing information for the customer service agent to access.

And with easy access to this information, the process of replacing your device may go smoother. If the device is out of its warranty period, they may not replace your device. But it’s worth a try.

Once you contact them, let them know what’s going on with your machine. Tell them you followed all the troubleshooting steps on the internet, yet your device still randomly shuts off.

If they won’t replace your device, your only option is to replace it. Keep an eye out for sales or get a refurbished brewer for better-quality models. Or buy used from a third-party to get a cheaper device.

Otherwise, there’s nothing more that I can say. Read the frequently asked questions, next. You may find something useful.

Summary: Contact Keurig as a last resort. If you’re out of your warranty period, they may not replace your machine.

FAQs for Keurig Coffee Machine Shutoff

Keep reading to find frequently asked questions about Keurig machines frequently shutting off.

When Do I Need to Replace My Keurig Coffee Machine?

You need to replace your Keurig coffee machine when it starts showing signs of wear and tear. Examples include taking longer to brew, producing weaker or colder coffee, leaking, or if it stops working entirely.

Should I Turn Off My Keurig Coffee Machine When Not in Use?

Yes, it’s best to turn off your Keurig when not in use. This will save energy and prolong the machine’s lifespan.

Conclusion

This troubleshooting guide should help with the most common reasons for random shutdowns. However, more complicated issues might be beyond simple DIY fixes. If basic troubleshooting fails, consult your manual or reach out to Keurig support.

If you’re shopping for a new Keurig, consider some of our recommendations.

Photo of author

Author

Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of TimsCoffee.com. He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create TimsCoffee.com.
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3 thoughts on “13 Ways To Fix Your Keurig Coffee Machine Shutting Off in 2024”

  1. We fill our Keurig water reservoir to the Max line in the morning but don’t use all the water by bed. Should we leave that water in for the next day or empty it and put fresh water in the next morning?

    Reply
    • Hey Linda,

      Leaving water in your Keurig reservoir overnight is generally safe and won’t cause the machine to stop working.

      It’s fine to use the remaining water the next day. As long as you don’t leave it for more than 48 hours to prevent bacterial growth or limescale buildup.

      For optimal hygiene and machine maintenance, it’s advisable to regularly clean the reservoir and descale the machine every 3 to 6 months

      Hope this answered your question!

      Reply

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