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Nespresso Machine Troubleshooting: 6 easy fixes

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Nespresso machines are usually very reliable but you’re still likely to run into the occasional issue. Don’t worry, though. Lots of them are pretty easy to fix!

I’ve been finding out exactly which issues can occur with a Nespresso machine and then figuring out how to fix them. I’ll be compiling my findings in this article.

We’ll be going through these talking points today:

Lets get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Most Nespresso machine issues can be resolved by descaling
  • Incorrect usage, lack of cleaning and electrical faults can cause other issues 
  • Nespresso supplies two years of warranties for issues that can’t be fixed at home

Most Common Issues with Nespresso Machines

I’m about to show you the most common issues with Nespresso machines and how to spot them. I’m also going to tell you the best things you can do to fix the issue. Later on in this article, I’ll show you how to carry out those processes. 

1. Coffee Temperature is Not Hot Enough 

Some Nespresso users have reported that the coffee comes out of the machine lukewarm. b

The main way to fix this tip is descaling, which I’ll explain how to do later on in this article. Limescale can cause the water to not reach the desired temperature and you’ll be able to notice this in your coffee.

If the issue persists, it may just be that your Nespresso machine doesn’t brew coffee to the heat that you want. They’re not super hot coffees! But you can improve the temperature by heating up your coffee mug for 30 seconds in the microwave or rinse it with hot water first if you like. 

2. Water or Coffee Leaking

You might find that water leaks out of the bottom of your Nespresso machine from time to time. Or, coffee could be leaking from the capsule area. Either of these things can be super annoying! 

There are two key reasons that this might be the case: the water tank or the capsule haven’t been locked in correctly or the machine needs descaling. 

Make sure that the water tank is correctly locked in position and if the issue persists, consult my guide to descaling later on in this article.

You should also check that the water tank is cracked and the drip tray isn’t full. 

3. Coffee Tastes Bitter or Sour 

If you’re used to the regular taste of the coffee from your Nespresso machine, you’ll be able to tell if the taste goes bitter or sour. And this could be a fault with the Nespresso machine itself.

I’ve found that the two main reasons for this are that the Nespresso machine needs cleaning or that it needs descaling. I’ll show you how to do both of those things in the next section. 

4. Orange or Red Light is Blinking

The fact that your orange or red light is blinking on your Nespresso machine is usually the sign of a fault, or that it’s asking you to do something. 

Here’s a look at the different light codes and what they actually mean:

  • Long green light followed by long red light: Your Nespresso machine needs descaling. Find out how to do that in the next section.
  • Two white blinks then one orange blink: This is a system malfunction. You’re going to need to power the device off for a few seconds then back on again. This should fix the issue, but if it persists, you might need to speak to Nespresso.
  • Two white blinks then one steady orange light: There’s an error with the ‘special function’. Just power the device off and on again.  
  • Two white blinks then one green light: Either you haven’t filled up the water tank enough or the machine can’t detect a capsule. Make sure you’ve loaded both of these things correctly.  
  • Red light flashing: The Nespresso machine is in the process of cooling down after overheating. Just leave it for a few minutes. 
  • Regular white light: The Nespresso machine is about to overheat. Just power it off and leave it for a few minutes. 
  • White light blinks every second: The likelihood here is that the pod has been misloaded. Open up the machine, take it out and put it back in correctly. 
  • Three white blinks with one red blink in between: The machine can’t figure out the position it’s in. You might have opened it in an unusual way, so I’d recommend setting it back to its original position and starting the process again. 

5. The Capsule Isn’t Being Pierced

You’re not going to be able to make your coffee if the machine isn’t able to pierce the capsule. But sometimes, the machine can’t do this. 

The reason for this happening could be one of a few things. You might have the capsule loaded the wrong way round for example. If not, it could be that the lever hasn’t been put down correctly.

Ruling out general usage issues, there’s a chance you’ve bought the wrong capsules. 

But if you’ve checked all that and the issue persists, try cleaning the machine. The last possibility is that the needle is broken, so you’ll need to contact Nespresso in that circumstance.

6. Coffee Pouring Taking Too Long or Too Quick

Your coffee extraction should take around 20 seconds from pressing the button to the time it’s poured. If it lasts longer than this or it’s too quick, it can make your coffee too watery or too strong. 

You’ll probably need to descale the machine to fix this issue. And if this doesn’t work, dry a deep clean. Otherwise, you might need to do a factory reset.

7. No Coffee Coming Out of Nespresso Machine 

If you’ve loaded up the water tank and the coffee capsule correctly but there’s no coffee coming out, the issue probably lies with cleaning or descaling. Try to do both of these things by following the instructions a bit later on in this article. 

Another more rare issue is that there’s an airlock issue with your water tank. I’ll explain what that means and what to do about it later too.

8. Nespresso Machine Doesn’t Turn On

Perhaps the worst issue to come across is that the Nespresso machine doesn’t turn on at all. But don’t worry, it might not be terminal.

Check that the power cord itself, if it’s plugged in. If it is, you might want to check its condition. Even if it appears to be good, there could be internal damage that needs repairing.

You’ll also need to make sure that the lever itself is properly locked into place as this will prevent the machine from powering on with some models.

Another thing to check is that there’s enough water in the tank and that it’s secured to the rest of the machine properly. Again, these things can make the machine look as if it’s powered off on some models. 

If the issue persists after that, you’ll probably need to speak to Nespresso themselves. 

How to Fix Your Nespresso Machine Issue

I’ve mentioned all the main faults of the Nespresso machine now, but how do you actually go about fixing them? Well, consider the tips I’ve given above for a start. And now, I’m going to show you how to actually do those things.

Descale Your Nespresso Machine

The most common fix for most faults of the Nespresso machine is to descale it. You’ll generally need to do this every 6-12 months depending on a few factors like the water in your area.

To descale the machine, just add some descaling solution to the water tank and run a descaling cycle. 

If you want to find out more information about descaling your Nespresso machine (including a more detailed guide on how to do it), check out this article.

Clean Your Nespresso Machine 

I recommend cleaning your Nespresso machine every day or two. This will fix a lot of issues!

Just take it apart and wipe each part down with warm soapy water. You can also run a cycle with a third part cleaning pod if you prefer.

It’s particularly important to make sure that you clear out any coffee grinds that might be stuck in the machine. These can cause all kinds of problems, such as blocked valves.

Fix the Airlock Issue

There are a few things you can do to fix this particular issue, when no water is pouring due to air bubbles. 

  • Tilt the water tank: Often, just picking the machine up and tilting it will move the water through and keep it flowing to make coffee. 
  • Use hot water in the tank: Nespresso themselves recommend that you try this method as the water pressure will be slightly different. You should only have to do it once or twice. 
  • Keep running the cycle: Just run a few cycles with no coffee pods as this will slowly force the water through.

Perform a Factory Reset 

This is a great fix for some issues like no coffee pouring from the machine. Just hold the button for five seconds to perform a factory reset.

Speak to Nespresso

If all else fails, you might have to speak to Nespresso themselves. They have a pretty responsive customer support team who might be able to advise you further and help you get to the bottom of the fault. 

All Nespresso machines all come with a two year warranty as well. So if you bought the Nespresso machine less than two years ago and Nespresso can’t help you fix the issue, they will either fix it themselves or issue a free replacement. 

You can reach out to them in a couple of different ways:

  • Live chat: Go to the Nespresso website and hit the chat button in the bottom right. This will bring up three options, one of them being the live chat. Press that, fill out a few contact details and you’ll be taken through to the adviser.
  • On the phone: You can speak to someone over the phone if you prefer, although you might have to wait on hold for a while at peak times. To do this, dial the number 800-562-1465 for the original line or 877-964-6299 for the Vertuo line.

Nespresso Troubleshooting FAQ

There are a couple of extra bits of information you’re probably going to want to know about with regards to troubleshooting your Nespresso machine.

How often do I need to clean my Nespresso machine?

Cleaning and descaling your Nespresso machine reduces the risk of errors so I really recommend staying on top of these things. You should clean most parts of your Nespresso machine every couple of days and then descale it every 6-12 months for most people.

Does unplugging the Nescafe machine reset it?

Powering the Nescafe machine on and off does not reset it to factory settings. You’ll need to hold the button for five seconds to do that. 

Last Thoughts on Troubleshooting Nespresso Machines 

The most common fix for Nespresso machines is to descale them. But this isn’t always the answer, as there are a handful of issues that might occur and a few ways 

With the information in this article, you should be able to put your issue right. And remember, you can always reach out to Nespresso themselves if you need any more help.

If you’ve tried all of my tips for fixing your Nespresso machine and the device is out of warranty, the only option left could be to replace the machine. 

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered there. I put together this guide to the best Nespresso machines to help you to decide which one to go for.

Photo of author


Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
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