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12 Ways To Fix Your Keurig – Troubleshooting Tips

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This guide will provide many tips on how to troubleshoot your Keurig machine. Keep reading to learn more.

As a former Keurig owner, I encountered many errors. Yet I didn’t have an easy way to fix them. That inspired me to write this list.

I’ll talk about many issues that Keurig machines may have and potential solutions. Not all these solutions are 100% guaranteed to work. And if they don’t, you may need to contact Keurig’s customer support.

Here is an overview:

Read on to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • Most solutions will require cleaning, descaling, or resetting your device.
  • If none of the solutions on this list work, contact Keurig’s customer support.
  • If you notice leaks, check your water reservoir for cracks.
  • Scale buildup or debris in the puncture needle can prevent your machine from dispensing water.

Keurig Troubleshooting Tips

The following sections will cover common issues that Keurig machines suffer from and how to fix them. If the recommended solutions don’t work, you’ll need to contact their customer service. 

Visit their support page and contact them via email or live chat. Or call them at 866-901-2739 at any time.

The common causes of issues with Keurig machines are as follows:

  • Power issues: Issues with internal electrical components.
  • Scale buildup: Mineral buildup that causes issues with the water pump and other parts.
  • Blocked or clogged needle: Can lead to your device not brewing at all.
  • Leaks: issues with the water reservoir.

Most solutions require you to clean, descale, and reset your machine. I’ll let you know when to do any of the 3. Later in this guide, I’ll explain how to do all 3.

Let’s dive in.

1. Keurig Isn’t Powering On

You may have noticed that your device isn’t powering on. Check to ensure that it’s plugged in. Are you using a power strip with independently controlled outlets? Ensure that the specific outlet connected to your device is powered on.

Or your outlet may not work. If possible, test it with a different device—like a lamp—to see whether it’s functional. And if it doesn’t work, you’ll need to contact an electrician.

Because I can’t help you with electrical issues.

Afterward, ensure you press the “power button” on your device. Did it not work after a single press? Press and hold the button for 10 seconds.

If none of these solutions worked, you need to get Keurig involved. You don’t want to tinker with the machine’s electronics. Contact their customer service.

Summary: Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds, test your plug outlet, and ensure the device is plugged in.

2. Keurig Won’t Dispense Water

The only solution in this scenario is to clean and descale your Keurig. I’ll explain how to do both later.

3. Keurig Won’t Brew Coffee

If you’re Keurig’s telling you to descale your brewer while not brewing, descaling is the solution. I will explain how to perform toward the end of this guide. And if the descale button doesn’t turn on, think about the last time you descaled your machine.

Has it been 3 months? If so, try descaling, anyway.

If descaling doesn’t fix it, try one of these fixes:

  • Use a paperclip to clean debris or grounds out of the puncturing needle.
  • Unplug the brewer and plug it in again after 30 seconds.
  • Lift the water tank and place it on the machine again, ensure it fits snugly on your device.

If none of these methods work, can you guess what I’m going to say? Yep. Call customer support.

Summary: Descale your machine, clean it, or unplug it for 30 seconds.

4. Keurig Isn’t Heating Water

If your water is coming out cold, it’s likely that the water pump isn’t working. And if this part isn’t working, the heating element will disable itself to prevent overheating.

Debris or scale buildup may have clogged your water pump. Try cleaning and descaling your machine. If neither works, try resetting your machine. Another thing I’ll explain later in the guide.

5. Keurig Coffee Tastes Bitter

Oils from your coffee grounds may have built up in the machine. This often results in bitter-tasting coffee. Clean your machine and descale it to purge your machine from built up oil.

If that doesn’t work, check the expiration date on your K-Cups. If you’re using DIY K-Cups, check the expiration date of your coffee beans.

6. Found Coffee Grounds in My Cup

If you have noticed coffee grounds in your cup, you’ll want to try switching water types first. Keurig doesn’t recommend using distilled alkaline, or softened water [1]. They recommend using tap or bottled water.

That’s because distilled water is corrosive and absorbs its surroundings [2]. Including coffee grounds.

After replacing your water, run a few cycles without inserting a K-Cup. Doing this will help push out the distilled water used before.

If you still find coffee grounds in your water, clean the K-Cup puncturing needle. Perhaps debris or coffee grounds may have gotten stuck in it.

7. Keurig Machine Is Leaking From the Bottom

Before following through this issue, confirm where the leak is coming from on your Keurig machine. Remove the water reservoir, fill it with water, and hold it over the sink.

If water is leaking from the tank, there are one of 2 issues:

  • Misaligned or damaged o-ring: Find a new o-ring that matches your Keurig model and replace it.
    • The o-ring is a small gasket or rubber band that’s supposed to prevent your machine from leaking.
  • Damaged reservoir: You’ll need a replacement reservoir if you notice cracks or damage on your water tank.

Some models may not include o-rings. Fix this by adding one yourself. Here’s a video that I found that’ll help you DIY in minutes:

8. Flashing Lights on Keurig Machine

Flashing or blinking lights on Keurig machines have different meanings. And all these meanings will vary by model.

In general, flashing lights will have these meanings:

Light TypeSolution
All Lights OnClean puncturing needle or replace carbon filter.
Descale LightIt’s time to descale your machine.
Add Water LightIf you already have water, there’s likely a leak or a wiring issue.
Blue Flashing LightRefill water tank.
Frother LightEnsure it has enough milk or that the whisk is located correctly.
Brew ButtonScale or coffee ground buildup in machine; clean and descale it.
Power Button and ClockReset your device; it’s likely an internal error.
Add Water, Heat, and Medium Cup LightsReplace water filter or perform 3 brew cycles with no pods.

Many of these lights are indicator lights and are trying to tell you there’s something wrong with the machine. If you try the solution and it doesn’t work, the best route to take is to reset your machine. Doing so may fix potential internal errors.

9. Keurig Is Stuck in Preheating Mode

It should take up to 3 minutes for your machine to heat up before brewing. If your machine’s preheating after that time passes, turn off your machine and unplug it for 30 seconds. This will hard reset your machine and possibly fix any issues.

If this doesn’t work, try filling your machine with hot water instead of cold. Some users have successfully forced their machine into brew mode by doing this. But do so at your own risk. Because Keurig recommends using only cold water.

10. Keurig “Add More Water” Error Message

You may see the “add water” message appear on your Keurig or the LED illuminated. Despite having enough water in your tank.

Remove the water tank and check the valve at the bottom for debris. If there’s debris, clean it out. Afterward, fill your water tank to the MAX line and place the tank on your machine again.

11. Keurig Turns on and off on Its Own

The only solution here is to ensure that you power off the “auto off” feature. Many Keurig machines will automatically turn off after 5 to 20 minutes. 

Here’s how you’d turn it off, depending on the model you own:

  • K-Café: Press and hold the Strong and 10 oz buttons for 3 seconds.
  • K-Select: Press and hold the Strong and 10 oz buttons for 3 seconds; you want the green Auto Off light to turn off.
  • K-Duo Plus: You can’t disable auto off.
  • Keurig K-Mini: You can’t disable it.
  • K-Supreme Plug: Can’t disable auto-off.

If disabling the auto off button doesn’t work, then you’re out of luck. You’ll need to contact Keurig’s customer support.

12. Keurig Dispenses Too Much Coffee

Your device may have dispensed too much or little coffee. First, try using a paperclip to clean debris and coffee grounds from the puncture needle.

If that fix doesn’t work, follow these steps:

  • Unplug Keurig.
  • Remove the water tank.
  • Carry device to sink.
  • Turn your machine upside down.
  • Slap the machine’s base with your hand several times.
    • Your goal is to dispense any potential debris stuck in your machine.
  • Reassemble your device.
  • Plug in and run a cycle without using a K-Cup.

Did none of these solutions fix your device? You may need to clean it.

How to Clean a Keurig Machine

What you’ll need:

  • Mild dish soap
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Paperclip

Follow these steps to clean your Keurig device:

  1. Remove removable parts: This includes water reservoir, drip tray cover, and K-Cup holder.
  2. Clean parts: Wash removable parts with warm, soapy water.
    • Remove stubborn grounds: Use the toothbrush to remove any remaining debris.
    • Air dry parts or use the microfiber cloth.
  3. Clean needle that punctures K-Cups: Use the paperclip to remove coffee grounds and other debris lodged in the needle.
  4. Clean machine’s exterior: Use a damp microfiber rag to wipe down the machine’s case.
  5. Reassemble machine: Put the removable parts back inside the machine.

Clean your Keurig machine whenever you notice a funky taste with your coffee. Because if that’s the case, then debris may have gotten stuck in certain parts of your Keurig machine.

Descaling your machine will make more of a difference.

How to Descale a Keurig

You should descale your Keurig machine once every 3 months. However, if you brew more than 8 pods daily, you’ll need to descale every 6 to 8 weeks to ensure smooth operation [3].

Descaling a Keurig machine is the process of removing mineral buildup from the machine. This buildup can slow down the brewing process and affect the taste of your coffee. You can descale your Keurig machine using white vinegar or a Keurig Descaling Solution.

Follow these steps to descale it:

  1. Empty your water reservoir and dry it.
  2. Follow one of these steps depending on what route you choose:
    1. Keurig Descaling Solution: Pour an entire bottle of it into your reservoir.
    2. White vinegar: Mix 4 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of water in your water tank.
  3. Activate Descale Mode: This will vary by device, I’ll provide details in a second.
  4. Press the brew button.
  5. Upon completing the brew, pour hot water into the sink.
  6. Repeat brewing until you empty the water tank.
  7. Empty and rinse water reservoir.
  8. Begin rinsing process: varies by machine.

Ensure you don’t add any K-Cups when performing the descaling process.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to begin the descaling and rinsing process by machine [4]:

Activate DescaleActivate Rinsing Mode
K-Supreme models,
K-Slim models, and K-Iced Plus
Press and hold 8- and 12 oz buttons for 3 seconds.When flashing, press the brew button.
K-Express and K-IcedPress and hold 8- and 12 oz buttons for 3 seconds.Press the 12 oz button when flashing.
K-Express Essentials
and K-Iced Essentials
Press and hold 6- and 10 oz buttons for 3 secondsPress the 8 oz button when flashing.
SMART ModelsFollow steps when descale notification appearsPress “begin”
K-Duo ModelsPress OZ/POD buttonKeep refilling the reservoir.
K-Mini and K-Mini PlusPress the BREW button.Keep refilling the reservoir.
K-Classic, K-Café models,
K-Latte, K-Elite, K-Compact, and K-Select
Press the BREW button.Run 12 brews.

If you don’t know what Keurig model you have, you’ll need to find its serial number. We have a guide to help you find its serial number and figure out its model. Check it out.

Did descaling not help? Consider resetting your device.

How to Reset a Keurig Machine

If the device isn’t brewing, reset your Keurig by turning it off, unplugging it for 30 seconds, then plugging it in again. From there, you’d power it on and see if that fixes your current issues.

Hopefully one of these solutions helped.


I provided various solutions to common problems that Keurig machines encounter. However, if after trying the solution, descaling, cleaning, and resetting your machine it still doesn’t work. You will need to contact Keurig’s customer support.

Do you need to know more about Keurig machines? Check out our other guides.

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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