Keurig Troubleshooting: How To Fix Your Keurig Problems When It’s Not Working Properly

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Having trouble with your Keurig coffee brewer or Keurig 2.0 Carafe? Below are the 19 most common Keurig Troubleshooting issues and how to fix them.

Table of Contents

Keurig Coffee Brewers are very popular and are consistently ranked as some of the best coffee makers available on the market today. They are known to be highly durable and efficient. With proper care, you’ll see your Keurig last a very long time.

That said, like all machines, they still require regular maintenance and care. Luckily, most of the issues you’ll come across can be easily remedied. 

mug with facepalm image

In this article, we’ll address the common issues, the reasons they happen, and how to fix them. 

See Also: Time For a New Keurig Coffee Machine? Check Out The Latest Keurig Coffee Brewers Here

Common Keurig Coffee Maker Problems and How to Fix Them

Issue 1: Keurig Not Working or Shuts Off

Approximately 10% of the Keurig owners have come across this issue and have reached out to the customer service for troubleshooting assistance. With 1 in 10 people facing this issue, it’s a very common problem. So, it’s something we’ll go over in detail in this troubleshooting guide. 

Reason: This is an obvious one, but one that is worth mentioning–make sure your machine is plugged in and you press the power button for at least 90 seconds! Assuming the coffee maker has power, it could be the type of water you are using to fill your water reservoir. 

If you are using well water or other types of unfiltered water for brewing coffee, it’s likely that minerals like Calcium are more heavily present in your water. Calcium running through the pipes of your coffee maker will cause calcium deposits to create calcium buildup inside. 

Calcium deposits, or other types of debris buildups found in water, can create blockages and cause your machine to stop working. While this sounds bad, it’s actually an easy fix that will not require you to contact Keurig for a repairman. 

How to fix it: Follow the steps below to get your Keurig coffee maker back up and running smoothly in no time.

  • First, try running your coffee maker with several clean water brew cycles (no K-Cups inside) and see if that gets rid of the debris and mineral deposits. If not, it likely means there is a scale buildup in your Keurig machine. This is from repeated exposure to Calcium, iron or other minerals in the water. 
  • To fix a scale buildup, remove the water reservoir and the water filter. Fill the water reservoir with half vinegar, half cold water solution. Run your brew cycle, but shut off the machine before it starts to pour. This will allow the solution to get into the inner workings of the machine. Let it soak for 30 minutes before turning it back on and starting a brew cycle. To get rid of vinegar smell and taste, run a couple of cycles using just fresh cold water.
  • Cleaning and descaling your coffee maker is something you should do on a regular basis before the issues arise. If you own the Keurig mini, you’ll likely need to clean it more often than the larger models.

Note: Using a vinegar-water solution may void your Keurig warranty.

  • If this didn’t work, another thing to check is the dispensing line. For this, you need to first turn off and unplug the machine. Then, use a paper clip to clear out any coffee ground buildup in the line.
  • You could also try using a straw to blow air in your coffee machine’s line to clean it that way.

Issue 2: Keurig Won’t Brew Coffee

The main job of your coffee maker is to brew a perfect cup of coffee, right? What do you do when your unit stops brewing coffee altogether?

This is another common question that Keurig Customer Service receives every day. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of the most common problems and how to fix a Keurig. 

Reason: The most common reason for a Keurig not brewing coffee is once again, a buildup of debris or calcium deposits. 

If you use non filtered water that contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, etc. then scale buildup is probably the issue. 

If that isn’t the reason your Keurig stopped working other culprits could be: 

  • Air bubbles in your Keurig coffee brewer
  • Machine parts are not properly fitted or sealed together
  • Keurig is not getting enough warm-up time to heat the water 

How to fix it: Let’s look at each of the possible solutions below. 

Clean your Keurig 

  • One of the easiest and most common fixes for your Keurig brewing process problems is just to clean it properly. This will get rid of any dirt and debris that has been accumulating inside the machine.
  • To do, remove the water reservoir and refill it with clean filtered cold water and then run the full cycle a couple of times back-to-back. This will help to dislodge anything stuck inside.

Descale your Keurig Coffee Brewer

  • If simply flushing your coffee maker (running a brew cycle to dispense water only) doesn’t work, chances are that the inside of your machine has scale calcium buildup from hard water. In such a situation, you need to descale your brewer with the help of a vinegar-water solution. See the “How to fix it” section from Issue 1 for full details.

Get Rid of Air Bubbles

Sometimes air get stuck in the supply line. To remedy this issue, you need to first switch off and unplug the machine. Fill the water reservoir with clean water to the brim and then gently shake the whole machine. This should help get rid of the air that might have been trapped in your coffee makers. 

Check for the Proper Machine Part Placement

  • For safety reasons, your machine parts need to be fully locked in place in order for the Keurig to work. Especially after moving or cleaning your Keurig, it’s easy for parts to be improperly placed or not completely sealed.
  • So, check that all the brewer components are properly attached and sealed. It might be worth removing parts and then putting them back in place just to ensure everything is correct. This is one of the most common problems according to the Keurig 2.0 manual. It needs to be aligned properly in order for the machine to start.

Allow Keurig Sufficient Time to Heat Water

  • Of course, we all want our coffee ready NOW! But in reality, the machine needs time to heat the water sufficiently before it moves through the brewer. If you don’t allow for proper heating time, the brewer will be unable to brew and dispense coffee.
  • Also be sure that you provide it with enough time to complete the reheat cycle after you brew, especially before shutting it off. 

Issue 3: Keurig Won’t Turn On

If you’ve had your device for a while or if you’re a new Keurig customer and it’s not turning on, it can be pretty upsetting. You may assume the machine is a dud, but don’t worry! We’ve got the most common issues and how to fix them below. 

Reason: The most common reason for Keurig not to turn on is that either the machine is not plugged in properly or it has loose connections. Both of these problems can be easily troubleshooted. So, you won’t need the help of a repairman or need to contact Keurig.

How to fix it: Let’s go through this Keurig troubleshooting checklist step-by-step to ensure you don’t miss anything.

  • First, check if the machine is properly plugged in. Be sure to check the connection at both the machine point and the wall point. Press and hold the power button for a minimum of 90 seconds to see if it turns on. 
  • Next, make sure you have power running to that socket. If you have any ‘half-hot’ outlets in your kitchen you may need to flip certain light switches on. 
  • If that doesn’t work, try moving the machine to a different outlet to see if the outlet is the issue. If it turns on in the new location, you know the socket was the problem.
  • Also, check if your device’s water reservoir is correctly in place. If not, the machine will not turn on. Check to see if it is properly secured in place using the magnetic contacts. If you have the Keurig 2.0 Carafe, make sure the Carafe is properly aligned.
  • If all of the above steps fail to turn on your machine, check for damage to the unit. Unplug your machine and check for any frayed or loose wiring. Make sure that your power cord is fully intact and that there is no loose connection.

Issue 4: Keurig Abruptly Shut Off During Brew Cycle

Another one of the common problems that users come across is having their device randomly shut off in the middle of a brew cycle. 

Reason: This is most likely caused by a loss of connection between the machine parts. Also, some Keurig machines also include a timer function which if set incorrectly, could cause the abrupt stop. 

How to fix it: First, make sure that all the parts are correctly locked in place. The water reservoir in particular often gets dislodged after refilling. Another common one is the Keurig 2.0 Carafe not being exactly in place.

If your Keurig model has a timer feature, such as the Keurig Elite, it’s possible you’re trying to brew during a time you have designated for the coffee maker to shut off automatically. To fix this, you’ll need to adjust your settings. Follow the instructions in your user manual to locate and change the auto-off feature to ‘off’ position. 

Issue 5: Keurig Not Heating Properly

Unless you’re making an iced coffee, you want your coffee HOT, right? If your brew is coming out warm or even cold, here’s how to fix it. 

Reason: If your Keurig coffee brewer is dispensing water but not heating it, then the heating mechanism of your Keurig machine might not be working properly. Here are a few reasons why this might be happening:

  • The water pump of your machine is malfunctioning.
  • The Keurig’s heating mechanism is getting overheated due to being pumped improperly. 
  • The water line is clogged with dried coffee grounds or other dirt or debris, causing the Keurig to malfunction and not complete it’s brewing cycle.

How to fix it: First, try pressing the power button and turning the machine off and then turning it back on again. Make sure you allow enough time for it to complete the reheat cycle.  If your coffee maker still doesn’t heat up, then try resetting your water reservoir, making sure it’s properly sealed and then restart the machine again by shutting it off and back on again with the power button. 

Also make sure there is enough water in the water reservoir so that the machine has something to warm up. If this doesn’t help, the water pump or the water line could be clogged or damaged. 

If you haven’t flushed or descaled your Keurig coffee maker recently, try that. Just don’t forget to put a coffee cup under the machine before you start–trust us! Refer back to the “how to fix it” of Issue 1 for full instructions on how to descale your machine

Issue 6: Keurig is Not Brewing Full Cups of Coffee

Over time, your Keurig machine might start dispensing half a cup or less of the expected full amount of coffee. This issue is very common and one that isn’t any sort of technical problem. No need to contact Keurig Customer Service on this one!

Reason: Each time you brew a K-Cup, this is an exit needle that punctures the cup so that water can be dispensed through it. Over time, the puncture needle gets covered in coffee grounds and/or mineral deposits which makes it harder for them to do their job. 

How to fix it: The remedy to this problem is to give your machine a good thorough cleaning. Start by taking out each of the removable parts and washing them with soap and water. Don’t neglect the drip tray! Next, put everything back together and flush the system by doing a couple of brew cycles that only dispense water. Now try again and if the issue is fixed, you’ll get a full cup of coffee this time.

If that doesn’t work, refer back to the “how to fix it” section of Issue 1 for tips on how to descale your brewer.

Issue 7: Keurig is Stuck in Preheating Mode

If you’ve started your brew cycle and your machine is stuck in preheating mode for longer than normal, you may have an issue with the water nozzle. 

Reason: There could be an obstruction in the water nozzle not allowing water to pass through.

How to fix it: If you want to clear the water nozzle of your coffee maker, you have two options. Purchase the accessory tool made by Keurig that is specifically formatted to clean out this part, or DIY! 

To do it yourself, you’ll first need to find a long needle, skewer or simply unbend paper clip. Next, push the item into the holes beside the pod needles gently to dislodge the obstruction.

Be careful while doing this because the water inside the machine could be hot. We’d recommend you unplug the machine and let the water cool down before trying to fix it. This area also contains puncture needles which are very sharp. Keep your fingers away from the exit needle.

If that doesn’t work, you can also try using a straw to suck or blow out the obstruction but again, this could be dangerous, so use caution here. 

You can also try to override the preheating state by adding more water to the water reservoir but this is more likely to be a temporary fix. 

Issue 8: Keurig is Producing Weak Coffee

Are you having trouble with your coffee strength? It could be as simple as using the wrong coffee grounds!

Reason: Many users use coffee grounds meant for drip coffee in their K-cup filter, mistakenly thinking it’s the same thing. However, the size of the ground coffee beans for drip and for a standard Keurig K-Cup differ greatly. 

How to fix it: Not surprisingly, this is an easy and simple solution. If you are using your own coffee inside of a K-Cup filter, you’ll need to select a coarser grind. 

Other things to keep in mind are the types of roast and the brew temperature. If you like strong coffee, select a darker roast. For the best taste, you want your water temperature between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you’re letting the Keurig coffee maker heat up completely. 

Additionally, if you have a model with a strong button as a feature, you should definitely use it. This feature slows down the brewing process to allow more time for the coffee to infuse with the water. Also, be sure to use a smaller cup size if you want a stronger brew, because the more water you push through the grounds, the more watered down it will become.

Issue 9: Keurig is Locked and Will Not Allow a Descale

If you are receiving the descale message but the machine has locked up and will not let you descale, here’s what you need to do. 

Reason: If the buildup caused by dirt, minerals or other debris is too deeply lodged in the machine, the Keurig machine will not function properly.

How to fix it: First, unplug the machine and let everything cool down for 20 minutes. Once cool, remove the reservoir and dump out the water. Continue to remove the other removable parts, including the drip tray, and clean everything thoroughly with soap and water.  

Before you reassemble your machine, carefully flip it over so it’s upside down. This will be a bit harder with the large Keurig Elite, so maybe get someone to help you. Gently tap and shake the machine to hopefully use gravity to dislodge the worst parts of the buildup. 

Once that is done, reassemble everything and follow the instructions under the “How to fix it” section of issue to fully descale your machine. 

Issue 10: Keurig Dispensing Coffee With Coffee Grounds

Gross. Nothing ruins a perfect cup of coffee more quickly than a mouthful of coffee grinds! If you see excess coffee grounds in your coffee cup, here’s what you need to know.

Reason: There are several reasons that could cause this issue.

Over time, the needles that puncture the K-Cups can get caked in coffee grinds. This is especially common if you brew pods that contain sugar, such as hot chocolate or sweetened coffees. 

If you are using a K-Cup filter, it could also be that you haven’t sealed the pod correctly and some of the grounds are spilling out. If you’ve used the wrong coffee ground or overfill of the K-cup, this could also be the cause.

How to fix it: If the issue isn’t with the coffee grounds themselves or the K-Cup filter being improperly sealed or overfilled, you’ll need to clean the exit needle area. Refer to the “How to fix it” section of Issue 7 for full details on cleaning this area. Grab your trusty paper clip and you’ll be back to a coffee ground free coffee cup in no time.

Issue 11: Keurig Produces Weird Tasting Coffee

If you’re using the same coffee pods day after day and you notice it suddenly tastes different, it’s worth reading the details below.

Reason: Assuming you haven’t recently changed flavors and you simply don’t like the new one, there are several other causes to consider.

The most common reason for weird tasting coffee is caused by a buildup of scale inside the machine. Or, if you’ve recently descaled your machine, that could be the problem. The taste could be altered by the solution you’ve used to clean the coffee maker. Vinegar and coffee definitely don’t mix! 

How to fix it: Don’t worry, this is another easy fix. If you haven’t descaled your machine recently, it’s time to do so. Follow the instructions from “How to fix it” under Issue 1 for full details. 

If you have recently descaled, remove the reservoir, dump the water and let them sit for a few minutes. Next, fill the water reservoir with fresh, clean, hot water. Run a few cycles with just water to remove the traces of vinegar or other solutions from the internal system. 

Issue 12: Keurig’s ‘Add Water’ Display is Malfunctioning

Your Keurig is telling you to add water, but the water reservoir is already full! What’s going on?

Reason: This issue often occurs if you are using something other than filtered water in your Keurig. The water filter inside the unit cannot remove calcium or iron efficiently. It could also be because the machine is not able to determine the water level in the water reservoir correctly. 

How to fix it: If you’re using the correct type of water, then it is most likely that the Keurig machine is not able to read the water level properly. This could be because the water reservoir float that should be on the water surface is jammed at the bottom… So, you will need to get the float back in the correct position. You may need to restart the machine to get it to recognize that the float is in place.

Issue 13: Keurig is Not Dispensing Coffee

If your machine turns on, but will not dispense coffee, read on.

Reason: There are two common reasons for this issue: electrical or mechanical. Electrical issues occur due to loose connections or overheating and can be fixed quite easily. If it’s mechanical, it’s likely that the Keurig machine is clogged somewhere inside. This will not allow it to complete it’s brewing cycle.

How to fix it: If it is an electrical issue then you simply need to unplug the machine, let it sit for a few minutes, and then re-plug in the machine. A lot of times a simple reset can help in getting your Keurig coffee unit to work again. Ensure that all parts are connected properly and fully.

If this doesn’t help, it may be clogged up somewhere inside. Try running a cycle with just water and no coffee pod. If it works and water comes out, you’ll need to clean the needle area. Grab your trusty paper clip and refer back to the “How to fix it” section of Issue 7.

Of course, if you haven’t cleaned or descaled your machine recently,  refer to the “How to fix it” section of Issue 1 for further details on how to do this.

Issue 14: Keurig is Continuously Pumping Water

This issue is an easy one to spot because it’s pretty loud. You’ll want to deal with this issue immediately as it could cause leaks if it’s left unattended. 

Reason: The Keurig tends to continuously pump water only if there is scale buildup inside or if there is debris clogging in the tubes and the valves inside the unit. This results in the valves being stuck open, not triggering the water to stop pumping. 

How to fix it: However, you can fix this issue by simply cleaning and descaling your unit. Refer back to the “How to fix it” section of Issue 1 for full details. 

Issue 15: Keurig is Leaking Water

The last thing you want to deal with is a machine that leaks. If you are noticing water in or around your machine, it could be a leak. 

Reason: One of the most prominent reasons for a Keurig machine leaking water is an overfilled water reservoir. This is especially easy to do if you have a Keurig mini. The Keurig mini is much more difficult to assess water levels, so be conscious of that. The second most common reason is that customers are using an incorrect sized pod. So, the machine is not properly able to seal the pod when brewing. If these reasons are not the case, then you’re likely looking at a blocked or dirty needle area. 

How to fix it: If you’ve got the correct amount of water and are using the correct size of pod, you’ll need to clean the needle area. Grab your trusty paper clip and refer to the “How to fix it” section of Issue 7 for full details.

Issue 16: Keurig is Making Excessive Noise

Is your machine suddenly making a lot more noise than it used to? Don’t call and wait in line for Keurig Customer Service, you can fix this yourself.

Reason: This is typically caused by–you guessed it–a clog or scale buildup somewhere in the system which will screw up the brewing cycle. This causes the Keurig to work harder than it needs to, producing excess noise.

How to fix it: You can fix this issue by simply thoroughly cleaning and descaling your unit. Refer back to the “How to fix it” section of Issue 1 for full details. 

Going forward, make sure that you use only filtered water with low iron and mineral contents in your Keurig machine.

Issue 17: Keurig 2.0 Carafe Not Working

Those of you who have bought Keurig 2.0 Carafe or special edition Carafe, this is for you! If you are not able to get the machine to brew into the coffee pot, you’re not alone. This is a common troubleshooting problem that causes individuals to contact Keurig Customer Service all the time. 

Reason: The Carafe holds up to 4 cups of coffee and because of this large size, it’s been designed to only allow the Keurig to dispense coffee if it’s properly in place. So, if it is not properly aligned, the machine won’t work.

Another thing to check is to make sure you are using the K-Cups specifically designed for the Keurig 2.0 Carafe. The K-Cup holder is designed to accommodate both. If you are not using the right size, this would also cause the machine to stop working.

How to fix it: Make sure the Carafe is properly aligned to the dispensing portion of the Keurig machine. Be sure to only use the correct K-Cups that are made for this Carafe.

Issue 18: Keurig Says Prime Error Message

If you’re seeing the error message ‘Prime’, it might not immediately be obvious what your machine is trying to tell you, so a lot of customers contact Keurig for this one. This is not reserved for only special edition machines. It’s a common message that we hearable for those who own the Keurig 2.0 Carafe.

Reason: The Prime error message shows up when the internal water reservoir is unable to pull from the external reservoir, for one reason or another. 

How to fix it: The first thing that you need to check is that all the parts are properly aligned, especially the water reservoir and the K-Cup holder. Remove your water reservoir and lock it back into position using the magnetic contacts. If that doesn’t clear the error, make sure that all other parts are properly aligned. Also that no components are loose or improperly sealed.

Issue 19: Keurig Overheated and Won’t Turn On

You may experience issues with your Keurig getting too hot. If this occurs, the machine may not turn on as usual. Not only can this be annoying, but can be a potential hazard if it is truly overheating. Below are some possible reasons and fixes for the issue.

Reason: Some possible reasons for a Keurig overheating is running the machine with an empty reservoir, something may be wrong with electrical components, dirt and grime buildup, and excessive usage. Also, there may be a blockage in the water filter.

How to fix it: For a step-by-step troubleshooting guide on this particular issue, check out our post on What To Do When Your Keurig Overheated and Won’t Turn On. But if you are short on time, try the following. First, unplug the machine and give it time to cool off. Also try to run water through without a k cup. Then, check the water filter and clean the dispensing line. Also, try descaling or running vinegar through the system. After that, try resetting your Keurig.