One of the things that can definitely ruin your morning routine is a problem with your coffee maker. Unless you’re a technician, this means that you probably won’t be able to get your caffeine fix. This can happen with any coffee maker, even the hugely popular Keurig brewers. So – how to fix a Keurig machine then?
The two main solutions to the most common problems associated with Keurig coffee makers are:
- Descale the machine by running equal parts of vinegar and water
Note: Insert a used pod if your Keurig unit won’t start without one!
- Turn the machine off, unplug it and then plug it back (you can even try with a different power outlet)
And if all fails, simply go ahead and call Keurig’s customer support at 1-866-901-BREW (2739).
However, you might need a more specific method for fixing your Keurig brewer.
The methods listed below will probably work in most cases since the culprit is typically some sort of clogging – debris, mineral buildup or even air bubbles!
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most common Keurig issues that you can stumble upon and how to fix them!
Table of Contents
How to Fix a Keurig That Won’t Brew? [+ How to Fix 5 Other Common Problems]
Failing to brew coffee is arguably the most common issue when it comes to Keurig units.
Remember that if you’ve recently used your Keurig unit you’ll have to wait for at least 30 mins prior to applying any of our quick fixes mentioned below so that the machine cools down!
So we’ve singled out 5 major causes for this problem and what you can do about each of them!
Disclaimer – Some of the methods mentioned below aren’t officially recommended by Keurig!
If you’re concerned about the warranty of the coffee maker or just unsure about fixing it yourself – then calling the customer support is always a safe bet!
1. When Your Keurig Refuses To Turn On
That’s every coffee lover’s nightmare – your coffee maker will not turn on, no matter how many times you push the precious power button.
Thankfully, dealing with this dreaded issue might be easier than you think!
The Quick Fix
- Unplug the brewer
- Leave it unplugged for 5 minutes
- Plug the machine back in the power outlet
- Press the “On” button and hold for about 5 seconds to flush any water in the dispensing line
- Unplug it once more
- Plut it back
- Turn your Keurig unit on
If none of this helps then try to use a different power outlet, just to be sure.
Eventually, you might want to call customer support!
2. When Your Keurig Won’t Brew Coffee
Okay, so your Keurig unit is On but it simply doesn’t want to brew any coffee…
Here are the most possible reasons and the best solutions!
Possible Reason #1 – Clogged dispensing line
Depending on the water that you brew with debris such as coffee grounds may build up inside your Keurig.
For example, the tubes and/or puncture needle can become clogged with debris.
This will most likely be the case if you’ve been using the machine to brew coffee on a regular basis for a few months already.
In this case, debris built up might be the reason why your Keurig isn’t brewing.
Quick Fix #1 – The good old smack (unclogging the system)
You won’t see Keurig officially recommending this method but it has helped plenty of people out there so feel free to give it a try:
- Unplug your Keurig unit from the wall
- Detach the water reservoir
- Stand over a sink since water and other debris might come out of the machine
- Turn the Keurig brewer upside down
- Give it a few good smacks (don’t hit it too hard though)
It’s worth pointing out that sometimes it can take up to 5 (or even more) smacks to loosen anything that’s clogging the system.
Quick Fix #2 – Unclog the overflow spout
IMPORTANT: If you have a Keurig 2.0 brewer then you simply skip this step and change your water filter instead!
- Turn off your Keurig unit
- Unplug it from the electrical outlet
- Remove the water tank cover to expose the spout
- Turn your Keurig machine upside down
- Put a regular straw (or canned air with a straw) over the overflow spout
- Hold the contact point between the straw and the spout tightly
- Start blowing air (or spraying the canned air) as hard as you can
Hopefully, this should be enough to unclog the tube.
Quick Fix #3 – Clean the puncture needle
- Open the K-Cup holder and remove it (if it’s detachable)
- Get a straightened paper clip or toothpick to clean the needle openings
- Switch to using a dry cotton ball (be careful not to cut yourself on the needle!) and continue cleaning
- Use cotton swabs to remove debris from the corners of your K-Cup holder
Quick Fix #4 – Clean the dispense nozzle
- Turn the Keurig brewer on its top (or on its side if that works better for you)
- Get a paperclip and straighten it or alternatively use a toothpick
- Insert the paperclip or toothpick in each hole where the coffee comes out of
- Clean each hole by using rotating motions
Possible Reason #2 – Scale buildup
Depending on the water that you’re using to make coffee with, calcium might buildup in your Keurig brewer.
That’s why the official instruction manual calls for regular descaling procedures – this is something that you are supposed to do… regularly.
But what if you’ve been using the machine for several months already without descaling it even once?
Well, the calcium scaling might accumulate inside the brewer and that could very well be why it won’t brew any java.
The Quick Fix – Descale the Keurig machine:
- Empty the K-Cup pods holder (or add a used one if the machine won’t start without one)
- Fill the water tank to the max with a 50:50 (i.e. equal parts) water-vinegar solution (or just use a professional coffee machine descaler )
- Start brewing as you normally would
- Brew as much as needed until the water reservoir is empty
- Once emptied, remove the water tank and rinse it with water
- Fill the water tank to the max line with fresh water
- Brew until the water reservoir is empty
3. Your Keurig Switches Off On Its Own
So, you’re brewing a nice cup of Joe in your fancy Keurig machine and all of a sudden it turns off.
It’s most likely a very minor and simple thing that needs fixing.
Possible Reason #1 – The Auto-Off function
Most Keurig coffee makers tend to go into a power-saving mode (i.e. the Auto-Off) function if they’ve been idle for 2 hours.
The only exception is the Keurig Mini that switches off after only 90 seconds after the last brew.
Regardless, if you’re unaware of this feature you might freak out and think that your Keurig is broken.
Well – it could just be going into “sleep” mode it sits idle for long enough!
The Quick Fix – Disable the Auto-Off feature
Keurig K-Classic (K55, K50)
- Press the black “Auto-Off” button (only if the green light next to this button is on)
- Start pressing the “Menu” button until you see the “Set ON time” sub-menu
- Go to the “OFF time” option
- Press the left arrow until you see the “OFF” option
- Switch the brewer off (but don’t unplug it from the wall)
- Press the “10 oz.” and “Strong” buttons simultaneously and hold them for 3 secs
- The green light next to “Auto-Off” should switch off
- Turn on the machine again – the “Auto-Off” is now disabled
- Touch the “Menu” button twice to display the “Auto OFF” sub-menu
- Start pressing the blue button until you get to the “OFF” option
Note: The blue button is right under the blinking H letter
- Switch the Keurig brewer off (don’t unplug it)
- Press the “10 oz. Large Mug” and “Strong” buttons simultaneously and hold for 3 secs
- The green light near the “Auto-Off” button should disappear
- Switch your Keurig brewer on – “Auto-Off” is now disabled
Possible Reason #2 – Dislodged water reservoir magnet
When your Keurig unit is brewing you’ll notice that it vibrates.
These vibrations might eventually dislodge the magnet that holds the water tank in place.
And when this happens, the brewing process gets interrupted.
The Quick Fix – Re-attach the reservoir
- Detach the water tank
- Put it back on by ensuring that the magnet comes in contact with the brewer properly
- Resume brewing
4. Your Keurig Machine Is Leaking
It’s never a good thing to notice that your Keurig brewer is leaking.
This is a serious issue that you shouldn’t neglect, so you better fix it sooner rather than later.
Possible Reason #1 – Leaking water reservoir
When your coffee maker is leaking from the bottom, it’s most likely a problem with the water reservoir.
The best way to see if the water tank is leaking is to fill it with water and hold it over the sink to see if it leaks.
The Quick Fix – Buy a new water tank
- You can purchase a replacement water reservoir for both
Classic Keurig brewers and Keurig 2.0 brewers
Possible Reason #2 – Missing rubber gasket seal
For whatever reason, the gasket seal in your Keurig might go missing.
Subsequently, this will result in leakage.
The Quick Fix – Buy a new one (alternatively – replace it with an earbud tip)
- Get one of those small silicone earbud tips
- Stick the earbud tip right on the puncture needle
Possible Reason #3 – Displaced rubber gasket seal
The rubber gasket seal on the puncture needle might become displaced if, for example, you’ve pushed it by accident.
This will eventually result in a messy leakage that might even include ground coffee from the K-Cups leaking out.
The Quick Fix – Re-adjust the gasket seal
- Open the K-Cup holder
- Carefully grab the small rubber gasket seal
- Pull it down slowly and gently (about 1/4 of an inch)
5. When Your Keurig Doesn’t Brew Enough Coffee
All of a sudden your Keurig brewer might start making less coffee than it should.
This is not okay as you won’t be able to enjoy a full cup of Joe.
Possible Reason – Clogged water lines
If the water lines in your Keurig are clogged, then you won’t be getting as much coffee when brewing.
The Quick Fix – Run a few water-only brewing cycles
- Fill the reservoir with fresh water
- Run several brewing cycles with water only (don’t insert a K-Cup)
Note: If your Keurig won’t brew unless there’s a K-Cup inside, then just insert a used one.
- Open the K-Cup holder
- Try cleaning the puncture needle to remove any remaining debris and ground coffee
6. When Your Keurig Starts Brewing “Bleh” Coffee
Unfortunately, sometimes your Keurig might start brewing coffee with a less desirable taste.
So if you’ve been making java with the same K-Cup brand and type, then your brewer might suffer from scale buildup.
This is inevitable, especially if you can’t always brew coffee using filtered water.
Possible Reason – Scale buildup
Calcium scaling is what typically happens when you haven’t descaled your Keurig machine in a while (months).
Unless your model has a built-in descaling warning, then your best bet would be to descale your machine every 3 months.
The Quick Fix – Descale your Keurig brewer
- Empty the K-Cup holder
Note: Put a used K-Cup if your machine won’t start otherwise.
- Fill the water reservoir to the max line with a equal parts of water and vinegar (or even better – get a professional coffee maker descaler )
- Start brewing as you’d make coffee
- Brew until the water tank is empty
- Once emptied, remove the reservoir and rinse it with water
- Fill the water reservoir with fresh water
- Brew until the water tank is empty
How to Properly Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker?
Cleaning your Keurig brewer on a regular basis ensures that it’ll keep serving you for longer – here’s how to do it!
Things You’ll Need:
- Microfiber cloth (or a simple piece of dry cloth)
- White vinegar (or a proper descaling solution )
Here’s How To Clean Your Keurig:
- Unplug your Keurig brewer from the wall
- Detach the K-Cup holder, water tank, mug stand and the lid
- Start washing each part using soapy water, preferably warmer
- Leave them aside to dry
- Grab the microfiber cloth and start wiping the surface of the brewer while mainly focusing on the area next to the K-Cup holder
- Re-assemble the machine by putting all the (now clean) parts back on
- Plug your Keurig unit back to the electrical socket
- Fill half of the water tank with white vinegar or a descaler
- Fill the remaining half with fresh water
- Run enough brew cycles to empty the water reservoir
Note: Don’t insert a K-Cup or use an old one if your machine won’t brew otherwise.
- Fill the water reservoir with fresh water
- Brew using only the water in the reservoir until it’s empty
- Your Keurig is now clean and ready to brew awesome coffee!
Another very important thing worth mentioning is that even Keurig recommends descaling your coffee maker every 3-6 months.
However, what they don’t recommend is filling the water reservoir with distilled or softened water.
Instead, they recommend going for spring or even bottled water as this is apparently what works best with Keurig brewers.
What Would Cause My Keurig to Stop Working?
The common reasons for a Keurig brewer to stop functioning are:
- Clogged dispensing lines
- Scale buildup
However – we’ve already covered how to fix each of these issues in great detail.
Still, here’s a quick summary…
How to deal with a clogged dispensing line:
- Give the machine a few smacks
- Clean the needle
- Unclog the overflow spout
- Clean the dispensing nozzle
How to deal with scale buildup:
- Descale your machine using a 50:50 water-vinegar mixture
How Do I Reset My Keurig?
There are two main methods for resetting your Keurig unit so feel free to use whichever works for you.
- Switch off the machine
- Unplug the brewer from the wall
- Wait 5 secs
- Press the Power button and keep holding it
- Now plug the brewer back into the power outlet (while still holding the Power button)
- Start brewing as you would normally
- Repeat the entire process if necessary
- Remove the water tank
- Unplug your Keurig from the outlet
- Wait for 5 secs
- Plug the coffee maker back
- Fill the water reservoir and re-attach it
- Start pressing the Menu button until Menu pops at the lower part of the screen
- Continue brewing coffee as per usual
Can a Keurig be Repaired?
Not really – Keurig machines aren’t built with repair in mind.
In fact, Keurig only offers a handful of official replacement parts such as reservoirs, drip trays and filter baskets.
If you’re looking for a mechanical spare part or something related to the electronics in your Keurig then I’ll be the bringer of bad news…
You won’t find any official ones.
Remember that Keurig units are jam-packed with electronics so you’d have to dispose of them at an e-waste drop off point.
So if none of our quick fixes help and/or the customer service is of no use – your best bet would be to buy a new machine.
How to Store a Keurig Brewer?
Ideally, you’d want to store your Keurig machine at room temperature in a dark and dry place.
This is done to avoid any potential moisture and the subsequent formation of mold or mildew.
And here’s how to preserve the life of your brewer properly if you’re not going to be using it for more than 2 days:
- Turn your Keurig unit off but don’t unplug it
- Lower the main (cold) water tank lid
- Put a coffee mug on the drip tray
- Press the Brew button and hold for up to 5 seconds
- Wait it until all the water remaining in the system is drained into the cup
This will empty the hot water reservoir inside your Keurig brewer.
Emptying the cold water reservoir (the main one) isn’t enough to remove all water from the brewer’s system!
That’s essential if you won’t be using your machine anytime soon to avoid any mold buildup.
Hopefully, thanks to this post we managed to put the How to Fix a Keurig dilemma to bed.
Whether your Keurig unit won’t turn on, brew coffee or even turn off on its own, we’ve provided several neat quick fixes that you can try yourself.
But if nothing helps, then you’d have to call Keurig’s customer support at 1-866-901-BREW (2739).
Note that their customer service team works 24/7 so you can call them any time you want.
Now – have you personally experienced any problems with your Keurig brewer?
And have you ever tried to fix the machine yourself or you prefer getting in touch with Keurig?
Drop your answer in the comments below!
Did somebody say coffee? Two shots of espresso for me, thanks. Oh, nevermind – I’m Simon, nice to e-meet you, dear CoffeeLifior! I like to write, drink coffee and I believe in Jesus. Highly-caffeinated drinks are my thing, but you can occasionally see me sip on decaf (my wife never finishes her coffee). Speaking of which, I’m off to grab another cup of caffeinated goodness now, laters!
Last update on 2021-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API