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Keurig Won’t Brew Coffee: 9 things you can try to get it working

If your Keurig won’t brew coffee, it may seem like the end of the world, but fear not: a Keurig that doesn’t brew can usually be fixed with some easy at-home troubleshooting.

So before you decide to pull your hair out whilst crying out to the heavens WHY WON’T MY KEURIG WORK?

Take a deep breath, and relax. The following steps should help solve your Keurig’s brewing troubles.

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 10 oz. Brew Sizes, Rhubarb

Keurig won’t brew: 9 issues and fixes to try

1. Problem: Some parts are not aligned correctly

The first thing you should check is whether everything is where it should be. The Keurig machine is designed in such a way that, when the existing contacts in it fail, the whole system stops functioning.

To check whether this is the cause of your Keurig not brewing, do the following;

  • Unplug the machine from the wall socket
  • Take out the water reservoir and place it back properly. Note that the reservoir has a magnet and that might have been misplaced. This causes the Keurig to power down as it doesn’t sense the presence of water.
  • After ensuring that the water reservoir is well placed, give it another shot. You could just start by trying to run water alone in the first cycle to see what happens.
  • Your coffee maker should start brewing again.
  • If the machine brews but keeps shutting off and on again, then you should confirm that you didn’t set the auto-shutoff feature.

2. Problem: The pump is not working correctly

As we said earlier, the machine working mechanism has been designed in such a way that certain parts must communicate or work in a specific order for it to brew.

The water in the reservoir has to heat first before the pump to elevate it. If this works the other way round, then there is a fault somewhere. Your machine won’t brew.

Here are a few steps for you to try:

  1. Unplug the machine and plug it back
  2. Switch it off and on again
  3. Check the water reservoir and readjust it
  4. Give the burp or spank method a try. This is done over the sink after removing the water reservoir and drip tray. Turn it upside down to pour out as much water as possible. You should then spank it several times so that any coffee grounds can be bumped out of the machine.
  5. Get things back in order then try brewing again

3. Problem: clogged needle(s) due to scale

Did you know that your Keurig has a needle that punctures the K-Cup’s foil lid? These needles get clogged with coffee grounds or minerals in the water.

As a result, your coffee maker won’t brew a full cup or will give no coffee at all.

Follow the following procedure to easily fix this problem:

  1. Descale your Keurig using a mix of water and vinegar. Brew using this mixture, and run a few more cycles with regular water to flush everything out. This should remove any scale from the needle.

If your Keurig machine does not get back to brewing coffee, then you should advance to the next possible fix.

4. Problem: clogged needles due to debris

This is just an extension of what you’ve been doing above but this time around your attention is concentrated somewhere. Have your paper clip tool ready? Do the following

  • Take out the plastic holder that holds the K-cup in the brewer
  • You’ll then see a small metal tube(needle) that pokes a hole into the bottom of the K-cup
  • Using your paper clip, insert it into the tube and try to dislodge any remains of whichever beverage you’ve been brewing
  • As you do so, run water over the tube
  • Next, under the handle lid, you should see a set of tubes that injects water into the K-cups. Use the paper clip to clean all of them as well
  • The next step is to put them back together and then run several cycles of water minus the K-cup

Your machine should have responded the fix and start brewing coffee in normal quantity. You can also read other users tricks at the ifixit website. Be sure to check it out later.

5. Problem: Keurig says brewing but nothing comes out

At times your Keurig may say brewing but nothing comes out. This can be quite puzzling. But there is no need to get troubled. Your coffee maker is either experiencing some mechanical or electrical problems. Do the following;

For an electrical fault – simply unplug the machine then allow it to rest for a short time then plug it back in.

That should have your problem fixed. But if that fails and it continues to power on, then it is a mechanical issue, so move to the next steps.

  • Try running the machine without a pod to see if there is water running. It’s possible that there is a water blockage.
  • Check the puncture needle and ensure it is well cleaned.
  • Next, you might want to descale the machine to ensure that the water sucking tubes are also clean
  • Make sure you follow the proper descaling procedure so as not to miss out on any single step.
  • Run another test to see if the problem is sorted. You should now be able to see the machine do what it says.

6. Problem: The water reservoir is clogged

The bottom of the water reservoir could have debris especially after using the machine for quite a long time. Take out the reservoir then clean the metal mesh by washing it.

Use warm water and soap. Once done and fully dry, place the parts back in place. If there isn’t any other barrier, your machine should get back to work. As simple as that.

7. Problem: The Keurig is pumping water continuously

This is commonly caused by the presence of debris in the water valves. At times it might be a result of scale.

Fix this issue by descaling the machine. Allow it to cool. Remove the water reservoir and clean it thoroughly. Do not forget to clean the needles as well.

8. Problem: There is water leakage

The first reason for this problem is the machine being over-filled. Another possible reason is the use of wrong pods or that debris has clogged around the needle.

To fix this, empty the drip tray and use a cup under the dispenser.

Try brewing a cup of hot water after you’ve added the exact recommended amount of water to the reservoir. The leakage should stop.

9. Problem: You get coffee grounds in your cup

The main reason as to why this happens is because you may be using softened water in your machine.

As a matter of fact, Keurig recommends against the use of softened water.

You should switch to either tap water or filtered water.

To solve this problem, use bottled or tap water to fill the water reservoir. Run multiple cycles without the K-cups in place, which should fix it.

Final thoughts

It’s often hard to diagnose what the specific cause is for your Keurig to not brew, but these 9 problems and solutions are the most common.

Chances are you may have to try one or two solutions before you get the issue solved, but spending a couple of extra minutes tinkering with your machine sure beats having to buy a new machine!

As a safety measure, please be careful with water and electricity. These devices take a large amount of voltage in from the main power line, so if you ever get the machine wet in some way, make sure that it’s completely dry before you use it.

Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of a short circuit and even a fire.

Also, when working on your machine, remember to unplug it from the mains!

In the occasions when you feel that you’ve tried out all the possible tricks and nothing seems to work out for you, then you’ll have to contact Keurig customer care and explain to them what you’re going through.

Do not forget that you’re eligible for a replacement provided you’re still within the time frame of your machine’s warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you reset a Keurig?

Most older Keurig machines don’t have a proper reset button, so to reset it, turn it off, empty (and remove) the water reservoir, and leave it unplugged for a couple of hours. Then put it back together and you should be good to go.

Does a Keurig have a reset button?

Newer Keurigs with digital displays can be hard reset. Press the small mug and medium mug buttons together, and release them, then immediately press the menu button 3 times. The clock should read 6:09. Press menu one more time and the clock should go to 0:00. Press and hold the medium mug button, and keeping it pressed down, press the menu button once. While still holding medium mug, press and hold small mug button, and let go of them both at once. That should reset the machine.

Last update on 2021-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.