Keurig Won’t Brew: Troubleshooting Guide

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Keurig machines are supposed to simplify brewing. But what happens when your Keurig won’t brew? You are stuck staring at a machine that promised you the world and in one short moment failed you entirely. I’m sure we have all been there, in complete disappointment.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are potential problems but there are also solutions. We are going to go over these so that you can get that coffee back brewing fast.

Most solutions are super simple, it’s just knowing what to do next.

Disclaimer: We prefer to brew with the Pour Over method.

How the Keurig Works

The Keurig is a single-serve pod maker that requires the coffee-filled pod to be inserted into a holder and water is allowed to pass through it. Small sharp pins are used to pierce the bottom of the pod to allow the water in. You really don’t have to do much except put the pod in and press brew.

That’s what makes Keurig brewers so great. They are simple, easy, and fast. They also let two different people brew back to back with different flavor pods so you aren’t stuck sharing a pot of coffee you don’t both enjoy.

Troubleshooting Methods

Start with a Reset

Just like with most electronics, all it may need is a simple reset. To do this you will follow these steps.

  • Turn it off and Unplug the brewer
  • Remove the water tank and wait a few minutes
  • Plug it back in
  • Attach the water tank
  • Open and close the K-cup holder

Do a Deep Clean

This is called descaling. Descaling is removing all the mineral build-up that occurs from the contaminants in your water. If you don’t clean your machine on a regular basis, you will notice your coffee tasting worse over time.

To perform a descale:

  • Turn off brewer
  • Add the descale solution
  • Add water to the tank
  • Turn the brewer on and press the button to brew (with a mug under it of course)
  • Pour out the contents of the mug
  • Repeat until the add water light comes on and let the machine sit for 30 minutes.

Clogged Needle

When the needles get clogged by grounds on your Keurig it can produce a short cup. To fix this problem you will follow these steps:

  • Make sure the water tank is positioned correctly
  • Try to brew a cup and see if it’s fixed, if not remove the water filter (if there is one) and rinse.
  • Then run a cycle without a pod. If this fixes it, good. If not…
  • Unplug the brewer and clean the entrance and exit needle. BE CAREFUL- NEEDLES ARE SHARP!
  • Try another brew without the pod to see if it’s fixed. If not, call customer service (1-866-901-2739).

Clean the Water Reservoir

Most Keurig owners have no idea they need to clean out the water tank. Just because it only holds water doesn’t mean it can’t get dirty. Think of all the debris and sediment that could potentially be in there.

To clean:

  • Drain the reservoir and rinse the filter
  • You can clean the inside out with soap and water (this should unclog any debris)

Check the Water Reservoir

A lot of problems can be solved by just making sure the tank is seated correctly. The reservoirs are held on by magnets and it can be easy for them to get off track.

If the Keurig Cuts Off on its Own

First, check to see if there is a timer that has been set by accident.

Second, check the reservoir. Vibrations from brewing can make it lose and cause it to shut off.

If your Keurig Leaks

It can be pretty aggravating to have a water leak on your countertop. It’s likely that if it’s coming from your Keurig, then its cause is a gasket.

Check the upper gasket around the needle. If it is missing, water can spray back up from the top of the K-Cup.

If Your Coffee Tastes Weird

white coffee cup, saucer and brewed coffee

It could just be a build-up of minerals in your machine. You can descale with the Keurig descale solution of vinegar and water.

  • Turn off brewer
  • Add the descale solution
  • Add water to the tank
  • Next, turn the brewer on and press the button to brew (with a mug under it of course)
  • Pour out the contents of the mug
  • Repeat until the add water light comes on and let the machine sit for 30 minutes.
  • Then, try it again to see if it tastes ok.

Note: If you use a vinegar mix to clean it, you may have to rinse it several times to get rid of the aftertaste.

If nothing you have tried works, you can always call Keurig’s customer care number at 1-866-901-2739 (BREW). They are available to talk 7 days a week from 7 am to 12 am EST. You can email them with this form.

There is a community on Reddit dedicated to K-Cups that you can find here.

If you feel like it’s time to change brewers, we have a list of the different kinds you can try. My personal favorite is the Pour Over method. It does take a little more time than the super fast and very easy Keurig machine. We have also put together a list of Keurig Models if you want to grab another brewer.

troubleshooting your keurig

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