There are loads of good things that come from a Keurig, coffee being the key example. All you need to do is choose your flavor, pop the pod in place and select your brew option. A lovely warm beverage is dispensed into your mug at the touch of a button, it’s pure luxury.
It can quickly turn from paradise to pain when your Keurig starts to act up. There are loads of reasons why your coffee maker may not be performing at its best and this article aims to cover the majority of these.
From setting your machine up to maintaining it, looking after your coffee maker is the best way to avoid issues. We will look at how to avoid trouble and then I’ll take you through the top troubleshooting tips that should get you ready to brew again in no time!
Why Choose A Keurig
A Keurig is a single-serve coffee brewing device that makes coffee at the press of a button. They’re compact machines that fit well into any kitchen. They’re the easiest way to brew coffee and some models allow you to set various brew parameters (like strength, temperature, etc) using a touchscreen control panel. They’re definitely the easiest way to brew coffee and are perfect for bleary-eyed, early mornings.
How To Set Up Your Keurig
When you receive your Keurig coffee maker the first thing you need to do is to set it up correctly. Remove the Keurig machine from the packaging taking care to remove all the tape that keeps the machine secure for transport. Plug it in and lift the water reservoir away from the machine.
Rinse this out with clean water and then fill it up to the max line, ideally with filtered water. If you have a filter kit then add this in before you fill the tank. Fix the tank in place and press the power button to turn on the machine.
The water will start to heat up when you turn the machine on and may take up to 4 minutes for this step. Place an empty mug under the spout and press the button for a small brew. This will start a ‘cleansing brew’ where water is flushed through the machine.
Discard the mug of hot water and the machine is ready to go! All you need to do is insert your favorite k-cup pod into the top of the machine, select the brew button to suit, and enjoy your fresh coffee.
The most common problems that occur with Keurig machines happen due to inadequate cleaning. Coffee grounds and dirt can clog up the water lines or the needle and cause all kinds of failures. Your Keurig brewer needs regular cleaning to ensure this doesn’t become an issue.
You will need a soft cloth or sponge, one that’s not going to scratch the machine. Using mild dish soap and some warm water, wipe the exterior of the machine to remove dust and grime build-up. Never rinse or submerge the machine in water.
Remove the water tank and wash it in a bowl of hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap suds. Make sure you remove the water filter beforehand if you have one installed. The drip tray can also be removed and washed up in this manner.
You can dry the drip tray and exterior of the water tank with a clean towel but don’t dry the inside of the tank as this can transfer lint into it.
Once you have cleaned the machine, run a cleansing cycle by placing a mug under the spout and running a large brew size without inserting a coffee pod into the machine. This flushes out the water lines and removes any cleaning product residue from your machine.
Make sure you do this cleaning routine once a week to keep your machine in good working order.
K-Cup Holder and Needles
If coffee grounds become lodged in the needle of your Keurig then this can cause inconsistent brews. Before you despair, try cleaning out this part of the machine as this can help restore your coffee’s former glory. This cleaning tip works for all kinds of machines from the Keurig K-Cup to the Keurig 2.0
Before you jump straight in, make sure you have a large mug and a paper clip to hand.
Switch off your machine and unplug it. Lift the handle to expose the pod holder and grasp this from above whilst gently pressing on it from below. This should pop it out of the machine.
The funnel at the lower portion of this removes by simply pulling it. It may take a bit of effort to get this to detach. This will give you access to the tube on the lower side of the pod holder.
Bend the paper clip at one end to straighten it. Poke it into the tube a move it around to dislodge any coffee grounds that may be hiding in there. Next, rinse both the pod holder and funnel under running water to wash away any grime or loose coffee.
Be careful as you handle this part of your machine as the exit needle is located here and it is sharp! Let these parts drip dry and now let’s focus on the entrance puncture needle.
Lift the handle of the machine and locate the entrance needle in the head of the machine (upper portion). This is also very sharp so be careful!
Insert the paper clip into both holes in the needle and move it around to dislodge any coffee grounds.
Clip the funnel back onto the pod holder and replace this in your machine. Make sure you line up the tabs so that the two tabs are at the bottom and the single tab is on top. Lift and then lower the handle completely and place a large mug on the drip tray.
Finally, plug the machine back in, turn on the power and run two large cup-size cleansing cycles to thoroughly flush out the machine. This is a water-only brew cycle so don’t insert a coffee pod.
The main culprit that leads to the clogging of your Keurig coffee machine is limescale build-up. These are mineral deposits caused by calcium and other elements found in hard water. The mineral build-up can create pressure in the machine that eventually leads to the failure of the water pump. It can also affect the heating element and any other parts of the machine that contact freshwater.
It’s important to descale your Keurig every 3-6 months or possibly even sooner if you live in an area with very hard water.
You will need a large ceramic mug and the Keurig descaling solution. Some people use white vinegar in place of this but this is not recommended by Keurig and may affect your warranty.
Empty the water tank as well as removing the filter if present. Make sure the auto-off function is not activated.
Fill the water tank with the descaling solution and top the empty bottle up with fresh water and add this as well (the Keurig Mini and K130 only require 1/3 of the solution and 10oz of water).
Place your mug under the spout and brew the largest cup size (do not add any coffee pods to the machine). Discard this into the sink and repeat this process until the ‘add water’ indicator comes on.
Let the machine stand for 30 minutes.
After this time has elapsed, discard any solution remaining in the water tank and rinse the tank thoroughly with fresh water. Fill the reservoir with clean water up to the max line and run a cleansing brew using the largest cup size. Discard the water and repeat this step at least 12 times. You may have to re-fill the water tank during this process.
For the smaller Keurig models, you will need to repeat this process three times (saving the cleansing brew step until the end) until you have used up all the descaling solution in the bottle.
Keurig Troubleshooting Tips
My Keurig Won’t Power On
If you’ve just plugged in your coffee brewer and it isn’t turning on, the first thing to check is the power source. Try unplugging it and use a different outlet. It’s worth trying other appliances in the outlet to confirm this is the fault.
If you still can’t get the machine to power on after checking the power source then it’s best to contact Keurig customer support.
My Keurig Keeps Turning the Power Off on its Own
The most likely issue here is that the Energy saver/Auto-off setting is activated. This feature causes the machine to turn itself off after a period of inactivity. Try resetting the machine.
If the problem persists, contact a member of the customer care team by phone or email.
The Machine is Leaking Water from the Bottom
This is a common Keurig problem and is usually due to water overflowing from the drip tray or the water tank has been overfilled. If you’ve ruled out these possibilities then check the Keurig water tank for any signs of cracks that could be causing leakage. If this is the culprit, you can order a replacement tank at Keurig.com.
If the tank is intact and there’s still a water leaking problem then contact Keurig customer support.
My Brewer isn’t Brewing the Correct Amount
The most common issues here are either the machine needs descaling or there are coffee grounds clogging up the needle. Follow the guide above to descale and clean your machine, ensuring you run several water-only brewing cycles to remove any unpleasant taste from the machine that can lead to a bitter coffee taste.
Why Are The Lights Flashing on the K-cup Brewer
The cold water reservoir may not be seated correctly. First, try removing and replacing this. Next, brew a water-only brew cycle and check you have a full cup. If the brewing process doesn’t produce the amount of water expected, the next thing to try is replacing the water filter (if present). If none of this works try another 3, water-only cycles.
If the lights are still flashing and you’re not getting a good amount of water out of the machine then contact customer support.
Coffee Grounds Keep Escaping Into My Cup of Coffee
To troubleshoot this issue you need to clean the needle in your machine. Do this using a paper clip following the instructions suggested above. If you haven’t descaled your machine recently then it’s a good idea to carry this out now as well.
If you’re using refillable coffee capsules make sure the amount of coffee you’re using doesn’t exceed the bottom of the brown band in the mesh basket.
The Add Water Indicator Is Malfunctioning
If the water indicator doesn’t flash firstly make sure your machine has power. You can try raising the handle to drain all water from the cold water reservoir into the brewer.
Next, try holding down the brew button until all water is caught in a mug or container.
If none of these work, contact Keurig customer support.
If you’ve still not been able to identify the issue with your Keurig after reading this article, check out Keurig.com for further information. If in doubt, contact customer support by phone or email as they will be happy to assist you. The majority of issues with these machines come from a need for cleaning or de-scaling so this is a good idea to try before you throw in the towel.
A well-looked after Keurig should last around 10 years so don’t give up on it too soon. Best of luck with your coffee maker and happy brewing!