Keurig Not Dispensing Water? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Dennis Howard
by Dennis Howard

That first cup of coffee in the morning is the start of a great day. Your Keurig not dispensing water to make your first cup of coffee in the morning can be a disaster. What could be the problem and how do you fix it?

Combine 8 ounces of white vinegar with 8 ounces of water and pour it into the Keurig water reservoir. Start a brewing cycle to clean the Keurig with the solution and run 3-4 more cycles with the vinegar. Otherwise, you can inspect and clean the piercing needle to remove debris.

For most Keurig coffee maker problems, the issue can be diagnosed with a few easy to follow checks. You should check for the following issues with your Keurig coffee maker. Follow the included steps to correct the problem. Then, make a cup of coffee and enjoy yourself.

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Check the Electrical Connection

The first thing to check is the electrical connection. Is the display on your Keurig coffee maker working? If the touchscreen display is not on, you may have an electrical problem. There are a few steps to work through if the display is not working.

Step 1 – Check the Plug and Outlet

Check the electrical plug on your Keurig coffee maker. The plug may have inadvertently been unplugged. If the coffee maker is unplugged, plug your Keurig in and wait a few seconds. The touch screen display should come back on and you can begin making coffee.

Step 2 – Use Another Outlet

If your Keurig doesn’t come back on, unplug the coffee maker and try the plug in a different outlet. The problem may be a bad electrical outlet. Look at the outlet and check for signs of an electrical arc such as black marks or melted plastic. These are giveaways that the electrical outlet needs replacing.

Step 3 – If All Else Fails – Call the Repair Service

Plugging your Keurig into a second outlet may solve your problem. If so, consult with an electrician about replacing the failed outlet. Find another place to set your Keurig and get your coffee started. If not, your Keurig coffee maker has more serious problems needing the attention of an appliance repair service.

Listen for a Problem

Listening to your Keurig coffee maker may tell you a lot about what is going on inside the machine. When you start a brew cycle, you should be able to hear the pump start to work. Silence is not a good sound and indicates the pump is not working. A bad pump usually requires the services of a trained repair technician.

A noisy pump making angry sounds is a sign of a different problem. The pump may have air in the lines making it difficult for the pump to move water. Giving your Keurig a good shake or two is often the easiest fix for this problem. Keeping the water reservoir full is the easiest way to keep air from entering the pump.

Check for a Clogged Piercing Needle

Another common problem with Keurig coffee makers is a clog in the piercing needle. If the electrical is working properly and the screen responds, check the piercing nozzle in the K-cup assembly.

Step 1 – Unplug the Keurig from the Power Outlet.

Always work safely. Unplug the power cord of your Keurig coffee maker from the outlet. Unplugging will prevent any chance of an electrical short or you being shocked.

Step 2 – Remove the K-cup Holder

Follow the user manual’s directions that came with your Keurig and remove the entire K-cup assembly from the machine.

Step 3 – Disassemble and clean the K-Cup Unit

Disassemble the K-cup unit. Now is a good time to wash the parts thoroughly. Clogs can occur in this part of the Keurig coffee maker if not regularly cleaned. Warm water and mild dish soap are the best options for cleaning these parts.

Step 4 – Check and Clean the Piercing Needle

The piercing needle has one job. When you close the K-cup holder’s cover, the piercing needle opens the K-cup and injects water into the coffee inside. This water is extracted and becomes your cup of coffee. The nature of this job exposes the piercing needle to becoming clogged. These clogs can be caused by:

  • Mineral deposits from your water
  • Material from the K-cup
  • Coffee grounds

Fortunately, cleaning the piercing needle is a relatively easy job. A few steps can take you through the process and have you brewing coffee in no time.

Step 5 – Open the Needle

If the needle doesn’t appear to be bent or otherwise damaged, the problem may be inside the piercing needle. Some newer Keurig coffee makers come with a small tool for this purpose. If you don’t have the tool, don’t fret. A small, unfolded paper clip makes a perfect tool for this job.

Using your tool, carefully push the tool up into the piercing needle and work it around the inside. Moving the tool around may dislodge any debris that is inside the piercing needle. Cleaning the needle under running water will help clear the debris.

Step 6 – Reassemble Your Keurig and Test

Put your Keurig back together again. Make sure all the parts are in the proper place and aligned. Without putting a K-cup in the holder, run a cup of water through the Keurig coffee maker. If a clogged needle was the problem, you should get a full cup of hot water.

If your water dispensing problem persists, you must search for another problem with the Keurig coffee maker.

Clogged Water Lines

A clog in the water lines running from the pump to the K-cup can occur. Debris or minerals in your water can cause clogs in the water lines that can inhibit or even stop the water flow. Getting to these water lines requires the Keurig coffee maker to be partially or completely disassembled and is not typically a job for the average user.

You might try running a vinegar solution through your Keurig coffee maker. Vinegar is a mild acid and will dissolve and soften mineral build-up.

Step 1 – Mix the Vinegar and Water Solution

Use 8 ounces of white vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water. Only use white vinegar. Never use a flavored vinegar or vinegar that may contain some sugar.

Step 2 – Into the Reservoir

Fill the reservoir with the vinegar solution and let it stand a few minutes. The vinegar solution should soften or dissolve any mineral build-up in the reservoir.

Step 3 – Brew then Repeat

Make sure there is no K-cup in the holder. Run your Keurig through several brew cycles. Brewing will heat the vinegar solution and pump it through the system. Don’t be surprised if you see a cloudy solution come out of the Keurig into your catch up. You may even see small pieces of the mineral build-up.

Repeat the brewing cycle with the vinegar solution.

Step 4 – Flush, Brew, Repeat

After three or four brewing cycles with the vinegar solution, empty any remaining solution from the reservoir and rinse the reservoir with clean water. Fill the reservoir with fresh water and start the brew cycle to flush any remaining vinegar from the pump and tubing.

Repeat this process as many times as it takes to remove the vinegar smell from the brewed water. Clean and rinse the K-cup holder as well.

A Word of Caution

Using vinegar to clean coffee makers is a well-known remedy. However, Keurig doesn’t recommend this procedure in their coffee makers.

Make Sure Everything Lines Up

It is not uncommon for a Keurig coffee maker to refuse to deliver water if the reservoir is not seated properly in the machine. The Keurig system has a sensor at the bottom of the reservoir to tell the controller that it is safe to start the water flow.

Check the inside of the Keurig housing and the bottom of the reservoir for any debris. Even the smallest amount of coffee grounds or other trash can keep the sensor from operating. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe out the reservoir housing and the outside of the reservoir and reseat.

Check the reservoir and make sure it is seated properly into the body of the Keurig machine. There should be very little back and forth play when the reservoir is in place.

When All Else Fails – Smack Your Keurig

Spanking your Keurig is not a factory recommended repair practice, but many users report good results. Your Keurig is a finely tuned machine. There may be debris such as coffee grounds that work into places you can’t see or reach but can interrupt the brewing cycle. Jarring this debris loose seems to work at times.

Step 1 – Unplug the Keurig

Be safe when working on your Keurig. Unplug the machine from the wall.

Step 2 – Remove all the Parts Possible

Remove everything from your Keurig machine that is removable. These parts include the K-cup holder and assembly, the reservoir, and any other accessory parts.

Step 3 – Strike Your Keurig

Hold your Keurig coffee maker upside down over the sink. In this position, give the machine a few spanks on the bottom with your open hand. You aren’t trying to beat the bottom off, but you do want to impart enough force to jar any offending debris loose.

Step 4 – Reassemble and Brew

Reassemble your Keurig, fill the reservoir with water, and run a brew cycle with a K-cup in the holder. You may find that your Keurig now brews perfectly. All thanks to a little gentle persuasion.

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Getting Your Coffee – The Goal

Getting your coffee brewed is the ultimate goal. I hope that these tips and tricks help you solve your Keurig coffee maker’s problem of not delivering water. A little time can often resolve the issue without the need for a new Keurig coffee maker.

Dennis Howard
Dennis Howard

Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.

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