How To Fix A Keurig Not Dispensing Water: 5 Easy Fixes

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Is your trusty Keurig coffee maker refusing to dispense water? Few things can be more frustrating than waking up to a malfunctioning brewer, especially when you’re in dire need of a steaming cup of coffee.

Fortunately, there are several potential causes for this issue, and most of them can be easily resolved with a little troubleshooting.

In this blog post, we’ll explore common reasons why your Keurig might not be dispensing water and provide you with step-by-step solutions to get your coffee flowing again. Let’s dive in and get your Keurig back in action!

Troubleshooting: Possible Reasons for a Keurig Not Dispensing Water

If you’ve ever experienced a Keurig that fails to dispense water, you know the frustration it brings. Despite filling the water reservoir and pressing the button, all you hear is a grinding noise, indicating the Keurig pump’s unsuccessful attempt to pump water.

Unless your Keurig is brand new and eligible for a return, you’ll want to resolve this issue promptly. To help you address a Keurig that isn’t pumping water, here are the recommended troubleshooting steps.

1. Water Scaling and Pump Obstruction

One common cause for a Keurig not pumping water is the buildup of water scaling and debris that obstructs the water pump. This can prevent the flow of water through the machine. To address this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Empty the Keurig water reservoir partially, leaving it about one-third full.
  2. Shake the water around in the reservoir and then spill it out.
  3. Locate the opening where the Keurig pump dispenses water into the brewer.
  4. Thoroughly clean the opening with a dishtowel to remove any debris hindering the pump’s action.
  5. After cleaning, the Keurig water pump should function properly.

Additional Steps for Persistent Pumping Issues If the Keurig is still not pumping water after the initial fix, try the following steps:

  1. Insert a turkey baster into the part of the reservoir that connects to the machine and the water pump, with some water already in the reservoir.
  2. Use the turkey baster to force several bursts of water through the connection.
  3. Observe the water in the reservoir, which may appear cloudy as scaling and debris are forced out. This process helps unclog and descale the machine, allowing the pump to work efficiently again.

2. Descaling to Maintain Performance

Regular descaling is crucial to keep your Keurig clean and prevent issues with water flow. Prepare a mixture of vinegar and water and fill the water reservoir with it. Run a brewing cycle to descale the Keurig.

It is recommended to perform this maintenance task every three to six months. If you have hard water, characterized by high mineral content, more frequent descaling may be necessary. Keurig offers its own descaling solution that effectively removes mineral buildup and helps maintain optimal machine performance.

3. Unclogging the Needles

The needles inside the Keurig coffee maker can become clogged with coffee grounds, impeding water flow. To address this:

  1. Use the provided orange cleaning tool (for Keurig 2.0) or a straightened paper clip.
  2. Turn off and unplug the brewer, and remove the water reservoir.
  3. Detach the pod holder by gently pulling it away from the brewer.
  4. Clean the needles by inserting the cleaning tool into each needle and moving it around in a circular motion.
  5. Rinse the pod holder with water and set it aside.
  6. Open the handle to access the top entrance and exit needles, and clean them with the paper clip.

4. Checking the Water Magnet Alignment

The magnet in the water tank detects the water level in the reservoir. If it becomes misaligned or stuck, the Keurig may not pump water. Follow these steps to check and fix the magnet alignment:

  1. Gently tap the tank near the magnet housing.
  2. If tapping doesn’t work, try giving the tank a gentle shake.
  3. If the magnet remains stuck, empty the tank, clean it with a mild soap, and refill it with water.
  4. If the magnet still doesn’t move, consider obtaining a replacement tank.

5. Clearing a Possible Air Lock

If you accidentally ran a brew cycle with insufficient water, air may have entered the water tubes, causing a blockage and preventing water from being pumped. To clear a potential air lock:

  1. Fill the water tank to about a quarter of its capacity.
  2. Lift and lower the tank rapidly, observing air bubbles rising from the water intake valve at the base of the reservoir. Repeat until the bubbles cease.
  3. Fill the water tank to the maximum line and run a hot water brew cycle. If water begins to flow, the issue has been resolved.

Motor Issues and Replacement

If your Keurig is making a grinding noise but still not pumping water, it indicates a motor problem. The motor may be attempting to pump water but is unable to do so effectively. Try shaking the machine to eliminate any trapped air.

If the problem persists or if there is no sound of the motor running, it is possible that the motor or the entire unit needs replacement.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can resolve common issues causing a Keurig not to dispense water and get your coffee brewing once again.


A Keurig that refuses to dispense water can be a frustrating experience, especially for coffee enthusiasts relying on their morning brew.

However, with the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can tackle common issues that may be causing the problem.

From addressing water scaling and pump obstruction to descaling the machine and clearing clogs, these solutions can help restore proper water flow in your Keurig.

Remember to follow regular maintenance practices, such as descaling and cleaning the needles, to prevent future issues.

By troubleshooting and applying the appropriate fixes, you can get your Keurig back to brewing delicious coffee in no time.

Enjoy your next cup of perfectly brewed coffee with confidence, knowing you can handle a Keurig that’s not dispensing water.

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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