My Keurig Flashing Lights; Causes + Fixes

Keurig brewers have many light indicators which are meant to alert the user whenever something needs to be done, or whether there’s a problem with the coffee machine.

Keurig flashing lights are caused by multiple issues. The fix may be as simple as resetting the machine or as detailed as descaling it.

Causes of Keurig lights blinking?

Keurig lights can start blinking due to various factors. They include an empty/misplaced water reservoir, clogged/dirty coffee machine parts, improper use of refillable K-Cups, and Frother mishaps.

Empty or misplaced water tank

If the water tank has insufficient water or is empty, the blue ‘ADD WATER’ light on the Keurig will start flashing. The same will also happen if the water tank hasn’t been properly connected to the brewer.

Clogged components

i. Clogged water tank valve– clogged parts within the water reservoir can cause the ‘ADD WATER’ light on your Keurig unit to start blinking. It’s possible for the valve at the base of the water reservoir to be blocked by debris.

ii. Clogged exit needle– another cause of the ‘ADD WATER’ light flashing is a clogged exit needle. You may also have all the lights blinking at the same time if the exit needle is clogged.

iii. Clogged charcoal filter– meanwhile, if the charcoal filter in your water reservoir is clogged, all the lights on your Keurig unit may start flashing simultaneously. These include the ‘ADD WATER’, ‘HEAT’, and ‘MEDIUM CUP SIZE’ lights.

iv. Clogged internal components– if the internal heating elements and passages within the Keurig brewer are clogged with debris, the ‘DESCALE’ light is likely to start flashing. This happens when limescale from hard water builds up on the inner parts.

Incorrect use of refillable K-Cup

If the red ‘DESCALE’ light on your Keurig unit starts flashing, it’s likely that you’re using a reusable K-Cup incorrectly. When you over-pack your reusable K-Cup with coffee grinds and tamp it down too compact, the coffee may fail to pass through. Consequently, the brewer may misinterpret this as a blockage within the internal passages due to debris buildup, resulting in the ‘DESCALE’ light flashing.

Frother mishaps

If you have a Keurig K-Café or K-Latte, various frother mishaps can cause one or all of the lights on your frother to start blinking. These issues include:

i.  Trying to froth milk while still brewing

ii. A mispositioned whisk

iii. Insufficient milk in the frother

iv. Frother not firmly attached

Keurig blinking lights troubleshooting?

To correctly troubleshoot Keurig blinking lights, you must take note of the type of light that’s flushing. There are different troubleshooting methods for each type of Keurig flashing light.

How to troubleshoot Keurig ‘ADD WATER’ light flashing

If your Keurig’s ‘ADD WATER’ button keeps flashing even with the water tank filled to the max fill line and correctly installed into the brewer, check for clogs on the valve underneath the tank. Second, check the exit needle for clogs as well.

How to troubleshoot Keurig all lights flashing

If all the lights on your Keurig unit are flashing, start by removing the water filter in your water reservoir. Then, place a measuring cup under the beverage outlet. Next, run a water-only brew cycle using the 6. oz cup size and check whether the amount of water collected in the measuring cup is the same.

If it’s the same amount, then the charcoal filter is the problem and you need to replace it with a new one. However, if your Keurig doesn’t have a charcoal filter, the issue probably lies in the exit needle. Run three water-only brew cycles and if the amount of water dispensed doesn’t match the amount brewed in each, check and clean the exit needle.

How to troubleshoot Keurig ‘DESCALE’ light flashing

A flashing ‘DESCALE’ light can be caused by limescale buildup or an error message. Thus, your first instinct should be to descale the machine. If you’ve already descaled your Keurig unit but the ‘DESCALE’ light is still blinking, it means you have an error message and you need to reset the unit.

Also, if you’ve already descaled and are still getting the descale alert, it’s possible that you’re using your refillable K-Cup incorrectly. Remove the reusable K-Cup and run a water-only brew cycle. If the ‘DESCALE’ light stops flashing, then the reusable K-Cup is the cause of the issue.

How to fix Keurig flashing lights 

After troubleshooting Keurig flashing lights, you need to understand how to fix each of these issues to restore normal brewer functionality. There are different procedures for fixing Keurig lights that are flashing simultaneously, flashing Keurig ‘ADD WATER’ light, flashing Keurig ‘DESCALE’ light, and flashing Keurig frother lights.

How to fix flashing ‘ADD WATER’ light

Using a wet piece of cloth, clean off any debris that’s causing a blockage at the base of the water reservoir. Also, ensure the water tank has water and is properly inserted. Finally, if the exit needle is clogged, follow the steps below to unclog it and stop the ‘ADD WATER’ alert:

i. Power off and unplug the Keurig coffee machine and remove the water tank.

ii. Next, detach the K-Cup holder from the brewer to access the exit needle.

iii. Then, insert a straightened paper clip into the needle area and poke around a few times to remove any clogs and debris that might be causing a blockage. Meanwhile, clean the pod holder as well.

iv. Reinsert the K-Cup holder, the water tank, and the power on the machine to see if the ‘ADD WATER’ alert has been deactivated.

How to fix Keurig all lights flashing

You either need to replace the charcoal filter in the water tank with a new one or clean the exit needle. The steps for cleaning the exit needle are already described in the previous fix above (fixing the flashing ‘ADD WATER’ light).

Meanwhile, to replace a spent Keurig charcoal filter, follow the steps outlined below:

i. Pull up the filter holder and press the two clips that secure the water filter on either side to remove the spent/clogged water filter. Throw the used filter in a waste bin.

ii. Soak the new charcoal water filter in water for about 5 minutes. Afterward, rinse it for 1 minute.

iii. Place the replacement charcoal water filter inside the filter holder and secure it down with its holding clips. Ensure you feel the clips locking into position.

How to fix flashing ‘DESCALE’ light

To fix Keurig flashing ‘DESCALE’ light, you need to descale the coffee machine. Follow the steps detailed below to properly descale your Keurig brewer:

i. Power off the unit. Then, take out the water reservoir and clean it in the sink.

ii. Then, pour 100ml of descaling solution into the tank and add a liter of water before reinserting the tank into the brewer. You can use either a commercial descaling solution or a homemade vinegar descaling solution.

iii. Turn on the brewer and start heating the water. Meanwhile, ensure there is no pod inside the K-Cup holder.

iv. Place an empty collecting mug on the drip tray and press the ‘BREW’ button. The liquid being dispensed will be a mix of the descaling solution and the limescale that it has dissolved and cleaned from the machine.

v. Once done, take out the water tank, rinse it, and fill it with fresh water only this time. Reinsert it and run a rinse cycle to rinse out any residual descaling solution inside the Keurig unit that might affect the taste of your beverage later on.

In some Keurig models, such as the Keurig K-Duo, the ‘DESCALE’ light will still be on even after descaling. This is usually an error message and you need to reset the brewer to deactivate this false alert. To reset the Keurig K-Duo, simply press and hold the 8. oz and 10. oz buttons simultaneously.

Meanwhile, if the ‘DESCALE’ light flashing is a false alert caused by an excessively packed refillable K-Cup, stop brewing first and ensure you use the refillable K-Cup correctly. To do this, pack the K-Cup rather loosely. Don’t pack it too tight or tamp it too hard.

How to fix flashing Keurig frother light(s)

If only the light at the base of your frother is blinking, it means you’re trying to brew and froth at the same time. Let the brew cycle end before frothing.

However, if all the frother lights are flashing simultaneously, consider the following:

i. Check whether the whisk at the base of the frother has been correctly positioned.

ii. Ensure the frother is firmly attached to the base of the frothing unit.

iii. Ensure there’s enough milk inside the frother before you start frothing.

Why is my Keurig heating light blinking+ fix?

The Keurig heating light usually blinks when the charcoal filter or exit needle is clogged. This light will blink simultaneously with the add water and medium cup size lights. To solve this issue, change the charcoal filter or clean the exit needle.


My Morning Espresso: A Guide To Fixing Keurig Blinking Lights

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