Nespresso Blinking Orange Light; Ways To Fix & Troubleshoot?

t’s not uncommon to notice a blinking orange light on your Nespresso brewer. However, there are multiple orange blinking lights, each of which has a different meaning. Knowing how to differentiate these light alerts will enable you to fix the underlying issue with your Nespresso brewer correctly.

Nespresso may blink thrice to show it’s in descale mode due to lime build-up, which can be fixed through descale. Blinking five times needs factory resetting, while pulsing orange light means its overheats and needs time to cool down. Orange lights flashing may also indicate an error or an empty tank.

What causes Nespresso blinking orange?

If your Nespresso coffee machine is blinking orange thrice per second, it means that it’s in descale mode. This happens when your coffee maker has excessive limescale buildup, which needs to be removed for optimal brewer functionality. It’s impossible to deactivate the descale alert and continue using the Nespresso machine as usual. You have to descale the machine to deactivate this alert.

Meanwhile, if the orange light is pulsing (blinking on and off), it means the Nespresso brewer is overheating. This shouldn’t be much cause for concern, as it usually happens when you quickly brew many cups of coffee.

Sometimes, the orange light will flash five times over 10 seconds. This means that you need to reset the Nespresso to factory settings.

If the orange light quickly blinks twice and then goes off, it’s an error. For instance, it could be that you’ve not positioned the coffee capsule correctly; hence the machine won’t brew.

Finally, a flashing orange light alert on Nespresso machines may indicate that the water tank is empty and should be refilled. For this kind of alert, the orange light comes on for 1½ seconds and goes off for ½ seconds.  

Nespresso orange light status and their meaning?

Here’s a summary table highlighting the various Nespresso blinking orange lights and their meaning.

Type of blinking orange lightMeaning
Orange light flashes three times per secondThe machine needs to be descaled
Orange light is pulsingThe machine is overheating
Orange light blinks five times in 10 secondsYou need to reset the brewer
Orange light flashes twice rapidly, then goes offError alert: replace the capsule or position it properly
Orange light is on for 1.5 seconds, then off for 0.5 secondsYou need to refill the water tank

Ways to fix Nespresso blinking orange lights?

To effectively fix Nespresso blinking orange lights, consider the following:

i. Let the brewer cool down.

ii. Descale the brewer.

iii. Reset the machine to factory settings.

iv. Ensure the capsule is placed correctly/replace the capsule.

v. Refill the water reservoir.

Let it cool down

To stop the pulsing orange light on your Nespresso caused by overheating, follow the steps detailed below:

i. Press and hold the button for 3 seconds to power off the brewer.

ii. Then, press the button to power the brewer back.

Iii. Let the machine idle for a minimum of 20 minutes before using it again.

Descale the Nespresso

Apply the procedure detailed below to descale your Nespresso coffee maker:

i. Remove the drip tray and the used pod from the pod holder. Wash the drip tray and return it under the outlet spout.

ii. Remove and empty the water tank. Then, add a unit of Nespresso descaling solution and 17 ounces of water to the tank.

iii. Return the tank to its compartment and place a collecting jar on top of the drip tray.

iv. Power on the brewer. Then, push and hold the button for 7 seconds to activate the descale mode.

v. Start the descaling program within 45 seconds of activating the descaling mode. To do this, flip the lever to the ‘locked’ position and press the button.

vi. Once the descaling process is complete, remove and empty the water tank, collecting jar, and drip tray. Empty them and refill the tank with only freshwater this time.

vii. Return the water tank, drip tray, and collecting jar to their compartments and run a rinse cycle to get rid of residual descaling solution inside the brewer.

Restore factory settings

To correctly reset your Nespresso coffee machine to factory settings, take the steps below:

i. Open the brew head and remove and dispose of the used pod. Then, close the brew head.

ii. Ensure the lever remains in the ‘unlocked’ position.

iii. Press the ‘Lungo’ button five times. At this point, the orange light will blink five times, indicating that the Nespresso has been successfully reset.

Properly position the capsule/replace it

Here’s a guide on how to fix the flashing orange light error alert on your Nespresso:

i. Unlock the lever and open the brew head. Then, ensure the coffee pod is properly seated within the capsule holder.

ii. Then, close the brew head and turn the lever to the locked position. Meanwhile, ensure the tank has sufficient water to brew.

iii. If the Nespresso is still blinking at this point, try using a different type of coffee capsule.

iv. After replacing the capsule, close the brew head and unplug the machine before plugging it back in after 10 seconds.

v. Power on the brewer. At this point, the flashing orange light alert should have been deactivated, and you should be able to brew coffee/espresso.

Refill the water tank

If the water level is too low to brew coffee, refill the water tank to disable the blinking orange light alert. Before refilling the tank, rinse the tank with clean hot water to remove mineral buildup.

Tips: Nespresso care and maintenance

To boost the lifespan of your Nespresso coffee maker, consider adopting the following care and maintenance tips:

i. Always use well-filtered water to brew your Nespresso coffee. This will minimize the buildup of limescale inside the machine caused by the use of hard water, thus ensuring it serves you for several years.

ii. Regularly clean the machine to get rid of leftover deposits that would otherwise degrade the taste of your coffee. The nozzle and the brewing chamber are especially important as gunk and coffee oils can build up in these parts. Meanwhile, remove the detachable components like the water tank and clean them separately.

iii. Always preheat your Nespresso machine to deliver the best quality brew.


i. The United States Geological Survey (USGS): Hardness of Water

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