Nespresso Machine Not Pumping Water (Causes +Troubleshooting)

If your Nespresso machine isn’t pumping water, you’re experiencing an airlock problem. There are many possible reasons why this occurs. Proper troubleshooting allows you to apply the right fix to restore normal water flow and functionality inside your Nespresso coffee machine.

Why is my Nespresso machine not pumping water?

If your Nespresso machine isn’t pumping water, there are likely air bubbles obstructing water flow out the spout. The issue is normally referred to as ‘airlock.’ This usually happens when the water tank is empty, or the Nespresso brewer has not been used for a while. 

Also, if the reservoir isn’t properly positioned, the Nespresso brewer may fail to pump water. Other reasons why your Nespresso machine is not pumping water include the following:

  • The water pump is clogged or is defective
  • The internal passages are blocked
  • The machine’s pressure level is too low
  • The water filter is dirty or clogged
  • The brew valve is faulty

How to fix the Nespresso machine not pumping water

To fix a Nespresso coffee machine that’s not pumping water, try the following:

  • Align the tank to the brewer
  • Clean or replace the pump
  • Descale the brewer
  • Clear/unclog the filter
  • Replace the faulty brew valve

Align the tank to the brewer

Ensure the water reservoir is full and properly aligned to the base. It should be seated firmly and securely on the machine.

Clean or replace the pump

Inspect the water pump for clogs or damage. If there’s gunk blocking the pump, try flushing it with water to unclog it. Alternatively, you can use a pump cleaner. Meanwhile, you must invest in a replacement pump if the pump is damaged.

Descale the brewer

Inspect the internal pipework for kinks and blockages that could hinder proper water flow. The Nespresso hydraulic system includes pipes/hoses and gicleurs that control the flow rate. If there’s a clog or obstruction on any of these holes, there’ll be water flow problems through the machine. Also, check the brewer’s pressure, as it may be too low. By descaling the machine, you can unclog the internal water passages and restore your Nespresso brewer’s normal pressure levels.

To descale your Nespresso machine, follow the process detailed below:

  1. Purchase a descaling solution from the Nespresso website. Avoid using vinegar to descale your Nespresso coffee maker as it could cause permanent damage to the internal elements of the brewer
  2. Simultaneously press and hold the two buttons at the top of the brewer for 3 seconds to put it in descale mode. 
  3. Add one packet of the Nespresso descaling solution and half a liter of water to the tank and reinsert the tank into the machine. Place a collecting jar underneath the outlet spout
  4. Press the blinking button to initiate the descaling process. 
  5. After the descale cycle, dispose of the solution in the collecting jar. Empty the tank and refill it with clean water. This time, perform a rinse cycle using only water to remove the residual descaling solution

Clean/unclog the filter

The water filter at the base of the water tank can become dirty/blocked with gunk. To clean a dirty/clogged filter that’s obstructing 

  • Power off the coffee maker and remove the water reservoir.
  • Take out the water tank filter from the bottom of the tank. Then, gently scrub off any gunk/buildup on the filter using an old toothbrush.
  • Once done, rinse the filter with cold water and dry it with a lint-free cloth. 
  • Reinsert the filter back into the water tank, refill the tank, return the tank to the brewer, and power it on.

Note: It’s advisable to clean the water tank filter at least once a month to clear clogs and prevent any buildup that could cause blockages along the water line

Replace the defective brew valve

The brew valve is likely faulty if strange noises accompany the water flow issue. This solenoid valve controls the water flow through the brew head. This valve automatically opens when you engage the brew head, allowing water to flow through. You’ll also hear a clicking sound when you press the brew button.

If you don’t hear this distinct sound, it’s likely that the brew valve is stuck closed or isn’t functioning. Inspect the water line to troubleshoot the brew valve to ensure all valves are open. If the brew valve is faulty, invest in a replacement part.


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