nespresso troubleshooting Guide for 15 common problems

At some point in all our Nespresso owner lives, we encounter some sort of problem that keeps us from getting coffee. Here’s a troubleshooting guide here to help you fix your Nespresso machine.

Before you get into the list, there is an answer that covers a lot of problems people have when trying to troubleshoot their Nespresso. That solution is you need to descale your machine. If you haven’t descaled your machine within the last 600 cups of coffee or 6 months, you probably need to do it.  

Problems descaling can fix: 

  • Coffee/Water leakage 
  • Low pressure/Unusual coffee flow 
  • Coffee not coming out hot enough 
  • Half Green and Half Red Light
  • Orange Flashing Light

Water Leaking 

Check that your water reservoir is sitting correctly. If it’s off a little bit, that might be why water is leaking all over your counter. 

Also empty out your used capsule container. Sometimes a little bit of liquid is left inside them and can build up and leak.

If it’s leaking from where the capsule sits, the problem could be with the piercing needle. If it doesn’t make a large enough hole, you could end up with water leaking. Check out the Doesn’t Pierce Capsule section down below for the solution. 

Coffee Is Not Hot Enough 

Solution 1: Descale your Nespresso machine. Build up happens inside your Nespresso machine every time you brew coffee. This build up can make it harder for the boiler to heat up the water for brewing. Follow our guide here, if you don’t know how to descale your machine. 

Solution 2: If the first solution makes your coffee hotter, but it still isn’t hot enough for you, what you can do is preheat the water before you put it in the water reservoir. It’s a pain to do in the morning, but if you really want hotter coffee it’s simple to do. 

Coffee Comes Out Cold 

Now, if all of your coffee is coming out cold, you might have a bigger problem. The heating block that in your machine, that heats up the water might be broken. To fix this, you’ll have to have it replaced. 

Machine Has No Pressure 

Like most problems with Nespresso machines, you might just need to descale your machine from the buildup inside. Getting rid of the buildup can help the water flow easier through your machine, leading to more pressure when you brew coffee. 

Another reason why you could have low pressure is from letting your water reservoir empty out. Leaving your water reservoir empty can lead to having air pockets form on the inside of your Nespresso, which causes low pressure. 

To fix this, start by filling up your water reservoir. Place something underneath the brewing spout to catch liquid. Remove any used capsule from your machine. When you’ve done all that, shut the capsule area and click the brew button. This’ll force out all of the air on the inside and you’re good to go. 

Nothing Is Coming Out Of Your Nespresso

This problem usually happens when you have either a brand new Nespresso or you haven’t used yours in a while. Symptoms of this problem: you can hear the machine working on the inside, but nothing is coming out of the brewing spout. 

Before we get to a solution, just check to see that all the basic little things are correct, like if your water reservoir is fit correctly on to your machine. 

Okay, on to the solution! If all the small stuff is set up correct, you might need to prime the water pump in your Nespresso. You’re going to need a syringe or something that can force water into a small opening in your machine. 

Step 1: Empty all capsules from your machine and remove your water reservoir. Place something underneath the brewing spout to catch whatever comes out. 

Step 2: There’s going to be a hole at the base of where the water reservoir usually sits. This is where the coffee machine takes water in. This is where you’re going to want to stick your syringe of water in. DON’T squeeze the water in yet. 

Step 3: When you’re ready, hit the button to start brewing and start squeezing the water into the hole. You should notice your machine to start sounding different when the water is flowing through correctly.

Step 4: If it sounds like it normally did, then you’re all done! Put your water reservoir back on and your Nespresso machine should be fixed. But if it still doesn’t sound right, you might have to repeat step 3 a few times and it should work. 

Does Not Pierce Capsule

If your Nespresso machine doesn’t pierce the capsule, it could be because you’re using a third party brand of capsules. Your machine might not puncture them correctly. This only really applies to the older models of Nespresso. The Vertuoline has capsules that are bar coded on the top, so only Nespresso approved capsules can be used. 

You can also check the needle that pokes a hole in the capsules. Make sure that it’s not broken or bent. 

That area might also need a cleaning. Take a wet paper towel to clean it and test to see if it works afterwards. 

Half Green and Half Red Light

This warning is to let you know that you have to descale your machine soon. You can still use it, but after a few times the light might go to a flashing orange. That means you need to descale your machine

6 Different Red Light Problems

No one likes seeing that red light on their nespresso! Most people assume that it means that their Nespresso is broken, but that’s not the case. Red light situations are one of the more easier problems to fix.

A Continuously Blinking Red Light and Doesn’t Open

Solution 1: The first thing you can try is to slowly pry open the head. The cause might be from an old capsule that’s dried and has gotten stuck in your machine. 

Solution 2: If the first one doesn’t fix it, you can always try old reliable, unplugging your machine. Leave it unplugged for 15-30 minutes and then plug it back. Turn it on and see what happens. 

Machine Does Not Start and Red Light Blinks Every 2 Seconds 

Open your Nespresso and remove any capsule that might be in it. Empty out the used capsule container and close it. 

Red Steady Light And Machine Is NOT Running 

Try turning off your machine and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Leave it unplugged for 15-30 minutes. Like all electronic devices, your Nespresso just might need a break. After however long you decided to wait, try plugging it back in and turning on. 

Red Light Flashes Twice and Then Blinks An Orange Light 

Eject any used capsule and then try resetting the machine. If you don’t know how to reset your machine, we have a guide to help you out. 

Red Light Flashes Twice and Then A Steady Orange Light 

There’s nothing wrong with your machine! You’re just in the special functions menu. 

Red Light Flashes Twice + Clicking Noises

Unplug your nespresso machine and open the place where you put the capsules. Turn it upside down and some coffee grounds should fall out. Sometimes those coffee grounds block the little teeth things that puncture your capsules. 

You should also see a disc and the teeth that puncture the capsules. Try and spin it around, it should spin really easily. If it doesn’t spin, clean it with a wet paper towel or something similar. When you can easily spin it with a finger, turn it back over and test it out. 

Orange Light Blinking Continuously 

This means you need to descale your Nespresso machine. If you don’t know how to descale your machine, we have a guide for you to follow. Just find your machine and follow the instructions.

Green Light 

If it’s blinking continuously, it means that it’s heating up. A minute is the longest you’ll have to get a cup of coffee. 

Resetting Your Nespresso Machine 

Like most electronic devices, sometimes you just need to reset it to get it to work. Depending on what model of Nespresso machine you have, it can be a little more difficult to reset. Luckily we have an easy to follow guide to help you reset your Nespresso machine in no time!

18 thoughts on “nespresso troubleshooting Guide for 15 common problems”

  1. Attila G. Keller

    i cant close the top after i putting in a original pod. Please let me know what should i do.

    1. Hi there Attila! I’m sure you’ve already done this, but check to see if there is an older capsule that wasn’t properly ejected from the last time you used it. If that doesn’t help, I’ve found this forum where someone else had a similar problem to yours. The solution they found after calling Nespresso support, was to just force your machine closed. I would give these a try and if it doesn’t work, you might have to send it into Nespresso to get the closing mechanism serviced.

      Link to forum:

      I hope everything ends up working for you – Christian

  2. My Vertuo machine keeps blinking twice. When in put a pod in it makes a continuous clicking sound. I have read that cleaning and spinning the wheel will free it but that has not worked for me.

    1. Hello Collete, if cleaning the wheel hasn’t worked for you, I found another solution by someone else. They had the same problem with the two blinking lights and the continuous clicking noise. The problem was started because they were closing the machine head too much and locking. So, the solution was to close the machine head not as much as they were before and then locking it. If this doesn’t solve your problem, you might have to send it to Nespresso for a fix. I do recommend trying to clean your spinning wheel one more time before sending it back though!

      Best of luck with this problem! -Christian

  3. The red light is on and not blinking. I can’t press it and coffee isn’t coming out. I need to unplug and start again to get capsule out. I have reset several times. Any ideas? It is a Delonghi

    1. Hello Jo! Sorry for the late reply, there are a few things you can try out for a steady red light.
      1. If it’s red right when you start it up, it just means that it’s heating up. The light will turn a solid green when ready.
      2. Try and descale your nespresso machine, that usually solves most of the problems these coffee machines have, especially if you haven’t done it in a while! Here’s a link to a descaling article:
      3. Take out any capsule that’s in it, unplug it for 30 minutes, and turn it back on afterwards and see if anything changes.

      If none of those work, it might be an internal problem with your coffee machine, you’ll need to have it serviced by Nespresso unfortunately.

      I hope one of the solutions work out for you! – Christian

  4. Lattissimo
    the Water flow seems to be fine without a capsule. But when a capsule is added the flow is fine the 1st second or 2, but quickly drops off and runs a while. Coffee produced seems ok. But takes a little longer. Seems odd that there is a Big difference between within without capsule

  5. Hi,
    I hope you can help.
    The water comes out behind the spout area in my nespresso citiz machine and not through the silver chrome spout.
    I haven’t done a descale on the machine and wondered if this might fix it.
    Thank you
    Regards Margaret

  6. Can you help
    After putting a pod in and pressing the button, it sounds as though it’s going to work but blinks twice with red light
    Any ideas?

  7. Our machine makes a loud squeaking when brewing. It bees just fine but the noise is terrible. Any ideas what we can do to stop the noise?

  8. Vertuo Next: With more frequency I start a coffee, machine starts up, making some noise, then flashing orange. The warning I get is that it can’t recognize the cartridge. Last time I used a toothbrush to clean the piece that touches the cartridge and that seemed to work. This time it is not working. Nowhere can I find information on how to clean the head. Also when I read through post and documentation everything says to descale. “Oh the power went out in your house? Well gee it means you need to descale” 😉

  9. I have descaled our VirtuoPlus machine following the Nespresso YouTube video. The Red/Orange light is still illuminated. I have also followed the ‘factory reset’ procedure. Same deal. Thoughts?

  10. Hi there,

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a button that is not working? The espresso button on my nespresso machine. When i push it nothing happens (magimix 11294-M190)
    Thanks for help!

  11. My machine continues to display the red/green light AFTER I completed the descaling process. I have tried turning it off, then back on, I have tried resetting it to factory settings. Neither of these returns the light to steady green.

  12. Joanne L Mabberley

    hello, I just bought the nespresso vertuo next machine, i am trying to do the first clean.
    everytime i try it flashes red twice then stays steady white, then shuts off… pretty frustrated right now, please help!
    it wont make a coffee either, if i try and reset it , it just stays steady white

  13. I have a Nespresso Verturo Next machine. I am getting a white/green/red continuous light then a solid red light when I turn on the machine. I have tried resetting to factory settings and I have cleaned the head with a warm water and a paper towel. The head spins. There are no sounds at all. Thanks for any suggestions

  14. My nespresso virtuoline lid is locked and does not open. Also, The lever does not lock.

    Is there a way to safely open the lid and fix the device where it locks again.

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