How to fix the Keurig blinking lights problem

Picture of Keurig Pods and Cups on a Table

Keurig coffee makers are one of my favorite inventions of all time. They are a quick and easy way to brew not only coffee but tea, lattes, cappuccinos, and pretty much any other coffee beverage you can think of.

Although they are relatively user-friendly, they can be a little confusing to use at first and sometimes they act up for even the most frequent of users. If the lights on your Keurig are blinking and you’re having a hard time figuring out why, don’t panic! There are a number of reasons why the lights on your Keurig are blinking, but most of the time it’s a simple fix. If your Keurig lights are flashing, look no further than this guide to help troubleshoot the issue and get you brewing your favorite beverage in no time at all.

Keurigs are designed to alert you when there’s an issue and the machine isn’t able to operate the way it should. Most problems can be fixed in a matter of minutes or even seconds, but sometimes a blinking light can require a little bit of work on your part to get the machine working like new. Let’s walk through the most common issues that cause your Keurig’s lights to blink, from the simplest to the most involved.

Your machine needs more water

Water is an essential ingredient to making coffee, so naturally, the Keurig needs to have enough water in its reservoir to be able to brew that K-cup for you. Depending on the model, most Keurig water reservoirs will hold anywhere from 40-80 ounces of water. 

The less water it holds, the more frequently you’ll need to refill it. Thankfully, your machine will take the guesswork out of this process; if there isn’t enough water in the tank, your Keurig will let you know.

All Keurig machines have an “add water” light or button. If this is the light that’s blinking, simply remove the water reservoir, fill it with filtered water and place it back on the machine. This should reset the button and stop it from blinking. If the light is still blinking, try turning the machine off and on again before attempting to brew your beverage.

The water tank is dislodged

There’s another reason that could cause your “add water” light to flash, but luckily it’s quite easy to fix. If the water tank is missing or not properly placed on the machine, this is how your Keurig will let you know.

We’ve all been there… it’s early, it’s dark, and you haven’t had your coffee. Maybe the water reservoir is sitting in your dish strainer or you didn’t quite attach it correctly in your sleepy, early-morning haze.

It will be pretty obvious that the water tank is missing, so if that isn’t the problem, try readjusting the reservoir until it is secure. This should cause the light to stop blinking, but if it doesn’t, try that ol’ reliable trick and turn the machine off and on again before trying to make your beverage.

Your Keurig needs a reset

If the “add water,” “heat,” and “medium cup” lights are all flashing at the same time, that just means your machine needs a little love to figure out what’s wrong. It could be as simple as the water reservoir being misaligned, so start by making sure it is properly in place. If it is, then you’ll need to do a bit more troubleshooting.

Run a brew of just water–either 6 ounces or 8 ounces–into a measuring cup. If the proper amount of water is dispensed, this should have fixed the issue. If it didn’t brew the right amount of water, you’ll need to keep going.

If you’re using a water filter, try removing it and running a water-only brew into the measuring cup. If it brewed correctly, replace the charcoal filter and you should be good to go. If you’re still having trouble, there’s one more thing you can try.

Run three more water-only brews of 6 or 8 ounces each into the measuring cup. If the right amount was not brewed after three tries, you’ll have to contact Keurig’s customer service line (1-866-901-BREW(2739)) for more help. 

The needle needs maintenance

Keurigs are equipped with a needle that punctures the K-cup in order for it to brew. If there’s an issue with the needle, the machine will either run improperly or alert you to the problem with blinking lights.

Most of the time, the needle just has a buildup of old coffee grounds on it and requires cleaning. This can be done easily with a simple paperclip, as shown in this video from Keurig:

A similar issue could involve your reusable K-cup being packed too tightly with coffee grounds. If this is the case, the needle won’t be able to puncture the grounds and your machine won’t be able to brew. If you suspect this is the case, try using fewer coffee grounds and/or not packing them as tightly in the K-cup.

Your Keurig needs to be descaled

After months of use, it is common for limescale to build up in your machine, which can result in the machine not working as it should. Luckily, your Keurig can recognize when it needs to be descaled and will let you know with a blinking light.

If your machine’s “descale” light is blinking, then it needs a good cleaning. To avoid this happening at an inopportune time, it is recommended that you descale your machine about every 3 months.

It is a simple process that doesn’t take long and can extend the life of your machine. This video from Keurig can walk you through the process.

Blinking lights aren’t all that bad

While your first reaction may be annoyance or frustration, your Keurig blinking at you is its way of telling you it needs a little TLC. These blinking lights are a good thing, as they alert you to an issue before it becomes worse and renders your machine unusable. 

So if your Keurig’s lights are flashing, don’t fret. There’s usually a simple fix to get your machine up and running again and your troubleshooting can help to address any minor issues with the machine to keep it running as it should!