What To Do If Your Keurig Keeps Pumping Water

Picture of Keurig Turned Off

Keurig, a small kitchen appliance that took the world by storm almost 25 years ago, allows people to quickly and conveniently brew a single serving of coffee almost on demand. This machine was invented to solve the problem of having full pots of coffee tasting burnt and bitter at the workplace before they could be consumed.

Like other appliances that get a lot of use, certain features can act up or not work properly from time to time. One problem some people have encountered while owning or using a Keurig is when the machine won’t stop pumping water. Although fairly common, this problem can be annoying. Luckily, there are a few explanations as to why this happens and a couple of options to consider when trying to fix it. 

Dissecting the Keurig

Before discussing what might cause a Keurig to continually pump water, and why that’s a bad thing, it’s important to know the working parts inside a Keurig. Not only that, but it’s important to understand what these pieces do to identify if they are working properly or not.

The “Guts” of a Keurig

Once the external water reservoir has been filled with cold water and a coffee pod (or K-cup) has been placed into the cup holder, the handle on top of the cup holder can be pushed down, causing two needles to puncture the top and bottom of the coffee pod. Choosing which size brew you would like and hitting the “brew” button sparks all the magic that happens inside the Keurig machine.

When the brew button is hit, the first thing that happens inside of this appliance is water is pumped by a piston from the external reservoir through tubes and into the bottom of the hot water tank. When the water is pumped to this location, a stop valve located in the bottom of the tank is opened which allows the water to enter the heating unit. In this internal tank, the water is heated and kept at low pressure.

The quiet clicking that can be heard before the coffee is brewed can be attributed to two solenoid valves. The solenoid unit helps regulate water flow and pressure inside the Keurig and opens and closes during the brewing process.

The piston continues to push water from the external reservoir to the heating tank until the water reaches the correct level corresponding to the size of the brew. There are probes inside the heat tank that match the different brew sizes. Once the water reaches this probe, it signals the water pump to stop sending water into the heat tank. 

Once the water reaches the appropriate level, it is forced through more tubes until it reaches the coffee pod. The hot water is forced through the small hole in the coffee pod and mixes with the coffee grounds inside the pod.

As the water mixes with the coffee grounds, hot coffee is brewed, released from the bottom hole in the pod, and deposited in a mug sitting on top of the external drip tray. This process will continue until the amount of coffee that was selected is brewed.

The coffee pod, which is made from several layers of strong plastic to withstand the puncturing, also contains a small filter to catch any coffee grounds.

What’s Causing the Problem?

Now that we have discussed how the machine works, it’s easier to understand why the machine might keep pumping water. For starters, it could be an issue with the probes inside the heat tank and how they correspond with the pump. Possibly, the probes could have stopped alerting the water pump when to stop pumping water.

Another reason the water keeps pumping could be an issue with the pump itself. It could simply be clogged with a build-up of some sort, limestone for example, depending on what type of water is used in the machine. On top of this, the connection between the pump and the heat tank could also be loose. 

Yet another area that could cause this issue is solenoid valves. This unit, which helps regulate water pressure and the pumping of air, could be faulty and in need of repair or replacement.

Possible Solutions

If you are experiencing issues with your Keurig and the water pump just keeps running, there are a few things you can try to fix it at home yourself. Below are some of the most common solutions.

Turn off the Appliance

Unplugging the machine from the wall and allowing the Keurig to reset can sometimes alleviate some possible issues. This is probably the easiest thing to try and, although it may not work, it’s the first thing that I would do if I were dealing with this issue. 

Simply unplug the machine and give it 15 minutes without any power. Then, plug the machine back in and see if the problem is resolved. If not, continue problem solving.


Sometimes all your appliance needs to function properly is a good cleaning. If you are experiencing some wonky issues, try descaling the machine and cleaning out any debris or clogs that may affect how the internal pieces operate. Also, clean out the needle that punctures the coffee pod. Even if this doesn’t work, the machine will be cleaned, and this issue will be ruled out.

Give It a Burp

Your appliance could just need a good smack, or “burp.” There could be a loose connection causing the water to keep pumping, which could be reconnected with a quick knock to the side. This possible solution, although attempted by some and sometimes successful, is not recommended by the Keurig company in its troubleshooting section.

Take the Brewer Apart

Even though the issue may be complicated, like needing to replace the solenoid unit or air pump, it could be something much easier like a loose connection. Either way, taking the appliance apart carefully is the best way to check for loose connections or the potential need for part replacements.

Fixing Your Keurig’s Issues

If these possible solutions don’t work and the Keurig keeps pumping water, you may need to call the company’s customer service number. They can also be reached online through email and live chat. Either way, they may be able to better assist with this issue.