Why Does My Keurig Keep Shutting Off When Brewing?

 was on the verge of throwing my Keurig machine out the window when I thought to look up why my Keurig kept shutting off. 

While this may happen occasionally, in many cases, it’s something that can be fixed at home. 

However, there are various reasons why a Keurig could be shutting off. 

I’m going to cover the most common motives for easy remedy and so everyone can enjoy a good, reliable cup of coffee every day.  

Key Takeaways
  • Keurig machines can shut off for various reasons - many of which can be avoided with proper maintenance.
  • Some reasons can be fixed at home, while others require sending the machine in to Keurig.
  • Don’t stress if a Keurig is shutting off - I have all the answers here!

9 Common Reasons You Keurig Machine Shuts Off

1. It's Time To Descale

Limescale and mineral deposits from the water will naturally build up in your Keurig machine. Eventually, this mineral buildup will block the water tubes and stop your Keurig coffee machine from running.

Keurig machines are easy to maintain and automatically tell you when they need to be descaled. Descaling it should solve the problem, but you won't be able to run a brewing cycle until it's done.

You should descale your Keurig every 3-4 months to keep it running and more frequently if you live in an area with hard tap water.[1]

Using distilled water in your Keurig will help prevent these deposits, but you will still need to descale at least twice a year.

How To Descale The Machine

  1. Pour some Keurig descaling solution into the water tank (you can also mix white vinegar and water to create your own descaling mix)
  2. Remove any K cup, and put a large cup onto the drip tray.
  3. Press the descaling button (or brew button) and let the descaling solution travel through your machine and into the cup. You won’t be able to do anything else during descale.
  4. Repeat until all the descaling solution is gone.
  5. Let the Keurig brewer rest for 30 minutes after descaling. This allows it to dissolve the mineral buildup within the machine.
  6. Run 8-10 brew cycles with fresh water to flush the minerals out of the system. 

2. Needs To Be Reset

Keurigs are like mini computers you can program to make coffee.

If your Keurig keeps shutting off while brewing, it may be a technical issue, and the only way to get it functioning properly again is to perform a reset.

Once you’ve completed the reset, leave it for a few hours before trying to use it again.

How To Perform A Reset

If your Keurig keeps stopping brewing mid-cycle, it could be a technical issue. The best way to get it to function properly is to perform a reset:

  1. Turn off the Keurig machine and unplug it. Let the Keurig sit for a few minutes.
  2. Remove the water reservoir.
  3. Plug the Keurig back in and then replace the water tank.
  4. Open and close the K-cup brew basket.
  5. Your Keurig machine should now be ready for the next brew cycle! 

3. Faulty Wiring

Faulty wiring is very common in coffee makers, and electrical malfunction is one of the leading causes of residential fires.[2]

Keurigs are one of the most reliable brands, but even with Keurigs, I had a few issues. 

Faulty wiring can come from a short circuit or a loose connection, but it can cause your Keurig to overheat when you hit brew.

Check The Power Source

Start by checking your machine is actually plugged in and the outlet is turned on. Check the wiring regularly to make sure there’s no damage to the cord. If there is, replace it.

It's difficult to check the wiring without prior experience, so I advise checking for other issues first.

If you've checked everything else and your Keurig is still shutting off while brewing, it could be the wiring. Contact Keurig support to help you.

person removing and fixing the wiring in a Keurig coffee maker

4. Overheating

Overheating is common with Keurig coffee makers, especially if you use it frequently. I've noticed my Keurig struggling a few times when I had my family visit and made 7 or 8 cups in a row.

Overheating can also be caused by a fault in the wiring or because it doesn't have sufficient ventilation. Your Keurig machine shuts down to protect itself from overheating. 

How To Fix Overheating

All you can do is shut it down for a few hours (or leave it to sit overnight), let it cool down, and then try again.

5. Clogged Needle

Your Keurig coffee maker has two needles in the brew head that puncture holes in the top and bottom of every K cup.

The top brew head needle can become clogged with coffee grounds, dirt, or debris from the K cups.

If this happens, the clogged brew needle won’t be able to puncture a hole, and water won’t be able to flow into the K cup.

If this happens, the Keurig machine automatically shuts down to prevent water from leaking everywhere. It should run again once you clean the needle in the K-cup basket.

How To Check And Fix The Needle

Cleaning the exit needles on a regular basis helps to keep them in good condition so they can puncture the K cup. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the brew head and remove the K cup pod basket.
  2. Separate the funnel from the K cup holder to expose the exit needle and surrounding needle gasket.
  3. Look for any visible damage to the needles. If they are bent, you can try to straighten them using pliers, but I would advise buying replacement needles from Keurig. You should be able to slot these right into the holder.
  4. Take a paper clip and slide one end into the needle hole. Wiggle it around to loosen any coffee debris. Gently tap it on a surface to dislodge any dirt.
  5. Carefully clean the needle with gentle soap and fresh water.
  6. Leave the clean needles to drip dry.
  7. Replace the pod holder back in the Keurig machine.
  8. Perform a brew cycle with water to flush the system.
Checking And Fixing The Needle Of A Keurig

6. Faulty Thermostat

Every Keurig brewer has a thermostat within the water reservoir that measures when the water reaches the right temperature.

If the Keurig thermostat is faulty, it could mean it senses it has already reached the right temperature or that it is overheating.

In both these cases, your Keurig machine won’t stay on when you start brewing.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix or solutions for your Keurig machine thermostat, and you'll need to contact Keurig support. If it's a new machine or under warranty, you should get a free replacement.

Contact Keurig Support

It’s difficult to work through these solutions at home, and I recommend calling a professional.

If your coffee maker is under warranty, contact Keurig support. They will usually send you a brand-new Keurig as a replacement.[3]

keurig coffee maker pouring hot water into mug

7. Brewing Process Disrupted

If your Keurig is interrupted after it starts brewing, it will usually shut down. This interruption could be caused by a power outage or a technical issue with the machine.

In most cases, the Keurig won't start brewing again when you turn it back on.

What To Do When The Brewing Process Is Disrupted

You'll need to remove the K pod and press brew again, and you may also need to reset the machine.

8. Misaligned Water Magnet

All Keurig coffee makers except the Keurig Mini have a removable water reservoir. This is held in place with magnets that let the Keurig coffee maker sense that the water reservoir is in place.

Your Keurig coffee maker will automatically turn off if it doesn’t sense the water reservoir during the brewing process because it assumes there’s no water to brew coffee with.

This can happen because the water reservoir magnets are not in contact with each other, and they need to be aligned before your coffee maker can restart the brewing process.

How To Check The Water Magnet Alignment

Remove any excess water, open the water tank, return the misaligned magnet to the correct position, and close it. Add water and set the brewer to run. It should now function properly.

9. Unpunctured K Cup Bottom

Your K cup must be punctured in the top AND bottom to brew coffee. If there's no hole in the bottom and you hit brew, your Keurig coffee maker will shut off.

This safety feature is designed to prevent excess pressure from building in the K cup, potentially causing it to explode.

Certain K cups are harder for the bottom needle to puncture and can lead to your Keurig machine shutting off while brewing.

I have found that certain smaller K-cup milk capsules (for my cappuccinos and lattes) are more difficult to puncture, but it can happen with any K-cup pod.

If this happens, you'll usually have to manually puncture the coffee pod.

How To Check The K-cup Pod

Open the brew head and check the K cup pod to see if there’s a puncture hole in the top and the bottom.

The most common issue is that the Keurig hasn't punctured the bottom of the pod. This causes the Keurig to shut down to prevent a build-up of pressure inside the pod.

Firmly push the K cup into the K cup holder to manually puncture the bottom. This should solve the problem so that Keurig works as it should.

If you notice certain K-cup brands are harder to puncture, you should avoid them. You should contact customer support if your Keurig is struggling to puncture all K cups.

two K-cups sitting on a kitchen counter

Other Keurig Shut-Off Problems & Troubleshooting Tips

Unfortunately, your Keurig can also shut down even when it isn't brewing. Here are some more Keurig tips to help you keep your brewer running as it should:

Keurig Shuts Off When You Press Any Button

This usually happens because of a technical issue, but it can also be because of the wiring.

Start by performing a reset on the machine:

  1. Unplug and turn it off.
  2. Remove and replace the water tank.
  3. Turn it back on.
  4. Open and close the brew head.
If the reset doesn’t work, try lifting the machine upside down and gently shaking it. This can sometimes loosen some wires and get the Keurig working again.

Keurig Shuts Off After Selecting Cup Size

If your Keurig is only letting you select the cup size and then powering off, it’s probably because of a clogged needle or an internal electrical fault.

Try removing, cleaning, and unclogging the needle to see if that helps. Then, try resetting the machine completely. If that doesn’t work, contact Keurig customer services.

Keurig Shuts Off During Descaling

If your Keurig keeps stopping during the descaling, it’s probably overheating. The higher temperature trips the thermal switch, and the machine powers down to protect itself.

Try leaving the Keurig for at least 2 hours to cool down. Then, try to complete the descale cycle again.

Descaling A Keurig Using Solution

Related Keurig Shutting Off Questions

How often should I clean my Keurig to prevent it from shutting off when I hit brew?

Wipe down your Keurig after every use, clean it once a week, and perform a deep clean and descale every 3-4 months to remove mineral buildup and keep your Keurig in the best condition. This should ensure it works every time you hit the brew button.

How long does it take for a Keurig to turn off and on?

Your Keurig should turn off and on almost instantly. However, it will take 3-5 minutes until you have hot water you can brew with (it may take longer with an older machine).

Does the Keurig K Duo shut off automatically?

The Keurig K Duo will shut off automatically after 5 minutes. This is an energy-saving feature and can be altered in the programmable settings.

Does the Keurig Mini have auto shut-off?

Yes, a Keurig Mini will automatically turn off 90 seconds after it completes a brew cycle.


Fix Your Keurig Today!

Keurigs don't break very often, but if your Keurig coffee maker is shutting down when brewing, it could be for a variety of reasons.

Most of the time, it's because it needs to be cleaned or something has come loose, but I recommend going through the troubleshooting steps in this guide.

This should help you diagnose and resolve the issue quickly.

Don't be afraid to contact a professional either, and if you're within warranty, contact Keurig support.

References:

  1. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/understanding-and-dealing-hard-water
  2. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/residential-fires/electrical.html
  3. https://commercial.keurig.com/content/contact-us 

Kayla Stavridis

Head of Marketing

Kayla Stavridis
Kayla Stavridis is a coffee enthusiast and Head of Marketing for Barista HQ. She blends her professional insights and experience with a deep passion for all things coffee. Kayla offers a unique, hands-on perspective on coffee culture and trends. You can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... Cold Brew

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