Has your Keurig coffee maker turned into an unexpected water feature? I've been there.
I've used Keurig coffee makers for almost 10 years, and I know leaks happen.
The good news is that you can usually fix it yourself, but the bad news is that it could mean something is wrong with your Keurig.
The trick is diagnosing the problem quickly and resolving it fast. In this guide, I'll explain the most common reasons your Keurig is leaking and show you how to fix the problem quickly and easily.
Why Is My Keurig Leaking From The Top?
I usually find that a water leak is more common at the top of the device, and they’re often down to user error. Here are the most common issues:
1. Overfilling The Water Reservoir
It can be tempting to overfill the water reservoir in your Keurig machine so you don’t have to refill it as often, but that would be a mistake.
When you start the Keurig coffee maker brewing process, the water will be heated and expand slightly.
If your water tank is too full, the heat and pressure will cause water to spill over the top of the water reservoir, causing a leak from the top of your Keurig machine.
Don't overfill the water tank. Never go above the fill line, and you shouldn't have any trouble.
The water reservoir isn't removable in the Keurig K Mini, so it can be harder to judge. I recommend using a measuring jug and keeping the water level above 6 oz and under 12 oz.
2. Clogged Needles
Your Keurig coffee maker brews using hot water and a K cup. Needles in the brew head puncture the top and bottom of your K cup, allowing water to pass through.
Over time, coffee grounds or other debris can clog these needles. The clogged needles won't be able to puncture the K cup, and when water is pumped through, it will leak from your machine.
It's common to see steam rising from the brew head if the needles are clogged.a
Clean the needles by following these steps:
- Turn off the machine and leave to cool.
- Lift the Keurig handle to reveal the K cup holder.
- Remove the K cup holder from the Keurig coffee maker.
- Separate the funnel from the K cup holder.
- Insert a paperclip into the needle hole and wiggle it to loosen any debris.
- Clean the needle head in hot water and leave it to dry.
- As it’s drying, check the needle in the brew head. Use the paper clip to remove any debris and wipe clean.
- Reassemble your K cup holder and put it back in the coffee machine. Perform a brew cycle without a K cup to flush the system with fresh water.
3. Broken Or Loose Gasket
The upper gasket seals the base of the entrance needle. The silicone seal prevents water from flowing out of the sides of the K-cup pod holder.
If the upper gasket is damaged or there’s a perished seal, it can cause some leaking.
First, check the upper gasket for any visible damage. Do this by opening the lid of the Keurig, looking for the entrance needle, and seeing if it’s loose or broken.
If it is, replace the gasket by following these steps:
- Open the lid of the Keurig coffee maker.
- Find the upper gasket around the entrance needle.
- Pull around the edge to remove it. There should be some silicon grease that makes it easy to remove.
- Replace with a new upper gasket. You can buy them directly from Keurig, and they should snap into place.
- Close the lid and use the Keurig coffee maker as usual.
4. Defective Pod Holder
If your pod holder is defective, it won't hold your K cup in place. This can prevent the needles from puncturing your K cup, causing leaking.
If you notice a humming noise when you start the brewing process, and the K cups come out damaged, you likely have an issue with the pod holder.
Contact customer services.
They should be able to help you repair or replace it.
5. Damaged Internal Pipes
The internal water pipes allow water to travel through the water tanks when you start brewing. If you have a leaking Keurig, it could mean damage to the internal pipes or heating element.
It's difficult to check the internal components without taking the Keurig apart, and the easiest thing to do is contact Keurig customer services and explain the issue.
However, you can try to diagnose and fix a Keurig yourself by replacing the damaged internal component.
This is a more complicated process and could be hazardous. It could also void your warranty, so attempt it at your own risk.
First, you need to identify what/where the problem is. The best way to do that is to open up the Keurig and run a cycle so you can see what’s happening. Follow these steps:
- Unscrew the back of the Keurig and remove the rear panels.
- Run the coffee machine (without a K cup) and look for any leaking water. There could be hairline cracks in the pipes or tube connectors that are causing an issue.
- When you find the issue, turn the power off and wait for everything you cool down.
- Order a replacement part, remove the damaged pipe, and replace it.
- Secure both the valve and the pipe in place and run another cycle. Hopefully, there’s no leaking water, and your Keurig will brew a cup of coffee properly.
6. Faulty K-Cups
Keurig coffee makers only work with a specific type of coffee pod called a K cup.
These contain ground coffee, and your Keurig will force hot water through the K cup and into your coffee mug underneath.
If you notice your Keurig leaking water from the top, it could be because your K cup is faulty. This is usually because there’s too much air in the K cup or it’s not sealed properly.
It could also be because you’re using the wrong type of coffee pod.
Only use official K cups and align them with the arrows in the K cup holder. If the K cup looks odd, damaged, or too full, don't use it in the coffee machine.
7. Lid Not Tightly Closed
Before you start a brew cycle, you have to open the brew head, insert a K cup, and close it. The brew head should close tightly to hold the K cup inside.
If the lid isn’t closed tightly, the pressure from the cold water will build and push back upwards. This can lead to water and coffee leaking from the top of the pod holder.
Close the lid tightly before using the Keurig coffee maker. If it doesn't close properly, contact Keurig customer service because your Keurig brewer may need to be repaired or replaced.
Why Is My Keurig Leaking From The Bottom?
Water leaks from the bottom of your Keurig coffee machine are usually caused by a broken component rather than user error.
Here are the 3 most common issues if your Keurig is leaking water from the bottom:
1. Faulty Or Dirty Water Tank Seal
Your Keurig coffee maker water reservoir/water tank connects to an intake valve that allows cold water through the coffee maker.
A seal connects the water tank to the intake valve, and if it becomes damaged, it can lead to leaking from the bottom of your coffee maker.
Start by descaling your coffee maker to clean the seal. Pour a descaling solution (or white vinegar solution) into your water reservoir and run the descaling cycle.
This should remove any mineral buildup blocking the water tank seal.
If the fault isn’t fixed, contact Keurig customer support because you may have a faulty water tank seal that needs to be replaced.
2. Broken O-Ring
The O-ring is a small silicone ring that seals the bottom of the water tank to the hose underneath. If the O ring is damaged, water may leak from the bottom of your Keurig.
It's normal for O-rings to become damaged over time. Check for a bad O ring by emptying the water reservoir and looking at the bottom where the hose meets the tank.
The O ring should be clearly visible, and you'll be able to see if it's damaged or in the wrong place.
Check for any damage to the O ring and push it back so it fits snugly at the bottom of the water tank.
If it's missing or damaged, order a replacement and snap it into place. This should stop the leaking.
3. Cracked Water Tank
The water tank/water reservoir holds all the water for brewing. If you notice small but consistent leaking from the bottom of your Keurig, it could mean the tank is cracked.
Start by removing and inspecting the water reservoir for visible damage. I usually fill my water reservoir and hold it over a sink to see if there's leaking.
This will help you find cracks that aren't visible to the naked eye.
Replace the water tank. You can order a replacement water reservoir from Keurig and slot it straight in. Just make sure you buy the right water tank for your Keurig brewer.
Why Is My Keurig Leaking Coffee?
If your Keurig machine is leaking coffee rather than water, it means there’s an issue later in the brewing process. There are several reasons why this can happen:
1. Defective K-Cups
One of the most common reasons your Keurig is leaking grounds or coffee is that you are using the wrong coffee pods.
You can only use genuine K cups in your Keurig brewer. Different types or brands of coffee pods won't fit properly in the K cup holder, and the puncture needle won't make a proper hole.
This can lead to hot coffee spilling out from the Keurig coffee maker onto your drip tray.
Only use official Keurig K cups. Always double-check that the K cup is sitting correctly in the holder before starting a brew cycle.
2. Dirty Or Bent Exit Needle
If coffee is leaking from your machine and over your drip tray when you press the brew button, it could mean your exit needle is bent or broken.
This will prevent it from puncturing a hole in the bottom of the K cup and stop coffee can’t traveling down into your mug.
Clean and examine the exit needle following these steps:
- Turn off the Keurig machine and lift the handle.
- Remove the K cup holder and separate the holder from the funnel.
- Use a paper clip in the needle hole to remove any blockages.
- Clean it with warm soapy water and leave it to dry.
- Look for any damage to the needle. You need to replace it if it's bent.
- Order a replacement exit needle and gasket and slot them into the K cup holder (you can use silicon grease to lubricate it if needed).
- Put the K cup holder back into the machine. Perform a brew cycle without a K cup to flush the system.
3. Overfilling Reusable K-Cups
Reusable K cups are small pods you can load with your own coffee grounds. They work the same way as K cups but are cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Overfilling the reusable K cup with coffee grounds can block water from flowing into your cup. The water pressure can cause the coffee to travel back up and leak from the brewing chamber.
Don’t fill the reusable K cup above the max fill line (this should be clearly visible in the reusable pod).
4. Faulty Tube Connector Or Worn-Out Filters
This is one of the main reasons that coffee leaks into your drip tray and mug. Old filters and damaged tube connectors will disrupt the flow of water and cause your Keurig to leak water.
Eventually, it can lead to coffee leaking from your coffee maker and over your surfaces.
Replace the faulty parts. Remove the water reservoir to access the filter and connectors. Use a paper towel to dry off the area and inspect for damage.
Order replacement parts and fit them into the machine.
How To Drain Water From Keurig Machines?
Keurigs have two reservoirs: an external cold water reservoir and an internal thermal water reservoir.
Fully emptying your Keurig every few months will stop bacteria and mold from developing in the machine, but you must fully empty both.
The external water reservoir is easy to drain (just remove the water reservoir from your brewer), but the internal tank is more challenging.
There are two methods for draining the Keurig internal tank. Here’s a step-by-step guide for both:
Drain Water From Keurig Classic Without Disassembly
This method will work for most Keurig brewers, including the Keurig Mini.
- Turn off your brewer but leave it plugged in.
- Place a mug or bowl on the drip tray under the brew head.
- Lift the handle and put it down again.
- Press and hold the brew button until water flows into your mug or bowl.
- Keep holding until all the water has drained.
Drain Water From Keurig K-Elite Without Disassembly
This method is more complicated, and I only recommend using it if you can't use the Keurig Classic technique.
- Remove the water reservoir and empty any water.
- Unplug the coffee maker and remove the drip tray.
- Find the drain plug at the back of the machine underneath the reservoir. Place a bowl underneath.
- Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the drain plug and let the water drain out.
- Replace the drain plug and ensure there’s a tight seal.
- Replace the drip tray and turn the machine back on.
- Run a brew cycle without coffee grounds to flush out any dirt from the system.
Related Leaking Keurig Questions
How long do Keurigs last?
Keurigs should last 3-5 years if they are properly maintained.
What happens when you don't descale a Keurig?
If you don't descale your Keurig, it can lead to limescale buildup in the water hose and tubes. This can damage the coffee maker and lead to leaks. Performing regular descaling cycles with a descaling solution every 3-4 months will keep your Keurig brewing properly and stop it from becoming damaged.
How often should I drain my Keurig?
You should drain your Keurig any time you plan on letting it sit for 1-2 weeks without use.
How do I clean my Keurig without vinegar?
You can mix fresh water with citric acid or lemon juice as an effective alternative to cleaning with vinegar.
Summary - Start Fixing Today!
If your Keurig is leaking, it's a clear sign that something is wrong. Thankfully, in most cases, you can fix it yourself.
You first need to determine what's wrong and where the problem is. Cleaning will often resolve the issue, but you can also contact Keurig support for help.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to identify the problem and showed you how to fix it.