So Your Keurig Keeps Shutting Off. Here’s Why and How to Fix It.

Published: 12/30/22 •  8 min read

Your Keurig coffee maker is the thing that wakes you up in the morning. Your trusty coffee machine is the only thing standing between you and complete bedlam for the rest of your day. Alas, today is not your day, hombre, as you’ve encountered a problem with your coffee maker – your Keurig keeps shutting off.

This could spell disaster! You probably won’t need to replace your coffee maker, so don’t panic. Keurig coffee makers’ routinely shut off for a variety of reasons. Let’s walk you through why you might be having issues when you try to brew coffee.

If you notice that your Keurig is stopping brewing suddenly in the middle of a brew cycle, then there are many reasons why this might be happening. There’s no need to call Keurig support just yet. Read on below first! You might be able to fix your brewer yourself.

The exit needle is clogged or broken

The exit needles are one of the most important parts of your Keurig machines. They’re the thing that spurts out the coffee when you hit brew. The brewing process can begin once you’ve hit brew and where the wakey-wakey juice comes from. Sometimes, these needles can become clogged with various debris from your k-cups and other coffee debris. Various gunk can build up around your exit needles, causing them to become clogged.

Cleaning your Keurig’s needle is something that needs to be done regularly – once a week is a good timeline.

How to Clean Needles

One of the easiest ways to clean your exit needles is to use a paperclip. First, you’ll want to turn off your Keurig and unplug it from the wall. Next, you’ll want to remove the k cup holder from the Keurig machine.

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Next, you’ll want to remove the funnel from your Keurig coffee machine. This may take a bit of wiggling, but once it’s free, you can access the needle. You won’t be able to poke through the brew head but start gently wiggling the paper clip around, this will loosen up the debris and gunk from inside the pod holder. You should also wash out the pod holder with hot water.

Broken or Bent Needles

Broken or bent needles are another reason why your Keurig keeps shutting off while brewing. Broken or bent needles are less commonly a problem, as the needles would require quite a bit of force to break, but it does happen. Usually, if you tried to make coffee with a cup that was too tall for the Keurig machine but shoved it in there anyway, causing damage to the needle.

Broken or bent needles can occur in either the top entrance needle (where the hot water flows through into the k cup holder) or in the exit needle, where the finished coffee product flows into your morning cup.

If you’re finding that your coffee maker isn’t working when you hit brew, this might be why. Before you load a fresh k cup in and hit the brew button, check the entrance needle to see if it’s pointing straight downward. If it is, then it’s fine, and your problem lies elsewhere.

If it is bent or broken, you’ll need to replace the needle gasket with one that is compatible with your Keurig. The same is true of the bottom needle, known as the exit needle. Check to see if it needs replacing. If either one of these needs replacing, you’ve likely found the source of your problem.

Replacing these is a simple task of finding the appropriate gasket from either Keurig or Amazon – it needs to be compatible with your machine – and then replacing the gasket. This is an easy fix that you can do yourself without having to call Keurig support.

The water magnet alignment is off

Another possibility for why your Keurig coffee machine continues to stop brewing and shut off is that the water magnet alignment is off. The water magnet is what helps the machine determine whether or not there is sufficient water in the water tank to begin brewing. The water magnet is a magnet that floats where there is sufficient water in the reservoir to begin brewing.

Sometimes, this magnet can become misaligned, which will cause an error in the machine water reservoir sensor, causing it to shut off and stop pumping water.

How to Fix Water Magnet Alignment

Fixing a misaligned magnet issue can only be done by removing the water reservoir. To do this, you’ll need to turn off the Keurig and unplug the Keurig from the wall. Remove the water reservoir and ensure that the water magnet is floating in the little slot that’s there to support it rather than floating freely – this will realign the magnet and restore your brewer to operable status!

Your Keurig Needs Descaling

Over time, your Keurig will fall victim to a build-up of mineral deposits. It is a common cause of problems with Keurig that inhibit its ability to complete the brewing process. These minerals that build up usually come from tap water as your primary water source to brew coffee. This build-up inhibits the brewing process, and your Keurig will need to be descaled.

What is Descaling?

Descaling is the process of cleaning your Keurig of this scale, that’s typically made of water deposits and calcium. Scale from tap water can clog up your water pump, interrupting your water flow. Descaling is sometimes done by the Keurig machine itself, but can also be done by using a homemade solution.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to descale your Keurig. This should be done routinely every three to six months, depending on how often you’re using your Keurig.

How to Descale Your Keurig

There are a couple of options when it comes to descaling your Keurig. Keurig itself sells a descaling solution that can be used, but if you don’t have your Keurig one to hand, you can use a homemade solution.

You’ll want to ensure that your water reservoir is empty and that your machine is turned off and unplugged. You’ll need a large cup, be sure to rinse the cup beforehand. If your Keurig coffee maker has a water filter, remove this and set it aside.

Your first step is to fill the entire bottle of Keurig descaling solution into the empty reservoir, then fill that bottle with water and add it to the reservoir. Now, you can either press “DESCALE” or “Cleaning Brew,” depending on your model of Keurig. Different machines may have different words but look for something that means or closely resembles “descaling”.

At Home Solutions

If you lack Keurig’s descaling solution, you can make your own by using white vinegar and water, following the same procedure. Make sure you use equal parts vinegar and water. This will descale the machine, freeing it of gunk and limescale/calcium buildup that’s causing you issues. Make sure you place a mug underneath the nozzle to catch the dirty water that will come through the needle.

Other Causes of Brewing Issues

There are a few other reasons why your Keurig machine might be experiencing brewing problems.

A Faulty Outlet

If your descaling doesn’t get you back up and brewing again, you may have a faulty outlet. Try plugging your Keurig into a different outlet and see if that works.

Electrical Circuitry Problems

This is more of an electrical problem, but your brewer may compete with other appliances for the electrical circuitry, particularly if they’re plugged into the same outlet. Try plugging your brewer into a different outlet.

K-Cup Malfunction

When you close the lid to your Keurig’s k-cup holder, it’s supposed to puncture the bottom of the k cup as well as the top of the cup. You may have a faulty k cup! If the bottom of your k cup is unpunctured, your machine won’t brew. Check the pod to see if this is the case. If it is, replace the pod with another pod and try again.

Machine Malfunction

Sometimes, patience is the best policy. Some Keurig users have reported that leaving their machine to sit overnight has resolved the problem of it shutting off while brewing. Simply unplug your machine, remove the water reservoir – best to wash it with soap and water and rinse it out before leaving it to dry. Then, when the morning comes, plug your machine back in and see if that resolves your problem.

Try running your machine again with the largest cup size selected in the morning to see if it runs a full brewing cycle.

Switch Water Sources

One of the most common causes that will stop your Keurig from brewing is too much limescale or calcium build-up on the interior parts, including the water pump. Consider switching to bottled water or distilled water rather than your traditional water from the tap.

In Conclusion

If all else fails and you’re struggling to find a solution, maybe it is time to consider replacing or upgrading your brewer! This time, ensure that your brand-new Keurig has a self-cleaning function! And make sure to keep up with routine Keurig maintenance.

Hans Mast

Hans loves coffee and loves teaching about coffee