Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Overload Message (Fixed!)

Facing an ‘overload’ message on your Hamilton Beach FlexBrew coffee maker? This common error is usually caused by clogged needles or an airlock in the system.

This guide provides straightforward steps to troubleshoot and resolve the ‘overload’ message, helping you get back to brewing your perfect cup of coffee!

How To Fix The Overload Message On The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Coffee Maker?

To fix the overload message on the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew, clean both the bottom and top needles using a paper clip and water. Run rinse cycles without a K-cup to clear debris.

If the message persists, try resolving airlocks using the ‘Lift and Tilt’ technique with the water reservoir, an inflated Ziplock bag, a turkey baster, or a straw.

Finally, descale the Flexbrew with a vinegar-water solution.

Let’s dive into some more detail on how to do this below!

hamilton beach flexbrew overload message

Unclog The Needles In The Lid And Basket

The overload message is usually triggered when the two needles on the capsule side become clogged with old coffee residue or mineral buildup. Here is how to fix that:

Clean The Bottom Needle

To clean the bottom needle, begin by removing the K-cup holder from the machine. Straighten out the paper clip and insert it into the bottom needle to clear any clogs.

Run the paper clip up into the basket area to ensure it is thoroughly clean. Take this part to a sink and clean it under running water.

You may also consider using a brush to ensure all debris is removed.

Clean The Top Needle

Next, let’s move to the top needle. One of the advantages of Hamilton Beach coffee makers is that they allow you to remove the top needle.

To remove it, turn the arrow to the ‘unlock’ symbol, pull it towards you, and slide it off.

Now, straighten another paper clip and insert it from the back of this needle to clear any clogs. As you do this, run water through the needle to help remove the loosened debris.

Move the paper clip side to side within the needle to ensure all clogs are broken up.

When reinstalling the top needle, align it with ‘unlock’, push up, and turn until it clicks into the ‘lock’ position.

Run A Rinse Cycle

After cleaning both needles, it’s essential to run a couple of rinse cycles without a K-cup in place. This action helps to clear any loosened debris from the needles and ensures that your next cup of coffee will be as fresh as possible.

To do this, close the lid of your coffee maker, select the single cup size option, and run a cycle with just water. Repeat this step as needed.

Clogged needles in your Hamilton Beach coffee maker can also often cause it to leak.

The Needles that can become clogged

Clear The Airlock Out of The Tubes

Another reason for the ‘Overload’ message on your is an airlock in the tubes of the coffee maker. Here are a few different methods to get the airlock out of the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew:

Lift And Tilt The Water Reservoir

This solution is intended only for those who have a Flexbrew machine with a detachable water tank.

Inspect the water tank of your coffee maker. Inside, you will find a small black tab where the tank attaches to the part of the machine that draws in water.

When you place the water tank onto the coffee maker, this small black tab is usually pushed in, allowing water to flow from the tank into the Flexbrew. But if there is a blockage caused by trapped air, known as an airlock, it may stop the water from flowing into the machine.

Try a method I call the ‘Lift and tilt’ technique.

  1. Remove the water tank from the coffee machine and turn the machine on.
  2. Gently and slowly reinsert the water tank, positioning it at a slight angle.
  3. Lift the water tank up and set it back down several times.

Watch the black tab in the water tank closely. It should rise a little to let the water flow through. If you notice air bubbles when you put the tank back, that’s a positive indication, as it suggests that the trapped air is being released, resolving the airlock.

After using the technique, refill the water tank and run a test on the machine. If everything is functioning properly, you should observe the water being pumped through the machine as usual.

If the method doesn’t succeed on your first attempt, don’t lose hope. You might need to repeat the ‘lifting and tilting’ process several times. The key is to be patient and gentle with each attempt.

Push It Out With A Ziplock Bag

If the lift and tilt method doesn’t solve the issue, a more assertive approach may be necessary. I refer to this technique as the ‘Airbag Push’.

Here is how it works:

Inflate a Ziplock bag with air and seal it securely, making sure it isn’t fully filled.

Place the inflated Ziplock bag into the water tank of the Flexbrew coffee maker. Ensure that the bag covers all the openings in the tank so that no air can escape.

With the inflated bag positioned inside the water tank, turn on the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew. Press the brew button, and at the same time, apply pressure on the bag to force water into the Flexbrew machine.

Use A Turkey Baster Or Syringe

Another method is to use a turkey baster or a syringe to push water through the Flexbrew.

Here is how to do that:

  1. Pour water into the container until it is half full, and then place it on the coffee maker.
  2. Use a tool, such as a turkey baster, to draw some water from the reservoir.
  3. Place the turkey baster onto the port where the coffee maker sucks in water.
  4. Press the button to start brewing coffee. While doing this, squeeze the turkey baster to push water into the machine.

If you don’t have a turkey baster, an alternative could be a syringe, such as a Nasal Aspirator.

Use A Straw To Suck The Airlock Out

You’re going to need a Camelbak bite valve or another rubber mouthpiece from a water canteen and straw to fix this.

First, attach the Camelbak bite valve’s side with the slit to the Flexbrew machine’s water suction port. Ensure it’s tightly fixed with no gaps for air. Then, insert the straw into the remaining open end of the bite valve.

If you don’t have a water bottle that has a mouthpiece, you can use a damp paper towel as a substitute. Just wrap the wet paper towel around the end of the straw to help form a tight seal.

Suck in hard through the straw several times to create a vacuum. This may help to clear any blockage in your machine. After doing this three times, reattach the water tank to your machine.

Lastly, attempt to brew a cup of coffee. If the solution was effective, water should begin to flow by the third attempt.

Alternatively, here’s another method: fill the straw with water and blow in it while your coffee maker is brewing. This approach is similar to using the turkey baster or syringe to fix the issue, but in this case, you are using a straw.

Clean and Descale Your FlexBrew

After you’ve cleared the airlock and cleaned the needles of your Flexbrew, there might be some scale particles floating around inside the machine. To remove these, it’s a good idea to run a descaling cycle once you’ve finished the steps above.

Additionally, mineral buildup can block the water flow, which might also be the cause of why your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew says overload. Running a descaling cycle might solve this issue as well.

Before starting make sure the filter basket, capsule holder, and coffee pot are empty.

Descaling Coffee Pot Side

  1. Add 3 cups of vinegar and 3 cups of water to the reservoir.
  2. Begin brewing, after 30-60 sec turn the Flexbrew off and leave vinegar in for 30 minutes.
  3. Restart to complete the vinegar cycle.
  4. Once the cycle is finished, empty and clean the pot.
  5. Fill it with fresh water to the 12-cup mark and run it through the coffee maker to rinse out the vinegar.
  6. Repeat the rinse 2-3 times.

Descaling Single Serve Side

  1. Add 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water to the reservoir.
  2. Start brewing, after the solution starts to come out of the dispensing spout, turn the FlexBrew off.
  3. Let it set for about 30 minutes.
  4. Restart to complete the vinegar cycle.
  5. Now, empty the container and clean the parts.
  6. Fill the reservoir with fresh water and run a rinse cycle.
  7. Repeat the rinse 2-3 times.

The Last Thing You Could Try

If you’ve attempted all the troubleshooting steps and your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is still not functioning, it may not just be a minor hiccup. The issue might be more significant, such as a malfunctioning pump.

In this situation, it’s best to reach out to Hamilton Beach’s customer service. If your machine is still within its warranty period, they might replace it for you.

However, if your warranty has lapsed, they often offer a substantial discount to assist you in purchasing a new machine.


The ‘overload’ message on your Hamilton Beach FlexBrew coffee maker is often a sign of clogged needles or an airlock in the system.

By diligently cleaning both the top and bottom needles, running rinse cycles, and addressing potential airlocks using various techniques, you can usually restore your coffee maker to its full functionality.

If these steps don’t resolve the issue, reaching out to Hamilton Beach customer service is a prudent next step. Cheers to returning to hassle-free coffee brewing!

Thanks for reading!