Keurig K-Duo (Plus, Essentials) Problems (Troubleshooting!)


This Keurig K-Duo Troubleshooting Guide will help you tackle common issues that may arise with your Keurig K-Duo, K-Duo Plus, or K-Duo Essentials coffee maker.

This guide will walk you through step-by-step solutions for a variety of problems, ensuring that you can enjoy a seamless coffee brewing experience.

From addressing brewing and water pump issues to resolving error codes, we’ve got you covered so that you can quickly and easily get your Keurig K-Duo back in action.

Common Keurig K-Duo Problems

Some common problems experienced by Keurig K-Duo users include the coffee maker not brewing or pumping water, the lid not staying closed, and the inability to brew a full pot of coffee.

Additional issues involve a leaking carafe when pouring, the “Add Water” light staying on, and the “Descale” light not turning off.

I’m going to cover all these problems and more in this article!

Keurig K-Duo Troubleshooting guide

Won’t Brew And Not Pumping Water

Experiencing issues with your coffee maker not dispensing water properly? The culprit is likely calcium buildup due to hard water.

To fix this problem you need the following materials: Vinegar, Turkey baster Scissors and Water.

Here is how to fix it::

  1. Check the water dispensing: Press the ounce or cups button on your coffee maker. If you notice that the machine is not dispensing the correct amount of water, there might be a problem with the water flow.
  2. Locate the water reservoir nozzle: On the bottom of the water reservoir, you will find a small nozzle with springs inside.
  3. Unclog the nozzle: Gently take a pair of scissors and press down on the springs a few times. This will help to clear any blockage that might be causing the issue with water flow.
  4. Flush the system: Fill your turkey baster with water. Then insert the turkey baster into the base of the nozzle and forcefully squirt water into it. Do this on all three sides of the nozzle. This will help to release any calcium buildup that has occurred inside the machine.
  5. Check for debris: You may see small particles floating in the water after you’ve flushed the system. This is an indication that the calcium buildup has been dislodged.
  6. Test your coffee maker: Turn on your coffee maker and see if the water flow has improved. If it has, congratulations! Your coffee maker is now functioning properly.

Remember to clean your coffee maker regularly to prevent clogging, clean your coffee maker with vinegar at least once a week. This is especially important if you have a hard water table in your neighborhood.

Lid Won’t Stay Closed

If you are facing issues with the lid not closing on your Keurig K-Duo coffee maker, these troubleshooting steps will resolve the problem:

  1. Clean the area around the K-cup holder and puncture the needle: Coffee residue or debris can prevent the lid from closing properly. Unplug your machine, remove the K-cup holder if possible, and gently clean the area with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse the K-cup holder under warm water and dry it thoroughly before reassembling it.
  2. Inspect for loose or damaged parts: Check the area around the lid and the K-cup holder for signs of wear, damage, or loose parts. Consult your user manual for guidance on replacement or repair, and order replacement parts if necessary.
  3. Puncture a hole in the K-cup: Excessive pressure inside the K-cup during brewing can cause the lid to pop open. Puncture a hole in the K-cup prior to using it to reduce internal pressure.
  4. Clean the locking mechanism: Coffee grounds or debris around the lid or the locking mechanism can prevent the lid from staying closed. Clean the area around the lid, the locking mechanism, and the puncture needles using a soft cloth or a small brush.
  5. Contact customer support: If the issue persists or the locking mechanism is damaged, contact Keurig customer support or a qualified technician for assistance.

Regular maintenance and using compatible K-cups can help prevent future issues with the lid not closing, ensuring a seamless coffee brewing experience. For more information on this problem, refer to my troubleshooting guide for the Keurig lid not closing.

Won’t Brew Full Pot

The Keurig K-Duo carafe side not working or making a full pot may be due to issues with the coffee basket switch, clogged tubes, or the need for descaling. To resolve these issues, try the following steps:

  1. Fix the coffee basket switch by adding extra weight to the filter, such as small decorative stones.
  2. Unclog the tubes inside the coffee maker using a turkey baster, straw, or syringe to force water through the tubes from the water reservoir.
  3. Descale your Keurig K-Duo every three months to remove mineral deposits and improve water flow and taste.

I wrote a full guide on what to do when the carafe side is not working or not making a full pot, that you can check out to get some more detail on the problem.

keurig duo wont brew full pot

Leaking Carafe When Pouring

A small parting line in the spout is causing leakage on the de Duo carafe. To resolve this, use 220-grit sandpaper and carefully sand down the line.

On the pot’s handle side, a small plastic component prevents the lid from closing fully. You can remove this piece by breaking it off with pliers.

Alternatively, you can purchase a Mr. Coffee PLD12-RB Carafe, an excellent fit for the Keurig K-Duo.

I also wrote a more detailed guide on how to fix the leaking K-duo carafe problem.

Add Water Light Stays On

On the K-Duo Essentials, there is a single light that serves as both an add-water and descaling indicator. For the Duo Essentials, a steady light indicates the need for descaling, while a flashing light signals that water must be added.

The new K-Duo will say “add water” on the screen.

(If it is the descale light that’s causing the problem, scroll down further to read how to fix that problem.)

If the add water light keeps flashing after you’ve filled the tank the issue could be due to a clogged vent opening. To fix this, try to fill the water reservoir and lift it up and down about 20 times to force water into the pipes and potentially unclog the vent opening.

If this doesn’t work, you could try to unclog the vent opening. Here is how to do that:

  1. Turn off and unplug the coffee maker.
  2. Open the top part of the coffee maker, being careful of the sharp needle inside.
  3. Lift the two tabs simultaneously to remove the top cover.
  4. Locate the vent opening in the back.
  5. Use a vacuum cleaner with a small attachment to clear any obstruction.
  6. If a vacuum cleaner is unavailable, cautiously use an air gun, but be aware that it might blow the obstruction further down the vent.
  7. Place the top cover back on, sliding the back in first.
  8. Align the front part and snap the tabs into place.

Here is a video on how to do this:

I wrote another article on a few other things you could try that are not specific to the Keurig K-duo but that could also fix the add-water light.

By following these steps, you should be able to fix the Add Water light issue on your Keurig K-Duo coffee maker. If the problem persists, you may need to contact Keurig’s customer support.

Descale Light Won’t Turn Off

If the “descale” indicator appears on your Keurig K-Duo display even after you’ve recently descaled it, don’t worry. You can easily resolve this issue with the following steps:

  1. Power on your Keurig K-Duo machine.
  2. Simultaneously press and hold the 8oz and 10oz buttons for a duration of 5 seconds.
  3. The descale light should now disappear.

Keep in mind that this method only turns off the descale light. To maintain the optimal performance of your Keurig K-Duo, it’s crucial to descale it regularly. I wrote a full guide on how to descale your Keurig K-Duo here.

Grounds In Coffee

If you’re getting coffee grounds in your coffee when brewing with your Keurig K-Duo brewer, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the problem.

  1. Run a small cup brew cycle without a K-Cup: Open the brew basket and close it back up to prepare the machine for brewing. Choose the smallest cup size on your Keurig machine. Run the brew cycle to clear out any extra grounds or coffee residue from the brew basket. Repeat this process a few times to ensure thorough cleaning.
  2. Remove and clean the brew basket: Open the brew basket and carefully press upwards to remove it. Wash the basket with light soap and warm water in your sink. Remove the bottom part of the brew basket by twisting it off. Clear out any residual coffee grounds from the needle apparatus using a paper clip. Rinse the brew basket and needle apparatus with water to remove any residual grounds. Reassemble the brew basket by clicking on the bottom half, aligning the white arrow with the holder locator, and popping it back into the machine.
  3. Use coarse-ground coffee for reusable K-Cup options: If you’re using a reusable K-Cup option, make sure you are using coarse-ground coffee. Finely ground coffee can pass through the filter and end up in your brewed coffee.
  4. Check for Keurig seal on K-Cups: Due to various patent issues, there may be unlicensed K-Cup options in the market. Ensure that the K-Cup you’re using has a Keurig seal on it and states it is for use with a Keurig single-serve brewer.

By following these steps, you should be able to prevent coffee grounds from ending up in your brewed coffee and enjoy a perfect cup every time.

Not Hot Enough

If your Keurig K-Duo coffee isn’t hot enough, try the following steps:

  1. Preheat the cup: Run hot water through the machine without a K-cup to preheat your cup.
  2. Add boiling water: After brewing, add 2 teaspoons of boiling water to your coffee.
  3. Preheat the K-Duo: Run a hot water cycle without a K-cup before brewing to preheat the machine.
  4. Use a milk frother: For cappuccinos, use a heated milk frother to avoid cooling the coffee.
  5. Descale the K-Duo: Regularly descale your coffee maker to maintain optimal heating performance.

For more detailed information, refer to our article about not hot enough Keurig coffee.

Coffee Tastes Like Plastic

The Keurig plastic taste in coffee can be attributed to outgassing, where the plastic parts of the coffee maker release gases that become trapped in the packaging. To eliminate the plastic taste, try the following solutions:

  1. Vinegar Rinse: Wash the machine and run a vinegar solution through the brew cycle. Repeat with water to remove the vinegar’s taste.
  2. Hot Water Rinse: Wash the machine and run hot water through the brew cycle without a K-cup. Repeat until the reservoir is empty.
  3. Reusable K-cups: Invest in stainless steel reusable K-cups to reduce plastic waste and taste.
  4. Activated Charcoal Rinse: Wash the coffee maker, then run a food-grade activated charcoal solution through the brew cycle, followed by clean water to flush out any remaining charcoal.
  5. Descaling: Regularly descale your machine to remove mineral buildup that can affect the taste.
  6. Clean Regularly: Establish a routine cleaning schedule to prevent bacteria growth and maintain a good coffee taste.

Error Code 1R

What Does Error Code 1R Or FR Mean?

Error code 1r or fr is common with a Keurig K-Duo. The error code is caused by a software problem. Resetting the Keurig coffee maker usually fixes the problem.

How To Fix It?

  1. Disconnect the Coffee Maker.
  2. Take out the K-Cup if it’s inside the machine.
  3. Connect the Coffee Maker again.
  4. Open the lid of the single K-cup side.
  5. Close the lid of the single K-cup side.
  6. Place a mug beneath the K-Cup area
  7. Switch on the power button

If you notice water being dispensed, allow a few moments for the display to turn off. If you don’t observe any activity, the Keurig is likely broken.

Tip: The above process usually also helps to fix the Keurig error code 66.

If this didn’t fix the problem, check out my full guide on troubleshooting Keurig Error codes for more information.

Is the time not showing right anymore after resetting your Keurig K-Duo? In that case, refer to the article I wrote on programming the Keurig K-duo.

How To Turn The Heating Plate Back On?

Press and keep holding the Carafe button for three seconds. Depending on your coffee maker model, you will see the Carafe button glowing red or the cup icon blinking. This means the heating plate is on and will stay warm for two more hours.

If this doesn’t work immediately, try these two solutions:

  1. Check if your coffee maker’s water tank is full enough. Sometimes, the machine will not power back on without enough water, which can prevent the heating plate from turning on.
  2. If the above step doesn’t work, try turning off the machine, then press and hold the Carafe button, and turn the machine back on while still holding the Carafe button.


This troubleshooting guide provides detailed solutions for common issues you may encounter with your Keurig K-Duo, K-Duo Plus, or K-Duo Essentials coffee maker.

By following the recommended steps and maintaining your coffee maker through regular cleaning and descaling, you can ensure its optimal performance and extend its lifespan.

If you continue to experience problems after trying the suggested solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Keurig customer support or a qualified technician for further assistance.

Enjoy a consistently smooth coffee brewing experience with your Keurig K-Duo by addressing these common problems and keeping your machine well-maintained.

Thanks for reading!