Keurig Keeps Shutting Off While Brewing Or Descaling (Solved)

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Jorian

Are you tired of your Keurig coffee maker shutting off while brewing or descaling? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.

In this guide, I’ll explore various solutions to help you get your Keurig back in perfect working condition, ensuring you enjoy a hassle-free coffee brewing experience.

How To Fix A Keurig That Keeps Shutting Off While Brewing Or Descaling

Here are the 8 things you could try when trying to fix your keurig that keeps shutting off:

  1. Manually puncture the K-Cup to reduce pressure inside.
  2. Remove excess water from the machine.
  3. Unstuck the floater in the water reservoir.
  4. Reset the thermostat.
  5. Tap the pump to dislodge debris or blockage.
  6. Perform descaling to remove mineral buildup.
  7. For older models, force descaling by holding the brew button.
  8. Call Keurig customer service if non of the above things worked.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps below.

Keurig Keeps shutting off

Table of Contents

Manually puncture the K-Cup

Before placing the K-Cup in the machine, press it down by hand so that the bottom needle punctures the cup.

Next, lift the cup, rotate it 90 degrees, and close the lid. This will create two holes in the K-Cup, reducing the pressure inside. Test the machine to see if this resolves the issue.

This workaround is especially effective for milk-based K-cups, but with normal K-cups, it could also work.

Remove excess water from the machine

If your machine has a removable water reservoir, remove it and press your finger on the water suction port that the reservoir fits into.

Turn the machine upside down, while holding your finger on the suction port. Now tilt it back and forth to remove any excess water trapped inside.

Re-install the water reservoir, plug the machine in, and test it with a new pod.

Floater Stuck In Water Reservoir

One possible reason your Keurig might abruptly stop brewing or encounter issues during descaling is due to the floater in the water tank getting stuck. The floater is responsible for indicating the water level in the coffee maker.

Usually when this is the case the “add water” light won’t turn off also.

This issue can arise from scale buildup or not using your Keurig coffee maker for an extended period of time.

To resolve this problem, simply remove the water tank and give it a gentle shake until the floater becomes unstuck. To prevent this in the future, you could clean the water tank and floater with vinegar.

Afterward, refill the reservoir, and test if your Keurig works like normal again.

Reset The Thermostat

Some people have found that their issue is related to the thermostat, which is a small white circle with wires attached to it, that you can reset by pressing it with a paperclip or needle. You have to take the cover of your Keurig to get to the thermostat. I wrote a full guide on how to reset the thermostat on a Keurig here.

reset with paperclip

If resetting the thermostat doesn’t resolve the issue, move on to the next step.

Tap The Pump

The more likely culprit is the pump. When the pump senses any pressure or blockage in the lines, it will shut off the power to the machine. Locate the pump, which is usually a small cylindrical component with tubes connected to it, it’s usually located on the top side of the machine.

Use a screwdriver or another suitable tool, and gently tap on the pump a few times. This can help dislodge any debris or blockage that might be causing the issue.

Once you’ve tapped the pump. Power the Keurig back on, select your desired size and press the brew button. If the machine successfully starts brewing without shutting off, you’ve successfully fixed the issue.

Tip: If you don’t want to bother taking the cover off, you can just hit the Keurig on the sides and top a few times. I’ve heard people have success with that, too.

Your Keurig Needs To Be Descaled

If your Keurig coffee maker keeps shutting off while brewing or descaling, it might be a sign that it’s time for a thorough cleaning.

Mineral buildup inside the machine can hinder its performance and cause the machine to shut off during operation. Descaling is a crucial process to ensure that your Keurig operates efficiently and delivers great-tasting coffee every time.

I wrote a descaling guide for every newer Keurig model:

For older models, try looking up on youtube how to descale your specific model.

It is generally recommended to descale your machine every 3-6 months, depending on the hardness of the water in your area and how frequently you use your Keurig.

Older Keurig Shuts Off When I Press The Brew Button

If you own an older Keurig coffee maker like the K-Select, K-Elite, 2.0 or K-Classic. Your Keurig may shut off right after you press the button, so you can’t even descale it properly. There is a simple solution, you can force it to descale.

Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Solution & Fill the Water Reservoir

To clean your coffee maker, you will need a mixture of warm water and vinegar. This solution will help remove any build-up or clogs inside the machine that might be causing the problem.

Pour the water and vinegar mixture into the Keurig’s water reservoir. Make sure it is filled adequately to run the cleaning process effectively.

Step 2: Start the Brewing Process

Press the brew button on your Keurig. If the machine shuts off, hold the button down until it starts brewing. This forces the machine to pump the cleaning solution through its system.

Step 3: Repeat the Process

Continue holding the brew button until the entire cleaning solution has been pumped through the machine. You may need to repeat this process several times to ensure that the internal components are thoroughly cleaned.

Step 4: Check the Machine’s Functionality

Before attempting to brew coffee, press the brew button to see if the machine works on its own. If it still shuts off, continue holding the button while brewing your coffee.

Step 5: Monitor Progress Over Time

It might take a few tries of repeating the cleaning process for the Keurig to start working normally on its own. Keep trying this method until the machine functions properly without having to hold the brew button.

Step 6: Maintain the Machine

To prevent future issues, clean the machine regularly with water and vinegar. This will help ensure that any build-up or clogs are removed and that the machine continues to function properly. If the problem persists or occurs frequently, it may be time to consider upgrading to a newer model.

The Last Thing You Could Try

Your last option is to get in touch with Keurig customer service. They’ll usually help you troubleshoot your Keurig coffee maker.

If they find that the problem isn’t easy to fix or they can’t figure out what’s wrong, they often offer a new machine, sometimes even when you’re out of warranty.

I’ve heard of cases where the warranty had already expired, but Keurig still gave a 20% discount on a new machine.


In conclusion, to address the issue of a Keurig coffee maker shutting off while brewing or descaling, several solutions can be employed.

These include manually puncturing the K-Cup, removing excess water, checking the floater in the water reservoir, resetting the thermostat, and tapping the pump.

Descaling is essential for optimal performance, and older models may require forced descaling using a water-vinegar solution.

Regular maintenance is key to preventing future issues. With these steps in mind, you can ensure your Keurig coffee maker continues to deliver great-tasting coffee for years to come.

Thanks for reading!