Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Jorian
The Nespresso airlock problem can often occur when your Nespresso machine has been stored away for a while and has not been used, or when you tried brewing a cup with an empty water tank.
Upon brewing, you may hear the pump’s sound, but you’ll notice that no water is dispensed from the spout.
In this guide I will show you exactly how to solve this problem!
How To Fix The Nespresso Airlock Problem?
Here are brief summaries of all the possible methods to solve the Nespresso air bubble problem:
- Lift and Tilt the Water Tank: Remove the water tank, turn on the machine, and slowly put the tank back in a tilted position. Repeat this a few times to ensure the airlock is released.
- Use a Bag with Air: Fill a ziplock bag with air and put it into the Nespresso machine’s water tank. Turn on the machine, press the brew button, and press down the bag simultaneously to force water into the machine.
- Use a Turkey Baster or Syringe: Fill the water container halfway and use a turkey baster or syringe to force water down the Nespresso.
- Use a Straw to Suck the Airlock Out: Use a Camelbak bite valve or a similar rubber mouthpiece from a water bottle and a straw to create a vacuum and suck out the airlock.
- Run Multiple Brewing Cycles: Run multiple brewing cycles to release the trapped air gradually.
- Use Hot Water: Fill the machine’s tank with hot water (not boiling) and proceed to brew a coffee. This method is suggested by Nespresso’s customer service.
Let’s dive into some more detail below!
Lift And Tilt The Water Tank
Look at your water reservoir, you’ll see a small orange tab inside where it connects to the water suction port of the coffee maker.
Normally, when this tab is pushed in when you seat it on the coffee maker, water flows out of the water tank into the Nespresso. However, if there is an airlock, it might prevent the water from flowing in.
Try a method I call the ‘Lift and tilt’ technique.
- Take out the water tank from the machine and turn the machine on.
- Very carefully and slowly put the water tank back in its position, making sure it’s slightly tilted.
- Lift the tank again and place it back down a few times.
Keep an eye on the orange tab in the reservoir. It should lift slightly to allow the water to flow. If you see air bubbles when you place it, it’s a good sign as it suggests the airlock is being released.
After applying the technique, fill the reservoir with water again and test the machine. If it’s working, you should see the water being pumped normally.
If it doesn’t work on the first try, don’t give up. You may need to repeat the ‘lift and tilt’ technique a few times. The trick here is to be gentle and slow.
Finally, after you’ve successfully resolved the issue, test the machine several times to ensure the problem has been fully fixed.
Push It Out With A Ziplock Bag
If the lift and tilt technique didn’t work, you might need to try a more forceful strategy. I call this technique the ‘Airbag Push’.
Here is how it works:
Fill a ziplock bag with air and seal it tightly, ensuring it’s not too full.
Put the ziplock bag filled with air into the Nespresso machine’s water tank, ensuring the bag covers all openings so no air can escape.
With the bag in place, turn on the Nespresso machine, press the brew button, and simultaneously press down the bag to force water into the Nespresso machine.
Use A Turkey Baster Or Syringe
Another technique is to use a turkey baster or syringe to force water down the Nespresso.
Here is how to do that:
- Fill the water container up to the middle and seat it on the coffee maker.
- Use a tool like a turkey baster to take some water from the container.
- Put the turkey baster on the water suction port that sucks up the water into the coffee maker.
- Push the button to start making coffee. At the same time, squeeze the turkey baster to force water into the machine.
If you don’t have a turkey baster, an alternative could be a syringe, such as a Nasal Aspirator.
This fix doesn’t only work wonders with your Nespresso Inissia, It can also help you to unclog a Nespresso Vertuo when it’s not pumping water.
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.
To start, place the top end of the Camelbak bite valve, which is the side with the slit, directly onto the water suction port of your Nespresso machine. Make sure it’s attached securely and there’s no space for air to escape. After that, put the straw into the other end of the bite valve that’s still open.
If you don’t have a water bottle with a mouthpiece, you can instead wrap a damp paper towel around the end of the straw. This can also help to create a seal.
Create a vacuum by sucking in strongly through the straw a few times. This might help remove the blockage in your machine. After sucking strongly three times, put the water tank back on your machine.
Finally, try running your machine on the Lungo setting a few times. If the fix has worked, by the third try, water should start to flow again.
As an alternative, you could also try this: fill the straw with water and blow into it while your Nespresso machine is brewing. This is similar to the fixes involving a turkey baster or syringe, but uses a straw instead.
Run A lot of Brewing Cycles
I’ve done some more research on the matter online, and I’ve found that some people find success by just running a lot of brewing cycles.
Depending on the severity of your airlock issue, supposedly you need to run it more than 15 times in some cases.
But to be honest, I think this method is just a slower version of the ‘lift and tilt’ technique.
Every time you remove the tank from the machine and put it back, it allows the trapped air to gradually escape through the orange tab, just like the lift and tilt technique.
So, I suggest using the faster lift and tilt method (the first solution in this article) instead.
Brew With Hot Water
When you call Nespresso customer support and tell them that you’re experiencing the airlock problem. They will probably suggest you should fill the machine’s tank with hot water directly from your tap, which shouldn’t be boiling, and then proceed to brew a cup of coffee.
I’m not sure how this solution would solve the issue, but I thought I’d include it in the article because it’s a recommendation from Nespresso’s customer service.
The Last Thing You Could Try
If you’ve tried everything above and your Nespresso still isn’t working, it might not be a simple airlock issue. It could be a bigger problem like a damaged pump.
In this case, you should get in touch with Nespresso’s customer support. If your machine is still under warranty, they’ll likely give you a new one.
But if your warranty has expired, they often provide a big discount to help you buy a new machine.
Resolving the Nespresso airlock problem can be a straightforward process if you follow the techniques shared in this guide.
Whether it’s the ‘Lift and Tilt’ method, using a Turkey Baster, or even sucking the airlock out with a Straw, these solutions are designed to get your machine back up and running. Patience and repetition are often required.
If all else fails, reach out to Nespresso customer support, as your machine’s issues might extend beyond a simple airlock.
With the right approach, you can return to enjoying your favorite brews without a hitch.
Thanks for reading!