Meaning of the lights on the Dolce Gusto coffee machine

Coffee maker status information is transmitted through different light colors and flashing frequencies in machines that do not have a digital display. Thanks to this coding, the user can easily identify the status of the coffee maker by simply looking at the lights.

In general, all Dolce Gusto coffee makers have a single on/off button; this button can be illuminated in up to three colors (red, green, and orange/yellow).

When the Dolce Gusto coffee maker suffers a malfunction and is detected by a sensor in the machine, the information will reach the control board. The control board will stop the brewing process and send a signal to the user via a steady or flashing light to take action.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker green light

You can rest assured if the power button of your Dolce Gusto coffee maker lights up steady green since, in any model, this only means that the coffee maker is ready for brewing or is already preparing coffee.

And if the case is that the green light of the power button is flashing, the meaning will be different depending on the model of your coffee maker:

  • For the Mini Me, Genio, Circolo, and Melody 3 models, which do not have an orange light indicating the need for descaling, the flashing green light will indicate that the descaling cycle is underway or has already finished.
  • In other models where the decalcification of the coffee maker is coded with an orange light, the green power button should never flash, as this could indicate a malfunction in the control board. Later we will tell you what happens when it flashes simultaneously with the red light.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker orange light

As we have already mentioned, in most Dolce Gusto coffee makers, the orange light will turn on when there is a need to descale the machine or to indicate that this process is in progress.

The only exceptions are the Mini Me, Genio, Circolo, and Melody 3 models, which do not have an orange light in their status coding.

Orange light flashes in Dolce Gusto
Orange light flashes in Dolce Gusto

This orange light (yellow on some models) can be steady or flashing. If it is steady, it indicates that the coffee maker must be descaled.

Note: The fact that this light is on does not mean that you cannot prepare your coffees normally; you can continue until you decide to descale the machine.

The coffee maker enters descaling mode when the orange light flashes simultaneously with the green light. You must press the power button for 5 seconds and follow the instructions in the user manual of your coffee maker to enter this mode.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker orange and green light flashing alternately

As we said before, the orange and green light will flash alternately when the coffee maker enters descaling mode. This occurs in newer models such as Genio, Lumio, Drop, Esperta, Colors, Eclipse, Movenza, and Stelia, which have lights on the cup size selector.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker orange light is still on after descaling

The decalcification processes of Dolce Gusto coffee makers and other data are stored in a small microprocessor that these machines have on their control board. After decalcification, the coffee machine returns its internal coffee counter to zero.

Microprocessor of the control card of a Dolce Gusto coffee maker
The microprocessor of the control card of a Dolce Gusto coffee maker

It can happen that the decalcification has not been registered in the internal memory, even after your coffee maker has requested the decalcification and the process has been done correctly.

If this is the case, the orange light will remain on, which can be annoying, although it will not interfere with your normal coffee preparations. Here we tell you how to turn it off.

Image taken from the Dolce Gusto Infinissima instruction manual
Image extracted from the Dolce Gusto Infinissima instruction manual

This happens because you may have forgotten to press the power button for 5 seconds or because the coffee maker has not entered descaling mode despite having pressed it. In this case, you will have to reset the memory of the coffee maker, and to do so; you have these two options:

  1. Put the coffee maker back in decalcification mode and simulate decalcification with clean water. Before you start, ensure that the power button’s light flashes are alternately orange and green.
  2. You can also try to clear the memory by pressing the power button for about 30 seconds, and in this case, the light on the button should change to solid green.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker red light

On many occasions, we associate the color red with failures or malfunctions in our electronic devices; however, in the case of Dolce Gusto coffee makers, the red light may indicate various states of the machine, most of which are not error codes:

Status 1. Dolce Gusto coffee maker red light flashing

The first thing that the Dolce Gusto coffee machine does when it is turned on is to heat the thermoblock to be able to prepare the coffee. While this process is being carried out, the machine will let us know by flashing red on the power button; this can last up to 40 seconds.

The above process is also known as the pre-heating process, and once it has finished, the light on the power button will change to solid green, indicating that the coffee maker is ready to start. As long as the red light remains flashing, the machine will not allow us to make any preparation.

Status 2. Dolce Gusto coffee maker red light flashes after each preparation

In this case, the Dolce Gusto coffee maker makes the red light of the power button blink for 5 seconds after each preparation to lower the temperature of the thermoblock, a state very similar to the previous one.

While this process is being carried out, removing the capsule or preparing another coffee will not be possible.

Status 3. Dolce Gusto coffee maker flashes when I try to prepare a coffee

A sensor prevents the coffee maker from preparing coffee when something is not right; if so, when you move the preparation lever, the power button of your Dolce Gusto coffee maker will start blinking red, and the brewing will not be carried out.

An example of this can be when the red light starts to blink when the capsule holder is not in place; the coffee maker will not allow the coffee to be prepared until the capsule holder is inserted correctly.

This can occur not only with the capsule holder but with any other sensor of the coffee maker, such as the lid that lowers the spout; the red light will blink if the lid is not completely down. It can also occur when the thermoblock exceeds the temperature of 115ºC.

These errors are commonly known as “hardware errors.”

Dolce Gusto coffee maker red and green lights flashing alternately

When this happens, the flowmeter sends an error code related to a lack of water in the tank or the internal circuit. Likewise, if there is a blockage in the system or the water pump stops working, this error will also be sent.

Check that the water can flow correctly through the coffee maker. In this article, I explain how to do it in depth.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker red light flashes very fast

The very fast flashing of the red light is a clear sign that the coffee maker is in error mode, and we must look at the volume selector bar to know exactly what the error is. This bar will light up differently for each type of error on the Genio, Lumio, Drop, Esperta, Colors, Eclipse, Movenza, and Stelia models.

Bar DisplayErrorDescriptionRemark
Bar 1Overtemperature in the thermoblockThermoblock temperature
above 120°C / 248°F
Let the thermoblock cool down in eco mode for half an hour.
If this error occurs several times in sequence, there may be a defect in the thermoblock or the control board.
Bar 2Maximum operating time pump operating time exceededThe pump has been running for more than 10 minutesThe coffee machine has been used intensively. Allow the pump to cool down in eco mode and
wait 10 minutes.
Bar 1 and 2Heat-up time exceededHeat-up time has exceeded 40 secondsTo prevent damage to the coffee machine, all components, including the thermoblock, are switched off (error status).
If this error occurs several times in sequence, there may be a defect in the thermoblock or the control board.
Bar 1 and 7Thermostat disconnectedThermostat wires are broken or disconnectedCheck the wiring and the thermostat connector.
Replace if damaged.
Bar 2 and 7Thermostat short-circuitedThe thermostat is short-circuited or defective.Replace thermostat.
Bar 1, 2 and 7Zero crossing detection defectDefect circuit for the zero
crossing detection of the mains
voltage.
Effects are high surge currents and switch-on peaks that can trigger a mains fuse.
Replace the control board.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker red light steady

The red light on the power button will remain steady, without flashing, to warn that there is a technical problem or malfunction in the coffee maker. In this case, we recommend immediately turning off the machine and checking if there is a blocked capsule or something similar.

Turn off and disconnect the coffee maker completely; after about 30 minutes, reconnect it to the mains and turn it on again. The power button would start flashing green if everything went well. If this does not work, you can try holding the power button for at least 40 seconds to reset the warning.

Red light flashes in Dolce Gusto
Red light flashes in Dolce Gusto

Note: many of the problems indicated by the permanent red light have to do with the electrical panel of the coffee maker and the power supply. In our post “My Dolce Gusto coffee maker does not turn on,” you may find useful information to solve it.

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