My nespresso does not prepare coffee

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Pablo Barrantes

In this article, we will try to cover all the possible causes why your Nespresso coffee machine may stop dispensing coffee (or water). This can happen both in new coffee makers and those that have been in use for many years, and here we will tell you why this can happen. We know each case may be different so this content will be as complete as possible.

My newly purchased Nespresso coffee machine does not prepare coffee

We will begin by looking at why a recently purchased Nespresso coffee machine does not prepare coffee (dispense water), which, although it may seem strange, is a case that occurs much more frequently than we think.

Nespresso coffee makers have a primed water circuit, which means that their pipes are already filled with water, as well as the thermoblock and the inside of the pump.

However, we must remember that if the coffee maker has not been used for a long time or has been exposed to high temperatures, the water inside it may dry out, and there will only be air in the circuit.

If you pay attention to the sound, the pump makes when it is running when trying to brew coffee, you will be able to rule out any other problems. The pump has a fairly high-pitched sound, although you will not notice the difference if you use it for the first time.

So, if you can’t hear the pump, it would be better to request (under the warranty terms) the replacement of your coffee maker because it could be a more serious problem.

The water tank valve of my Nespresso coffee machine does not work

You must ensure that the water tank valve is working properly; although it seems obvious, there are many cases where these valves get stuck and stop working. All you have to do is fill the tank and use your finger to press on the bottom until a stream of water comes out.

Then you must make sure that, when installing the tank in the machine, the valve is lifted since it can also happen that when disassembling and reassembling the coffee maker, something is incorrectly installed in the base of the machine. Consequently, the valve of the tank will not be lifted.

Position of the water tank valve
Position of the water tank valve

There is air in the water circuit, and it must be extracted naturally

To extract the air from the circuit, you must fill the water tank to its maximum capacity since the more water there is, the greater the pressure exerted on the pump and the easier it will be for the water to flow.

Then, as if you were going to prepare a coffee, press the lungo button, without fear, as many times as necessary; if the pump is very dry, it will not be so easy to extract water, so you can also help by slightly moving the reservoir while the pump is running, forcing the water inlet a little more.

There is air in the water circuit, and extraction must be forced

When it is necessary to force the extraction of air from the circuit, a bag or balloon filled with air will be used to push the water from the tank to the pump while coffee is being prepared; the additional pressure exerted will cause the air trapped in the circuit to escape immediately. This extraction system is known as the “airbag system.”

Below you will see in the image an example with a child’s balloon. However, it can be done with any other bag that keeps the air trapped inside; freezer bags can also be very effective thanks to their small size and airtight seal.

Press the balloon or bag down into the reservoir
Press the balloon or bag down into the reservoir

My old Nespresso coffee machine does not dispense water

The methods in the previous section to extract air from the circuit should be applied before delving deeper into the problem, assuming that your coffee maker is no longer under warranty.

Remember that if the coffee maker is still under warranty, you should not disassemble or force any of its components, as this will immediately void the warranty. If your coffee maker is already old, the following guidelines will help you to try to solve the problem by removing some screws.

Dismantle the water pipes to remove air from the circuit

If you have already discarded the previous methods without them working, you will have to disassemble the coffee maker to get to the pipes and valves. Check all the components of the circuit to make sure that there is no air inside. Depending on the problem’s severity, you may disassemble some of the pipes to let the water out.

And if you confirm that air in the circuit is not the problem, there is most likely a blockage in the water pump.

The water pump of my Nespresso coffee machine is stuck

To release the water pump of your coffee maker, it will be necessary to disassemble the machine to access it. While preparing a coffee, hit the outside of the pump several times with force to loosen the piston.

Some parts, such as the piston, springs, and others, are prone to obstructions due to excess lime and other impurities in the water. For this reason, it is recommended to carry out the descaling process of your Nespresso coffee machine regularly.

If you see that your coffee maker still leaks water, you can try to descale it to solve the problem, but if it does not leak water, descaling it will be useless.

The front pod perforating disc is clogged due to a lack of cleaning

Regular and adequate cleaning of your coffee maker can prevent obstruction problems from arising with the machine. If we have already discarded the internal circuit, we should check the front perforating disk since it has a series of small holes through which the coffee comes out, and if they are obstructed, nothing can pass through them.

With the help of an old toothbrush, you can scrub the disc using only a little clean water, which should remove the blockages. Occasionally, try brewing a coffee without using pods to see if this solves the problem.

Detail of capsule perforating disk
Detail of pod perforating disk

Related: Nespresso – Dolce Gusto adapter

Written by Pablo Barrantes
I'm Pablo Barrantes, an industrial engineer, and a proud dad to an 8-year-old princess. I'm also a coffee enthusiast who's truly passionate about all things coffee and coffee makers. My enthusiasm has driven me to uncover the hidden secrets of the coffee world, and I'm committed to sharing this knowledge with everyone through my educational blog. In this blog, you'll find valuable and practical information to enhance your coffee experience. What brings me the most joy is knowing that the tips and solutions you discover here will make your coffee moments even more delightful. When I can help you troubleshoot coffee machine issues, and you can savor your coffee without a hitch, it brings a smile to my face.

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