Troubleshooting guide for Nespresso coffee makers

The Nespresso brand is probably one of the best known in the world of coffee, and this fame has been achieved over the years thanks to the durability of their coffee machines. However, the fact that Nespresso manufactures very robust coffee machines does not mean that they are exempt from failing at some point.

In this troubleshooting guide for Nespresso coffee makers, I have compiled the main breakdowns that users face daily. Even if you don’t find your specific Nespresso fault listed, you may find that by reading about related faults, you’ll be able to resolve the one affecting your coffee maker.

Useful information on Nespresso coffee makers breakdowns

If you have just bought your Nespresso coffee machine; less than 30 days ago you bought it, contact the seller immediately, as they should proceed to return the coffee machine.

Nespresso coffee makers have a 2-year warranty on all models, so if your coffee maker is not yet 2 years old and you keep the purchase receipt, you can contact Nespresso through the links below. If your coffee maker is older, continue reading this guide.

Nespresso US

Nespresso Canada

Nespresso UK

Nespresso AUS

Difference between a Nespresso breakdown and a malfunction

Before starting with the list of the most common malfunctions in Nespresso coffee machines, you must learn to differentiate a malfunction from a malfunction. For example, if the Nespresso tank is not correctly positioned, the coffee maker will not brew coffee, but this is not a failure but a malfunction.

To make the reading of this guide as easy as possible, we have identified the internal and external components of a Nespresso machine in the image below. In addition, in the table following the image, I give you a small summary of the malfunctions and the component usually responsible.

Components of a Nespresso coffee maker

The image below belongs to a Nespresso U, but most components and their operation are common to all other models.

Components of a Nespresso coffee maker
Components of a Nespresso coffee maker

Relationship between breakdowns and Nespresso components

This table is indicative, as there will be failures involving components other than those listed above. However, in my experience, in most cases, the relationship indicated in the table will occur.

ISSUEREASON
Too loudWater pump
Thermoblock
Brewing device
The casings
Moving parts
Low coffee temperatureThermoblock
Thermostat
Too little coffee extractionControl board
Pyramid plate
Low brewing pressureWater pump
Thermoblock
No coffee brewingWater pump
Water tank
Internal pipes
Flowmeter
Leaking waterNozzle
Pyramid plate
Brewing device
O-rings
Plastic valves
Coffee pod issuesBrewing device
Pyramid plate
Does not turn onControl board
(capacitors)

The 6 most common problems in Nespresso coffee machines

Here are the 6 most common failures you can face if you have a Nespresso coffee machine. Apart from these, there are many more, but these are the most recurrent according to my experience repairing coffee makers.

Problem 1. Nespresso coffee machine is too noisy

Pod coffee makers are usually relatively noisy, so in most cases, excessive noise may be due to an appreciation problem.

To ensure that your Nespresso does not have any defects, download a free app from your smartphone’s app repository to measure sound. One meter away, measure how much sound your Nespresso emits with the phone.

Normally, Nespresso coffee makers do not emit more than 60 decibels, so if your coffee maker exceeds this number, we will face a possible defect.

Nespresso VertuoLine Nespresso machines usually start to be noisy when the internal bearing of the head wears out. This part costs no more than $10 and is relatively easy to replace. Check out this video:

➡️ In the case of the Nespresso OriginalLine, I have prepared this other article where I go deeper into the problem and help you to solve it: Is my Nespresso coffee maker really noisy?

Problem 2. Nespresso prepares low-temperature coffees

Over time, there are situations when Nespresso machines stop making coffee as hot as they used to. Usually, this is due to two different causes; one will have a very quick and easy solution, but the other will be more difficult to diagnose and repair.

Cause 1: If day after day, the Nespresso brews colder and colder coffees, this is due to a build-up of lime scale and sediment inside the thermoblock. This thin layer of limescale has a thermal insulating effect that prevents the water from getting hot enough.

Solution 1: Proceed with one or more descaling procedures. I like to filter the water from the first descaling and use it a second time after half an hour.

Tip: To get hotter coffee, prepare a coffee without a coffee pod to heat the internal circuits of the coffee maker and the cup. Then discard the water and prepare a coffee with a coffee pod.


Cause 2: If the coffees come out completely cold, which has happened suddenly, the culprit is the thermostat (NTC in the image below).

Diagram of the thermoblock and thermostat installation of a Nespresso Pixie
Diagram of the thermoblock and thermostat installation of a Nespresso Pixie

Solution 2: Check continuity in the thermostat with the coffee maker unplugged and cold. In its normal state, it closes the circuit, so if it is damaged, it will not give continuity.

➡️ As this problem is complicated to solve, I have created this other article where I explain the problem in depth.

Problem 3. Nespresso prepares very little coffee

Nespresso is one of those brands of pod coffee makers that do not allow us to modify the amount of coffee we want in our cups every time we prepare. Except for the Cratista and the Maestria but these are two very high-end coffee makers:

  • The pre-set amount of coffee served by the two-button Nespresso OriginalLine is 40ml for espresso and 110ml for lungo. The three-button models add a third button that brews ristrettos with 25ml of coffee.
  • While the pre-set amounts of coffee served by the Nespresso VertuoLine are 40ml for espresso, 80ml for a double espresso, 150ml for Gran Lungo, 230ml for Mug, and 535ml for Carafe (Vertuo Next only).

With this data, you can check if your Nespresso is brewing less than it should. If this is the case, two things may be happening:

Problem 1 (Original Nespresso only): Someone has left the brew button pressed for more than 2 seconds, and the coffee maker has saved another volume of coffee instead of the preset one.

How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine
How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine

Solution 1: Press and hold the button until the desired amount of coffee is reached or reset to factory settings. For the latter, turn off the coffee maker by pressing both buttons and then press and hold the Lungo button for 5 seconds until both buttons flash.

How to reset the coffee volumes in Nespresso
How to reset the coffee volumes in Nespresso

Problem 2: If you have reset the brewer and it continues to serve coffees that are too short, there may be an obstruction in an internal component preventing the water from flowing freely.

Solution 2: Perform a descaling and cleaning of the pyramidal plate (component number 2 in the diagram at the beginning). Use an old toothbrush and warm water to scrub.

➡️ For more information on this problem, I have prepared an article to discuss it in depth: My Nespresso machine does not prepare the right amount of coffee.

Problem 4. Nespresso with low or no water pressure

With Nespresso coffee makers, two different situations can occur about the lack of pressure. On the one hand, we can find a gradual lack of pressure that occurs over time; every day, the machine feels less pressure. On the other hand, it can happen that suddenly one day, the Nespresso feels without pressure.

Problem 1: We are facing a very probable accumulation of lime and sediments in the internal components, especially in the thermoblock and the pump (components 4 and 11 of the diagram at the beginning of the article). Also, coffee residues may have accumulated in the pyramidal plate (component 2 of the diagram).

Solution 1: Clean and descale your Nespresso. A good internal and external cleaning can free any obstruction that prevents the free flow of water.


Problem 2: If the sound of your coffee maker is high pitched and no water comes out of the Nespresso, the water pump is most likely clogged or broken.

Solution 2: Remove the casings of the coffee maker, and with the rubber handle of a screwdriver, tap the pump while trying to brew a coffee. Sometimes these blows can release it and get the water flowing again.

If the above does not work, and you feel up to it, you can disassemble the pump and clean it thoroughly inside. Then put all the parts back in place. Here you see a pump that I disassembled myself:

Disassembling a Nespresso water pump
Disassembling a Nespresso water pump

If none of the above worked, you should buy a new vibratory pump to replace the one that has gone bad.

➡️ Here is an article where I deal in depth with the problem of lack of pressure.

Problem 5. Nespresso coffee machine leaks water

When the new Nespresso Vertuo coffee makers were launched on the market, with a capsule system different from the Nespresso OriginalLine, I immediately thought that this was due to the water leaks that Nespresso machines suffer.

All Nespresso users have to empty the drip tray very often, which is not normal. In some cases, the Nespresso drips a little after each preparation, but in other cases, a stream of water falls out.

Nespresso coffee makers can drip from two places; one from the base of the coffee maker and the other from the drip tray and the spout. The first is a common fault for all brands of capsule coffee makers, but the second is exclusive to Nespresso.

Problem 1: Dripping from the drip tray or spout. The carousel system of the Nespresso is too complicated, and drips occur here regularly.

Solution 1: You have to disassemble the head of your Nespresso and check the O-rings that seal the brewing device (component 3 of the schematic). Mainly an O-ring that tends to wear out over time. Sometimes it is the fault of the pyramid disk that clogs or the nozzle cracks or breaks.

Dirt on the Nespresso nozzle
Dirt on the Nespresso nozzle

You should disassemble the coffee maker and check each part thoroughly for any of these cases.


Problem 2: Some internal components have cracked/broken and leaking water inside the brewer. A pipe often comes out of place and produces very large water leaks.

Solution 2: Disassemble the brewer and check the inside of the brewer for broken or loose components.

➡️ Here, I have also written an article where I deal with the problem of drips in depth. Check it out here.

Problem 6. Nespresso coffee maker does not turn on

Problem 1: When a Nespresso coffee machine does not turn on at all, i.e. the lights on the buttons do not come on, and it does not make any noise, it means that the control board is not being powered.

Cause 1: In the first case, a thermal cut-off fuse may have blown (component 12 in the picture at the beginning of the article). These fuses are designed and installed so that if the coffee maker reaches too high a temperature, the fuse will blow and open the electrical circuit.

Solution 1: Look for the thermal fuse and check for continuity; if it does not give continuity, replace it with another of the same characteristics.


Problem 2: In the best case, the lights initially come on but gradually fade. The same thing happens with the sounds; the internal components make a slight sound but remain silent.

Cause 2: A classic sign of damaged capacitors is to see the lights come on but gradually fade. These capacitors are located on the control board and are the weakest element of these control boards.

Solution 2: If you check capacitance and the capacitors turn out to be damaged, you should replace them with capacitors of the same characteristics or buy a new control board.

➡️ If your Nespresso turns on but does not prepare coffee, check this other article.

User manuals for Nespresso coffee makers

The button below will find all manuals for Nespresso coffee makers. They are classified by type of coffee maker to make it easier to locate the one you need.

Where to find spare parts for Nespresso coffee makers

Here are some stores where you can find most of the spare parts you need to repair your Nespresso coffee maker. But think that you will not need spare parts in most situations, but a descaling or a small adjustment.

Spare parts for Nespresso coffee makers in the US:

Spare parts for Nespresso coffee makers in the UK:

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