web analytics

3 Quick Fixes for Nespresso Vertuo Airlock Problem

Nespresso Troubleshooting Jan 23, 2023

‘Airlock’ sounds like a weird thing to happen to an espresso machine like a Nespresso. But it’s actually the official name for an issue that many users are looking to fix.

how to fix nespresso vertuo airlock problem
This is how you fix a Nespresso Airlock Problem and get water pumping again:

The objective is to get rid of an air bubble trapped inside the water valve or pipe, which is stopping the water from flowing. 

1- Run a cleaning cycle - which forces water through the valve and pipe.

2- Use hot water in the water reservoir 

3- Use a straw to blow away the air bubble 

These fixes are quick and uncomplicated and you can easily do them on your own. Below, you'll find details on how to do each fix. 

Steps To Fix an Airlock Issue

There are many fixes you can try. I have listed them in the order of the easiest to the “trickiest”… but overall, they are all easy to do by yourself.

Run a Full Cleaning Cycle

1- Fill the water reservoir to the max. Place a container under the coffee spout.

2- Open the lid. If there’s an old pod trapped inside make sure to eject it. Close the lid.

3- Make sure your machine is ready to brew. The light should be solid (White light on Vertuo Next, Green light on a VertuoPlus).

4- To start the cleaning cycle: Push the buttons 3 times within 2 seconds. The light will start blinking… it will take around 2 minutes for the process to start.

5- Because your machine is air locked, you’ll actually hear the sound of the pump trying to pull out the water. Let the machine run the cycle and eventually, water should come out.

It’s important to note that this could actually take several tries, so be persistent! If it still didn’t work, try the next fix.

Use Boiling Hot Water in the Reservoir

This time, you’re going to use boiling hot water to fill the reservoir. Leave the lid of the reservoir open and let it sit for a few minutes.

Now run the same cleaning cycle mentioned above. If possible, tip the machine forward while it’s running the cleaning cycle.

Sometimes, heat or perhaps steam from the hot water will work on expanding some parts, therefore making things easier.

Blow Air Through the Reservoir Valve

This is a very manual way to solve this issue, but it has proven a success for some users.

You’ll need a straw, preferably a thick one that could perfectly fit around the reservoir’s valve (the one in the machine where you attach the reservoir). If you can’t get a straw thick enough, you’ll want to seal around it using tape.

Now, place one end of the straw on the valve. You’ll want that valve pressed down as you try and blow air through it. Do it several times then try and press any button to see if it worked.

Why Does an Airlock or Air Bubble Form in Nespresso Vertuo

If your Nespresso Vertuo is not pumping water, as in, you press the brew button but no water is coming out of the spout, that’s an Airlock problem.

An air bubble gets trapped inside the pipes of the machine, which prevents water from going out of the reservoir and into your cup. You’ll hear a loud noise of the pump trying to pass the water but nothing comes out.

While this is a common issue, it rarely happens to Nespresso machines that are being used regularly. It occurs in machines that have not been used for a period of time (Read: Nespresso Not Working after Storage )

If you’re bringing your machine out of the cabinet, or if you just bought it second-hand, an airlock is most likely to happen.

How To Prevent This Problem From Happening Again

You can do two things to prevent an air bubble from forming inside your Nespresso Vertuo machine:

1- If you’re going to store your Nespresso machine for a while, always perform a process called ‘Emptying the system’ – more on this below

2- If you’re not going to store your machine away in a cabinet. But you’re also not planning on using it, keep some water in the reservoir. This will keep the valve covered with some water and prevent air bubbles from forming inside it.

Emptying the Machine for Storage

If you ever plan on setting your Nespresso aside for a while, you’ll want to ‘Empty the machine’. This is a process that Nespresso recommends before a long period of non-use.

Empyting a Nespresso machine is not the same as getting rid of the water in the reservoir. It is a process done to get any water residue inside the machine itself, and not just the water tank. Doing that, the machine will ‘spit out’ any water in it.

How To Empty a Nespresso Vertuo Next

1- Empty the water reservoir completely and put it back in place.

2- Put a container under the coffee spout.

3- Eject any pod that could be in use. Also empty used capsule container and drip tray.

4- Unplug the machine.

5- With the lid closed, turn the handle to the LOCKED position.

6- Press and hold the button WHILE plugging the electric cord. Keep holding the button until you hear the machine has started the emptying process.

This is a quick process that takes less than a minute to complete. When done, the machine will turn off automatically.

How To Empty a Nespresso Vertuo Plus

1- Empty the water reservoir, also open the lid to make sure no pod is inside.

2- Turn the machine off by pressing the lever down for three seconds.

3- Place a container under the spout.

4- While the machine is off, press the lever down for three seconds until an Orange light turns on.

5- Press the lever twice to activate the ‘Emptying system’ function.

6- To start emptying, press the button. The orange light will start blinking through the process.

When the process is over, the machine will automatically turn off.

How To Empty a Nespresso Pixie, CitiZ, Essenza Mini

1- Turn the machine OFF by pressing the espresso and lungo buttons together.

2- Remove the water reservoir from the machine.

3- Make sure no pod is in use. Close the lever and place a container under the spout.

4- Press the espresso and lungo buttons together for three seconds (5 seconds for Essenza). Buttons will start blinking and some water will start coming out.

When completed, the machine will turn off automatically.