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Why Your Nespresso Is Only Pouring Water [And How To Fix It]

Nespresso Troubleshooting Aug 21, 2023

This is an issue that often happens with Nespresso OriginalLine or Nespresso Vertuo machines:

You put in a coffee capsule and press the brew button, but only water comes out and no coffee is brewing.

The main reason Nespresso only pours out water instead of coffee is because the Nespresso pod is not being punctured correctly.

In this post, I will help you through possible reasons why only water is coming out of the Nespresso machine and how you can fix it.

Vertuo Is Only Dispensing Water and No Coffee

Why Your Nespresso Is Only Pouring Water [And How To Fix It]

With Nespresso Vertuo, you place the pod with the foil lid facing up. A rotating part with needles is placed above it on the Nespresso Vertuo lid. When you close and lock the machine’s lid, it punctures the pod and the rotation helps rotate and saturate the pod with water.

Steps to Fix This Problem

Possible reasons your Nespresso Vertuo is only pouring out water are:

1- The pod is not being punctured

2- Motor Failure

To fix this issue, you can try several fixes:

1- Check if the coffee pods are being punctured correctly.

2- Make sure the puncturing disc is rotating and not stuck

3- Look for motor sounds that can indicate a motor failure.

Read below for details on how to do each of these fixes.

Make Sure The Pod Is Punctured

Why Your Nespresso Is Only Pouring Water [And How To Fix It]
what punctured Nespresso pods should look like

There’s an easy way to identify this issue. Simply lift the lid up and let the pod eject, have a look at the top of the pod. Do you see any signs of it being punctured? You should find several holes in the foil lid of the Nespresso pod.

In Nespresso Vertuo, usually, two problems lead to Nespresso Vertuo pods not being punctured:

Check If the Puncturing Disc Is Stuck

Why Your Nespresso Is Only Pouring Water [And How To Fix It]

On the top lid of your Nespresso Vertuo, try to move and rotate the spinning part that helps the pod rotate. If it’s not spinning freely, then that’s your issue. This problem also leads to the Nespresso machine making a clicking noise.

Make sure that you clean it using a Q-Tip or a damp cloth. Any dry coffee residue around it could cause it to get stuck.

With your finger, try to manually rotate the disc until it spins freely. But be careful, the needles are sharp. You can still touch them as they’re made of plastic but do it carefully.

Check Water Flow Pressure

One of the main reasons water does not flow correctly, and therefore, does not pump enough water through the coffee pod is because of an air bubble, or what’s known as ‘Nespresso Airlock issue’. This happens especially if the Nespresso machine has not been used for a while.

To fix an Airlock problem in Nespresso Vertuo, you’ll want to run a cleaning cycle several times until the machine regains its normal flow.

This is one of many fixes to try, refer to this guide on Nespresso Airlock problems for more ideas.

Check for Motor Failure

This is a dreaded problem because it’s not an easy fix.

If your Nespresso machine is exceptionally loud while trying to brew, yet only water is coming out. If you have tried the solutions above to eliminate any pod puncturing problems, then this could mean that you have a failing Nespresso motor on your hand.

A failing motor fails to provide enough force of water to brew the coffee. The loud noise of the motor should help you identify this problem.

If your Nespresso machine is still under warranty, all you have to do is give your local Nespresso customer service a call and they’ll provide you with instructions on how you can get your machine fixed or replaced. If it’s no longer under warranty, they’ll give you an estimate of how much it can cost to fix it.

Vertuo Making Watery Espresso and Coffee

Here’s another thing to look into…

If your Nespresso Vertuo is:

  • Puncturing pods correctly
  • Puncturing disc is NOT stuck
  • There IS coffee coming out, but it’s very watery

I want you to look into one more thing: Is there a leak (even by a small amount) of water under your machine?

This means that most of the water is bypassing the coffee pod and is going around it. Which leads to a leak and watery coffee.

How To Fix It

It is hard to know what the inside parts of a Nespresso machine are, or where the blockage is, without dissembling it, which I don’t recommend you do at home.

I can recommend you try this instead:

Why Your Nespresso Is Only Pouring Water [And How To Fix It]

use a damp cloth or a soft brush to clean this pod holder inside the machine to eliminate any possible clogs in it.

Why Your Nespresso Is Only Pouring Water [And How To Fix It]

With the same tools, clean the puncturing needles on top to loosen any dry coffee residue.

Run a Cleaning Cycle

Without any pod inside the machine, and while the lid is closed and locked. Press the brew button three times to activate the cleaning cycle. Place a large cup or a bowl to catch the water.

Let the water run and observe how it’s coming out. If it is coming out normally and in a normal flow (no cutting off or slow flow), then your watery coffee is caused by something preventing the pod from being saturated with water.

Note: if you have a pod that you just brewed, you can open it up and see if the grounds are dry or wet.

In this case, I would recommend that you call Nespresso customer service for help. This can be a mechanical problem. If your machine is still under warranty, you can be eligible for a new machine.

Nespresso Original Dispensing Water Only

When it comes to Nespresso OriginalLine (Nespresso Essenza Mini, Pixie, Citiz…) the same issue of only water coming out can happen for the same reasons.

Check If The Pods Are Getting Peirced

The placement of Nespresso OriginalLine pod is different from Nespresso Vertuo. The pod is placed with the foil facing front, and if you force them in strongly, there’s a possibility that they could fall into the used capsule bin (without actually being used).

So, to start, you’ll want to make sure that your pods are actually being punctured and not falling.

To do that, place the pod in. Close the lid and check the used capsule bin. Is there a pod with no punctured holes in it?

You can check my full guide on Nespresso not puncturing pods and how you can fix it.

Clean Clogged Needles

The needles on the Nespresso OriginalLine machines are kind of hidden inside. If you’re not periodically running a cleaning cycle on your Nespresso machine, it could easily get clogged which obstructs water flow and you can get watered-down coffee due to slow water flow.

Using a small brush ( a toothbrush should work), gently brush the inside front of the machine, where the foil lid of the pod should be facing.

After, you’ll want to run several cleaning cycles to wash out the inside of the machine. Simply hit the lungo button, without any pod inside the machine, to run hot water through the system to flush out the machine. Do this several times until the water comes out clean and in full force.

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