Why Does My Keurig Coffee Maker Say I Need to Add Water When It’s Full of Water?

Keurig coffee makers are at the top of a lot of wish lists this year, especially after Christmas. They make it easy to have your coffee made without having to leave home or worry about your pot sitting on the warmer for too long. The Keurig is an excellent investment if you live alone, work from home or share it with one other person or two. It also has a big variety of flavors and brands to suit just about anyone’s taste. 

However, at times, the coffee maker tends to malfunction and displays “add water” when it is already full. This article will review the aspects and issues related to the coffee dispenser and the addition of water.

Addition Of Water To Keurig Coffee Maker 

Keurig’s commercial coffee makers are programmed to keep water on hand at all times when the machine is turned on. Commercial and other models do this by storing tap water in a reservoir under the machine’s base. However, this reservoir is made from plastic, and it can crack over time due to regular use. 

Over time, water will also slowly leak out of the machine to not have enough water inside to brew coffee. However, the coffee maker goes through a self-test when you turn it on. It ensures there is enough water in the reservoir before the machine will brew your pot of coffee, and it will let out a loud click noise that sounds like a short. 

What Can I Do When My Keurig Coffee Maker Says It Needs Water?

You can check on a few things first to see if you need to add fresh water.

1. Check The Filter  

The filter in the commercial coffee maker is made from material that will absorb water and allow it to dispense with coffee grounds. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the filter is dry before brewing another pot of coffee. 

2. Water Levels In The Reservoir  

Every time you use the Keurig, there is a chance it will dispense too much water or not enough water. If you have more water in the reservoir than coffee grounds, don’t worry about it. The coffee maker will automatically adjust and brew more coffee with less water. 

3. Replace The Filter  

Sometimes the filter will wear out over time and cause the Keurig to go through its water circuit. If this happens, you will need to replace the filter.

4. Cracked Reservoir 

If you still have problems with the Keurig after replacing the filter, or if it still dispenses too much water, you might have a cracked reservoir. It’s important to check and ensure that the reservoir is not damaged. There are also other parts of the coffee maker that should be checked on a regular basis. 

5. Broken Pump 

The pump in the Keurig is also one of the most important parts of the machine. It activates water to dispense coffee into a coffee cup. Sometimes, the motor in the pump will wear out and cause the Keurig to dispense too much coffee or not enough coffee or not enough water. 

If this is the case, you will need to replace the pump. It’s an easy fix. It just requires an extra piece of hardware that attaches below the filter and pumps water out into a cup. 

6. Descaling The Machine 

No matter which coffee dispenser you have, all coffee machines need to be descaled from time to time because of excess mineral deposits. There will also be an indication from the K-cup that will let you know when it is time to descale.

Descaling is also required for limescale buildup which is a significant cause of leaks and clogs in the Keurig machine. Also, calcium buildup is natural in hard water areas and coffee residues can also build inside the machine. This disrupts the water flow in the Keurig coffee maker, causing it to malfunction. 

7. Replaceable Parts 

There is also a possibility that you might need to replace certain parts of the Keurig coffee maker. This will include an entire assembly with the pump, filter and reservoir. If any part of this assembly breaks, you will need to replace it, which could be costly if you do not have good knowledge about its lifespan. 

8. Water Level Sensor   

The water level sensor in the Keurig coffee maker is also another important part that can make or break your brewing process. At times, it can malfunction due to a few reasons, including incorrectly positioned wires or a loose screw. If the sensor is not in place properly, then it will cause the coffee maker to dispense too much or not enough coffee into your cup. 

9. Heating Issues

Long operation times can cause functionality problems with the warming plate. If the plate is not heating properly, it will result in coffee that is too hot or too cold and can cause other problems.

10. Corrosion Issue 

Corrosion can also be a possible problem when it comes to functionality issues. It can cause leaks and damage to the Keurig machine, which can cause water to leak from underneath and the coffee maker to dispense too much or not enough coffee. 

Solutions To The Water Problem

There are many solutions you can try to fix your Keurig coffee maker. In some cases, you may have to replace the unit entirely with a new one. This means you will have to transfer all of your favorite K-Cups into another machine, however, various solutions are applicable.

Solution 1:

If the reservoir is cracked, then you will need to replace it with a new one. As mentioned previously, Keurig recommends using the provided coffee filter under the reservoir that holds 100 oz. of water. If this is broken or missing, you will have to purchase a new one and ensure it is installed correctly in order to prevent leaks.

Solution 2:

Replacing every filter on a regular basis will keep your machine working properly and reduce your chances of breaking down quickly. You should change the filters every month or two, depending on how much coffee you are using.

Solution 3:

Checking that your water is properly heated by checking the water temperature sensor. This will ensure that your machine does not dispense too hot or too cold coffee and that it will work more efficiently. You can find this sensor at 2 locations in the unit, one at the top and the other underneath. 

Solution 4: 

Get rid of the broken plastic pieces inside your Keurig machine. If the pieces come close to the filter, they can rupture it and you will have to purchase a new one. However, before removing the old filter and taking it out, you should follow this procedure first so that you do not cause damage to your machine or yourself:

  • Shut off the power to your Keurig.
  • Remove all removable parts from inside your machine.
  • Unscrew the top of the machine by squeezing it with both hands and pulling it up.
  • Take out the old filter and put it in a plastic bag or container so you can replace it later.
  • Find the small plastic piece that is stuck inside your Keurig machine. In most cases, it is located on the side of your machine.
  • Clean this piece by removing any debris using rubbing alcohol. Make sure to rinse well with water before drying it completely for operational brewing systems. 

Solution 5: 

If you suspect the water has leaked inside your Keurig, disassemble your machine apart to find the problem. Check for ominous bulges in the plastic base of your machine. You should also check for leaks around any plastic parts, such as at the corners or where pipes meet. If there is any damage to your machine, you will need to get it repaired. 

How To Reset Your Keurig

When your Keurig coffee maker makes a strange noise or has a water-related malfunction, it is probably time for a reset. To reset your Keurig, you will have to disconnect it from its power source and then unplug the unit. Before doing this, you should clean the water reservoir and any other fluids inside the coffee brewer. 


If you have experienced any of the above issues with your Keurig coffee maker, then you should take it to a local repair shop for an examination. You may need to get some replacement parts to fix your Keurig. However, if none of the solutions mentioned above haven’t worked out for you, then you should consider replacing your Keurig with a new model.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What causes a Keurig Coffee Maker to leak?

A. Most commonly, a Keurig will leak if the water tank is cracked or damaged in any way. Another common reason for leakage is when the rubber seal that goes around the lid or upper ring on a K-cup is broken or has become brittle. If you smell any gas odors coming from your Keurig, this could indicate electrical problems that you should address immediately. 

Q. What should I do if my Keurig is leaking?

A. If you notice water leaking from the water reservoir, then your Keurig needs maintenance. You should clean the interior of the coffee brewer and check for any loose or broken parts that may be causing the leak. If you notice water leaking from a hose, then replace it with a new one. Replace any parts using replacement pieces only from Keurig.

Q. How to fix a clogged coffee maker?

A. The most common reason for a clogged coffee maker is the coffee grounds that are stuck inside the machine and have blocked the water flow. To remove these grounds, use a strainer or coffee filter. If these are not available, you should try to clean the machine with a vinegar solution. 

Q. How to remove limescale clogging?

A. Limescale deposit of calcium and other minerals that build up inside your Keurig machine can cause it to malfunction. To remove limescale, you should use vinegar or citric acid to clean it out. If the unit has already been damaged, then your best option would be to replace the parts inside your Keurig.

Q. What brands are considered the most reliable? 

A. Although there are many brands of coffee machines available in the market, some of them include Keurig, Bolder, Bonavita and Cuisinart. These are considered some of the most reliable brands, and they have undergone a lot of testing throughout the years to ensure that they offer the best performance.