10 Common Coffee Machine Problems in 2023

For many offices around the world, a heavy duty coffee machine has become a staple in the modern workplace. With good care and regular maintenance, a coffee machine should last at least 5 years. But that doesn’t mean they’re not infallible products made of steel, and every now and then you might discover something a little off with your favourite workplace addition. Luckily, some of the most common coffee machine problems out there also tend to be easy enough to troubleshoot and resolve. With a little care and attention, it won’t be long before your coffee machine is back in working order.

Coffee Machine Problems and Solutions To Consider:

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently occurring coffee machine problems and solutions so that you can not only figure out the culprit behind your thwarted attempt at getting your daily dose of caffeine but also how to fix them and know when to get the experts in. 

Read on to find out 10 of the most common coffee machine problems in 2023.

  1. Coffee machine isn’t turning on
  2. Coffee machine is leaking water
  3. No water coming out of machine
  4. Coffee beans aren’t grinding
  5. Coffee beans are grinding too quickly
  6. Coffee is bitter tasting
  7. Coffee is prepared lukewarm
  8. Steam pump malfunctions
  9. Coffee machine is producing strange noises
  10. Water pouring out of spout

coffee machine problems in 2023

1. Coffee machine isn’t turning on

You’ve failed at the first hurdle – you can’t even get the machine to turn on. Not to sound patronising, but have you definitely pressed the current power button? It’s early, we’re human, it’s not impossible, right? Double check your machine is plugged in, you haven’t pressed the wrong button or pressed the power button twice. 

If that doesn’t change anything, try unplugging it and waiting a couple of minutes before trying again. It’s early for your coffee machine too. Maybe it just needs a nudge of encouragement to get going and all your coffee machine problems will be solved. If not, not all hope is lost – at Corporate Coffee Solutions we have skilled coffee technicians on hand to diagnose a genuine problem – and fix it.

2. Coffee machine is leaking water

Now the coffee machine is on, but water is pooling out around the bottom, and soon you’re going to be using your office chairs to wheel through a growing puddle around your desks. If the water coming out is dirty, it means the drain hose has been blocked by too much coffee grinds or milk in the drip tray. There’s an easy fix for that – just empty it and unclog any leftover debris with a cleaning tablet or vinegar solution.

If it’s clear, the leak may be caused by a buildup of limescale or worn-out seals. Check your drip tray or water container doesn’t have any leaks. If it does, then there might be a trip to a warehouse in order to replace your broken parts.

3. No water coming out of machine

Or what if it’s the opposite problem? You know there’s water in the tank, but it won’t come out. This is when you’ll start asking yourself when did anyone last clean this machine? because it’s more than likely that a similar blockage is the cause of your coffee-less woes.

Calcium in hard water can build up over time, so descaling your machine is a vital part of its maintenance, and should be done at least every 1-2 months. Run your cleaning solution through the machine a couple of times to ensure it gets fully cleared out before trying again.

4. Coffee beans aren’t grinding

The machine seems like it’s doing its thing, but there’s no coffee coming out – and that’s definitely the most important part. Maybe even worse, the beans are grinding, but at a pace that makes you want to rip your eyeballs out. If you’re using an automatic coffee machine or espresso machine that makes you manually input ground coffee, packing too much in can make it take a very long time for the water to saturate the coffee.

But, if it’s not the coffee that seems to be the problem, and the water isn’t running through the machine correctly, that’s when you’ll want to get a technician in to service the machine and see what’s going on behind the scenes.

5. Coffee beans are grinding too quickly

Alright Goldilocks! Let’s figure out what’s going on this time. If your coffee is being dispensed too fast, you might have the reverse issue of not enough coffee being put into the handle. This can result in coffee tasting weak, watery or sour. You can add more coffee, or adjust the grinder to create a finer grind.

Make sure you use freshly roasted coffee beans to set your grind. That way you’ll continue to have consistently tasty shots and you won’t have to keep making adjustments to your grinder.

6. Coffee is bitter tasting

Is your coffee machine not working, or have you tasted your coffee and suddenly wondered how the stuff was ever enjoyable? It’s probably not the case that your taste buds have changed that drastically overnight, and more likely you need a coarser grind for your beans.

Over- or under-extraction can produce an extremely bitter taste, so adjust the settings of your grinder and you should be good to go. It’s also worth checking you’re using fresh beans, as the flavour can start to change after a week, especially if not stored correctly (in an airtight container at room temperature).

coffee machine problems

7. Coffee is prepared lukewarm

Eugh! Even the thought alone is enough to make your face shrivel. So your coffee pours out into a mug alright, but one sip and you realise it’s as tepid as a damp flannel. That means either the thermostat has broken, or your heating element is damaged, a common coffee machine problem indeed! 

Once again, a build up of limescale may be to blame here, so give your machine a deep clean. More likely though, this problem calls for a technician, so get in touch with our expert team for a professional diagnosis. In the meantime, a temporary fix could be heating your mug with boiling water first before you fill it with coffee.

8. Steam pump malfunctions

Hello, how am I supposed to have my cappuccino if there’s no foam? If you’re having trouble getting the steam pump or milk wand to turn your lattes into silky works of art, then it’s probably blocked. To get it going again, clean it thoroughly with a damp cloth, and make sure it’s not obstructed from the milk jug, placed just below the surface of the milk.

Get into the habit of purging your machine and wiping the wand after every use to keep this from happening again. And if you do need to replace the whisk you’ll find in coffee machines that come with automated frothers such as the WMF 1500 S+, make sure it’s compatible with your model.

9. Coffee machine is producing strange noises

Maybe you’ve got your mug of coffee out relatively unscathed, but the machine sounded like it was casting a bewitching spell in the process. Unsettling sounds such as gurgling and loud grinding noises could be an indicator that something is wrong – or soon going to be. Unplug your machine and look for obvious issues, such as parts that have become loose or any stray coffee beans that could be blocking parts of the machine.

Before attempting a full-scale DIY job, consider consulting your experienced coffee technician to have a thorough inspection and repair the machine for you, or suggest what needs to be replaced. It might be time for an upgrade to a new commercial coffee machine and begin anew with no coffee machine problems.

10. Water pouring out of spout

It’s all kicking off now, hot water is spitting from the spout and you don’t know how to stop it. It’s making a horrid sound, burning your hand as it spreads over the machine, and everyone in the office is staring! Whether you’re topping up your espresso, or making tea from the hot water function, most machines have a continuous pour button that when sent the command, will send a continuous stream of water until told to stop.

So how do you stop it? Press the button again. When it comes to coffee machine problems and solutions, it’s almost as simple as the on-off trick. Hey, it happens to the best of us. And better than thinking your entire coffee machine was broken right?

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And there we have it, a comprehensive guide to all the ways your coffee machine might be playing up. If you’ve been subjected to an issue that may require a little more hands-on help,

our highly-trained technical service team will be happy to take a look and work out what needs to be done. We’ll get you and your team back on track for that all too crucial morning caffeine hit before you can say ‘double shot extra weak triple foam dry soy cappuccino.’

Get in touch with our friendly team today, or send us an email to discuss your problem and find out how we can help with your coffee machine problems.

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