November 14, 2009

UPDATED: "My Keurig Doesn't Work... Stopped Working... Won't Dispense Coffee!" Join the Club!

 This post was originally posted in 2009.

I'm (jokingly) thinking of starting a club for us pathetic losers that love Keurig Coffee Makers so much that we keep buying them or using them even though we know they stop working.

'Matt' wrote me earlier this week to ask if I've done any updates to my Keurig Coffee Maker reviews.  Well, just two weeks after we fell in love with our Keurig I had to do an update after we were forced to return it and buy our second Keurig coffee maker.

And... this morning I am here to tell you we are on our third Keurig since the last week of June. Why?

They stop working. Plain and simple.

Three (3) Keurig Coffee Machines in 4 1/2 months.

I didn't know it was almost an epidemic of sorts until I started to do searches online and realized almost everyone's Keurig's stop working after a couple of months. Message boards and product review sites all over the web are filled with people talking about it. We've all tried the same things as well. We assume we've done something wrong. We've thought it was plugged with grinds and tried to clean it. We've thought perhaps it needed descaling even though the descaler message is not lit up.

But when readers call the customer service lines for Keurig or contact them by email they find out it's a known problem. The water simply isn't being sucked up and pushed out by the machine.  (This is not the same as de-scaling issues.)  Customer service has been found overwhelmingly not to be of any help.

This week I struggled with mine every single day. It would hum and heat the water and then....... spit. I would get a teaspoon of water spat into my cup and it would stop.

Sometimes I was lucky enough to get about 2 tablespoons but then it would stop. Of course then, we try all the little tricks; lift the handle, lower the handle. Turn off the power. Remove and refill the water reservoir. Unplug the machine and wait a minute before plugging it back in. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't.

Yesterday I worked for twelve (12) minutes to get my cup of coffee.

I was late for work, I ended up rushing out the door and spilling that hard-earned coffee all over the white sleeve of my shirt... but darnit I was determined to prevail and get my morning coffee. Twelve minutes of war with the machine (ok... it was a very boring war of me turning it off, turning it on, waiting for it to 'think' and then lifting and pressing the handle but it was war none-the-less).

When I returned home yesterday I saw my machine was gone. Apparently my husband heard my frustration and took it to the store and returned it yet again yesterday as this morning I have yet another new Keurig sitting on my counter. (***Thankfully we purchased the protection coverage from the store when we originally bought it!)

BOTTOM LINE: Do I recommend the Keurig Coffee Brewer?

Yes and no.

Yes - because it's hands-down the best coffee you'll drink once you find the exact brand and flavor of k-cup that you prefer. That freshly brewed, 192 degree java is the ultimate cup of coffee.

No - because it's going to break down on you. Our first lasted just 2 weeks. Our second just 3 months. Keurig owners around the globe are talking about it online. Everyone knows they don't work... but we are so spoiled by the coffee we get when it does work that it has us hooked (and perhaps also because we've invest in two cases of k-cups in our cupboards that would be wasted if we pitched the brewer!).

I love my Keurig... when it works.

Editing to add update:  This morning another reader sent me this link to a Yahoo Video showing how one reader cleans his with a toothbrush and it worked for him!  Check it out here.  Thanks for the FYI Kip!!  

It's now 2014 and I'd like to add we still have an use a Keurig - and they did improve them around 2011.  We've had great luck since then.  We actually bought a second, smaller size we pack in our suitcase and take it with us when we travel!   If your Keurig is not working it probably needs to be descaled.  This is not the same issue as the Keurigs I posted about above, as some only worked a matter of days or weeks before breaking down.

To descale your Keurig, fill the container with white vinegar and continuously run it through. Sometimes if I haven't descaled in awhile I need to do this twice - which takes a couple hours.  I like to let it suck it into the system and then set for a couple hours to give it time to clean out the inside.  Then run a complete container full of fresh, clean water through to clear the vinegar out.  I have also found the small plastic suction opening at the base can get gummy or slimy if ignored, and needs to be cleaned out.

*** We purchase our Keurigs from Best Buy where we always get the Black Tie Protection plans. 

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