How To Empty Keurig? Simple Steps To Drain Internal Tank

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

How To Empty Keurig? Simple Steps To Drain Internal Tank

Maybe you are about to go on a vacation for a week. Perhaps you are preparing a seasonal home for a period of non use. Whatever the reason may be, if you are not going to use your Keurig coffee maker for a week or more, you should empty the water tanks. That’s right, “tanks” plural. There is the external water tank you can see and, in many models, an internal one that isn’t visible. If you don’t drain the Keurig internal tank, mold can grow in it. If you live in a cold climate, this water could even freeze inside and damage your brewer. Keep reading to learn how to empty Keurig internal water tanks.

A Note About Disassembly Methods And Your Warranty

Be advised that following any instructions found online that involve disassembling your machine can void your warranty. Do so at your own risk! If your unit is no longer under warranty, you may not be worried about this.

Keurig is aware that only a handful of models make it easy to empty the internal tank. For the rest, they only recommend some simple steps to take:

  1. Empty, clean and dry the external water tank
  2. Keep the brewer in an upright position while in storage
  3. Do not store it in a cold or frost-prone environment
  4. Run three cleaning cycles when you are ready to use your brewer again.

How To Drain Keurig K-15 or Keurig K-Mini Basic or Plus

If you have one of these mini Keurigs, you are in luck! They are among the easiest models to empty. Just follow these simple steps which do not require any disassembly:

  1. Plug the brewer in but do not turn it on.
  2. Place a cup on the drip tray to catch any water.
  3. Check the water level in the cold water reservoir. If there is some water in there, go to the next step. If not, add a little bit of cold water.
  4. Lift the brewer handle. This will pull the water from the cold water tank to the hot water tank.
  5. Close the handle. Repeat Step 4 until all of the water has drained from the cold water tank.
  6. Press and hold the BREW button. After about 5 seconds, water from the hot water tank will start to drain into the cup.
  7. Hold the button until only air is coming out of the coffee maker.

How To Drain Keurig 1.0 (like the K50, K55, K66, K100)

Draining Keurig 1.0 While Assembled Method

YouTuber Kari Edwards came up with this clever hack to empty your internal water tank without having to take apart the machine. Watch the video for full details. Stick your hand into the empty water tank while it is attached to your brewer. Use your fingers to pull the black disk at the base of the tank up. The light will stop blinking. With no pod in the unit, start to brew as normal. When water starts coming out, take your hand out. Shut your machine off when done.

How To Empty Keurig 1.0 By Disassembly Method

Be warned that disassembling your Keurig will void your warranty. Proceed at your own risk.

  1. Turn the unit off and unplug from the wall. If you recently brewed a pod, wait 30 minutes for it to cool down.
  2. Lift the brewer handle so that you can see the area where you would usually put a K-cup.
  3. On the top of the open area, you should see two screws. One close to under the “K” and one under the “G” in the logo on the top of the machine. You’ll need a flathead screwdriver for this.
  4. With the screws removed, you should be able to remove the piece that has the KEURIG logo on it. Just slide it up and then pull it out. Once this piece is gone, you will be able to see the internal tank.
  5. Look for two tubes connected to the top of the internal reservoir. One will be look like an L, the other will be straight. There may be zip ties around them. If so, you will need needle nose pliers to gently loosen the zip ties. Be patient and do not cut the ties unless you have new ones to replace them.
  6. Detach both tubes.
  7. Flip the brewer over the sink. Water should start to come out of the opening where the L-shaped tube attached. If the water is not coming out or is coming out slowly, you need to get some air flow through the tank. Take a plastic straw and put it into the opening from where you removed the straight tube. Allow all water to drain from the tank.
  8. Reattach the two tubes. Put the zip ties back in place.
  9. Reattach the top piece with the Keurig logo. Put the two screws back in place.

How To Empty Keurig 2.0 Models (like the K200, K250, K350, K450, K575)

The steps you may find online to disassemble your Keurig 2.0 to empty the internal tank are extremely complicated as they require you to take your machine completely apart. If you are not a pro, you will find this process complex. You may damage your brewer and void your warranty. Instead, follow the basic Keurig storage instructions noted above.

Alternatively, YouTuber Anthony Rubenstein found a way to trick Keurig 2.0s into emptying the internal water tank. Watch the video for full details. Remove the tank from your machine. The screen will ask you for more water. Make sure there is some water in your tank and add it back to your unit. Leave it there until the screen prompts you to dispense hot water. Remove the water tank and select continue. Pick the biggest cup size and then hit the brew button. Any water inside the internal reservoir will pump out.

How To Empty Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker or Keurig Rivo System

Good news! The K-Slim and Keurig Rivo do not have any internal water tank. Just empty and dry the external water tank and your machine is ready for storage.

Keurig K Slim has no internal water tank to empty
Keurig K Slim

Steps To Take When Using Keurig Again After Storage

Hopefully you didn’t let your brewer get exposed to freezing conditions while it was in storage. If you did, be sure to let it sit for two hours so it can come back to room temp before using it. If you have a Keurig K-Duo, it will display a “Fr” error code if the machine has been exposed to very cold temperatures and needs to warm up.

You should also clean your Keurig before use. Detach the external water tank and rinse it thoroughly. Run three cleaning cycles before brewing your first pod. Cleaning and rinse pods are great for this.

If your brewer is not pumping water well, it is possible water was not fully removed from your machine. You may need to run a descale cycle to clear any blockages.

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