How To Fix A Nespresso Machine That Is Leaking Water or Coffee

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.

Why Is My Nespresso Leaking Water or Coffee?

Nespresso machine leaking coffee
Leaking Nespresso Vertuo Next machine

It’s likely early when you are reading this. All you want is your morning cup of coffee. You turn on your Nespresso and start to brew like you always do. But something is different… your Nespresso machine is leaking coffee or water. It may be coming from the bottom, the side or the front by the pod holder. Ugh! How do you fix this? Keep reading to learn about some of the common causes and solutions.

You Need To Descale To Remove Internal Blockages

The water used to brew your coffee pods leaves minerals behind that cause limescale to build up inside your Nespresso. If left untreated, these minerals can have a negative impact on the coffee maker’s water flow. The limescale will create clogs that can result in your Nespresso coffee machine leaking. This buildup can even affect the taste of your coffee too. Descaling your Nespresso will remove this buildup.

Nespresso says to descale every three months or 300 coffee capsules, whichever comes first. If you have hard water, meaning it is high in minerals, you should descale even more often. If you haven’t been descaling regularly, this could very well be causing your Nespresso to leak water.

How To Descale

You should try running a few descaling cycles to try to remove the buildup that is clogging your water pipes. You may clear it after one attempt, or you may have to repeat it two or three times. The best way to do this is with a descaling solution. Homemade ones using vinegar just do not work as well. See my related posts for detailed step by step guides on how to descale Nespresso Vertuo machines and Original line models. Here are the solutions I recommend:

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This is the official descaling solution kit made by Nespresso and the one that I use personally. Nespresso strongly recommends using only this descaler so I like using it because it makes me feel like I am protecting the investment I made in my machine. The primary cleaning agent in it is lactic acid. This descaling solution will gently eliminate the lime scale that has built up in your machine. Each pack contains 2 kits, so you’ll get two total uses out of it.

If you are looking for a lower cost option, Essential Values has a citric acid solution that is both odorless and powerful. Each bottle is good for two uses. A two pack will provide four doses. That’s a year supply if you descale your machine every three months. 

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There Is A Blockage In The Coffee Outlet or Capsule Holder

Do you empty the used Nespresso capsule soon after you are done brewing it? Do you regularly wipe under the coffee outlet to remove any coffee grinds or residue? If you haven’t been following the suggested steps to keep your machine clean, coffee grinds or residue may have been building up at the nozzle or in the pod holder. Eventually, this will interfere with the correct flow of the water and coffee.

If the clog is at the nozzle, the coffee won’t come out. It will leak out other parts of the Nespresso instead. If the residue buildup is on the piercing plate located in the capsule holder, then the it won’t be able to make the holes in the pod. These holes are needed to allow the hot water to flow through. If the holes are not able to be made, the water will just start dripping from the pod holder.

How To Clean The Pod Holder And Coffee Outlet

I use a spare toothbrush to clean the coffee grinds off the pod holder in my Nespresso machines. Fill a cup with warm, soapy water. Dip the toothbrush in the cup. Gently scrub under the coffee outlet and inside the capsule holder. Run a hot water cycle to clear out any gunk you have loosened. If you start the water cycle and the leak is still there, press the button to cancel it. Grab the toothbrush and scrub again. For really bad buildup, you might need a wire brush.

If you think the clog is in the nozzle, you may be able to insert a needle or pipe-cleaner to clear it. However, this can damage some models. It is best to check your user manual or call or chat with customer service.

The Water Tank Valve Seal Is Broken

If there is water around the bottom of your brewer, there could be an issue with your water tank. At the base of the water reservoir, there is a rubber seal that is meant to stop water from exiting when the brewer is not in use. If that valve seal gets worn down and becomes loose, water can start leaking from the tank.

Testing for this is easy. Remove and empty the water tank. Flip it over and look for any visible cracks. Then fill it with fresh water and place it upright on top of some paper towels on your counter. Let it sit for a couple hours. When you pick up it, if the paper towel is damp, then a loose seal is causing your water leak. You can call Nespresso to ask about buying a new tank. You can also try to find a water tank compatible with your model on Amazon.

Nespresso Leaking Caused By More Significant Issues With Internal Components

If you have ruled out the above causes of your Nespresso machine leaking, the issue is likely with some broken internal pieces. The thermoblock, pump or internal pipework could be the problem. Unfortunately this is common, especially with the Vertuo Next. If you have been descaling using vinegar, the acids in the vinegar may have damaged these pieces.

Diagnosing and replacing these parts is very advanced. You would need to open up your machine. This can void your warranty. I suggest you do NOT attempt to do this. Instead, contact Nespresso support.

Check Your Warranty Coverage / Contact Support

If you bought your machine new from Nespresso or one of its retail partners, it has a warranty. For many models it is a one year warranty. For more premium models like the Creatista it is two years. If you already registered your machine, then getting support under the warranty will be easy. Just call Nespreso. If you haven’t done this, you’ll need to dig up your receipt and contact customer service to register first.

If it is under warranty, support should be help you. They may ask you to send the machine in for repair. They may also just send you a replacement machine. I’ve heard some Vertuo Next users were even able to get a different (and more reliable) model like the Vertuo, VertuoPlus or Evoluo.

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2 thoughts on “How To Fix A Nespresso Machine That Is Leaking Water or Coffee”

  1. Our brand new machine has been leaking since the first day we had it. Followed all the setup and cleaning instructions. It leaks from the top on both sides and down through the back of the machine. We’re going to take it back to Costco. Turns out they’re getting a lot of returns on this one.

    • Good idea to return it! Sounds like you probably picked up the Vertuo Next deal at Costco. That machine has lots of problems – best to avoid it no matter how good the deal is. You’ll be better off with one of the other Vertuo machines (Vertuo, Vertuo Plus, or Evoluo). I personally use the Plus and love it.


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