Dolce Gusto: Light colours of the power button

Coffee machines that do not have a digital display use coloured lights to transmit information to the user about the machine’s status. These lights can be either permanently lit or flashing and are coded so that the user knows the machine’s status just by looking at these lights.

All Dolce Gusto coffee machine models use a single on/off button, which at the same time lights up in up to three different colours (green, red and orange/yellow). It will be the control board of the coffee machine that sends the light signals with the information received by the sensors of the coffee machine.

For example, if a sensor on the Dolce Gusto coffee machine detects a fault, this sensor would send the information to the control board, which would stop brewing and send a signal to the user in the form of a flashing or steady light.

Note: All models of coffee machines follow the same warning codes. However, there are exceptions which will be noted throughout this article. Early models, before the Melody, do not have warning lights.

My Dolce Gusto power button lights up green

It’s good news when you see the Dolce Gusto coffee machine’s power button light up solid green. On all Dolce Gusto models, when the light on the power button lights up solid green, it means that the coffee machine is ready to brew or is brewing.

If the green light on the power button is flashing, depending on the model, it means something different. In those coffee machines that do NOT have an orange light to indicate the need for descaling (Mini Me, Genio, Circolo and Melody 3), the green light is flashing means that the descaling cycle is ready or in progress.

On models where descaling is coded with the illumination of the orange light, the power button should never flash green on its own (if it does, there could be a fault in the control board). The meaning of flashing simultaneously with the red light will be discussed later.

My Dolce Gusto power button lights up orange

On most Dolce Gusto coffee machine models, the orange light indicates the need to describe the machine or warn that the process is in progress. Only the Mini Me, Genio, Circolo and Melody 3 do not use the orange light in their status coding.

dolce gusto orange light

When the orange light (yellow on some models) lights up steady, the Dolce Gusto indicates the need to proceed with descaling. Even though this light is lit orange, you can continue to brew your coffees as normal until you decide to proceed with descaling.

Normally, the machine is in descaling mode when the orange light flashes simultaneously with the green light. To enter this mode, you must press the power button for 5 seconds and follow the steps indicated in the instruction manual of your particular model.

Orange and green lights flashing alternately

In the newer models with lights on the beverage volume selector (Genio, Lumio, Drop, Esperta, Colors, Eclipse, Movenza and Stelia), when we enter descaling mode, the orange light flashes together with the green light.

Orange light still on after descaling

Dolce Gusto coffee machines have a small microprocessor on their control board, storing a small amount of data. Among the data they can store are the descaling processes. Once a descaling has been performed, the machine resets its internal coffee counter.

Sometimes it happens that the machine requests a descaling, but after it has been carried out, it is not recorded in the internal memory, and therefore the orange light is still on. Although we said you could continue preparing coffees, seeing that light continuously illuminated can be very annoying, so we will show you how to turn it off.

Excerpt from the Dolce Gusto Infinissima instruction manual
Excerpt from the Dolce Gusto Infinissima instruction manual

Why does this happen? Usually, it happens because you forgot to press the power button for 5 seconds, or if you did, the machine didn’t go into “descaling mode”. To reset the memory of the coffee machine, you have two options:

  1. Take the coffee maker into descaling mode again and perform a “fictitious descaling” with clean water. But this time, make sure that the light on the power button flashes orange and green alternately before you start.
  2. If you do not want to perform the “fictitious descaling”, you can try to clear the memory by pressing the power button for 30 seconds. The light on the button should change to solid green.

My Dolce Gusto power button lights up red

We tend to associate the colour red with faults, however, the Dolce Gusto coffee machine uses the red light to indicate machine statuses which in most cases are not error codes.

Red light flashing when switching on the machine

Whenever the Dolce Gusto is switched on, the machine’s first thing is to heat up the thermoblock (boiler) so that the user can prepare coffees. This process can take up to 40 seconds and the machine informs us by flashing the power button with a red light.

Once the healing process is finished, the power button will change to a steady green light indicating that the machine is ready to operate. During the flashing of the red light, it will not let us prepare any beverage.

The red light flashes after each preparation

This state is similar to the previous one because, after each preparation, the machine flashes the power button with a red light for 5 seconds to lower the temperature of the thermoblock. It is also not possible to remove the capsule or prepare another coffee during this time.

The red light flashes every time I try to prepare coffee

If when you move the brew lever, your Dolce Gusto starts flashing red and does not brew coffee; there is a sensor inhibiting the machine from brewing coffee. For example, if the capsule holder is not in position, the power button will flash red and will not allow us to make a coffee until we insert the capsule holder.

This happens with any machine’s sensors or, like the capsule holder, the cover that lowers the nozzle (if this is not fully lowered, the machine will flash red). It can also occur when the thermoblock has an excessive temperature; above 115ºC.

These errors are known as “hardware errors”.

The red light flashes alternately with the green light

This is an error code sent by the flowmeter and means that there is no water in the tank or the internal circuit. This error can also be sent when there is a blockage in the system, or the pump is not working.

The red light is flashing very fast

When the red light flashes very fast, it means that the machine is in error mode, and to know which error it is, we must look at the volume selector bar. This will light up differently for each error (Genio, Lumio, Drop, Esperta, Colors, Eclipse, Movenza and Stelia).

Bar DisplayErrorDescriptionRemark
Bar 1Overtemperature in the thermoblockThermoblock temperature
above 120°C / 248°F
Let the thermoblock cool down in eco mode for half an hour.
If this error occurs several times in sequence, there may be a defect in the thermoblock or the control board.
Bar 2Maximum operating time pump operating time exceededThe pump has been running for more than 10 minutesThe coffee machine has been used intensively. Allow the pump to cool down in eco mode and
wait 10 minutes.
Bar 1 and 2Heat-up time exceededHeat-up time has exceeded 40 secondsTo prevent damage to the coffee machine, all components, including the thermoblock, are switched off (error status).
If this error occurs several times in sequence, there may be a defect in the thermoblock or the control board.
Bar 1 and 7Thermostat disconnectedThermostat wires are broken or disconnectedCheck the wiring and the thermostat connector.
Replace if damaged.
Bar 2 and 7Thermostat short-circuitedThe thermostat is short-circuited or defective.Replace thermostat.
Bar 1, 2 and 7Zero crossing detection defectDefect circuit for the zero
crossing detection of the mains
voltage.
Effects are high surge currents and switch-on peaks that can trigger a mains fuse.
Replace the control board.

My Dolce Gusto has a permanent red light

If the light on the power button is permanently red – and not flashing – the brewer warns you that it has a fault or technical problem. The recommendation, in this case, is to turn off the brewer immediately and check if you have any blocked capsules inside or any similar incidence.

Unplug the brewer completely (including from the mains), plug it back in, and switch it on after about 30 minutes. If everything has gone well, the power button should start flashing green. You can also try holding down the power button for 40 seconds to reset the warning.

dolce gusto red light flashes

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many of the causes of this permanent red light failure have to do with the power and the electrical board of the brewer. Check this post to find out how to fix it and see if the symptoms match your own. Maybe you’ll find the solution: My Dolce Gusto coffee maker doesn’t turn on.