Dolce Gusto troubleshooting

According to the latest research, more than 20.7 million capsule coffee machines have been sold in the last decade in the United States alone. And if we take into account that 25% of all capsule coffee machines worldwide are in the United States, we can conclude that more than 80 million capsule coffee machines have been sold worldwide in the last ten years.

Regarding worldwide coffee machine sales, just behind Nespresso coffee machines are the Dolce Gusto coffee machines. With so many units in circulation for so long, it is inevitable to encounter problems and breakdowns during your Dolce Gusto coffee machine.

We’ve put together this troubleshooting guide for Dolce Gusto coffee machines, bringing together the most common faults that users will likely encounter. Fortunately, we can fix your coffee machine with a few simple steps in most cases.

Dolce Gusto problem solving: Useful resources

No water comes out of my Dolce Gusto coffee machine

It sometimes happens that one day our Dolce Gusto suddenly doesn’t dispense water when we press the brew button. Everything seems fine; the plug is in the wall socket, and the lights are green, but the machine doesn’t brew our desired morning coffee.

The first thought is that the machine has broken down and you must buy a new coffee machine. Maybe after this thought, we can focus and find the solution ourselves after a few minutes. I’m sure that checking that the water tank is correctly positioned was the first thing you did. Make sure that the outlet valve is raised:

Water tank valve
Water tank valve

If you have already checked the water tank, you have done the right thing because if everything seems fine except for the lack of water, the problem must be in the water circuit, right? It is correct, although other things may also be at fault. This article looks at it in-depth: The coffee maker does not pour water.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker without pressure

A Dolce Gusto coffee machine without water pressure is among the worst news for espresso lovers. No coffee will be the same without the correct water pressure circulating through the ground coffee (in a capsule or other enclosure). This lack of pressure in a coffee machine is especially noticeable when making espressos or ristrettos.

One of the main reasons why a Dolce Gusto coffee machine has no water pressure is because the coffee machine is clogged or because the build-up of limescale and impurities is such that it prevents the normal circulation of water inside the machine. To rule out this situation, you should descale your coffee maker as soon as possible.

My Dolce Gusto does not heat

It’s the same when neither coffee nor other beverages come out at the right temperature. If you have been using your coffee machine for a while and notice that the coffee is not as hot as it used, the number one solution is always to descale it. Usually, too much limescale has built up in the Thermoblock; the heating element can no longer heat up as it did when it was new.

Thermoblock system inside

The second, much less desirable alternative is a fault in the heating system. In this case, the entire Thermoblock needs to be replaced, and for this, you will probably have to disassemble the machine yourself or take the coffee machine to a Dolce Gusto repair service.

Dolce Gusto coffee machine: How to descale it

Descaling coffee machines is a very common and necessary operation for long-term maintenance. Water will circulate through internal pipes, the heating element, the pump, and whatever system is used for coffee preparation. This water will gradually deposit limescale deposits along the circuit.

As you will see in this guide, many of the problems that affect our Dolce Gusto coffee machines are related to limescale deposits, which we can solve through routine descaling.

The process of descaling is fairly straightforward, but if you’ve never done it before or are unsure how to remove limescale from a Dolce Gusto coffee machine, check out the following articles (especially the first one):

Dolce Gusto coffee maker: How to clean it

This part is closely related to descaling, which we discussed earlier. Cleaning the coffee machine covers two areas: external cleaning and internal cleaning. And sometimes we don’t take the utmost care of the latter.

If you want to keep up to date and know how to clean a Dolce Gusto coffee machine, don’t miss the following article: How to clean a Dolce Gusto coffee machine.

How to repair a Dolce Gusto coffee machine

It is a very broad and generic issue that covers many different areas and can affect many components of our coffee machine, so it is impossible to cover everything in this small section.

For this reason, we have written a specific article with everything you need to know about repairing a Dolce Gusto coffee machine: how to fix a Dolce Gusto coffee machine.

Dolce Gusto coffee maker: How to dismantle it

In many cases, a superficial cleaning and descaling are not enough to keep our Dolce Gusto coffee machine in good operating condition. There will be situations where it will be necessary to disassemble the coffee maker to repair or replace an internal component (electrical board, pump, pipes, heating element, etc.).

To simplify the explanation, instead of writing down how to disassemble a Dolce Gusto coffee machine, we leave you an explanatory video:

Worms inside the Dolce Gusto coffee maker?

Here’s one of our favourite myths. We’re not going to lower it to the level of urban legend, but almost.

The cases that have happened are very isolated and have a logical explanation (and to make matters worse, they are far from exclusive and cannot be linked only to the coffee makers or the capsules of the Dolce Gusto system). For more information, you can read here.

My Dolce Gusto coffee machine doesn’t turn on

Another of the most common faults with Dolce Gusto coffee machines, and many other brands, is when the coffee machine does not even turn on the lights on the buttons. You check the power supply, and everything looks fine; then, you press the buttons several times with short and long presses, but the coffee maker does not turn on.

At other times, we have seen the buttons light dimly and then go out, or even flicker very faintly until they go out completely. And no matter how often you try, you can’t get it to work. Are you familiar with this situation?

Fortunately, this is an easy fault to locate. The issue is in the control board and, more specifically, the capacitors. To solve this problem, you will have to disassemble the coffee machine, locate the control board and the faulty capacitor, and replace it. We have created an exclusive article for this fault: What do I do if my Dolce Gusto coffee machine won’t turn on?

My Dolce Gusto coffee machine switches itself off

A variation of the above problem is that sometimes the coffee machine switches on with the buttons glowing normally but suddenly switches off after a few seconds. You see the button light up, usually in red, but nothing more can be done.

The most likely cause is the same as mentioned above: faulty capacitors, which can cause a voltage drop when the machine is switched on. Here is a video that may help you to find out how to fix this problem yourself:

My Dolce Gusto coffee machine does not light up the green light

This one is just one version of the dozens of possibilities and confusions users have with the colour coding of Dolce Gusto coffee machines. You know that the start button of the coffee machine can light up in three colours (red or green, and orange on some recent models), and each colour can be fixed or flashed. And, of course, the combinations are endless:

  • The Dolce Gusto coffee machine flashes red.
  • The Dolce Gusto coffee machine flashes red and green.
  • The Dolce Gusto coffee machine has a flashing orange light.
  • The Dolce Gusto coffee machine flashes non-stop.

And you know what the worst thing is? Each one of them means something different. So here is a complete article where we summarise all the issues and possible solutions related to the lights on a Dolce Gusto coffee machine: Problems with the Dolce Gusto power button.

My Dolce Gusto coffee machine leaks

There may be several cases here, but almost all of them involve the possibility of a fault or some problem that needs to be solved. Frequently, one of these two situations should happen to us:

  • My Dolce Gusto coffee machine is leaking water underneath: the water tank is leaking in the joint with the coffee machine, or a hose is broken inside the machine. You will need to open the coffee machine, find out where the damage is, and replace the damaged element.
  • My Dolce Gusto coffee machine is leaking water from the top. The problem is more likely related to the capsule or capsule holder and does not necessarily involve a technical fault. You would need to clean or replace the injector.

Watch the following video to learn more about the leaking issue with Dolce Gusto coffee machines:

My Dolce Gusto coffee machine vibrates too much

The fault of excessive vibration in Dolce Gusto coffee machines is not very frequent, but the control board is damaged. The vibration comes from the pump, but it is caused by incorrect electromagnetism sent from the control board and not by a defect in the water pump itself.

In the following video, you can see a very clear example brought to us by our colleague Adrian B:

My Dolce coffee machine makes a lot of noise

First of all, make sure that the loud sound is not caused by excessive vibration of the coffee machine because if it is, the situation described above would be present. Espresso machines always make some noise because they must pump water at high pressure for the result – the espresso – to come out in the optimum condition.

Besides, any water heating process (all Dolce Gusto machines use Thermoblock) involves slightly noisy activity. So, the noise from Dolce Gusto coffee machines does not imply any fault, no problem, nothing that can be “solved”. It is inherent in the type of coffee they make. The same is true of Nespresso machines.

22 thoughts on “Dolce Gusto troubleshooting”

    • Hello J,Flanagan,

      What model of Dolce Gusto? Where are you located? We will try to help you.


  1. Hi we use a lot of dolce gusto machines we run a catering business. we bought a new model KP1A0 has no on of starts as you insert the cartridge..we had it about four weeks and its stopped working..probably made only 6 to 8 coffees a day…any thoughts???

    • Hello Mark,

      If there are no lights on or signs of power, you need to dismantle the machine and check where the circuit is opened, because at some point there is an “open circuit”. To do this, you need to use a polimeter in AC Voltage with the machine connected; follow the current from the cable to the control board and find what element has failed.

      However, it is tough to diagnose on here. I suggest you claim it under warranty and if you don’t have it, go to an appliance technical services (these coffee makers are not complicated to fix).

      Sorry If I couldn’t help.

  2. My Dolce Gusto is still working but the light does not turn green, its a solid amber colour. Is there a problem?

    • Orange light means the machine needs to be decalcified with a powder or liquid kit. green light will return when it has been cleaned.

    • Thanks Barry,

      Barry is right; it is what we described up above in the post. I assumed you followed our instructions and the damn light still on.

      Did you follow the proper process?

  3. Hi I have just purchased a dolce gusto mini and can’t get remove the water tank, is there something holding it in place during transit?

    • Hello Alison,

      As far as we know, there is nothing holding it. You should pull it out easily, just don´t be afraid, you won´t break it.


  4. Hi my Dolce Gusto not pumping water.Used the pin for unblocking.Pump working for cold and hot.Still no water being dispensed.Unit was in storage for a year.Can u assist

  5. Hi. I have just purchased a D G Mini Me. I have made two Chococino’s. All four pods were full of liquid after the process was completed, is this correct?

  6. It is becoming increasingly difficult to pull out the drawer of my Dolce Gusto machine to insert/remove the pods. I have cleaned the drawer and the inside of the machine, but the drawer still sticks. Does anyone have a similar problem (and perhaps a solution)?

  7. Hi my machine wouldn’t work so I used to pin it worked for couple seconds then nothing lights come on just nothing there no sound or anything any ideas? Thanks

  8. I am trying to set up my dolce gusto coffee machine for the first time but am unable to open the capsule drawer… there a knack I don’t know about?
    Thank you, Catherine

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