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
- Dolce Gusto coffee machines user manuals
- Differences between all Dolce Gusto coffee machines
- Frequently Asked Questions (Official Dolce Gusto FAQ)
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:
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.
Finally, the breakdown may be less likely to be related to the injector:
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.
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):
- How to descale a Dolce Gusto coffee machine
- How often a coffee machine should be descaled
- Descaling coffee machines with vinegar
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.