Philips Senseo: Problem Solving

Holders of a Philips Senseo coffee machine are sure to have been waiting a long time for this Senseo troubleshooting guide, in the style of those we have published previously with other brands.

If you have a fault with your Philips Senseo coffee machine, or any general concerns regarding capsule coffee machines (many employ similar philosophies and operations), then this Senseo Coffee Machine troubleshooting guide will be handy.

Before you start, you can take a look at the troubleshooting guides we’ve produced to date. You may not find the answer to your Senseo problem on this page, but you may find inspiration or ideas on the pages concerning other manufacturers:

And without further ado, let’s review the most common Senseo problems. We remind you that this is just a list of demands or queries about breakdowns in Philips Senseo or related to this brand’s machines, which have come to our attention with some frequency.

It means that your specific problem may not be reflected here (in which case we’d love to hear from you in the comments), and on the other hand, the article is subject to future additions and modifications.

Senseo coffee machine troubleshooting: Overview

The problems in a Senseo Philips coffee machine are broadly the same as those found in other brands of capsule coffee machines. They are often related to blockages or electronic components. Then we will detail them better, but when someone talks about “failure in a Senseo Philips coffee machine“, often what you suffer is a failure in a capacitor or electronic board.

It can also be beneficial to check the user manuals of the various Philips Senseo coffee machines, just in case.

How to dismantle a Philips Senseo coffee machine

Let’s start with a very common request. “I’m having trouble with my Senseo coffee maker and need to open it for repair“. As you can imagine, opening the machine is an essential first step before repairing a Philips Senseo coffee maker yourself.

The cutting of a Philips Senseo coffee machine should always be done in parts and knowing in advance what we will do. That is, not improvising. To do this, we recommend watching some videos on the Internet, such as this one:

This is the same as how to open a Senseo coffee machine and is really useful if the machine is no longer under warranty and you want to find out for yourself if you can fix a fault before taking it to a service centre. Please note: You should only open your Senseo coffee machine if it is an old one; otherwise, you will void the legal warranty.

The Senseo coffee maker does not work

It is a classic among all the problems in the Philips Senseo, but unfortunately not only from this manufacturer but from many other capsule machines. If your Senseo coffee maker doesn’t turn on, then there’s a good chance you’ll have a breakdown (i.e. it’s not something you can solve right away).

The good news is that in most cases, this fault has to do with the machine’s electrical board, and more specifically, with the capacitors. If this is the problem, replace the old capacitors with new ones. They are cheap, although to change them you will have to go inside the coffee maker to find the plate. Yes, you will have to open it and disassemble it. On this same page, a little further down, you can find information on how to dismantle a Philips Senseo coffee maker.

There are usually two capacitors, the main one and an auxiliary one, and if one of them is damaged, your Senseo coffee maker will not work correctly.

So you know: if your Philips Senseo coffee maker doesn’t turn on, aim for the capacitors first. Read more in this article.

The Philips Senseo coffee maker turns itself off

It is a similar problem, but different from the previous one: in this case, the machine does turn on, but after a few moments, you find the problem that the Senseo coffee maker turns off. Without notice and any specific circumstance. So you can not get to use it.

If your Senseo coffee maker turns on but then disconnects on the spot, or you see the lights flickering. Still, you can’t do anything else with the coffee maker; the problem is probably electrical again.

The first solution you should explore is to open the brewer again, access the electrical board and see if the capacitors are defective.

My Philips Senseo coffee maker is leaking water

Well, there are several nuances to this inconvenience. We are going to focus on the two most common symptoms when your Senseo coffee maker loses water.

If it loses water from the bottom and the outside, then it is possible that the tank is poorly fitted or that the connection of the water tank with the internal circuit of the coffee maker is damaged.

If water leaks out of any crack in the housing, or if leakage accumulates at the bottom (base) of the brewer, then it is logical that a hose, connection or pipe in the brewer’s internal circuit (the channel through which water flows inside the machine) has been broken.

A loss of water in this system can cause drips or leaks (depending on the size of the break) that cause water to fall directly and freely throughout the interior of the coffee machine. You can check this directly by opening the coffee machine and looking inside. Everything will be wet, and even the base will be waterlogged inside.

My Philips Senseo coffee maker does not open

In other words, my Philips Senseo coffee maker is blocked. If we were to make a Top3 ranking of the most common Senseo coffee maker problems, this would undoubtedly be among them. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, even on other brands of capsule coffee makers.

So why does the Philips Senseo coffee maker get stuck with other capsule brands? Well, mainly because of the pressure. It often happens when we leave a forgotten capsule in the head, without removing it after making coffee. If we let enough time pass, the pressure inside the capsule rises, creating a vacuum-like effect, and the inside of the capsule fills with air. Therefore, the single-dose becomes more substantial and can no longer come out as before.

The solution proposed in this video is exclusive for when a Senseo coffee maker does not open. It can be applied to coffee machines of other brands, but adapting the method to the characteristics of each coffee machine.

In summary, to release the pressure, you must move the sleeve or transparent tube where the water circulates and connects directly to the head. And to move the tube, you must cut the flange that holds it. Then, it is essential to return the tube to its original position with a new flange.

My Philips Senseo does not heat the water

If your Senseo coffee maker doesn’t heat the water, there can be three leading causes.

Firstly, a fault in the thermostat, which is responsible for ensuring that the water is at the correct temperature. You have the option of changing the entire Thermoblock, even.

Or some loss or breakage in the internal circuit, which prevents the water from travelling properly from the pump to the Thermoblock (heating system). In other words, the heating system works fine, but no water or only a part of the water that should arrive.

And thirdly, the fact that the water gets less hot than it should is a very common consequence of having calcification problems. The circuits (including those in the Thermoblock) are blocked by sediment, and water does not flow through them as it should. The solution, in this case, is more straightforward: decalcify your Senseo coffee machine.

The Senseo coffee maker has no water pressure

Sometimes, when manipulating the machine, we can accidentally break a small piece. Without meaning to and without knowing it. For example, haven’t you ever pulled the tank out with too much force or foreshortened it more than it should?

The consequences of this action can be unpredictable. Perhaps it’s a piece of plastic that’s useless, and in that case, you won’t notice any change in the regular operation of your coffee machine, or you may have been unlucky enough to break a useful piece.

In that case, the only solution is to call a specialized technical service (or the Philips officer, much better). They will present you with a breakdown of the machine so that you can tell them which part is broken, or they will even be able to identify it quickly.

The repair will be on your own, though, and we advise you to ask for an estimate first because between the part and the labour, it’s easy to take the amount almost the same as buying a new Senseo coffee machine.

My Senseo coffee maker does not stop flashing

When the Senseo coffee maker flashes, it may or may not be a problem. It depends on the flashing.

If the Philips Senseo brewer blinks slowly, nothing happens. It is normal. The brewer is indicating that the water is getting hot, and we still can’t make a cup of coffee.

Conversely, if the blinking of your Senseo coffee maker is faster, then it is an alarm signal. The machine is telling us that something is not right.

If you are in this second case – fast and constant blinking – these are the aspects and details you should check:

  • Make sure there’s enough water in the tank (it could be a minimum water level warning or an empty tank warning).
  • Check that the tank is installed correctly. Sometimes we have not fitted it properly with the body of the machine, and then the water cannot circulate.
  • Even if the tank has enough water and is appropriately placed, the level buoy (the instrument that the coffee maker uses to know if there is enough water) may be stuck. If this is the case, the easiest thing to do is to empty the tank and unjam the buoy manually.
  • As unusual as it may seem, make sure that the ambient temperature is above 10ºC. Philips Senseo coffee machines do not work well below this temperature.

Philips Senseo coffee maker: How does it work?

How does the Senseo coffee maker work? Well, virtually the same as other espresso machines using the domestic single-serve system. The only difference is that in the case of Senseo, the capsules are of the so-called pads, or soft pods, while in other brands, the capsules may be different.

But the inner workings are the same. You can learn this in more detail in this guide: how a capsule coffee maker works.

Philips Senseo coffee machine: How to use it

A Senseo coffee maker is used in the same way as any other brand of capsule coffee maker. But if this is the first time you’ve had one, you might be wondering.

Here’s a rough outline of the steps:

  • Plugin the coffee maker.
  • Fill the tank with water up to the indicated level (no more).
  • Choose the Senseo capsule you prefer, and insert it into the filter.
  • Turn on the coffee machine (central start button).
  • Push down the extraction lever so that the capsule is perforated.
  • Wait a few seconds until the red button light stops flashing. It will indicate that the brewer is ready to make coffee.
  • Don’t forget to put a cup or glass under the spout!
  • Press the brew button of your choice: for one cup or two cups.

In this video, you can see in detail how to use a Senseo coffee maker for the first time. We recommend taking a look if you’re new to these things or if you’ve just bought the machine and don’t know where to start.

How to Replace the Head of a Philips Senseo Coffee Maker

If you ever need to replace the entire head of your Senseo coffee machine, a picture (or a video, in this case) is worth a thousand words. We’re not going to explain it to you, you can watch it here:

As you can see, the process is not complicated, but you have to pay attention to leave all the connections in place and securely fastened. Otherwise, the coffee machine will not work properly.

And this is as far as we go. As we said at the beginning, we may have left something in the inkwell. If you know of any Senseo coffee machine breakdowns that have happened to you or any incidents that you think would be interesting to add to this guide, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Tell us about it in the comments!