Keurig was having half-cup issue, did some experimenting, it just gets even weirder


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Nov 17, 2020
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Recently my Keurig K60 started brewing only half a cup or barely anything at all, apparently a common problem, but trying to diagnose it just made things even more confusing:

At this point it seems like it might be hopeless and I will have to replace it (Have been considering the K-Supreme Plus as it seems to be the most advanced model that doesn't have that DRM nonsense, though I don't know if it's any good just because it's their most advanced one) but I am still trying to see if I can fix my current one.

So when we first got the issue my father said he tried to open it up and fix it, and it appeared to be working after that. I brewed a cup and it worked fine.

The next day I try to brew another cup and only got half.

I figured might as well go all out myself to try to fix it. I tried looking up YouTube videos about it. No surprise, almost everyone has a different "fix". The most popular one seems to be to just jam a paperclip into the needle's grooves to dislodge anything. Though if this is the problem (pretty sure it's not) it appears to be a temporary fix since you are just simply moving the blockage and it will block it again (also sounds pretty unsanitary to me).

So I looked up over a dozen videos, and tried all of them. I opened it up on both the top and bottom. Took out as many components as I could to clean them, disassembled as many as I could, rinsed them out, put them all in a vinegar bath, rinsed them out again, re-assembled the components, re-assembled the machine, and them made it go through a full tank of vinegar to de-scale it. And then 12 large-cup cycles to clear out the vinegar. It seemed to be working perfectly after that. From the first cup of vinegar to the last cup of water every single one was full. I brewed a cup and it worked fine.

.... next day half a cup again.

I had given up, my father had not, the next day he told me he had thoroughly taken it apart and harshly cleaned out everything. To remove any cleaning solvents I made it run through three full TANKS of water, large cups, every single one came out full. I brewed a cup and it worked fine.

... I think you can guess what happened when I tried to brew a second cup.

At this point I figured it's unfixable, but before I completely gave up I was curious why this pattern. I tried brewing again, still half a cup, then I tried brewing with no cup inserted. And it gave me a full cup of "water".... I said water in quotes because it was light-brown and full of coffee grounds. I try another cup of water, it comes out clean, and then actually brewing a cup.... half a cup again, tried water again and it was again light-brown and full of sediment, the next water cup clean.

At this point, it appears like delivering a full cup of water isn't the problem, whenever I try that it makes a full cup, but when I put a K-Pod in there is when it has trouble brewing a full cup and gives me dirty water the next attempt. So I am starting to suspect either somehow it's clogging itself up with the K-Cup for some reason (I first suspected the pods as I had just started using that flavor, but they were Starbucks official pods, and I tried an older one that used to work just fine and got the same results) or possibly some component that is responsible for pushing the water through the coffee (the air pump perhaps?) is screwing up and either not delivering enough pressure or backing up and clogging the machine.

I honestly don't know, which is why I am asking about it here to see if anyone here has any clue after trying to narrow it down like this. This behavior doesn't seem to match up any of the videos I saw about it, where even if you was trying water alone it would not spit out any water, mine is only doing half a cup when a pod is inserted, and the next water cycle after is dirty, but has no trouble giving a full cup of water alone.
I was having a similar problem. After many years of no issues, I started to experience either a small amount of coffee coming out or a partial cup. I ran two or three tanks of vinegar and then flushed with water. No issues with the water or the vinegar. I think I might have had one cup that was only partial since then. All the rest have been full cups without any issue. Clearly something is clogging your machine. If you only ran one tank of vinegar through it, I'd suggest you run two more. I had never cleaned mine before so the partial cups sort of made sense to me. I plan on running some more vinegar through it again in a week or two. Scale can definitely build up and mess up the flow.