Nespresso air lock problem? Water not coming out (FIXED!)

By Barath
Last Updated:
Nespresso airlock problem

Nespresso air lock problems are common and can be fixed by repeatedly running the cleaning cycle. Both the Original line and Vertuo line are prone to airlock issues, especially if you start brewing with no water in the tank.

However, the Nespresso manual does not cover all the possible ways to fix the airlock. Other common issues that I have seen are, debris stuck in the water tube and worn-out o-ring inside the water tank. I spent over a day writing this guide to help you fix the air lock problem.

Most Common Problems
Run cleaning cycleAirlock happens if you start brewing without water in the tank. Repeatedly run the cleaning cycle 6 to 8 times till you see the water from the nozzle.
Debris stuck in tankSign of badly positioned water tank. Fix this by using an O-ring or sealant grease or replace the water tank.
Open the machine upFor more persistent airlock, the not so recommended approach is to open the base of the Nespresso, locate the water tube, use a turkey baster with water, and blow into the tube.

AVOID HOT WATER! The heater is designed to handle cold water, heating it to the optimal temperature. Using hot water can cause it to turn into steam, potentially leading to seal damage and other serious issues.

Recommended fix for removing air lock easily

Firstly, Nespresso repeatedly mentions the airlock issue and how to fix it in the user manuals. Since it is common to face the air-lock problem, don’t panic, you can easily fix this.

The first step you need to try is repeatedly run the cleaning cycle, at least 6-8 times before you try the remaining solutions I have presented in this guide.

You need to,

  • Eject any capsule and ensure there is water in the tank
  • Run the cleaning cycle, if it is the original line, press the lungo button, and similarly enter cleaning mode in Nespresso Vertuo (or any Vertuo line)
  • If your original line machine has 2 outlines, alternate between pressing the Lungo button (for hot water) and pressing the steam/hot water button until water flows out.
  • Repeat at least 6-8 times. Be persistent until the water comes out of the spout.

Vertuo line Nespresso – Other techniques

For some reason, the Vertuo Round Head or Vertuoline, and the Evoluo, are especially prone to this problem, and lately, I’ve seen this happen frequently, usually with brand-new machines. There are several fixes posted online, which include running repeated rinse cycles or even using a turkey baster to suck the air bubble out, but these are difficult and time-consuming. Luckily, there’s a much easier way to solve this issue.

  1. Fill the water tank at least 1/3rd full. Initiate a rinse cycle (open the lid, close it, lock it, then press the button 3 times within 2 seconds). The pod holder will spin, then a humming sound will start which means the pump is running.
  2. While the pump is running, repeatedly move the water tank back and forth so that it connects and disconnects from the valve, every two seconds or so.
  3. Do this 8-10 times, then leave it connected. You should notice a small amount of water emerging from the spout. Your machine is fixed! Let the rinse cycle complete.

Original line Nespresso – Other techniques

It is not very common in Original Line Nespresso to face air-lock issues. However, the water tank might not be sitting properly, especially if the machine has not been cleaned for a long time.

This wear and tear could mean, the o-ring is worn out which can in turn cause less water pressure through the water tubes on the bottom of the Nespresso.

You can repeatedly lift the water tank multiple times. At this point, you notice a small water bubble forcing through, if this does not happen, there is a blockage somewhere in your water tank.

Check the next section to find out more about this. Once this is done, run a cleaning cycle. Do not at any point use hot water in the water tank. This can damage the pipes if the internal thermal unit also heats and damages the seals and pipes.

Remove stuck debris

Unscrew the base of the nespresso to reveal the water tube.
Unscrew the base of your Nespresso to reveal the water tube.

Continuous use of Nespresso (Original or Vertuo line) over a period of time, it is common for machines to wear and tear and let small particles through the water tank inlet. These particles can clog the U-tube (a small plastic tube connecting the water tank and the copper tube inside the machine) and reduce the water pressure.

Note, if you notice a small amount of water leakage, especially on the backside of the machine, then it is caused by this blockage.

Fixing this involves opening the machine and working on the internals. Before you continue reading, note that I do not recommend operating the machine yourself, especially if it is still under warranty. Contact customer support to get this issue fixed.

Does the water leak?

For those who want to fix the water tank leak issue yourself, you can try the following

  1. Inspect if the water tank is not sitting properly because nothing is blocking the tiny holes on the inside. If there is wear and tear on the bottom (right pic) then you can simply replace the water tank.
  2. If the O-ring (left pic) on the inside has become loose, then you can get a replacement O-ring and fix the issue yourself. If you are not sure, then a simple solution would be to apply sealant grease on the inside (where the o-ring sits and not block the water passage).

If your issue still has not been resolved, read this detailed guide I wrote about resolving water leak issue in Nespresso. You can try the turkey baster technique!

What if nothing works?

Have you tried the following?

  1. For the original line Nespresso – press the lungo to force the water out. If the chamber pressure is not enough, retry a few times
  2. For Vertuo line Nespresso – perform the cleaning cycle. This might require a few tries before you can see the water come out smoothly
  3. Check for debris in the water tank. This usually will require clicking the tank multiple times letting a small amount of water through the pipe
  4. Use a turkey baster to push the water through – try this only if you haven’t found any other option

If nothing works out, then the only option is to contact Nespresso customer support and get your machine replaced.

Barath is a coffee lover, who has been brewing his coffee at home for several years. He talks about coffee tasting, brewing guides and much more in home coffee wizard. Follow barath on X (twitter) @diputsC