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Exploding K-cups in a Keurig coffeemaker Answered

Our Keurig coffeemaker is several years old. We began to see a ragged star opening in the top of the K-cups after brewing and coffee grounds various places outside the K-cup. All of the usual recommended fixes were no help. (See below.) This video gave me a solution that worked very well for us. (I have no personal connection to the video or its maker.) We now see only a neat round hole in the top of our K-cups after brewing, not a torn and ragged opening.

Video summary: Remove two screws under the flip-up cover above the K-cup holder. Remove the decorative plastic cover by tugging at it. Snip the zip tie that keeps the soft white tube on the fitting. Pull the tube from the fitting. Hold the end of the tube over a cup. Cycle water through the Keurig until several cups come out clean. Clear the upper and lower needles of coffee grounds. Attach the tube with a new zip tie and screw the cover back in place.

One word of caution: Very hot water spewed onto the soft skin at the base of my thumb and it was very uncomfortable. I draped a folded towel over my hand while hot water was being expelled from the disconnected tube at the top of the Keurig. Also, I ran quite a number of cups of water through the Keurig until I got three consecutive cups of water without any debris particles of any kind in the water. (I did not see an accumulation of coffee grounds like the man describes in the video, but I saw what was similar to pieces of a brown wing from a housefly.) In the two or three days following the procedure in the video we did occasionally have a K-cup blowout, but have seen only perfect round holes after a week or so, and we probably brew a dozen cups of coffee each day.

The usual recommendations--

+Keurig's official recommendation as the cause of grounds migrating outside the K-cup is too much air inside the K-cup as evidenced by a domed lid on the K-cup before it is punctured. Their recommendation is to poke the top of the K-cup with a pin before putting it into the Keurig. Because of my observations and experience, I give very little credence to this.

+Accumulated lime from the water needs to be descaled from the inside of the Keurig. Lime accumulation does cause a partially full cup of brewed coffee. We regularly descale our machine. We have also run water through our machine whenever we have seen grounds in our coffee and some grounds came out with the water. Descaling is a good thing to do, but I doubt it has a connection to bursting K-cups and grounds where they do not belong. 

+Clogged upper and lower needles. The video will direct you to use a wire to insure open passageways inside the needles above and below the K-cup.

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Downunder35m (author)2018-01-22

My sister had a similar looking machine, bit bigger though and for making two cups at once.
One days she gave it to me asking to have a look as it makes more mess than coffee.

With her machine however the piercing happened after the cup was sealed by pressing the handle down.
Being my sister meant the machine ookedbrand new on the outside but was filthy everywhere inside LOL
Anyway, I cleaned it all and even used an ultrasonic cleaner for the smaller parts.
Made a huge difference but did not prevent the mess of coffee powder going everyhere.
When I was about to give up I realised that the seal for the cup had gone quite hard and that the piercing piece was rather blunt.
Found a rubber pipe connector with a suitable diamter to fit into the holder, cut it into the right lenght and sharpened the piercing part.
Machine is running fine now for over a year with no problems at all.

Using a descaler is nice if you have really hard water or if you use the machine a lot but for any real problems the stuff is useless.
Last but not least: The permanent filter...
Most machines now use a permanent filter, just a very fine stainless steel thingy with tiny holes in it.
These holes can clog up too and cause a pressure build up.
Happens quite often in our shop :(
Best way to fix is to place the filter in a strong solution of descaler and dishwashing liquid.
After that flush it good in the machine and you are good to go.
Check for yourself by holding the filter against the light before and after cleaning it ;)

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Phil B (author)Downunder35m2018-01-23

I do not believe our machine has a final filter. We do not have a seal like you replaced, but a soft rubber or plastic seal on the upper needle about a dozen millimeters plus or 5/8 inch in diameter.

Thank you for you're comments and for sharing.

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LeftFinger (author)2018-01-22

To prevent grounds build up , simply run a small size cup of water through every day before making beverages , this will keep it clean and give you no more problems. I keep 3 machines running by this method . Before I adopted this procedure I had lots of trouble with blockages.

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Phil B (author)LeftFinger2018-01-22

Thank you. That was not our problem. Flushing the coffeemaker as described in the video yielded what looked like pieces of a fly's wing. After all of that disappeared, K-cups did not explode as before.

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