Critical for proper water and pressure regulation …
You may require replacing a Keurig solenoid unit if the brewer is having trouble with water pressure regulation. This often comes up with partial cup brews or the machine not dispensing any coffee despite stating BREWING. In addition to this guide, you may also want to review our guide on replacing the air pump, which is sometimes necessary with these problems.
The function of the solenoid unit is to assist the brewer in the regulation of water and air pressure, to ensure that the correct water levels are maintained and dispensed, and the proper air pressure is applied in delivering the hot water to your coffee cup through the K-Cup you have in the portion pack holder.
Parts and Equipment Required
This repair guide equipment list does not include the tools you will require to remove the outer casing of your Keurig. As casing removal is quite an involved process, we have a separate guide to this, and you can find a comprehensive video guide by following this link.
You will need a replacement solenoid unit to put back into your Keurig. We like to buy brand new, and our preferred suppliers for parts are amazon.com and ebay.com. Both suppliers we have used in the past and found the service very good. Below is a photo of the part you will require. Or you can check out our parts replacement page for a comprehensive list of the many parts you can purchase.
A solenoid will typically cost around $24.00, so a pretty modest cost. Ensure it has the connected negative and positive wires with the power board two-prong connector (as you can see in the photo). Also, note that on our B60 brewer, the two wires are black and white, whereas in the image above, you can see they are red and white – just in case there is any confusion. As long as you have two wires of different colors, that is the main thing.
All you will need to be replacing the solenoid unit for your Keurig is:
- Phillips head screw driver.
Steps to Follow
Like many Keurig repairs, the most challenging part of the process is removing the outer casing from the brewer. Don’t be put off by this process, as daunting as it looks. We have some guidance material available to help you through it.
The following steps will be very straightforward if you can get through the casing removal phases, taking a fraction of the time. So get through Step 1, then come back here and carry on with the rest of the steps.
Now you have the outer casing off; you get a much better idea of how these machines are made up – and can see how complex they are “under the hood”; there are more wires and bits and pieces than you can poke a stick at.
If you would like some explanation of the many different components that go into making up your Keurig brewer, check out our video guide that goes through each of these to help you with a better understanding of what they all are. The guide is based on our trusty B60, but the layout and components are very similar for most K-Cup brewers.
What we need to do now is get the covering off the main power circuit board. On the B60, this is on the right (as you face the brewer). It’s a hard black plastic cover and has three screws to remove to get inside. From the photo below, the screws you need to remove are the top center, directly below it the middle center, and then a tricky little one right at the bottom.
The cover should then hinge right, as it is still connected to wires going to another board. You don’t need to remove these connectors; we can access all we need with the cover opened up.
Our next step is going to be removing the solenoid power supply from the power circuit board. As you can see from the photo, the white connector with the black and white wires partway down the left side of the board. This might be slightly different with your Keurig; if it is, follow the wires from the solenoid unit around to the board, and you will find the correct connector to detach (Step 4 below has a photo of the solenoid if you not sure which unit it is).
Now that you have access to the brewer’s power board, you want to remove the power connection to the air pump. In the photo, you can see which one you need to disconnect. It’s a white connector with a black and red wire coming from it. You can use pliers for this process, but I prefer to use my fingers, and you can get a better feel in the pressure being applied and not damage the connection with the board. But if you need pliers, a small pair of needle nose ones would do it.
It would be best to feed the black and white wires back over the machine to the left side. When we did this, we had the air pump connector and wires running through the solenoid wires and so had to detach the red connector, feed those wires back around, and carry on with the solenoid wires.
We now have the connecting wires free and remove the solenoid from its supporting metal bracket. As you can see from the photo, it’s secured by two Phillips screws, and these are easily removed. The solenoid should now come free from its mounting, only connected by its air tubing. Make sure you put the two screws somewhere safe, as we will be using them to attach the new solenoid unit back into the brewer in Step 7.
The last step in removing the old solenoid is to disconnect the unit from the air tubing. As you can see, it is secured in place with a plastic tie. Don’t cut this, but instead slide it off the connector down the tube. We want to reuse it when we reconnect the new solenoid. It’s a little fiddly but relatively straightforward. We prefer using our fingers instead of pliers. This method helps to avoid pinching the tubing and then having to repair or replace that as well.
We have reached the halfway mark in replacing that solenoid and get the Keurig back working. As you can see, we just used our old solenoid unit as there was nothing wrong with it, but in your case, take the new solenoid, and we are going to work the process now in reverse – with the attachment of the air tubing being the first thing to do. Connect the tube to the solenoid connector first, and then bring the plastic tie-up to ensure a good tight fit.
Ensure the ties go back on, pushed up as far as you can. This will provide the best flow of air by the solenoid and so the most efficient operation of the brewer. Lose fitting connections makes it have to work harder for the same output and so reduce its lifespan.
With the screws you kept from Step 4, secure the solenoid back into its housing. These don’t need to be done with gorilla strength, but enough, so the bracket is not moving. You don’t want to burr the screw head (which we have done a bit on the right screw).
The solenoid should now be securely sitting in its housing and so won’t move around. We can then bring the new black and white wires back over the machine to re-attach onto the power circuit board. As long as these don’t get tangled with any other wire combinations as you bring it over, there is no absolute right or wrong with this (it looks like a very familiar photo).
The penultimate step for this repair is closing the power circuit board covering and securing it back in place. Be careful with putting this back in place, ensuring you don’t pinch any wires – mainly down the right edge. This can be a little tricky, so take care, and it should click back into place without too much fuss. The two photos below highlight the two areas to be careful of in reattaching the covering.
Re-attach the three screws we took out in step 2.
At this penultimate step in replacing the solenoid, you can be brave and secure the outer casing on the Keurig. BUT, we recommend you do the testing now to make sure this did solve the problem. So, a few things to get out of the way.
First, make sure that all the air tubes we saw on the left side are correctly connected, particularly the one you reconnected to the solenoid. If a good tight fit is not made, you will lose air pressure significantly impacts brewer air pressure regulation.
The second critical step is to make sure the brewer is earthed correctly, and this is done by re-attaching the earthing wires we detached during the outer casing removal process (as part of Step 1). Ensure these connections are secure, are not touching each other or any other component, and are dry.
With these safety steps completed, you can switch the brewer back on. Having done the testing in step 10, we should have the problem resolved. If replacing the solenoid hasn’t got your Keurig back up and running, drop us a note under Contact Us or leave a comment below, and we can advise you on what the next step is.