Keurig B31 – Partial Cup Brewing

Photo of the air tube being placed back on the air pump




Seems to be partially clogged somewhere, but hard to tell. I can hear the pump working and the water heats up but then only barely drips out.  I did the vinegar rinse which seemed to work for one cup, maybe two, but then clogs returned. I also used the paper clip method to clean the needles. Water also seems to be leaking out the base of the unit – wondering if there is hose disconnected or loose inside the tank? Thanks for any assistance you can provide. Sincerely, Steve in Alaska


An interesting email from Steve the other day. Some excellent detail for us to work with too – makes a real difference in providing the best advice we can in helping to solve problems.

Partial Cup Brewing

The first problem that Steve describes we call partial cup brewing and generally is the result of a failing air pump. The purpose of this pump is to build air pressure in the boiler unit (which as its name suggests heats the water drawn from the water reservoir), which then drives heated water through the top assembly, into the portion pack holder (where the K Cup is waiting) and then into your coffee cup.

The air pump can become clogged or damaged over time, the most common cause being water damage and this often comes from the solenoid that sits next to it.

Photo showing you a Keurig air pump for a B60

We have a guide that steps through a number of solutions for partial brewing, and that can be accessed by this link. However, to highlight two solutions that are the generally the most useful:

The Keurig Burp

An air pump that hasn’t completely failed can nonetheless have impaired performance due to the build-up of deposits such as rust or lime that impede the electric motor’s rotation. What we and many people have found can help to dislodge any impairment is a slap on the side of the machine (it’s not very scientific, but does work). Our guide on this takes you through the simple steps that might just get the brewer back working again.

This doesn’t work for everyone, but it certainly did for Kimberly recently.

A firm and gentle slap on the side of a Keurig

Air Pump and Solenoid Replacement

If the burp / slap has not worked (and it can often only be a temporary solution) we find a replacement of the air pump, and the solenoid while you are at it, provides a better and longer term solution. It is a lot more work and does involve buying some parts (normally around $20), but does mean a better fix (have a look over on our parts replacement page what provides more details). The two parts you are looking for a pictured below.

Photo of an air pump for a Keurig brewer

Photo of a Keurig Solenoid

We have two guides that help with easy to follow step-by-step instructions, with full descriptions and photographs. The first is the air pump replacement guide and the second is the solenoid replacement guide.

Air Pump Wires Removed

Leaking Water Pump

The second problem Steve describes in his email is the leakage from around the base of the unit. This might be coming from the air pump or solenoid, and so the above replacements would fix it, but more than likely it is a leak coming from around the water pump assembly (which sits at the bottom of the brewer).

Photo of the tubes being reattached to a B60 water pump

The purpose of the water pump is to draw water from the water reservoir and place it into the boiler unit (the air pump and solenoid then take over from there).

The leak can come from the tubing connections onto the pump or the pump itself. This replacement is actually easier than the above two and we have a guide that again provides detailed photos and descriptions in how to undertake this repair. Our parts replacement page also has this part listed, and what you are looking for is pictured below.

Photo of a water pump to fir a B60 brewer

We have had a few questions about this very issue and our responses to Starling and Kim provide some more back ground we might not have covered above.


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