Solving Nespresso blinking red: Your Guide for VertuoPlus/Deluxe Machines!

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Why is my Nespresso blinking red?” If this pressing question has cast a shadow over your peaceful coffee mornings, here’s your immediate clarity:

That red blink is your machine’s unique way of signaling an issue or a required action. But wait, before you rush off with just that tidbit, let’s brew a deeper understanding. Intrigued? There’s a rich story behind every blink.

As a passionate coffee lover and home brewer, I’ve dedicated hours to meticulous research and consultations with industry experts. This article isn’t just a surface-level guide; it’s a deep immersion into the Nespresso realm backed by expert insights.

Coming up in our aromatic exploration:

So, with a promise of a transformative journey from a mere coffee drinker to a Nespresso maestro, shall we dive in? Your perfect cup awaits.

While numerous Nespresso machine models are available, this article focuses exclusively on the Nespresso VertuoPlus and VertuoPlus Deluxe. Stay tuned to our upcoming articles for discussions on other models.

What Does the Red Light Mean on a VertuoPlus or VertuoPlus Deluxe Machine?

The blinking red light on your Nespresso machine isn’t there just for show. If your machine could talk, this would be its way of saying, “Hey! I need some attention over here!” Specifically, this red light communicates various machine statuses for the VertuoPlus and VertuoPlus Deluxe models, from minor alerts to more severe issues.

Now, you might wonder, “Why can’t they simplify machines?” Well, nuanced signals provide a more accurate diagnosis. 

For instance, a simple steady red might indicate a device error, but two blinks leading to a steady orange could mean an issue with a special function.

 Such specific indicators are designed to help users troubleshoot more effectively without needing professional intervention every single time.

Let’s simplify things. Here’s a table that decodes the various red light patterns you might encounter:

Red Light PatternMeaning
Steady Red LightDevice error
Pulse down RED light  (fade to OFF then ON)Cooling down after overheating
Regular blinking RED light (once per second)Error
Blink two times RED light then steady GREEN lightThe water tank is empty, or the capsule is missing
Blink  RED light two times, then steady ORANGE lightError in special function
Blink RED two times, then ORANGE blinkingError while special function running
Blink RED light three times (every 2 seconds between steady RED lights)Machine head in unknown position
Steady light (left side RED, right side GREEN)Descaling alarm

By understanding these signals, not only do you become more attuned to your machine’s needs, but you also save yourself from potentially costly repairs. 

How to Fix All VertuoPlus and VertuoPlus Deluxe Red Light Errors

Dealing with a temperamental coffee machine first thing in the morning is not how you’d want to start your day. 

Fortunately, most of the red light errors on your Nespresso machine can be addressed with some simple DIY magic. Let’s tackle each error one by one:

Steady Red Light

This indicates a general device error, possibly due to an internal malfunction or a misalignment of components.

Steps to Troubleshoot:

  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it.
  2. Wait for 15 minutes, allowing the machine to cool down.
  3. Plug it in, turn it on, and see if it heats up and transitions to a steady green light when ready.
  4. If the problem persists, contacting the Nespresso Club is best.


  • Consider using a surge protector to prevent potential electrical issues.
  • Monthly inspections can help detect potential problems before they escalate.

Pulse down the RED light  (fade to OFF, then ON).

This signal indicates the machine has overheated, potentially due to extended usage, blockage, or being situated in a hot environment.

Steps to Address Overheating:

  1. Let the machine cool down.
  2. Wait for the light to turn steady green.
  3. Once green, you can use the machine again.


  • Give your machine regular breaks during heavy usage to prolong its lifespan.
  • Storing your machine in a cool, dry area can help it cool down faster.

Regular blinking RED light (once per second)

A general fault indicator could relate to various internal issues, from programming to a component not sitting right.

Steps to Troubleshoot:

  1. Check if the capsule is seated correctly.
  2. Ensure the water tank is aligned and adequately filled.
  3. If the issue isn’t resolved, refer to the machine’s manual or contact customer support.


  • Ensure the capsule is of the right type and not from a damaged batch.
  • Empty the drip tray regularly to avoid overflow issues.

The RED light blinks two times, then steady GREEN.

This error typically occurs when the water tank is empty, not inserted correctly, or there’s an issue with the capsule positioning.

Steps to Fix:

  1. Check and refill the water tank if needed.
  2. Ensure proper capsule insertion.
  3. Ensure the machine head is closed, then press the button to initiate brewing.
  4. Try brewing again.


  • Using filtered water reduces mineral buildup and enhances flavor.
  • Rotate your capsule stock to ensure you’re always using the freshest ones.

The RED light blinks two Times and goes back to steady ORANGE.

This blinking pattern suggests an issue with one of the machine’s special functions, which could relate to internal software or a brewing mechanism problem.

Steps to Address:

  1. Decide on the special function you want by pressing the lever down.
  2. Follow on-screen or manual instructions for that particular function.


  • Avoid interrupting special functions unless necessary to reduce these errors.
  • Keep the machine head and capsule chamber clean to ensure smooth special functions.

The RED light Blinks two times, then switch to ORANGE blinks.

This pattern indicates an error occurring while a special function is actively running.

Steps to Troubleshoot:

  1. Stop the ongoing function.
  2. Open the machine head to eject the capsule.
  3. If in the “Emptying system” mode, detach the water tank.
  4. Restart the process


  • Read and familiarize yourself with special functions to reduce mistakes.
  • Ensure the power source is stable to avoid unintended interruptions.

Three RED Blinks, Paused by Steady RED Lights Every 2 Seconds

This light pattern suggests a physical blockage prevents the machine head from closing correctly. Often, this is due to a jammed capsule or other foreign obstructions.

Steps to Clear Blockage:

  1. Press the lever up and wait for the machine head to stop moving.
  2. Release any obstructions.
  3. If necessary, empty the capsule container.
  4. Close the machine head by pressing the lever down.


  • Regularly clean the machine head area to prevent jamming.
  • Use the correct technique when closing the machine head to avoid misalignment.

Steady Light (Left side RED, Right side GREEN)

This light combination alerts you that it’s time for a descaling maintenance. Over time, calcium deposits from water build up in the machine, affecting its performance and taste of the coffee.

Steps for Descaling:

  1. Preparation: Ensure your machine is off before diving into the descaling process. This is achieved by pressing down on the lever for a solid 3 seconds. Once powered down, open the machine head. This will automatically eject any lingering capsules. Close the head and power up the machine, ensuring the cup support and used capsule container are cleared out.
  1.  Mixing the Solution: The descaling magic happens thanks to the Nespresso descaling liquid. Mix a unit of this liquid with about 17 fl oz. / 0.5 l of water directly in the machine’s tank.
  1.  Activating Descaling Mode: To let your machine know its descaling time, simultaneously press the button and lever down, holding for 3 seconds. A steady orange light will illuminate, signaling you’re in the ‘Special Functions’ menu. From here, press the lever down once to select the descaling function.
  1.  The Descaling Process: Before hitting start, place an appropriately-sized container (around 20 fl oz./0.6 l) under the coffee outlet to collect the descaling solution. With that in place, initiate the descaling process by pressing the machine’s button. It will run its course, stopping automatically, with an orange light blinking as it works.
  1.  Post-Descaling Rinse: After the machine has done its descaling magic, you’ll need to give it a rinse. Empty, clean, and refill the water tank with fresh water. Pop it back on the machine, and press the button to initiate a rinsing cycle. Once it finishes, exit the descaling mode by pressing both the button and lever for 3 seconds.
  1.  Wrapping Up: Upon completion, the machine showcases a steady green light, meaning it’s eager and ready to brew. However, exercise a tad bit more patience and allow the machine to air dry for an additional 10 minutes post-descaling. After this brief wait, you’re all set, with your Nespresso primed and ready for action.


  • Regular descaling can prolong machine life and enhance coffee flavor.
  • Mark your calendar to descale every 3-6 months, depending on water hardness and usage.

How to Contact Nespresso Customer Service If You Need More Help.

For those rare instances where DIY fixes don’t resolve the issue, or if you suspect a larger problem like a faulty machine head or broken water tank, professional assistance may be necessary.

Visit the official Nespresso website for contact details about your country or region.

How to Prevent Red Light Errors on Your Nespresso Machine

No one wants to start their morning with a troublesome coffee machine. Fortunately,  you can sidestep many red light errors on your Nespresso machine by taking preventive measures. Just like regular check-ups can keep you healthy, some TLC for your Nespresso machine can keep it brewing smoothly.

1. Regular Cleaning:

One of the main culprits for red light errors is residue build-up. Cleaning your machine regularly can drastically reduce these alerts.

Machine Head & Capsule Holder: Make it a habit to clean these components after every use. Over time, coffee residues can accumulate and cause blockages. Simply rinsing and wiping them down ensures your coffee flows freely and tastes fresh.

Tip: Consider using a soft brush to get into the nooks and crannies of the capsule holder.

2. Use the Right Capsules:

It might be tempting to try various coffee capsules, especially with many available options. However, it’s crucial to ensure compatibility.

Stick to the Brand: Nespresso branded capsules are designed specifically for their machines. Using them reduces the risk of jamming or malfunctioning.

Compatibility Matters: If you explore other brands, ensure they’re compatible. This doesn’t just mean they fit; they should also align correctly with the machine head.

Tip: Read reviews before purchasing non-Nespresso branded capsules. Other users’ experiences can give insights into compatibility and taste.

3. Proper Storage:

Where you store your machine plays a role in its longevity and functionality.

Cool & Dry: Coffee machines prefer a stable environment like most electronics. Ensure your Nespresso machine is in a cool and dry spot, reducing the risk of internal damage or mold growth in the water tank.

Sun & Heat: Keep the machine away from direct sunlight or heat sources, like ovens or stovetops. Excessive heat can affect its internal components or cause premature wear.

Tip: If you live in a humid area, consider using a dehumidifier or moisture absorber in the space where you store your Nespresso machine.

Investing a little time and care into your Nespresso machine allows you to enjoy that perfect cup of coffee every morning, free of interruptions or error lights. 

Final Thoughts

Your Nespresso machine has a blinking red light or maybe even a blinking orange light. Don’t fret. We dove into the intricacies of these coffee machines, especially the Nespresso Vertuo Plus machine, to answer exactly that. From understanding the machine head’s significance to the crucial role of the water tank, we’ve demystified the signals, whether it’s a steady green light, steady red, or any other flashing light pattern.

Your coffee pod isn’t just about taste; it’s about ensuring seamless machine operation. You’re set for perfect brews with tips ranging from utilizing the Nespresso descaling kit to the right coffee capsules. So, next time the red light blinks or you spot an orange blinking light, you’ll know what to do. Enjoy your brew, and here’s to fewer red lights and more delightful coffee moments!

Photo of author


Viky Tiagué is a coffee enthusiast and freelance writer with a passion for sharing his love of coffee.

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