How to fix Nespresso Vertuo red and yellow light alert?

Nespresso machines are specifically designed to provide the perfect brew cup of coffee at the touch of a button!

However, if you’re having a problem with Nespresso Vertuo’s red and yellow light and have no idea how to deal with this, fortunately, you are landed at the right place. This article will discuss Nespresso Vertuo plus red and yellow light, so keep reading to learn how!

What do Nespresso Vertuo Red and yellow light mean?

Nespresso vertuo plus and vertuo plus deluxe machines have built-in descaling alerts. If Nespresso vertuo plus showing half red or green light or green light may appear yellow under certain conditions, then it’s time to descale your machine.

Like for other kitchen appliances, descaling or regular maintenance is mandatory for smooth functioning; the same principles apply to your Nespresso machine. The water you use for brewing pods contains minerals that build inside the machine. If this residue is left untreated, it has a negative impact on the temperature and taste of your coffee and can also affect water flows.

If your geographical location contains more “hard water,” limescale buildup inside the machine is a big headache. Limescale is caused by the accumulation of minerals in tap water (That’s why it is recommended to use filtered water). If you are unsure about the level of minerals in the water you used for brewing, then it is recommended to use a cost-effective water testing kit.

Descaling not only increases the flavor and overall quality of your coffee but also enhances your machine lifespan by maintaining your machine in good working order.

Nespresso vertuo plus Red light Alert

Light on Nespresso Vertuo Meaning
Steady light, half red and half green (or yellow) Descaling alarm
Red light pulses(fades on & off) The machine is overheated and is cooling down
The Red light blinks once per second Error in machine
The light blinks red twice than steady orange Special function Menu
The light blinks red twice, then blinks orange Error while a special function is running
The light blinks red twice, then steady green.               The water tank is empty, or no capsule in the machine.
The light blinks three times every 2 seconds, then back to steady red           Machine Head in in unknown position
Why Nespresso Vertuo is blinking red

Let’s discuss each of these Red error alerts in detail.

1)Steady light, half red and half green ( Or Yellow )

Nespresso vertuo plus or vertuo plus Deluxe is equipped with a descaling alert. If vertuo plus blinks half red and half green (green is replaced by yellow under certain conditions), then it’s time to descale your machine. You can still use your machine for brewing even after a warning light alert for some time, but it is highly recommended to descale your machine as soon as possible.

Additionally, if your machine is not pumping water, it is due to scale buildup inside the machine. Therefore your machine requires descaling.

It roughly takes 20 minutes for the descaling process to complete, but remember, the descaling process, once started, cannot be stopped, so make sure that you have the supplies (descaling kit solution) you need during descaling and should have enough time to complete it.

2)Red light pulses (fades on & off)

When red light pulses (fades on and off), it means that your machine is overheated and is cooling down. In this condition, all you need is to wait for some minutes until the lights turn back to steady green.

If it doesn’t go back to steady green, you should contact Nespresso customer support.

3)Light blinks once per second.

Light blinks once per second is another error typically experienced by Vertuoplus. It occurs mainly when the machine head is not moving or has stopped working. In this condition, Remove any restrictions, empty the capsule container if appropriate, and set the machine head to open (if closed) or closed (if open).

If the light is still blinking red or the machine head is not moving, then contact Nespresso customer support.

4)Light blinks red twice than steady orange.

This indicates that you are in the special function menu. Here, you can choose the specific function you desire by pressing the lever.

There are four special operations available in the function menu —cleaning, resetting to the default factory setting, emptying the machine, and descaling—which are all outlined in the Vertuo Plus manual’s special functions section; it also includes the instruction for using the lever to activate them. Press once for descaling, twice for emptying the system, and three times for factory reset.

To leave the menu, push the button and the lever simultaneously for three seconds. The light will go steady green if you successfully leave the menu.

5)A light blinks red twice, then blinks orange.

This error occurs when one of the special menu functions is running. In this case, to restart the function, open the machine head to eject the capsule and then click the button. If you are using the “Emptying the System” special function, you may need to empty the water tank.

The function will restart immediately.

6)Light blinks red twice, then steady green.      

This error occurs under two condition

  1. Either your water tank is empty
  2. Or capsule is incorrectly placed in the chamber

In this case, Fill the water tank and restart the machine. If that doesn’t work, remove the previously used capsule and insert a new capsule, make sure that the machine head is correctly closed, and press the start button.

7)The light blinks three times every 2 seconds, then back to steady Red.

This alert occurs when your Vertuoplus machine head is in an unknown position. You may resolve this by pushing the lever and waiting for the machine head to stop.

Then, remove any obstacles, empty the capsule container, and press the lever again to seal the machine head.

In case it doesn’t work, contact Nespresso customer support.

How to Fix Nespresso vertuo plus red and yellow light error

To resolve this error, you need to descale your Nespresso machine to clean any residue or mineral buildup inside the machine.

Now the question arises, how often you should descale your Nespresso machine.

According to coffee experts, you should descale your machine once every 3-6 months, or after brewing 300 cups of coffee.

If you have Vertuo Next, Vertuo, or Evoluo, see my related article on descaling Vertuo line machine.

Nespresso Vertuo Plus Descaling Instructions

You should follow illustrated step-by-step on descaling Nespresso Vertuo Plus; see pages 21-23 in the user manual.

Following is the complete illustration of descaling Nespresso Vertuo machines

How to descale Nespresso Vertuo

What should you do If the Half Red Half Green or yellow Light Stays On After Descaling?

If you have carefully followed all the descaling steps without any interruption, the descaling alert should be automatically discontinued, and a steady green light will start appearing.

Oftentimes, many people make the mistake of waiting more than 2 minutes between steps or neglecting to completely empty the tank. In this way, the machine stays in descaling mode and keeps blinking.

However, if for some reason the descaling light still stays on even after descaling; then, there might be the probability of extra scale buildup inside the machine. This is not surprising if you haven’t cleaned your machine for a while or avoided maintenance for a while.

Look at these questions and if your answer is yes, you have to descale your Nespresso machine 2 to 3 times.

  • Are you using hard water for brewing coffee?
  • Have you been ignoring the descaling process for a while?
  • Did you not descale your machine for a period longer than three months?

Resetting the Nespresso Vertuo Machine

If you have carefully followed all descaling instructions and your answer is no to all the above questions, but the descaling alert is still on, then you might need to reset your Nespresso machine.

Follow these instructions

  • Hold down the lever for three seconds to turn it off.
  • To enter the special functions menu hold down the button and the lever for three seconds.
  • A steady orange light will turn to confirm that you are in the Special Functions menu.
  • Now press the lever three times to enter the factory settings. To reset, press the button.
  • An orange light will blink quickly three times and eventually turn to steady green, indicating that it is ready for use.

Stuck in the Descaling mode

If you keep pouring water into the tank your machine will never exit the descaling mode. After you have successfully run the descaling and rinsing cycle do not fill the water again. Otherwise, your machine will get stuck in the descaling mode indefinitely and you will get tired of filling the water again and again without having a cup of coffee.

Check for blockage

The red light may start blinking sometimes because of the i-e in the coffee outlet or in the water tank.

To check the blockage in the coffee outlet, remove the coffee capsule and check for any coffee ground or debris that might be causing a blockage in the opening. To remove coffee grounds or other debris, use a paper clip or other similar objects to clear them away.

To check blockage in the water tank, remove the tank and observe the entrance for any mineral deposits or other debris. If you notice anything, clean it away with a toothpick or similar tool.

If, for some reason, Nespresso vertuo blocks itself, then contact Nespresso customer support.

Frequently asked question

Can you use vinegar to descale the Nespresso machine?

Nespresso doesn’t recommend you to use vinegar to descale the Nespresso machine. White vinegar contains 5-8% acetic acid which can cause wear down of metal and ultimately lets your machine leak. Also, using vinegar to descale your Nespresso can void the warranty on your machine.

You may like to read other Nespresso troubleshooting guides