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Having one button makes Nespresso machines easy to use, but it makes their troubleshooting lights nearly impossible to decipher. The struggle is real, and you shouldn’t have to deal with it before your morning coffee.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide to all the Nespresso blinking orange light and red light error messages. I’ll show you how to troubleshoot each of these errors, regardless of what Nespresso VertuoLine machine you own.
Quick Reference: Nespresso Orange and Red Lights
Nespresso Vertuo, Vertuo Next, and Evoluo Orange Light Meanings
|Vertuo orange light status||What it means|
|Light blinking two times per second||Machine needs cleaning|
|Light blinking three times per second||Machine needs to be emptied or descaled|
|Light pulses (fades off and on)||Machine overheated and is cooling down|
|Light blinks twice rapidly then long off||Machine is erroring|
|Light is on for 1.5 seconds then off for 0.5 seconds||Water tank is empty|
|Light blinks 5 times over 10 seconds||Machine needs to be factory reset|
|Light alternates blinking orange and white 3 times then steady on||Descaling alarm|
Nespresso VertuoPlus Red Light Meanings
|VertuoPlus red light status||What it means|
|Steady light, fully red||Machine has errored|
|Light pulses (fades off and on)||Machine overheated and is cooling down|
|Light blinks once per second||Error|
|Light blinks red twice then steady green||Water tank is empty or capsule is missing|
|Light blinks red twice then steady orange||Special function menu open|
|Light blinks red twice then blinks orange||Error while special function running|
|Light blinks three times every 2 seconds, then back to steady red||Machine head in unknown position|
|Steady light, left half red and right half green||Descaling alarm|
This indicator means that your Nespresso needs to be cleaned. Most often, it’s because there are grounds blocking the barcode scanner in the machine head.
Open the machine head to eject the old capsule. Unplug the machine, run how water over a balled up piece of paper towel and wipe down the spinning component inside the head as well as the capsule holder.
That may fix the problem, but your Nespresso may also need a more thorough cleaning or a descaling cycle. If all else fails, you may need to contact Nespresso customer support.
This indicator means you need to descale your Nespresso machine. This process will take about 20 minutes, so make sure you have enough time before you start. I strongly recommend that you use Nespresso’s descaling solution rather than vinegar for descaling any Vertuo machine.
Nespresso’s site has instructions for descaling each of their coffee makers. You can also follow the process in the video below.
Orange light pulses (fades off and on)
Your Nespresso machine has overheated. You need to turn it off by pushing the button for three seconds. Then, press the button to turn the machine back on. After that, wait about 20 minutes for the machine to cool down.
If the machine won’t turn off it’s probably in descaling mode. Press the button and hold it for seven seconds to exit descaling mode then try again.
This light indicates an error, and the specific fix depends on whether the light occurs during coffee or espresso preparation; during descaling, emptying, or cleaning; or while you are programming volume.
- During coffee or espresso preparation: Make sure a new, undamaged capsule is in the machine and that it was inserted correctly. Relock the machine lid. Verify that the water reservoir is full.
- During descaling, emptying, or cleaning: Verify that the used capsule has been ejected. Relock the machine lid.
- During programming volume: Make sure a capsule has been properly inserted.
If the blinking continues, try unplugging the machine and plugging it back in after 10 seconds. Then, turn the machine back and try starting the brewing process again. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to contact Nespresso support.
Orange light is on for 1.5 seconds then off for 0.5 seconds
This light means that your water reservoir is low or empty. Fill the tank and try starting the brewing process again.
When you get this error, you need to reset your Nespresso machine to its factory default settings.
To perform a factory reset, open the machine head and let the current capsule eject. Then, close the head, leaving the handle in the unlocked position. Finally, press the button five times within three seconds.
If the reset was successful, the button will blink orange five themes then change to a steady white.
This is the descaling alert. You can still use the machine, but it will only operate a few more times before you absolutely have to descale. Generally, you want to descale your Nespresso before you get to this alert.
Steady red light
This light means that your VertuoPlus has experienced an error. You need to turn it off, unplug the power cord, and let the machine sit 15 minutes to cool down.
Once that time has passed, plug the power cord back in and press the lever down to turn the machine on again. The light will turn green once the machine has heated up and is ready to use again. If this doesn’t work, contact Nespresso support and tell them the code is WVP17.
Red light pulses (fades off and on)
When you see a pulsing red light, it means that your VertuoPlus is cooling down. There’s nothing you can do until it turns back to steady green, which should only take a few minutes.
If the machine doesn’t go back to steady green, you may need to contact Nespresso support and give them code WVP18.
This is another error indicator, which typically happens when the machine head stops moving. Remove any obstacles, empty the capsule container if needed, and switch the machine head to open (if closed) or to closed (if open).
If the machine head doesn’t start moving or if the red light continues blinking, you may need to contact customer support and tell them the code is WVP14.
Either your water tank is empty or you don’t have a capsule inserted properly in the capsule holder. Fill the water tank and press the start button again.
If that doesn’t work, open the lid to eject the old capsule. Then, insert a new capsule, make sure the machine head closes properly, and push the start button.
Those steps should fix the problem, but if not you can contact Nespresso support and give them the code WVP15.
This indicates that you are in the special functions menu. You can choose a special function by pressing the lever.
The four special functions—cleaning, factory reset, emptying the system, descaling—are all covered in the special functions section of the VertuoPlus manual, including how to use the lever to activate them. Press the lever once for descaling, twice for emptying the system, three times for factory reset.
To exit the menu, hold the button and press the lever down at the same time for three seconds. The light will go steady green when you’re successful left the menu. If that doesn’t work, contact Nespresso support and give them code WVP20.
When you see this light, it means an error occurred while one of the special functions was running. Try opening the machine head to eject the capsule then pressing the button to restart the function. If you were using the “Emptying the System” special function, you’ll also need to remove the water tank.
The function should restart immediately. If it doesn’t, contact customer support and give them code WVP21.
Your VertuoPlus machine’s head is in an unknown position. You can fix this by pressing the lever down and waiting until the machine head stops. Then clear any obstacles, empty the capsule container, and press the lever down again to close the machine head.
If that doesn’t work, contact Nespresso support and give them code WVP16.
Steady light, left half red and right half green
This is the descaling alert. When it starts, you can only operate the machine a few more times before descaling becomes absolutely necessary. I suggest descaling your Nespresso VertuoPlus regularly to avoid seeing this alarm.
Now that your Nespresso machine is running once more, let’s make some coffee. If you haven’t tried the best Nespresso pods for lattes, I’d highly suggest that for your next read. Unless you already have a lot of old Nespresso pods lying around, since Nespresso pods do expire eventually.
Reusable Nespresso pods are also rising in popularity, especially for VertuoLine machines. After all, they’re the only way to enjoy all your favorite third-wave coffee brands or extra-strong coffees in your Nespresso machine. Unless the highest-caffeine Nespresso pods don’t already enough kick for your taste.