Ninja Coffee Maker Troubleshooting Guide: Common Problems & Solutions

Are you trying to make coffee, but your machine won’t turn on? Our Ninja coffee maker troubleshooting guide will answer all your questions.

Ninja coffee maker troubleshooting
Get barista-quality java with the Ninja coffee maker

The best part about having a coffee machine at home is getting barista-quality java without needing to leave the house, but nothing will ruin your morning like turning on your coffee machine only to find it isn’t working. If you’re not tech-savvy, you might think this signals the end for your brewer but fear not.

In this Ninja coffee maker troubleshooting guide, we’ll review some common issues you might face with your device and what you can do about them. We’ll also provide information on Ninja’s product warranties and guarantees to ease your mind. Learn more in our guide on how long a Ninja coffee maker lasts.

The Coffee Machine Is On But Won’t Brew

If you’ve turned your coffee machine on, but it won’t brew coffee, several things could be wrong. One of the most common issues is that the water reservoir is empty or does not have enough water.

If your water tank is full, ensure the brew basket and coffee pot have been placed correctly, and the water flow valve is turned on.

Another culprit could be the drip stop; if you heard a beeping noise five times when you powered on your brewer, it signals that the element is turned off. When this setting is working correctly, the light on the water droplet button will be on.

If all of the above fails, there may be a blockage. Run a cleaning cycle to see if it dislodges any mineral buildup.

Sometimes electronic devices just need to be reset. Turn it off for five minutes and try again. Learn more in our guide on how to reset a Ninja Coffee Bar.

If all of the above fails, it’s time to take it in for repair. If your device is out of warranty, you might be able to track down local independent repair services that can help.

The Machine Won’t Turn On At All

If your machine doesn’t turn on at all, you don’t need to panic. It may just be that your Ninja brewer is not plugged into your outlet correctly. Check the plug to ensure it’s all the way in.

There could also be a problem with the outlet rather than your coffee machine. If you suspect this is the case, plug out your Ninja device and put something else into the same outlet; if it doesn’t turn on, you’ve found your culprit.

If the outlets are fine, the problem may be with your power chord. If replacing the power chord doesn’t work, the brewer needs to be repaired – or it could just be time to say goodbye to your old coffee machine.

The Coffee Is The Wrong Strength

If your coffee doesn’t taste right, then you may just be using too much or too little coffee grounds. You could also be using the wrong grind; too fine, and it will over-extract, resulting in a bitter cup of joe, but too coarse, and you’ll have a watery cup.

Bad Tasting Coffee

Closeup image of Asian woman holding hot coffee with feeling strange and smelling bad in coffee shop
Bad-tasting coffee could also signify that it’s time to descale your coffee machine

If your coffee tastes foul, the most likely culprit is that your beans went bad or you’re using poor-quality coffee.

If your coffee is unopened or in a vacuum-sealed container, it could stay fresh for up to a year. Opened coffee is good for about a month. After this period, the coffee won’t make you sick – unless it’s moldy – but it won’t taste as robust due to oxidation.

You might find our explainer on how to store a five-pound bag of coffee helpful.

Bad-tasting coffee could also signify that it’s time to descale your coffee machine and consider using a water softener. If you have hard water, you’ll likely find a calcium buildup in your device. Not only can this eventually clog it, but hard water makes for poor-tasting coffee.

Coffee brewed with hard water will taste metallic and astringent, while the more pleasant flavor notes will be subdued. Plus, if your coffee is running through mineral buildup during the brewing process, it will pick up even more of these nasty flavors.

It Stopped Brewing Mid-Cycle

There are several reasons why your Ninja stopped working during the brew cycle. First, the fuse in your outlet may have blown.

If your outlet is fine, a component like the filter basket may have moved out of place. Turn off your brewer and check if the filter is in the same place.

Then take a look at the water reservoir. If the water flow value in the tank breaks, your machine will stop brewing. If you can’t fix it yourself, the brand offers replacements.

Inconsistent Temperatures

If your first cup of coffee was lukewarm and your second pipping on, you may be trying to brew too soon. Ninja recommends waiting three minutes for the device to preheat.

If the opposite is the case, the heating element in your machine may be degrading. In this case, you’ll have to seek a repair or replacement.

Inconsistent Brew Sizes

If one cup of coffee was larger than the next, there might not be enough water in the reservoir. If the tank is full, then there could be mineral deposits preventing water flow. Descale the machine and try to brew again.

The Water Reservoir Is Leaking

A leaking water reservoir doesn’t signal the end of your Ninja coffee machine or always means you need to purchase new parts. You may have simply overfilled it. Look to see if you accidentally went over the max fill line.

Another reason for leaks could be that the tank isn’t connected to the brewer properly.

Since the water reservoir is made of plastic, it’s not very durable, so accidentally knocking it off something in your kitchen could damage it. Fortunately, Ninja offers replacement water tanks if yours is beyond repair.

The Machine Is Leaking

If it’s not specifically the water reservoir leaking, there could be several problems. First, your filter may be clogged. Clean it out and see if that fixes it.

A loose gasket may be the issue if it’s not the filter. You can tighten it, but you’ll have to find a replacement if this piece is damaged.

Finally, the tube from the water reservoir to the coffee machine may be loose. Like the gasket, you can tighten it, but a damaged tube needs to be replaced.

There’s Ground Coffee In The Drinks

If you’re finding sediment in your cup of coffee, you might be using too fine coffee grounds, like an espresso grind.

Ninja coffee makers are not authentic espresso machines. They can make small, concentrated servings of coffee, but these are not technically espresso. Authentic espresso is made when pressurized water is quickly shot through a tightly packed puck of fine coffee grounds.

As these are drip coffee makers, you must use medium-sized grounds. Learn more in our espresso shots explainer.

You may also be using a filter that is too big to catch the coffee grounds. A #4 paper filter or a permanent filter of a similar size is ideal for Ninja Brewers.

Does Ninja Repair Faulty Machines?

Ninja coffee bar in a box
Ninja coffee bar has an automatic two-year guarantee after January 1, 2023

If there’s a fault with your coffee machine, you should contact Ninja customer service. Ninja may repair or replace it, but there are some conditions.

If you bought your brewer directly from Ninja after January 1, 2023, there is an automatic two-year guarantee period. Products purchased before that are protected for one year.

To avail of the two-year guarantee, you must register your purchase online with Ninja within 28 days if you did not buy from their website.

The guarantee will not cover regular wear and tear or accidental damage. You will also lose the guarantee if you do not use your brewer as intended or if the damage was caused by using third-party repair services and replacement parts.

Cleaning The Coffee Maker

Proper maintenance and regular cleaning reduce the need to troubleshoot, repair or replace your coffee machine in the first place.

The Ninja Coffee Bar has an incredibly helpful cleaning button that lights up when it detects too much debris inside the system. That being said, you should still clean the entire unit at least once every few weeks, even if the clean indicator doesn’t light up. This button only notifies you of debris inside the percolation lines and filter.

Getting Rid Of Exterior Residue

Cleaning the outside of the Ninja Coffee Bar is a relatively simple process that should only take a few minutes as long as there isn’t any hardened debris. All you need to clean the outside of the unit is some warm water, a little dish soap, and a clean sponge. You can start by wiping down all of the primary components.

After removing most of the visible debris from the brew basket and measuring spoon, you can clean off the temp warming plate. You must be very careful that you don’t press down too hard. While the temp warming plate should be relatively durable, it could still be chipped or cracked if you apply too much pressure.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the larger surfaces, you can wipe down the plastic, glass, and metal with a clean sponge. Most mild dish soaps won’t leave much residue, although there could be cosmetic blemishes if the unit isn’t wiped down with a clean sponge.

Using The Cleaning Feature

Cleaning the inside of the coffee maker is going to be a little more time-consuming, but a Ninja Coffee Bar should do most of the work. The most effective way to clean the inside is with regular white vinegar. After removing most of the coffee grounds with a few rinse cycles, you can fill the reservoir with white vinegar and warm water.

Generally, you should never put more than 15 or 16 ounces of white vinegar in your coffee maker at once. A little bit can be very effective, but using too much could alter the taste of your coffee for days.

When the mixture fills the reservoir, hit the “Full Carafe” setting and the “Clean” button. Remember that the cleaning cycle can take up to one hour to complete.

The final step in the internal cleaning cycle is rinsing out the vinegar. Once the vinegar has been cycled through the machine, the “Flush” button should illuminate. That button means it is time to rinse the carafe and refill the reservoir.

The flush cycle will take anywhere from five to eight minutes, depending on the age of the unit.

To clean the inside of the brewer without using vinegar, you can fill the carafe with warm water and squeeze in a few teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. While that mixture won’t be quite as effective as white vinegar, it could be a better option if you have a sensitive nose or palate.

Taking Care Of The Milk Frother

To clean the milk frother, submerge it in a cup of hot water and then turn it on for 20 or 30 seconds. Add natural cleaner to your water, like lemon juice, for a particularly dirty milk frother.

Ninja Coffee Maker Troubleshooting: FAQs

Why does the coffee maker appear to turn off during the cleaning and rinsing cycles?

When the device goes through those cycles, most of the buttons will dim, but the maker is still on. Avoid touching any buttons until each cycle is fully complete and the “Clean” button is no longer illuminated; otherwise, you could pause or restart the cycle.

How often should my coffee maker be cleaned if I don’t use it every day?

To keep your Ninja coffee maker running smoothly, thoroughly clean it at least once every month or two. Even if it isn’t being used often, residual moisture could damage some of the internal components or impact the taste of the coffee.

How long is the warranty for Ninja products?

The warranty length will depend on when and where you bought your product. Ninja has warranties starting at one year and even lifetime warranties for some purchases. New Ninja products registered or bought directly from the brand are subject to a two-year repair or replacement guarantee with conditions.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.