Nespresso Blinking Orange Light And How To Fix It

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There’s nothing worse than seeing the engine light pop on in your car, your heart sinks knowing there is likely a large mechanics bill coming your way. The Nespresso blinking orange light is similar to that engine light, it means something is wrong and your machine needs attention. Thankfully, unlike a car, the blinking orange light on a Nespresso machine is a common issue and there is usually an easy fix.

So don’t panic, and read on to find out why your Nespresso is blinking orange and what you can do to fix it.

What is a Nespresso Machine?

A Nespresso machine is a single-seve coffee maker that uses capsules containing pre-ground coffee to create an espresso-like drink. Nespresso machines are known for their convenience and ability to produce consistent quality coffee. Within the Nespresso lineup are two different types of machines; OriginalLine and VertuoLine. These two lines of machines work in different ways, require different capsules, and will have different reasons for buttons blinking.

To further complicate matters, within the VertoLine, there are different warning signals depending on which machine you have. The Nespresso Vertuo machines have a blinking orange light, while the Nespresso Vertuo Plus machine has red and yellow lights. 

Different Types of Nespresso Machines

OriginalLine Nespresso Machines

The OriginalLine machines, as the name would suggest, contain the original Nespresso brewing system. A capsule is inserted into the machine, then the machine pumps hot water at high pressure through the capsule until the foil bottom busts and espresso is released.

These machines produce a more traditional espresso, with crema on top. Machines in the OriginalLine range include the Essenza Mini, Inissia, Pixie, and Citiz.

VertuoLine Nespresso Machines

The VertoLine machines use a new system involving centrifugal technology to produce both coffee and espresso. A capsule is added to the machine, the machine then scans and reads a barcode on the capsule which dictates how that particular capsule is to be brewed.

In these newer machines, hot water flows through the capsule while it spins at up to 7000 rpm, blending the coffee and water. The VertoLine machines can produce both espresso and larger mugs of drip-style coffee, both of which are topped with a thick crema. Machines in the VertuoLine include the Vertuo, Vertuo Plus, and Vertuo Next.

Why Is My Nespresso Machine Blinking Orange?

There is a range of different reasons why your Nespresso machine is blinking orange. And as part of that, it also depends on what type of Nespresso machine you have. But generally, a blinking orange light means:

  • The machine needs to be clean or descaled
  • The used capsule container needs to be emptied
  • The water reservoir needs to be filled up
  • The machine has overheated
  • Something isn’t working properly

Thankfully, Nespresso has taken the guesswork out of troubleshooting by providing different signals for each error.

Nespresso Blinking Lights Explained

Now that you know what type of machine you have, you also have to take a look at how the orange light is blinking, which will help diagnose the problem with your machine. In this section, we will cover the different error codes and how to fix each issue.

OriginalLine Buttons Blinking

The OriginalLine machines, with their simpler operating system, are slightly easier to decode. There are three main reasons and ways a button will blink.

Slow, steady blinking: this means the machine is heating up. It usually takes around 30 seconds and will change to a solid light once the machine is ready to be used.

Fast and steady flashing: This could indicate one of two things. The machine is in the descaling mode– if this is the case, exit out of the mode. The second thing it could indicate is that the machine has overheated. If this is the case, turn the machine off and allow it to cool down for at least 30 minutes before using it again.

Fast Triple Flashing: Unfortunately, this light indicates there is an electronic fault in the machine and you should contact Nespresso customer service for further advice. 

Nespresso Blinking Orange Light

The blinking orange light on a Nespresso Vertuo machine indicate different errors.

If your Nespresso machine has an orange light blinking twice a second it’s good news! It simply means that your Nespresso machine needs a decent cleaning. Thankfully the Nespresso Vertuo machines have a cleaning cycle you can run to help you out.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, rinse and clean the water tank and lid, fill the tank with fresh water up to the maximum mark and lock it into place.
  2. Rinse and clean the cup support, then place a 1L container under the coffee outlet.
  3. Open the machine head to let the used capsule be ejected then empty and rinse the capsule container.
  4. Close the machine head and lock it into place. 
  5. Turn the machine on to start heating up. Once it is ready to go the light should stop blinking.
  6. Start the cleaning cycle by pushing the button 3 times within 2 seconds. The orange light will blink to indicate the cleaning cycle has begun. It may take up to two minutes for the water to start to appear, but don’t worry the machine is doing its thing! The cleaning program pumps hot water into the machine in 3 cycles, cleaning the internals before flowing out through the outlet into the container. The cycle runs for around 5 minutes, following which, the button should turn from orange to a steady green light to indicate it is ready for brewing.

Note: The cleaning cycle can be stopped at any time by pushing the button again. 

Hopefully running through the cleaning cycle should take care of your blinking light problem!

Orange Light pulsing or fading in and out- Machine has overheated

If you see the orange light pulsing, it means that the machine has overheated and needs to cool down. 

Don’t worry, this is normal, particularly if you are brewing back-on-back cups of coffee. 

It just means you need to give your machine a rest. Turn the machine off, unplug it, open the machine head and let the machine rest for 30 minutes before using it again. Once the machine has cooled down, you can go back to brewing normally.

If you see this error message it means there is a fault in the machine. First, try the trusty troubleshooting hack of turning the machine off and on again. Unplug the machine from the wall and leave it off for 30 seconds and then plug it back in. Fingers crossed this works!

If this does not resolve the issue you should contact Nespresso Customer Support for further assistance.

Orange light on for 1.5 seconds then off for 0.5 seconds- water tank empty

Thankfully, this warning is pretty straightforward. If you see this light it means the water tank is empty and needs to be refilled- an easy fix! Fill the water tank with fresh water and you will be away laughing again.

If you see the orange light on your Nespresso machine blinking like this it means you need to do a factory reset.

This is a simple process:

  1. Open the machine to eject any used capsules
  2. Close the machine head and leave the handle in the unlocked position
  3. Push the button 5 times within 3 seconds to reset to factory settings. The button will slowly blink with an orange light 5 times to indicate the machine has been reset.

Orange light blinking 3 times per second- Descale the machine

If you see the orange light blinking rapidly, three times a second, it means it’s either time to descale your machine or empty the used capsule container. If it is the latter, that’s an easy fix, simply empty and rinse the capsule container then replace it.

If you need to descale your machine it will take around 20 minutes. We will go more into how to descale a Nespresso machine later in the article, but this involves running a descaling solution through the machine which will remove any mineral buildup. 

We recommend using the Nespresso descaling kit which has been specifically designed for Nespresso machines. This descaling kit contains a natural solution that dissolves any scale build-up. Other solutions like vinegar can damage your Nespresso machine and void your warranty.

Light alternates blinking orange then white 3 times then steady light- Descale Alert

If you see this light, it is another descaling alert. This one means that your machine is almost due to be descaled but this doesn’t need to be done urgently. So now is the time to make sure you have some descaling solution on hand and pencil in a date to run through the descaling program.

How to descale your nespresso machine

Descaling is one of those unfortunate tasks that needs to be performed on every coffee maker or espresso machine to keep it running at its best. Nespresso recommends descaling their machines every 3 months or 300 capsules (whichever comes first). 

Thankfully, the Nespresso Verto machines have a descaling alert to notify you when this is due. Descaling is a fairly straightforward process, but it does take around 20 minutes to complete. Each machine has its instructions so it is best to check Nespresso’s descaling instructions for your particular machine. 

But here’s a rundown of the general process. For more information see our guide to Nespresso Descaling.

  1. Make up the descaling solution as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Empty the water tank and fill it up with the descaling solution.
  3. Make sure all used capsules have been ejected from the machine and empty and rinse the used capsule container.
  4. Place a container under the coffee outlet (this needs to be at least 0.8L).
  5. Turn the machine on.
  6. Start the Descaling program as per the manual. Note: each machine has a different way of accessing the descaling program so it is best to refer to the manual for your machine’s specific instructions. 
  7. Push the button to start descaling, the machine will stop automatically when complete.
  8. Empty, clean, and rinse the water tank and cup support thoroughly.
  9. Fill the tank with clean water and place it back in the machine.
  10. Push the button to rinse the machine. The machine will stop automatically when this is complete. Tip: Make sure you run two or three cycles of fresh water through the machine to ensure that all the descaling solution is rinsed out. Otherwise, you will end up with unpleasant-tasting coffee.
  11. Exit the descaling mode.
  12. And that’s a wrap! Your machine is now descaled and should be back in working order! Allow the machine to dry for 10 minutes before using it.

nespresso vertuo plus blinking red lights

If you own a Nespresso Vertuo Plus or Vertuo Next, there is a slightly different alert system with a blinking orange or red light (depending on your machine version). However, while the alerts are different, the solutions are the same. In this section, we will cover what each alert means and you can flick back to the previous section for solutions.

Nespresso Green lights

The green lights on a Nespresso Vertuo Plus machine indicate normal use and usually show what stage of brewing the machine is at; heating up, scanning a barcode, or preparing coffee. 

Nespresso Orange Lights

A flashing orange light on a Nespresso Vertuo Plus indicate you have initiated a special program such as descaling or resetting to factory settings.

Nespresso Red Light

The red lights on a Nespresso Vertuo Plus machine are used to communicate a warning or error message.

Below are some of the common Nespresso red light alerts on Vertuo Plus or Next machine and what they mean:

  • Red light blinks twice then turns back to steady green- The water reservoir needs to be refilled or a capsule inserted
  • Half green and half red steady light- The machine needs to be descaled.
  • Red light pulsing or fading out- The machine is close to overheating and needs to be cooled down. The light will change to steady once it is ready to use.
  • Steady red light and machine not running- The machine has overheated.
  • Red light blinks continuously and the machine head stops moving- The capsule hasn’t been inserted properly.
  • Steady red light or blinking red light once per second- Similar to the blinking orange light, this means there is an error in the machine. You can try and turn the machine off and then on again, unplugging it from the wall. If this doesn’t work, you will need to contact customer support for further assistance. 

Nespresso Blinking Orange Light- In Summary

If you notice your Nespresso machine blinking with an orange or red light, do not panic! This system has been implemented to help alert you to issues that need to be addressed. In most cases, this just means you need to clean, descale, empty the capsule container or fill the water tank. Whatever the issue is, we hope this guide has helped you solve your problem quickly so you can get back to enjoying your favorite coffee.