How to Fix Problems with Ninja Coffee Makers

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In recent years, Ninja coffee makers have become a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts and parents alike looking for a convenient and versatile brewing experience. Our family owns and loves ours!

With features such as multiple brew sizes, customizable strength settings, and even specialty modes like iced coffee or specialty brews, it’s no surprise that these machines have gained a prominent place in many households.

However, like any appliance, Ninja coffee makers may encounter certain issues or problems that can impact their performance. In this article, we’ll discuss some common problems that you might experience with your Ninja coffee maker and offer tips on how to troubleshoot and resolve them.

woman drinking coffee sitting at window

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Trouble with Brewing

This article is written from my personal experience as a Ninja coffee maker owner. I personally own the Ninja CM401 Specialty 10-Cup Coffee Maker, and this troubleshooting guide is based on that model. However, there are many things in this article that seem to work for multiple Ninja coffee maker models.

Brew Size Issues

Sometimes, we may experience inconsistencies in the brew size of the Ninja coffee maker. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including the type of coffee grounds used, the freshness of the water or even a clogged machine.

To address this issue, the first thing to do is ensure that the coffee grounds are evenly distributed in the filter basket, and use fresh, cold water for brewing. It is also helpful to clean the machine regularly to prevent build-up that could affect the brewing process (scroll down for all the steps you need to clean yours!).

Grind Size Snags

Choosing the right grind size is essential for a balanced and flavorful cup of coffee. With the Ninja coffee maker, we might sometimes face issues related to incorrect grind sizes.

For example, a grind that is too fine will result in over-extraction and a bitter taste, while a grind that is too coarse may lead to under-extraction and a weak coffee flavor. To solve this, experiment with different grind sizes until the desired taste and strength are achieved. Keep in mind that medium grind size works best for most drip coffee makers!

Brewing Too Strong or Weak

Finding the perfect balance of coffee strength and flavor can be a challenge. If your Ninja coffee maker is brewing coffee that is too strong or too weak, adjustments may be needed to the coffee-to-water ratio or brew options. Here are some tips:

  • For a stronger cup, increase the amount of coffee grounds used or select a stronger brew option.
  • For a weaker cup, use less coffee grounds or choose a milder brew setting.

Additionally, you can customize your preferences using the Ninja coffee maker’s brew settings and make use of its specialty and rich brew options. I love using the Classic and Strong settings to switch up our morning brew.

Delayed Brew Glitches

The Ninja coffee maker comes with a delayed brew feature, which allows you to have a freshly brewed cup of coffee at a specific time. However, occasionally you might run into issues with the delayed brew settings not functioning properly.

If this happens, first be sure that the delayed brew settings are correctly set, including the accurate time and brew size.

If the problem persists, try the following easy fixes:

  • Reset the machine by unplugging it for a few minutes, then plugging it back in.
  • Verify that the clock is set correctly.
image shows a ninja coffee maker with two coffee cups

Fixing Component Issues

Fixing the Brew Basket

If you’re facing issues with the brew basket, first ensure that it is properly inserted and locked in place. Sometimes user error can cause the brew basket to be improperly aligned.

Next, check for any debris or clogs that might be preventing the coffee grounds from flowing into the carafe. To clean the brew basket, remove it from the Ninja coffee maker and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.

Addressing Leaks

Leaking can occur in various parts of the Ninja coffee maker. For instance, if you find water or coffee under the unit, it could be due to a full carafe.

In this case, simply empty the carafe to resolve the issue. If the leak persists, it may be a sign of a damaged or improperly seated tube or hose. Check these components and ensure they are correctly connected and free of damage.

fixing the drip stop on the ninja coffee maker

Repairing Drip Stop

A common issue with Ninja coffee makers is the drip stop not working properly. This can lead to spills and messes.

To fix this issue, first double check the switch at the top of the carafe area has been moved to the left after brewing is finished, as shown in the image above. This puts it in the closed position, and should stop the drip.

If that’s not the issue, next remove the carafe and check if there is an obstruction in the drip stop mechanism. Clean the area if needed.

If it’s still not functioning properly, you may need to consult the manufacturer for a replacement part or further assistance.

Resolving Water Flow Problems

If your Ninja coffee maker is experiencing slow or inconsistent water flow, it could be due to a clogged tube or hose. To address this issue, we recommend descaling your coffee maker using a descaling solution or a vinegar-water mixture, as outlined in the owner’s manual.

This easy cleaning process can help eliminate any mineral build-up that may be causing the issue. If the problem continues, examine the tubes and hoses for visible clogs or damage and clean or replace as necessary.

Checking the Tube and Hose

Sometimes problems with the Ninja coffee maker can be traced back to the tube and hose connections. To inspect these components, first be sure that the coffee maker is turned off and disconnected from power.

Carefully remove the tubes and hoses from their connections, and check for any visible damage or obstructions. If you discover any issues, consider replacing the damaged parts. Reconnect the tubes and hoses securely before powering up the coffee maker again.

Taste and Quality Issues

Troubleshooting Coffee Taste

If you notice a decrease in the taste and flavor of the coffee produced by your Ninja coffee maker, there might be a few issues that could be causing it.

First, ensure that you are using fresh, good-quality coffee beans or ground coffee. Stale or low-quality coffee can negatively impact the taste of your brew.

Consider the water quality of the water you’re putting into your coffee maker. If your tap water has a strong taste or odor, it may alter the taste of your coffee. If this is your issue, try using filtered or bottled water to ensure your coffee tastes clean and pure.

It’s also essential to clean your coffee maker regularly to avoid lingering oil residues and coffee grounds affecting the taste. Make sure to descale your Ninja coffee maker, as limescale buildup can also result in a poor-tasting brew!

Addressing Inconsistent Temperature

To make sure your coffee tastes great, it’s important that your Ninja coffee maker maintains a consistent hot temperature throughout the brewing process. If you notice inconsistencies in the brewing temperature, there are a few steps you can take to improve the performance of your device.

  • Ensure that the carafe or mug is preheated before starting the brewing process. You can do this by rinsing it with hot water.
  • Check the settings on your Ninja coffee maker. The Specialty Brew or Rich Brew options will produce hotter coffee.
  • Lastly, perform regular maintenance on your coffee maker. A thorough cleaning and descaling will ensure that your device operates at peak performance.

Dealing with Sediment in Coffee

Discovering sediment in your coffee can be frustrating. However, there are several steps you can take to resolve this issue.

  1. Grind size: As mentioned above, make sure you are using the appropriate grind size for your chosen brewing method. Coarse grind is recommended for French press and cold brew, while a finer grind is ideal for drip machines, such as the Ninja coffee maker.
  2. Coffee filter: Inspect your filter to ensure it’s seated correctly and not torn or damaged. If you’re using a permanent filter, clean it thoroughly to avoid residual coffee grounds passing through to your brew. Try adding a paper filter into the filter basket.
  3. Cleaning: Ensure that all parts of your Ninja coffee maker, including the brew basket, carafe, and water reservoir, are carefully cleaned and free of debris. By keeping your coffee maker clean, you can minimize the chance of unwanted sediments ending up in your cup of joe.
image shows the ninja coffee maker with a full carafe and full cup of coffee

Cleaning and Descaling

Cleaning the Coffee Maker

I love our Ninja coffee maker! To keep mine running efficiently, we regularly clean it to remove any coffee residue and oils.

You can easily clean yours by using a soft, damp cloth or sponge to gently clean the exterior, and washing the removable parts (carafe, filter basket, etc.) with warm soapy water. After cleaning these parts, be sure they are completely dry before reassembling the coffee maker.

Performing a Descaling Cycle

Over time, minerals such as calcium can build up in a coffee maker, leading to performance issues and affecting the taste of the coffee. Descaling is the process of removing these mineral deposits from the water reservoir and internal parts of the machine.

To perform a descaling cycle, follow these steps:

  1. Empty the water reservoir: Remove any water that is left in the reservoir.
  2. Mix descaling solution: In a separate container, mix a descaling solution by combining equal parts of white vinegar and water (or use a commercial descaling solution). Fill the water reservoir with this solution.
  3. Run the cleaning cycle: Place an empty carafe or cup under the coffee maker, then press the clean button to initiate the cleaning cycle. The clean light should illuminate, indicating the cycle is in progress.
  4. Run a flush cycle: Once the cleaning cycle is complete, empty any remaining descaling solution from the reservoir. Fill the reservoir with fresh water and run a normal brew cycle to flush out any remaining vinegar or descaling solution. Repeat this step at least twice to ensure all solution residue is removed.

Routine Regular Cleaning

In addition to cleaning the coffee maker and performing descaling cycles, it’s important to establish a routine of regular cleaning to maintain the performance and longevity of the Ninja coffee maker.

Here are some tips for a routine cleaning schedule to get the best results from your coffee maker:

  • Daily: Clean the removable parts (carafe, filter basket, etc.) with warm soapy water.
  • Weekly: Wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker using a soft, damp cloth or sponge.
  • Monthly: Perform a descaling cycle to remove mineral and calcium buildup, or more frequently if you notice the clean light on the coffee maker turning on.

By following these cleaning and descaling steps, we can ensure that our Ninja coffee maker continues to provide us with delicious and perfect coffee every time.

Maintaining Your Ninja Coffee Maker

Checking the Parts

When it comes to maintaining your Ninja coffee maker, it’s essential to routinely check all the parts to ensure they are clean and functioning properly. We recommend inspecting the filter basket, carafe, and water reservoir. Over time, coffee grounds can accumulate in these areas, leading to a less than optimal brewing experience.

Replacing the Reservoir

Occasionally, you might find that your reservoir needs a thorough cleaning or even replacement. If you notice leakage, mold, or uncleanable mineral buildup, it’s time to replace the reservoir to ensure a consistently delicious cup of coffee. Always ensure the reservoir is securely in place before brewing to prevent spills and potential damage to the machine.

Dealing With Beeping Sounds

Sometimes, your Ninja coffee maker might emit annoying beeping sounds. If it beeps five times, this usually means there is an issue with the machine or the brewing process.

We recommend checking for any loose parts, ensuring the filter basket and water reservoir are properly seated, and making sure there’s enough water in the reservoir for brewing. If the issue persists, consult your manual for further troubleshooting steps.

Carafe/ Cup Issues

When using your Ninja coffee maker, you might encounter problems with the carafe or cup, such as overflowing or leakage. To prevent overflow, always use the appropriate carafe or cup size, ensuring that they are aligned correctly with the drip stop lever. Regularly check the carafe and cup for any cracks or damages that could impact their ability to hold liquid.

image shows ninja coffee maker and cup of coffee

General Troubleshooting Steps for Common Issues

When experiencing issues with your Ninja coffee maker, it’s essential to follow a set of general troubleshooting steps for most common problems before diving into more specific solutions. Doing this will help identify the root cause of the problem and potentially save you time and effort in finding a resolution.

First, always ensure that the coffee maker is properly plugged into a functioning power outlet. Check the power cord and connector for any signs of damage or loose connections, as these can affect the device’s performance. If needed, try plugging the coffee maker into a different outlet to rule out any issues with the power supply.

Next, inspect the various components of the coffee maker, such as the water reservoir and brewing basket, for any visible debris, blockages, or damage. Over time, mineral deposits and grounds can accumulate, causing your machine to function less efficiently or not at all. Cleaning these parts regularly will help maintain optimal performance.

One common issue that might arise is power-related inconsistencies. This might be due to a temporary glitch in the coffee maker’s programming or a more significant electrical problem. In this case, we recommend resetting your Ninja coffee maker by disconnecting it from the power source and waiting for at least 60 seconds before plugging it back in and turning it on. This process will often resolve minor electrical issues and restore normal operation.

Finally, if your coffee maker is still not functioning properly after these general troubleshooting steps, consult your Ninja coffee maker’s user manual or troubleshooting guide for more specific instructions. Additionally, we encourage you to reach out to the manufacturer’s customer support for further assistance or to inquire about potential warranty coverage.

By following these general troubleshooting steps, we can systematically tackle common problems and identify the best course of action to get your Ninja coffee maker back up and running quickly and efficiently.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Ninja coffee maker not brewing?

There could be a few reasons why your Ninja coffee maker isn’t brewing. First, ensure that the water reservoir is filled to the appropriate level. Next, check that the coffee grounds are placed in the filter correctly and the filter is securely in place. Ensure that the machine is plugged in, the power switch is on, and the brew settings are correct. If the issue persists, it could be due to a clogged valve or malfunctioning heating element, which may require professional assistance.

How do I fix the water closed symbol issue?

If you see the water closed symbol on your Ninja coffee maker, it means the water reservoir is not securely in place or the lid is not closed properly. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the water reservoir from the coffee maker and double-check that it is filled with water.
  2. Ensure the lid of the reservoir is securely fastened.
  3. Reinstall the water reservoir onto the coffee maker and ensure it’s correctly positioned.
  4. If the symbol still shows, check the valve at the bottom of the reservoir for blockage or damage, and clean it if necessary.

What does error 11 mean on my Ninja coffee maker?

Error 11 on a Ninja coffee maker indicates that the machine is unable to heat the water to the desired temperature for brewing. This could be due to an issue with the heating element or the temperature sensors. We recommend unplugging the coffee maker, allowing it to cool down, and then plugging it back in and trying again. If the error persists, it may be best to contact Ninja’s customer service for further troubleshooting or repairs.

How do I properly clean my Ninja coffee maker?

To effectively clean your Ninja coffee maker, follow these steps:

  1. Empty the coffee grounds from the filter and rinse it out.
  2. Wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker with a damp cloth.
  3. For a more thorough cleaning, we recommend using the Clean cycle with a descaling solution or white vinegar to break down mineral deposits that may have formed.
  4. Rinse the water reservoir and fill it with clean, cold water.
  5. Run a full brewing cycle without any coffee grounds to flush out any remaining vinegar or descaling solution.

Regular cleaning will help maintain the efficiency and performance of your coffee maker.

How can I resolve the add water error on my Ninja coffee maker?

When you see the “add water” error, it means the water reservoir is empty or low. To resolve this:

  1. Remove the water reservoir from the coffee maker.
  2. Fill it with fresh, cold water, ensuring not to exceed the maximum capacity line.
  3. Reinstall the water reservoir onto the coffee maker, ensuring it is positioned correctly.
  4. Run a brewing cycle to clear the error.

If the error persists even when the reservoir is full, check the valve or water level sensor for blockage or damage, and clean or replace as needed.

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  1. Hello – I have owned several Ninja coffee makers and have a common problem with them not brewing.
    The coffee maker is getting power because the clock is lit but the power button stops working.
    Any thoughts on why?

  2. I went brew my keurig pods in my Ninja duel brew. It won’t brew, the closed water button keeps flashing. But it will brew hot water? What might be the issue? I just got this machine before Christmas.

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