What Do The Flashing Lights on the Nespresso VertuoPlus Mean?

The Nespresso VertuoPlus is like the flying saucer in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and you are Roy Neary, the electrical engineer played by Richard Dreyfuss. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to decipher the meaning of the flashing colored lights and take the appropriate action.

As very few of us read the instruction manual, this handy reference will guide you through the meaning of the various flashing lights on the Nespresso VertuoPlus. This will help you to troubleshoot and resolve the issue with minimal hassle and fuss.

Flashing Lights on the Nespresso VertuoPlus

nespresso vertuoplus
Image: Angela CoffeeRank

Green

  • Steady, unblinking: All clear. The machine is ready to brew.
  • Steady, blinking: The machine is heating up.
  • Spinning: The machine is busy brewing.
  • Flashes twice then stays on: Either the water tank is empty or a coffee capsule hasn’t been loaded.

Orange

Flashes twice in quick succession then repeats: The machine needs cleaning. Nine times out of ten, coffee grounds are blocking the barcode scanner in the machine head.

  • Open the machine head lid by pressing the control lever once. This will also eject the used coffee capsule.
  • Unplug the machine.
  • Take a clean, slightly damp cloth or paper towel and wipe down the spinning component inside the machine head as well as the capsule holder.

Flashes repeatedly three times in quick succession: The machine needs to be emptied or descaled.

  • For detailed instructions and directions, see the Cleaning and Descaling section below.
  • For detailed instructions regarding the emptying of the system, go here.

Bright then fades, then repeats (pulsing): The machine has overheated and is now cooling down.

  • Turn the machine off by holding down the coffee button for three seconds.
  • If the machine doesn’t turn off when you hold down the coffee button, it’s probably in Special Functions mode. Press the coffee button again, holding it down for seven seconds to get out of Special functions mode.
  • Press the coffee button again to turn the machine back on.
  • Wait 20 minutes.
  • Try again.

Flashes twice in quick succession, goes dark for two seconds, then repeats: The machine has a problem.

If this happens while the machine is brewing:

  • Make sure that the coffee capsule is intact and correctly placed.
  • Shut the machine head lid. Make sure that it is closed properly.
  • Make sure that the water tank is full.
  • Try again.

If this happens while the machine is performing a special function (descaling, emptying, or cleaning):

  • Press the control lever once to open the machine head lid.
  • Make sure that the used coffee capsule has been properly ejected and that a fresh one is in its place.
  • Close the machine head lid and secure it.
  • Try again.

If this happens while you are entering the required volume of coffee:

  • Make sure the coffee capsule has been loaded properly.

If it keeps blinking:

  • Unplug the machine.
  • Wait 10 seconds.
  • Turn it back on.
  • Restart the brewing process.

If it still doesn’t work, contact Nespresso support.

It shines for 1½  seconds, goes dark for a ½  second, then repeats: The water tank is either empty or nearly.

  • Fill up the tank
  • Restart the brewing process.

It flashes every 2 seconds: The machine needs to be reset to its default factory settings.

  • Open up the machine head lid, ejecting the coffee capsule.
  • Close the machine head lid.
  • Make sure that the machine head locking lever (on top of the machine, next to the coffee button) is in the unlocked position.
  • Press the coffee button 5 times in quick succession.

The coffee button will turn orange and flash 5 times, then turn white If the reset was successful.

Flashes orange then white 3 times in a row, stay orange for a couple of seconds, then repeats: The machine needs descaling.

This is a final warning. If you’ve been conducting regular maintenance, you shouldn’t be seeing this. You can only use the machine a few more times before it stops working.

Red

Comes on and stays on: The machine has a problem.

  • Press the coffee button 3 times in quick succession to turn it off.
  • Unplug the power cord.
  • Let the machine stand for 15 minutes.
  • Plug the power cord back in.
  • Press the control lever to turn the machine back on. Once the machine is ready for use, The coffee button light will turn green.

When all else fails, call Nespresso customer support and give them the error code WVP17.

The light shines red, fades out, then repeats: The machine has overheated and is cooling down.

  • Wait a couple of minutes until the light turns green.

When all else fails, call Nespresso customer support and give them the error code WVP18.

Flashes once a second repeatedly: The machine head can’t move properly.

  • Empty the capsule holder.
  • Remove anything that might be getting in the way of the machine head.
  • If closed, turn the machine head locking lever to open.
  • If open, turn the machine head locking lever to closed.

If the machine head still isn’t properly aligned or the coffee button light is still flashing red, contact Nespresso customer support and give them the error code WVP14.

The coffee button light flashes red twice, then turns green and stays green: Either the water tank is empty or there is no coffee capsule in the machine.

  • Make sure that the water tank is full.
  • Make sure that the coffee capsule is properly in place.
  • Make sure that the machine head lid is closed properly.
  • Restart the brewing process.
  • If that doesn’t work, replace the coffee capsule.

When all else fails, call Nespresso customer support and give them the error code WVP15.

nespresso

The coffee button light flashes red twice, then turns orange and stays orange: The Special Functions menu is waiting for input.

If you press the control lever on the front of the machine and hold down the coffee button at the same time, the machine opens the Special Functions menu and the coffee button light turns orange. While the coffee button light is orange, the machine is awaiting instructions.

The orange light is an indication that you are in Special Functions mode.

There are four special functions:

  • Cleaning: Press the coffee button 3 times in quick succession in Special Functions mode.
  • Factory reset: press the control lever 3 times in quick succession in Special Functions mode.
  • Emptying the system: press the control lever twice in quick succession in Special Functions mode.
  • Descaling: press the control lever once in Special Functions mode.

To get out of Special Functions mode, press the control lever and the action coffee button at the same time until the coffee button light turns from orange to green.

When all else fails, call Nespresso customer support and give them the error code WVP20.

The red coffee button light flashes twice then turns orange and flashes again: This means that the machine could not complete a special function.

  • Press the control lever to open the machine head lid and eject the coffee capsule.
  • Close the machine head lid.
  • If you are emptying the system, remove and replace the water tank.
  • Press the coffee button to restart the special function.

If the special function fails to resume, call Nespresso customer support and give them the error code WVP21.

The action coffee button flashes red 3 times, then stays lit: The machine head is out-of-position.

Your VertuoPlus machine head is not aligned.

  • Press the control lever down once to open the machine head lid.
  • Wait for it to stop spinning.
  • Remove any obstructions.
  • Empty the capsule holder.
  • Press the control lever once to close the machine head lid.

If this fails to achieve the desired result, contact Nespresso customer support, and give them the error code WVP16.

The coffee button light is lit up but the left side is red and the right side is green: The machine is descaling.

Scaling And Descaling

Scaling is the bane of coffee makers large and small. It is caused by partially-soluble mineral salts in your drinking water. The rise and fall in temperature in a coffee maker are enough to bring these salts out of solution long enough to crystallize and form a plaque on any and all available surfaces, but most especially the inside of pipes.

The worst part is, the more it accumulates, the harder it is to remove. While this doesn’t present an immediate problem, over time this rock-hard plaque builds up layer-by-layer, restricting flow and imparting a bitter, alkaline flavor to the water.

A quick heads-up and word to the wise: Don’t use vinegar as a descaling solution. While it is widely touted as such by internet pundits (who should know better) and even some coffee maker manufacturers, white vinegar is 5-8% acetic acid. Acetic acid strips layer off metal surfaces and can cause leaks.

If that wasn’t enough to make up your mind, using vinegar on your Nespresso machine voids the warranty.

Descaling The VertuoPlus

A thorough, comprehensive breakdown of the steps to take is available here.

Flashing Lights on the Nespresso VertuoPlus – Conclusion

As you can see, the flashing lights on a Nespresso VertuoPlus might be somewhat bewildering at first but you will soon get to know them. Keep this post handy if you are in any doubt and it will likely answer any questions you might have.

If there are any flashing light issues you might have with your Nespresso VertuoPlus, please let us know. Enjoy a convenient brew.