One of the most awesome functions of a Keurig coffee maker that is often under-utilized is that you can use your Keurig to heat up your water. Yes, you can get hot water from your Keurig.
In this post, I explain whether a Keurig can boil water, how a Keurig heats water so fast, and how to get hot water from a Keurig. I also discuss how to troubleshoot a Keurig coffee maker that is not heating water.
Does Keurig boil water?
A Keurig coffee maker does not boil water. Keurig heats water to a maximum temperature of about 89° C (192° F) that is lower than water’s boiling point: 100° C (212° F). The temperature of Keurig’s hot water (192° F) is optimal for making your favorite cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or tea but has not reached its boiling point.
How Hot Does Keurig Water Get and Does it Boil?
The highest temperature that a Keurig can heat water is 192° F. Therefore, Keurigs do not boil water. Keurigs that have a high altitude function achieve a maximum water temperature of 187° when that function is engaged.
However, the temperature of your brew is likely to drop rapidly once the water or coffee is dispensed depending on the type of cup or carafe that you use.
For example, ceramic and stoneware cups will keep the coffee warmer for longer than glass cups. However, a cold cup – regardless of its material – will rapidly make your coffee cold.
See this post about the best materials for coffee mugs that explains the pros and cons of 9 different materials.
Insulated thermos travel mugs retain heat better as compared to regular travel mugs and are a good choice if your goal is to keep your drink warmer for longer.
Even when making ice coffee with a Keurig, the brewer makes hot coffee and you simply collect it in a cup or a carafe of ice. See which Keurigs are best suited for iced coffee.
Important Tip! Always preheat your carafe or cup before brewing to safeguard the temperature of your drink.
How Do Keurigs Heat Water
Keurig brewers have an external cold water tank that opens from the outside and a heating tank that is inside the brewer.
When you turn on a Keurig, it senses the amount of water in the cold tank and engages a pump that draws water from the cold tank into the heating tank. Once there is water in the heating tank the heating system engages and preheats the water to a maximum temperature of 190° F in 2-5 minutes.
Some Keurigs have a dedicated preheating light that flashes to show that preheating is ongoing. The light goes off when preheating is finished. Some Keurigs will flash the brew button to show that preheating is done and Keurig is ready to brew.
Newer Keurigs such as the K-Cafe and K-Latte have a smart start capability: they preheat and brew in one smooth process.
In older models, when preheating is done, select a cup size and the brewer will dispense hot water through the entrance and exit needles into the cup.
If there is a K-Cup pod in the brewer, hot water enters the pod through the entry needle and extracts soluble elements from the grounds in the pod to make coffee. The coffee filters through the paper filter inside the K-Cup pod and exits through the exit needle and finally drops into the cup.
Why Keurig Heats Water So Fast
Keurig brewers – unless turned off – continuously heat the water inside the heating tank even when the brewer is sitting idle. Some Keurigs such as K-Cafe and K-Elite feature an auto-off function that switches off the brewer two hours after its last brewing to save on energy.
A Keurig is continuously warming the internal water and, consequently, takes a shorter time to heat and prime the water when you brew your next cup.
Therefore, a Keurig heats water so fast (15-30 seconds) between brew cycles because the water in the heating tank is continuously warmed and the Keurig only needs to heat it a bit more to reach brewing temperature.
Contrarily, a Keurig that has been shut off will take about 3 to 5 minutes to heat water.
How To Get Hot Water From Keurig
You can get hot water from any Keurig model whether your brewer has hot water on-demand function or not. We have already discussed how a Keurig coffee maker heats water, let’s now focus on how to draw hot water from your coffee maker.
Steps to follow to get hot water from Keurig
- Switch the brewer on
- Put a cup on the drip tray
- Fill the reservoir with water. The machine will start preheating
- Lift the handle and remove the K-pod
- Press the size of the cup that you need and the brewer will dispense hot water. In some Keurigs you might need to press the cup size followed by the brew button to start dispensing water
To get hot water from a carafe brewer such as a K-Duo Plus, press the pod or carafe button followed by the size of cup button and then press the brew button.
How To Get Hot Water From A Keurig With A Hot Water On Demand Function
- Press the power button to switch the Keurig on
- Lift the handle to check that there is no pod in the brewer
- Place a mug on the drip tray
- Fill the outer tank above the halfway line. The unit will make a preheating sound
- When the brewer is silent – preheating is done – press the hot water button. This will illuminate the cup buttons
- Choose a cup size and the brewer will dispense hot water
Why is My Keurig Not Heating?
The heating system inside a Keurig disengages if the brewer is not able to pump water into the heating tank. Inability to pump water can occur due to a faulty water pump or due to clogging in the pipes that carry water from the cold reservoir to the inner heating tank. The heating system disconnects to protect the brewer from overheating.
This article focuses on a Keurig that is pumping but the coffee is not hot enough. We wrote a separate resource that focuses on how to fix a Keurig that is not dispensing water. Some of the tips in the separate article can help to clear the internal water lines of your Keurig so that the heating element works optimally.
If your Keurig is not heating, you are likely to observe the following problems:
- Keurig is not heating water at all
- The heating light stays on but Keurig is not brewing and the Keurig gets stuck on preheating
- Keurig coffee is not hot enough (below 180° F). According to Keurig, by the time water or coffee drops into your cup, its temp has fallen to approximately 180° F-185° F. If your Keurig coffee temperature is way below this mark, that could indicate a problem in the heating tank. We recommend that you drain the inner tank if Keurig coffee is not hot enough.
Steps To Follow if Your Keurig is Not Heating
Step #1. Drain the Keurig heating tank without disassembling the brewer
If your Keurig is not heating water at all or your Keurig coffee is not hot enough, then it’s time to drain your Keurig. Here is how to drain a Keurig that is not heating water without taking it apart
- Close the outer tank
- Power off the brewer but keep the cord plugged in
- Place a mug on the drip tray and press the brew button continuously for about 10 seconds to drain the interior tank.
- After draining switch the machine on.
- Run a brew cycle and check the temperature of the brew.
Another method to drain a Keurig that is not heating without dismantling involves:
- Empty the reservoir and reattach it to the brewer
- Switch the brewer on. The brewer will warn you to add water. Ignore this alert
- Place a mug on the drip tray
- Put your hand in the reservoir and lift the movable sensor disc up. This tricks your brewer into sensing that there is water in the empty reservoir and the “Add Water” light disappears
- Lift the handle and make sure there is no pod
- Perform a brew cycle. The Keurig will run the cycle using the water that is in the internal tank
- Repeat the process until there is no more water coming out
You will have successfully drained your Keurig
To drain a commercial Keurig such as Keurig K-130, keep it switched on and continuously press the brew button until no more water is dispensing. Other commercial Keurigs such as K150P and K1500 have drainage tubes that you can access from the back panel of the brewer.
Step #2. Add Hot Water To Trick Your Keurig into Brewing
Sometimes you can clean and unblock all the components of your Keurig but still, your Keurig will not brew and is stuck at the preheating phase. This is mostly due to a fault in the heating system: the Keurig detects that water is not getting hot enough to brew and thus remains in the heating stage.
Adding hot water can jumpstart the brewer into running a normal brew cycle. To add hot water to jumpstart a Keurig that is stuck on preheating:
- Unplug your machine
- Heat water in a microwave or on a stove to a very high temperature (above 190° F)
- Add the hot water into the reservoir
- Plug the brewer’s cable, and power it on
- Run a normal brewing cycle
Step #3. Run a Descaling Cycle
If steps one and two have not fixed the heating problem then your Keurig is due for descaling. A thorough descaling cycle will unblock the water lines as well as improve the overall functioning of your brewer. It also enhances the quality and taste of your brew.
At least one of the steps that we have outlined in this article should correct the heating problem and your Keurig should function optimally. For a Keurig that has clogging issues, see the troubleshooting tips here.
If your Keurig is still not heating, you are better off contacting Keurig especially if you have a valid warranty for your brewer.
Solving the heating problem ensures that you can use your Keurig for a hot cup of coffee or for hot water only for your instant ramen and oatmeal.
How To Make Your Keurig Coffee Hotter
Since it’s impossible to increase Keurig’s internal temperature beyond 192° F, here are a few tips to make your Keurig coffee hotter.
- Preheat your cup by rinsing it with hot water before brewing your coffee
- Disable the high altitude setting. If your Keurig coffee is not hot enough, then the high altitude setting might have been accidentally activated. Deactivating the high altitude feature will reset and correct your brewing temperature
- Adjust the brew temperature. Some Keurig brewers such as the Elite Special Edition, Platinum, Ultimate, and b155 series have a display screen and a settings button that allows you to adjust the temperature. Press the settings button until the temperature reading shows up on the screen. Use the up or down arrow to adjust the temperature. The temperature is adjustable between 187° to 192° F
- Use a thermos travel mug that has double-walled insulation if you wish to drink your coffee later
A Keurig does not boil water. The highest temperature to which a Keurig can heat water is 192° F that is perfect for brewing your coffee. You can get just hot water from Keurig for your instant meals.
You can increase your Keurig’s brewing temperature by disabling the high altitude setting. If your Keurig coffee is not hot enough, try the troubleshooting tips recommended above as well as the troubleshooting tips for Keurig’s water flow problems.
Can I Add Hot Water to a Keurig?
Yes, you can add hot water to a Keurig to troubleshoot a brewer that is stuck on preheating. The hot water tricks the brewer to jumpstart and bypass preheating.
Adding very hot water forces the Keurig to detect it and tricks it into brewing
However, it is not advisable to add hot water as a way of increasing the temperature of your coffee. Keurig’s temperature can only go as high as 192° F. Therefore, adding hot water provides no extra advantage: your Keurig will still brew at its preset temperature.
Moreover, the cold water tank in Keurig has no insulation and is not primed to maintain heat. Keeping hot water in the reservoir might also damage it.