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You didn't indicate a specific model. So, I'm going to assume yours is relatively the same as my JWX27.
Let me start by clarifying what the red light indicates.
A solid red light indicates the cleaning cycle is in progress. A blinking red light indicates the coffeemaker is off, but due to be cleaned. When the coffeemaker is due to be cleaned, the red light will continue to blink while the coffeemaker is off until the cleaning cycle has been completed fully. The entire cleaning process takes about an hour and a half. And, it is not intuitive. So, here are my instructions.
With the coffeemaker off (with the red light blinking), pour four cups of pure white vinegar (no water added) into the reservoir. Don't short the amount. You'll need four cups to complete the cycle. Remove any filters, but leave the strainer basket in place. Tap the "select" button three times until the red light is on (and stays on, not blinking). The cleaning cycle now begins. It should take between 45 minutes and an hour to complete. Don't be concerned about the 30-minute long pause during the cycle when nothing happens. This is intentional and part of the cycle.
After the cleaning cycle has completed, get rid of the vinegar. Rinse out the strainer basket and the coffee pot. Run a full pot of clean water thru a regular brew cycle (with the pot and basket in place, of course). Then, dump the water, rinse the pot and basket again, and run another full pot of clean water thru a regular brew cycle. Dump that water too. And, you're done!
I experienced the problem with a hotpoint TCYM 750, with the red empty water light failing to switch off. After removing the filter and cleaning it, cleaning the condenser and drying anywhere I had access to the machine still didn't heat and the light remained on. Reading the post about the machine having 3 reservoirs it struck me that one of the reservoirs may be hard to access. So I unplugged the machine and tipped it onto its front. The reservoir drained, I pushed the machine back upright and cleared up some water around the condenser. The drier now works properly and the empty water light is off - job done!
This means it has entered descaling mode. Press the three buttons on top all at the same time until you hear a beep/chime. Then your machine should be ready to go again. This happened to me once when I didn't notice that the water reservoir was empty and I tried to make espresso. If this happens and nothing else is an issue like what happened to me and the drip tray is empty and in correctly you likely need to descale the machine. You should do so at your earliest convenience so that you don't harm the pump because the machine is full of limescale.
The 'Descale' light that turns on indicates that it is time to de-scale the machine. Scale - or mineral deposits- form from the water you run through your
Keurig coffee machine. If not cleaned regularly, the buildup can clog
the lines in your machine and ruin the heating element. The manufacturer
recommends you descale Keurig coffee makers once every six months for
normal water conditions and once every three months if you live in an
area with hard water. You will need :
Keurig coffee maker
48 oz. white distilled vinegar
Large ceramic cup
Unplug the coffee machine and remove the cup.
Turn the coffee machine upside
down over the sink in order to fully drain it of water. Be careful of
the plug and avoid getting it wet.
Pour undiluted white vinegar into the reservoir up to the top edge of the viewing window.
Place a ceramic cup under the
machine, plug it in and press "Brew" for a large cup. Pour the cups of
vinegar into the sink and repeat the process until the reservoir is
Remove the final cup of vinegar
and empty it. Fill the coffee maker with clean water and allow it to sit
for four hours, remaining on.
If the unit is titled forward at all, the "full bucket" "trip switch" will not trigger off as it should. Be sure the unit is on a flat, level surface, or leaning backward slightly--this also aids drainage through the drain tube, if that's your set-up.
Problem was a stuck float in the small water reservoir to the rear left of the unit.. Remove top and left hand side panel. Small reservoir can be seen at the bottom left. Remove small screw and slide off the cable assembly above. You should then see into the reservoir and the float. Clean float and reservoir and reassemble.
Spoke to my maintenance engineer at work and he said that most of these appliances work by using float switches. After stripping down and drying out the previous day decided to refill reservoir with water and letting drain back in refilled again 15 mins later till no more water could go back in. Then emptied water reservoir and let the water drain back out into reservoir. Think this must have dislodged the float switch and all seems back to normal.