Skip to Content

Why is my Margaritaville machine blinking red?

Quick Answers

There are a few common reasons why your Margaritaville machine may be blinking red:

  • It needs to be descaled – mineral deposits from water can build up over time and clog tubes
  • It’s out of mix – check if the mix reservoir is empty and needs to be refilled
  • The ice reservoir is full – empty the ice bin when it’s full to allow more ice to be made
  • It has an error code – consult the owner’s manual for troubleshooting blink codes

The blinking red light typically indicates an issue that needs your attention before the machine can operate properly again. Following some troubleshooting steps like descaling, adding more mix, or emptying excess ice can often resolve a lot of common problems.

Margaritaville machines allow you to make restaurant-quality frozen cocktails at home. Who doesn’t love an ice cold margarita, daiquiri, or pina colada on demand? These appliances are designed to perfectly blend just the right amount of ice, alcohol, and flavorings into a delicious frozen drink.

But what happens when something goes wrong with your Margaritaville machine and it starts flashing red lights at you? That blinking red light means there is some sort of error or issue preventing your appliance from operating normally. Don’t panic – in most cases, it just requires a bit of troubleshooting and maintenance to get your machine happily making margaritas again.

Common Causes of a Blinking Red Light

There are four common issues that can trigger the blinking red light on your Margaritaville machine:

  1. It needs to be descaled
  2. It’s out of mix
  3. The ice reservoir is full
  4. There is an error code

Let’s explore each of these common causes in more detail.

It Needs to Be Descaled

Scale buildup from mineral deposits in water is one of the most common reasons a Margaritaville machine will start blinking red. Over time, those hard water deposits accumulate along tubing, gaskets, and other internal components. Enough buildup will clog the inner workings and prevent the appliance from operating properly.

You should descale your Margaritaville machine on a regular basis as recommended by the manufacturer. This involves filling the reservoir with a descaling solution and running a cleaning cycle. Descaling dissolves any built-up mineral deposits and allows components to run smoothly again.

If you haven’t descaled in a long time, try running a descaling cycle first when you see the red blinking light. Oftentimes, removing scale buildup is all that’s needed to fix the issue and get your frozen drink maker back up and running.

It’s Out of Mix

Another obvious but easy-to-overlook reason your Margaritaville machine may blink red is if you’ve simply run out of margarita mix. These appliances detect when the removable mix reservoir has gone empty. Without any mix to blend, it will show a red warning light letting you know it can’t operate.

Check the fill level of the mix reservoir if you notice the blinking red light. If it’s empty, refill it with more premixed margarita, daiquiri, pina colada or other frozen cocktail base. Top it off, reinstall the canister, and press the power button to reset your Margaritaville machine.

Having enough mix on hand is key to keeping the drinks flowing. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the mix every two weeks once opened to maintain freshness. So monitor your supply and refill it when low. That should have your appliance whirring along in no time.

The Ice Reservoir is Full

Margaritaville machines have a limited ice reservoir capacity. If it becomes over-filled with ice, an internal sensor will trigger the red blinking light to let you know it can’t continue making more ice or dispense drinks. This is a safety feature to avoid damage from over-freezing.

Check the removable ice bin and empty out any excess ice if it’s become completely full. Discard any unused ice, wipe down the bin, and fully reinsert it back into the appliance. Press the power button to reset and your Margaritaville maker should resume normal operation.

Be sure to regularly empty and clean out the ice reservoir as part of your general maintenance. Never leave ice sitting too long in the bin between uses as it can promote germ growth. Get in the habit of emptying any old ice before starting a new drink batch. That will help ensure the ice maker doesn’t overfill again.

There is an Error Code

If none of the previous troubleshooting tips stop the blinking red light, your Margaritaville machine may be displaying a specific error code. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on reading the blink sequence. Count the number of flashes and look up the corresponding error code.

Diagnostic blink codes will help pinpoint internal issues like problems with the motor, freezing mechanism, sensors or other failures. The owner’s manual will provide details on what each code means and how to potentially resolve it.

Some common Margaritaville error codes include:

  • E1 – Refrigeration failure
  • E2 – Ice maker failure
  • E3 – Mix motor failure
  • E4 – Auger jammed

While error codes often require professional service, you may be able to address simpler problems like an auger jam on your own. Always consult manufacturer troubleshooting guides to decipher blink codes and potential DIY fixes.

When to Call a Repair Technician

Do-it-yourself troubleshooting can solve many common Margaritaville blinking light issues. But if descaling, refilling mix, and emptying ice doesn’t stop the red light warning, it’s best to call in a professional repair technician.

Avoid attempting to disassemble or repair the inner workings and electrical components yourself unless you have training. Mishandling can result in injury or serious appliance damage.

Instead, contact Margaritaville customer service or an authorized repair company. They can safely inspect the unit and properly diagnose any underlying mechanical or electrical causes for a blinking red light.

Certified Margaritaville repair pros have specialized training and access to manufacturer parts needed to get your machine running again. They can also assess issues that may require fully replacing the appliance if it’s no longer cost effective to fix.

Here are some good indicators it’s time to pick up the phone for professional assistance:

  • The red light persists after troubleshooting steps
  • You notice any leaking, strange sounds or burning smells
  • The appliance won’t power on at all
  • Any other abnormal behaviors develop

Don’t take chances attempting to deal with major mechanical or electrical issues yourself. Hire a trained repair technician to properly inspect and fix your Margaritaville machine.

Preventing Future Problems

With the right care and maintenance, you can minimize problems and keep your Margaritaville appliance running smoothly for years. Here are some top tips to avoid pesky red light warnings in the future:

  • Descale regularly – Follow manufacturer guidelines for descaling frequency using a compatible cleaning solution. This prevents mineral buildup that can clog tubes.
  • Check mix level – Never let the reservoir run completely empty. Refill it at the first signs it’s running low.
  • Empty ice bin – Don’t allow ice to overfill the basket which can jam the maker. Discard old ice before each use.
  • Keep it clean – Wipe down exterior, ice bin, and other removable parts after each use. Sanitize regularly.
  • Check for leaks – Look under and around the unit to ensure no fluid leaks indicating a potential problem.
  • Mind the cord – Don’t kink the power cord or pull tightly when moving the appliance.

Following the user manual for regular maintenance, cleaning, and part replacement will keep your Margaritaville trouble-free. Take prompt action when a red light does appear and call for service when needed. With proper care, you’ll be enjoying icy drinks for many hot days ahead.


If your Margaritaville machine starts blinking red, don’t panic – in most cases the issue can be quickly identified and resolved. The four most common causes include needing to descale, refilling depleted mix, emptying excess ice, or an error code that pinpoints a specific internal problem.

Try simple troubleshooting steps first like running a descaling cycle or topping off the mix reservoir. If that doesn’t solve the issue, consult your owner’s manual to decipher any blinking error codes and potential fixes. For major electrical or mechanical problems beyond DIY repair, call in a professional Margaritaville technician.

With the right maintenance and care, a Margaritaville appliance should provide years of reliable service. Keep it descaled, stocked, and cleaned and you’ll be sipping frozen cocktails in no time. Here’s to solving pesky red light issues so happy hour can commence once more!