vending machine won't dispense

Wondering why your vending machine won’t dispense? Keep reading to learn more!

Vending machines are one of the most lucrative occupations nowadays but every now and then we experience a few technical problems.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to fix issues in no time!

When a vending machine is not dispensing, users should check for any items that are stuck on the metal spirals and adjust the compressor to a higher temperature to prevent the liquids from freezing.

That should make the machine start dispensing items normally.

Reasons Why Vending Machine Not Dispensing?

4 reason vending machine not dispensing

Here are the top 4 reasons why a vending machine is not dispensing:

1. Vending Machine Is Jammed 

On rare occasions, some of the products might get stuck, therefore not being able to drop down and on such occasions, people simply shake the machine for the snack to come down.

However, there is a much easier way that does not involve shaking or punching.

2. No Ventilation – Overheating

When the vending machine is suffocated and positioned too close to the wall, that could prevent the airflow behind the glass, leading to frequent jamming problems.

Bad ventilation often leads to overheating causing a malfunction in the normal machine operation.

3. Bad Money Validators

a bad money validator

When the money validators can no longer recognize bills, the machine would often return the money instead of dispensing it.

The solution requires an inspection of the validators to either exclude this possibility or proceed with a replacement of the faulty component.

4. Faulty Power Source

When a vending machine can’t receive the necessary power that is required for normal operation, the device would often stops working.

In that regard, users need to attempt a different power source than the one currently in use.

How To Fix When A Vending Machine Won’t Dispense?

how to fix the vending machine

To solve the problem and make your vending machine start dispensing normally, we’re going to address each possibility individually.

In that regard, make sure to follow the solutions below without skipping anything and by the end of the guide, your problem will be gone!

Solution #1 Restart The Vending Machine

The first and most basic solution to the problem is to restart the machine and make sure to provide a good power cycle so ALL components can be refreshed.

In case the vending machine is not jammed, the restart should be enough to get all components working and solve the issue.

Unplug the vending machine from the power outlet for at least 5 minutes!

The 5 minutes should be enough for the machine to completely discharge and start dispensing items normally.

In case the issue persists after the power cycle, proceed with the next solution!

Solution #2 Check The Slots

check the slots

The machine would return the coins when the slots for a particular item are empty.

Make sure to have at least 2 items on a slot to be sure that the machine would be able to dispense. 

You need to make sure that the metal spirals are not obstructed. Align the items properly since lazy positioning is often the cause of items not being able to dispense.

Solution #3 Prevent Jamming

When the vending machine is jammed, there is an easy way to solve the problem even if you don’t have a key to open the front door.

This method does not involve shaking, kicking, or yelling at the machine, instead, everything can be solved gently.

Follow the steps below to fix jamming in a vending machine:

  1. Push the flap, where you usually collect the ordered item.
  2. Release the flap, allowing it to snap back down.
  3. That provides airflow within the vending machine.

In most cases, these simple steps prevent the jamming and release of the product. In case that doesn’t help proceed with the next step.

Tip: Repeat the process several times in case the jamming was not solved on the first attempt.

Solution #4 Reposition The Machine

reposition vending machine

One of the most frequent reasons for a problem with the dispensing mechanism of vending machines is overheating.

That happens during the hot summer seasons, especially when the vending machine is positioned in a suffocating place.

Follow the bullets below to make sure that the vending machine is positioned correctly:

  • Remove any items, positioned on the back side of the vending machine
  • Leave at least a 30 cm gap, between the machine and the wall
  • Keep the machine away from heat conductors

In addition, you should make sure that the machine is perfectly leveled since any disbalance in the positioning can prevent the compressor from keeping the set temperature.

Moreover, owners need to make sure that the front door is closed and locked to prevent air from getting in.

Note: Positioning is the culprit for most jamming issues with vending machines!

Solution #5 Adjust The Temperature

ajust temperature

Another reason for the vending machine’s inability to dispense, again, related to overheating is the compressor temperature.

When there are drinks in the vending machine, the temperature plays a vital role since, for example, diet coke freezes at high temperatures.

When the contents of a bottle freeze, the vending machine won’t be able to dispense!

Make sure to set the temperatures to 1.5°C (35°F) – 4°C (40°F) to prevent any of the liquids from freezing, therefore getting stuck to the metal spirals.

In addition, you should check whether the compressor fan is working to make sure that there is no problem with the cooling.

Note: The compressor should make a buzzing sound when working!

Solution #6 Replace Faulty Components

replace the faulty components

The vending machine can produce several failures but all of them come with a clean indication and by reading what’s next you’ll be able to tell what’s wrong.

  • Faulty Validators – The vending machine returns bills but accepts coins.
  • Cans Are Full – The vending machine returns only coins but accepts bills.
  • Check The Wheels – When the wheels are not rolling, the machine won’t dispense.

Besides the above-described scenarios, the very last possibility is that the machine is not turning on.

You will be able to easily tell if that’s the case when the digital display does not have any crawling text when you turn on the machine.

In such cases, you would need to contact the supplier for additional instructions and possibly machine servicing.

Note: Any malfunctioning components should be replaced before drawing conclusions!

How To Prevent Vending Machine Issues?

The answer is simple. Regular maintenance is required for each of your vending machines, which includes, careful positioning of ALL items, emptying the cans, and performing a restart on the machine every now and then.

prevent  the vending machine issues

We’ve learned that the positioning and leveling of the machine are of great importance for the proper function and in combination with regular maintenance, no issues are expected.

The last part of the process is always the cleaning part, which involves making sure that nothing is obstructing the metal spirals and keeping the insides of the machine clean.

The cleaning is required once every week, or everything you re-stock in the vending machine.

Tip: For more help, you can find and contact a vending machine server near your location!

Read Next: Why Does My PS4 Keep Overheating? Complete Fix Guide!

Quick Recap:

Hence, the vending machine is not dispensing because the temperatures are too low and there could be frozen bottles. Jamming is another reason for not dispensing and users should inspect all possibilities to make sure that the functionality of the machine is correct.

Last Thoughts:

Now that we’ve learned why a vending machine won’t dispense and how to address all possibilities, we no longer have to be concerned about such problems.

Make sure to keep this post at your disposal for future issues, since nobody wants their business impacted by frequent jamming problems with the vending machine.

We hope that this post was helpful and for more relevant content, check our blog!

Nicole B