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How to Prime a Keurig – Useful Tips & Tricks

Keurig is one of the most popular coffee makers that can brew different types of coffee. But this machine is not fail-proof.

It can be quite annoying to get a Prime error message on your Keurig instead of a brew. This is something that you may not be able to avoid if you own a Keurig.

In today’s post, we will help you learn how to prime a Keurig in a few easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions.

But first…

What Is a Keurig?

keurig coffee machines with coffee cups

Keurig is a famous household name in the world of coffee machines. Also, Keurig machines come in a somewhat bewildering range of models and colors to suit all requirements and budgets.

The Keurig machines are reliable and simple to use. Most of these machines are programmable and are pretty much low-maintenance. The available Keurig machines differ in size and the number of cups they can brew.

The top four models on the market are the Keurig K-Mini, Keurig K-Classic, Keurig K475, and Keurig K155.

These machines make it easy to enjoy your favorite beverages at the touch of a button. You can select from a specific number of cups to brew your perfect beverage every time in under a minute. Keurig has an auto-off feature that turns the brewer off automatically two hours after the last brew, helping you to save energy.

However, Keurig machines tend to need priming from time to time.

Why Does Your Keurig Say Prime?

prime message with blue light in keurig coffee machine

If you are seeing the message ‘Prime’ on your Keurig, you won’t be able to brew coffee until you resolve the issue.

Prime is indicated on the classic and elite brewers by the add water, smallest cup size, and heating lights flashing. On the platinum and special edition brewers, Prime will display on the LCD.

The prime indicator means water is not coming out of the water reservoir and into the brewer, which can be caused by several things.

Your Keurig will display the prime error message due to the following:

  • Dirty water reservoir
  • The reservoir isn’t properly assembled
  • Lime scaling
  • Malfunctioning internal computer systems

How to Prime a Keurig

It isn’t hard to prime a Keurig with the help of the following tips and tricks.

Step 1: Clean the Water Reservoir

clean the water reservoir

The most common cause of the prime error message is a dirty reservoir. So, you’ll have to remove it and have it cleaned.

Detach the water reservoir from the Keurig and take it to an empty sink for cleaning. You should remove any optional Keurig water filter before you start cleaning the reservoir.

Next, use a non-abrasive, soapy, damp, piece of cloth to clean the reservoir. Then, rinse it completely, both inside and outside, with running water from the tap. Make sure you rinse the filter screen at the bottom of the water reservoir.

Alternatively, you can use a water sprayer if you have one.

Fill the reservoir with around three-quarters of water and gently shake it to remove any residue. Don’t use a piece of cloth to dry the inside of the reservoir as it may leave behind some fluff.

Another thing to remember is that you shouldn’t put the water reservoir or its lid in the dishwasher. Instead, rinse it with hot water and allow it to air dry.

Step 2: Reinstall the Reservoir

reinstall the reservoir

Reinstall your optional Keurig water filter inside the reservoir. Once you have done that, go ahead and reattach the reservoir to the Keurig machine.

You have to make sure that the reservoir is properly aligned inside the brewer. Fill the reservoir with clean water and put the lid on.

Step 3: Turn on the Power

turn power on and run three brew cycles

Switch on the machine and try three brew cycles with only water in the reservoir at the six or eight-ounce size. Don’t use a coffee pod while doing this. Put an empty mug on the tray.

Then, lift and lower the coffee pod holder and hit the brew button. Press the brew button one more time when the ready to brew indicator displays.

If the prime message is still displaying, then move to step four.

Step 4: Clean the Needles

clean the needles

If you are still seeing the Prime message, there may be coffee grounds stuck in the entrance and exit of your brewer. You will need a clean paper clip, a large ceramic mug, and an empty sink.

Turn off the Keurig and unplug it from the wall socket. You need to be extra careful with this step because the needles are sharp. Start by dislodging the pod holder. Lift the handle, grab the pod holder from the top side with one hand and use the other hand to push up on the bottom of the pod holder. Detach the funnel from the pod holder by pulling it from the sides until it comes off.

Next, locate the tube on the underside of the pod holder. Then, straighten one side of your paper clip and push it into the tube. Move the clip in a circular motion to unclog any particles. It is recommended to clean the holder and funnel with running water.

Clean the entrance needle. To do this, you have to lift the brewer handle and find the entrance needle located under the brewer’s head. Drive the straightened paper clip into the needle and move it from side to side to remove any particles.

Now you can reinstall the pod holder into the brewer. Assemble the holder and funnel and then install the complete attachment into the brewer. This should help clear the prime message.

Final Words

Your Keurig will display the Prime error message if the reservoir or needles are dirty or if the reservoir is misaligned. So, the best way to prime your Keurig is to start by cleaning the reservoir and the needles. Then, make sure that all the parts are properly installed and aligned, especially the reservoir. If you don’t prime your Keurig, the prime message will constantly display, the amount of brew will reduce, and the brew will start tasting odd.

Krista Haws

Known among her friends as 'the caffeine fiend', Krista loves all things coffee. From an extremely short, strong espresso to a 3 day cold brew, Krista loves them all.

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