Keurig Prime Error Solved

Keurig has made our lives so much easier by giving us the best cup of coffee with just a single touch. But as we know, with ease comes some difficulties. Your Keurig will show a prime error from time to time that you need to fix to get your cup of coffee. But don’t worry; you can fix this issue by reading the given article in detail, where we will discuss why you will see this message and how you can fix it because I have faced this. I know how irritating it can be when you are late for your work and suddenly this message appears on your Keurig.


What does prime mean?

Prime on Keurig refers to cleaning your machine to get rid of any scale or lime buildup in the water reservoir of your Keurig coffee maker. The prime message is always an indication that either your machine is facing blockage or some other issues. By reading this article, you can easily find the reason behind the prime message on your Keurig.

Why does your Keurig say prime?

If you have been using your Keurig for a long time then it is better to clean it from time to time properly otherwise, you will face some issues, or you see a prime message on your machine. It is mainly due to the accumulation of minerals in the tanks and tubes of your machine. The water you use for making your coffee contains a lot of limestone and minerals that get stuck in the tubes and tanks and affect the functioning of your coffee machine by blocking or slowing down the water flow. So your Keurig will only dispense water once you resolve this prime error. To eliminate these issues, you need to prime your Keurig.

What causes the prime message on Keurig?

If you have been using a Keurig machine for a long time but have not paid attention to its cleaning and proper maintenance, you will undoubtedly face the prime issue. The few reasons behind the prime message on Keurig are as follows:

Lime scaling

The prime message’s first and most visible reason is the lime scaling in the reservoir, portion pack holder, or funnel. The minerals in the water accumulate in these parts that cause the prime error. 

Dirty water reservoir

The dust particles in the water reservoir can also block it, and it will stop pumping water, ultimately leading you towards the prime message.

The water reservoir is not aligned

Suppose you have detached the water reservoir for cleaning and have reattached it. But you were not able to align the reservoir properly again. It can also result in a prime error or message.

Do you always need to prime if your Keurig is not working?

If your Keurig needs to be fixed or you are facing some issues brewing your coffee, you don’t always need to prime your machine to get it back to working correctly. There might be some other errors that are causing hindrances in the performance of your Keurig. Two possible reasons might be causing an error, and you need to try to solve these before starting the whole priming process.

  1. You might be using your machine for a long time, and it needs to be restarted. Just unplug your machine and wait for a few minutes till it cools down. Plug in again, and you might be good to go.
  2. The water reservoir may need to be appropriately connected to the machine. So you have to remove the reservoir, attach it again, and ensure everything is aligned and connected correctly.

How long does it take to prime your Keurig?

Usually, it takes 3-5 minutes to prime your Keurig, but the timing may vary depending on the reason behind the error. Because you will either need to unplug or plug in your Keurig again; otherwise, you may have to follow all three steps of cleaning the filter screen, the water reservoir, and needles to solve this issue. 

How to prime your Keurig?

If you are priming your Keurig for the first time, then don’t worry, as I am here to guide you on how to do it in a few easy steps. You will need some simple materials and equipment and you are all set to get your Keurig back to its original functioning.


  1. Keurig descaling solution or white vinegar.
  2. Soap.
  3. Warm Water.


  1. Safety pin or paper clip.
  2. Washcloth or sponge

Three ways to prime your Keurig

We will discuss three possible ways to prime your Keurig in detail so we can fix your issue together.

1. The empty and clean water reservoir

The first thing you can do to resolve this issue is to empty your water reservoir and then clean it, and you can do this by the below-mentioned steps.

1.1 Detach water reservoir

First, you must detach the water reservoir from the machine and pull the lid to drain all the leftover water in the reservoir.

1.2 Clean with a wet cloth

Now take a damp cloth and clean the reservoir with it. But the cloth should be non-abrasive so that you don’t get scratches on your machine. Gently clean the outer and inner sides of your water reservoir.

1.3 Leave for 1 hour to dry

Leave the reservoir in the open air to dry it so that all the microfibres left from the cloth or tea towels can be cleaned.

1.4 Reinstall

Reattach the reservoir to the machine and add the water filter if the attachment is available. Now make sure to install it correctly. Because otherwise, your machine will not work correctly.

1.5 Run three water cycles

Brew with water for three complete cycles, and your machine is ready to use again.

2. Clean the needle

If you have cleaned the reservoir and the problem persists, you may need to clean the needles because dirty needles can be one of the causes behind the prime message. And you can clean needles as follows:

2.1 Unplug

Unplug the machine, so it is safe to detach its parts, and you don’t get any shock.

2.2 Remove the K-cup or portion pack holder

A K-cup is also called a portion pack holder, and you can easily remove it by holding the lever maker in one hand and gently rotating the cup to take it out.

2.3 Pull the funnel out

After that, firmly hold the K-cup and pull the funnel out. You must put strength to take out the funnel as it will be tightly adjusted in the K-cup.

2.4 Use a straight metal strip to clean debris

Now use a metal strip to clean any debris accumulated around the interior walls of the K-cup or portion pack holder.

2.5 Hold portion pack holder and funnel under running water

Turn on the tap and place or hold the portion pack holder or funnel under lukewarm or cold running water, as hot water can damage the plastic parts. Keep under running water until the K-cup and funnel are cleaned.

2.6 Let it try

Now place them on a clean table or any other surface to let them dry completely. 

2.7 Reattach

Reattach the funnel and portion pack holder very carefully to the right place. Make sure that you have aligned all the parts correctly.

2.8 Clean the entrance needle with a paperclip

Take a paperclip to clean the entrance needle so you can clean any dirt properly. But try to avoid touching it as the needle will be pointed, and you can get hurt.

2.9 Run the water cycle once

Add fresh water to the reservoir and run one complete water cycle.

3. Cleaning filter screen

3.1 Unplug

Unplug your machine to make sure that you can safely detach the parts.

3.2 Detach water reservoir

Detach the water reservoir so that the base port is exposed.

3.3 Take a wet cloth to clean the base port

Take a damp non-abrasive cloth and clean the base port.

3.4 Place reservoir filter under running water

Turn on the tap and hold the reservoir filter under it to clean all the dirt. After washing, place the reservoir filter on a clean surface to air dry it.

3.5 Refill the water reservoir

Refill the water reservoir with fresh water.

3.6 Reattach

Reattach the water reservoir to the base port and attach it properly.

3.7 Run two cycles

Run two complete cycles and completely clean the filter screen.

What if my Keurig still says prime?

If you have followed all the given steps, but Keurig is still saying prime; then you can follow the instructions that may eliminate your problem.

1. Check the water reservoir

You should check if the water reservoir is aligned or adequately attached. A wobbly water reservoir will hinder the function of your machine.

2. Unplug and plug in again

The Keurig may be too hot to perform its function correctly. So unplugging and plugging it in again can solve your problem.

3. Call Keurig customer support

But if all of this does not work, then the last option is to call Keurig customer support so that they can recognize the exact problem and solve it. You may also claim the warranty if your machine is damaged within the given period.

How do I prime my Keurig with vinegar?

You can use white vinegar to prime your machine by mixing it with water. You can simply do this by filling half of the water reservoir of your Keurig with water and the other half with white vinegar. Now place the portion pack holder and start brewing. Clean the reservoir after each brew. After doing so, clean the water reservoir with soapy and lukewarm water to remove all the scale buildup in your machine. Changing the water filter cartridge after cleaning your machine with vinegar is also recommended so that you don’t get the taste of vinegar in your coffee.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that you can only wash the machine parts mentioned as dishwater safe. Otherwise, you can clean them with damp cloth and let them dry completely before using them again.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to avoid the prime message?

You will get the prime message when your Keurig has scale or guck built up. So you should keep on cleaning your machine regularly to avoid prime messages.

How to descale your Keurig machine?

You can descale your Keurig machine by descaling solutions available in the market. But you can also mix equal quantities of water and white vinegar. Simply add this solution to your machine and brew. Repeat the process 2-3 times and rinse with clean water.

Why does my Keurig not draw water?

The scale build-up or debris accumulation in your Keurig’s water pump clogs it, stopping it from pumping or drawing water. You need to clean your machine to solve this problem.

How often do you need to descale your Keurig?

As per Keurig recommendations, you should descale it every 3-6 months. But if the water that you are using in your machine is hard then you need to describe your Keurig more often.

Can I skip priming my Keurig?

If you have a clogged water pump and funnels, then you must complete priming your Keurig. 

How do I reset my Keurig?

  • The lever needs to be opened and closed first. 
  • Then unplug the machine and detach the water reservoir.
  • Reattach the reservoir and plug it in.
  • Check if any air bubbles are present. 
  • Reset your display.
  • Your machine is good to go.

How many times do you need to brew water after descaling my Keurig?

You need to have 12 rinsing brews after descaling your Keurig so that any traces of the descaling solution or vinegar can be removed.

How long does Keurig last?

A Keurig is claimed to last for 3-5 years, but your machine’s durability also depends on other factors.

Why won’t my Keurig brew when I press the button?

There are multiple reasons behind it, and some of them include the following:

  • Scale build-up.
  • Improper attachment of water reservoir.
  • Your machine needs descaling.
  • You need to reset your machine. 

How much vinegar is required to clean a Keurig?

You need 2:1 of vinegar and water to clean your Keurig, i.e., add 2 cups of water and 4 cups of white vinegar to your machine.

Why is Keurig coffee less good?

The water in the Keurig machine is set to heat at 192°F, which is not hot enough to give you the intense and rich flavor of pod coffee.

Is Keurig losing popularity?

Yes, Keurig is losing popularity because the company lost $60 million last year.

How to get a free Keurig replacement?

You can get a free Keurig replacement by showing the receipt of your purchase to the company. You may get new parts, or they will fix the older ones to ensure your Keurig will start functioning again correctly.

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