Keurig Won't Prime - An Airy Problem!

Keurig Won’t Prime – An Airy Problem!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 18:39

When your Keurig won’t prime, the problem is usually due to trapped air or air bubbles in your coffee maker.

This article will guide you on what to do and how to fix your machine when it won’t prime.

Keep reading to find out what to do and how to drain your Keurig the easiest way.

Keurig Won’t Prime

When you get that Prime error and prime message on your coffee machine, but your Keurig won’t prime, the most common problem and error is due to an air bubble getting trapped into your coffee maker.

Thankfully this is very easy to fix using two methods, the most obvious one is to drain your Keurig coffee maker, we’ll get to that in a second, let’s focus on the first way, removing the air bubbles in what is a fairly simple way.

Keurig Won't Prime
When Your Keurig Won’t Prime It Is Because Of Trapped Air

Read: How to prime a Keurig

How To Get Air Out Of Keurig

This method is very easy and can be completed successfully with minimal fuss.

Start by removing your water tank and replacing it. Pop it back in place. Then try to prime your machine or brew a cup of coffee. If it works, perfect, you can proceed to fixing the prime error message and start to prime your coffee machine.

If this doesn’t work, proceed to make sure that there are no air bubbles inside the water tank and the valves. Clean your water tank. A dirty water tank can cause a primer error and cause your Keurig not to pump the water.

Clean it well using warm water and soap. I like to give mine a good swish around with distilled white vinegar.

Pay attention to the valves and clean them. Check and replace your water filter if necessary. Rinse your water tank with an abundance of water and let it air dry.

Add a quarter of a tank of water and try to brew a cup of coffee or get hot water from your machine. If you can, start to prime your coffee maker.

In a large amount of cases the problem will be solved by following these instructions, which during the process does help to remove air bubbles from inside your Keurig coffee maker.

If this doesn’t work, move to draining your Keurig as there is probably a larger air bubble or greater amount of air trapped in your machine.

How To Drain A Keurig Coffee Maker

Let’s get to draining your Keurig coffee maker in the easiest and most convenient way.

Keurig K-Mini Basic And K-Mini Plus And Keurig K15 Coffee Makers

Step 1: Power Down Your Keurig.

Switch off your Keurig brewer but leave it plugged in.

Step 2: Put A Large Mug Below The Coffee Spout.

The large mug is simply to catch the water that will be drained.

Step 3: Check If There Is Water In Your Cold Water Reservoir.

If there is, lift the brewer handle in order to drain the water from the cold water reservoir into your hot water tank. Close the brewer handle.

If there is still water in the cold water reservoir keep repeating until it is empty.

Read: Why does my Keurig say Prime

Step 4: Press And Hold The Brew Button.

Press and hold the brew button. It should take around 5 seconds for the water that is in the hot water tank to drain into your large mug. Hold down the brew button until only air comes out of the coffee spout.

Keurig 2.0, Keurig 2.0 Plus And The Keurig K-Cup Classic Machines

Once your Keurig coffee machine has been fully primed, the water from inside cannot be emptied.

Note: This does not apply to the Keurig Mini Plus or K15 models.

Remove and empty the water reservoir.

Keurig Rivo And Keurig K-Slim

These coffee makers have no internal water reservoir, only the external water reservoir needs to be drained. Simply remove it and drain it.

Now you have drained your Keurig of water and removed air bubbles. Unplug your machine and wait for an hour or two, then replug it in and start to prime your machine.

Frequently Asked Questions About Keurig Won’t Prime

The most likely and most probable cause of your Keurig coffee maker not pumping water is due to water scaling and the dirt and calcium build-up. Mineral deposits build-up over time and causes poor water flow to and from the water pump.

The easiest way of fixing this problem is to first fix dirty needles! Locate the entrance needle, also known as the puncture needle and using a long thin sewing needle or unfolded paper clip and poke around inside for about a minute to loosen dirt and debris like coffee grounds and coffee particles.

Repeat the process with the exit needle.

Then use the Keurig needle maintenance tool that came with your machine. Fill it first with hot water and put it in the pod holder. Open and close the lid 5 to 7 times. Run a second cycle with the needle maintenance tool filled with 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% water and repeat the process.

This will clean the needles and the injection lines.

Remove and replace the water filter as necessary.

Proceed to run a full descaling cycle by filling your water reservoir to the half full mark with distilled white vinegar and fill the rest with clean water. Repeat as necessary. Full the water reservoir with plain water and run a water-only cycle to flush the taste and scent from your coffee machine. You will need 3 to 5 flushing cycles.

Most of the time your Keurig will tell you when it is clogged as the descale light will illuminate. If the descale light is not on or flashing you will be able to tell due to your Keurig suddenly stops brewing a full cup of coffee or a notably weaker brew.

Your cup of coffee may also taste notably flat. Remove all removable parts, give them a good clean with hot water and soap.

A Keurig coffee machine doesn’t have a reset button, but you can still reset your machine. There are two ways of resetting your machine, one is to simply unplug it and wait for 15 to 20 minutes. Plug your machine back in.

Another way is hold down the ten and eight ounce buttons together for 3 seconds.

Read: Keurig says prime

Yes, your Keurig coffee maker will still work without descaling. It is highly advised that you descale regularly. If you fail to descale your Keurig it will eventually cause your coffee brewer to produce less than perfect coffee and will eventually brew cups of coffee that are less than full and finally, the internal pipes and tubes will become blocked.

Descaling is important to keep your machine free from bacteria and mold.

The most common cause of your pump not priming is due to dirt or calcium build-up somewhere in your machine be it the needles, injection lines, tubes, the pump, heating element.

Leftover calcium build-up is bad, very bad and can cause a loss of suction.

No, your Keurig is only guaranteed for only one year after the purchase date.

Final Thoughts – Keurig Won’t Prime

If your Keurig won’t prime, take the steps that I have outline in this article to remedy the situation and move ahead with dealing with the prime message and priming your coffee machine

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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