Why Does My Keurig Say Prime Prime It The Best Way!

Why Does My Keurig Say Prime? Prime It The Best Way!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 19:16

When you first see the prime message it is normal for you to wonder why does my Keurig say prime and be curious if it is some kind of error message.

Relax, it’s not an error message, it is your machine’s way of telling you that it needs to be descaled and primed. The new term prime simply means running a full on deep internal cleaning of your machine.

Keep reading to learn how to prime your Keurig and what to do when you see the prime message.

Why Does My Keurig Say Prime?

Your Keurig coffee machine is giving you the prime message because it is telling you that your machine needs to be given a deep clean as there is something that is blocking the water flow.

…and that “something” is not something nice! Usually it is dirt and calcium build up as well as coffee grounds and coffee particles.

There are some easy quick fixes when you see the prime error message such as taking out and reinstalling your water reservoir and making sure it is perfectly installed.

Don’t skip, don’t skimp and don’t be lazy; your coffee and your machine will suffer for it!

Why Does My Keurig Say Prime
The Prime Message Is Not A Problem!

Read: Keurig won’t prime

How To Prime An Older Keurig

If you have an older Keurig coffee maker the machine will have a descale light that is either illuminated or flashing. The process is the same for old and new Keurigs, no matter how old or how new!

The first step is to clean the water reservoir and all the removable parts.

Removing The Water Reservoir

Start by taking off the lid of your water reservoir and discard any leftover water. Clean it using warm water and soap. Pay particular attention to your the valve and clean it well. After cleaning I like to give it a good swirl with distilled white vinegar, both to get it real clean and sparkling and to disinfect it.

Rinse well with an abundance of fresh clean water.

Detach and remove the rest of the removable parts like the pod holder and drip tray and give them a good clean in the same manner.

Check your water filter and either replace it if it needs to be replaced or clean it up as best as you can by shaking off any obvious dirt or calcium build up.

Well done, this first part has been completed. Now move forward and get your needles and injection needles clean.

Cleaning Your Needles And Injection Lines

The water reservoir and all the removable parts are nice and clean. It is time to focus on cleaning the puncture needle, which is also known as the entrance needle and the brewing needle. and the exit needle.

Warning: These needles are sharp!

Now is a good time to switch off and unplug your coffee maker. A neat bonus of doing this is that you will reset it.

Start by seeking out your Keurig needle maintenance tool and fill it with hot water. Be careful not to burn yourself. Put it in the pod holder and make sure that it is lined up perfectly. Follow the instructions of the tool.

Open and close the brew head five to seven times. This has a pumping action and forces the hot water through the needles and injection lines.

Your job here is not complete yet. This only helps to loosen some caked in and build up dirt and grime.

Now it’s paperclip time!

Using a metal paper clip, a safety pin or sewing needle, poke around inside the entry and exit needles to loosen the hardened dirt and gunk. Spend about a minute on each needle.

Now to give the needles and the injection lines a real good clean. Fill your needle maintenance tool with descaling solution or 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% water. Repeat the process of opening and closing the brew head 5 to 7 times.

Finally, wipe the entry needle clean and the exit needle too with a damp cloth or sponge.

Congratulations, your needles and injection lines should be clean and clear. This is a step that is often overlooked by coffee lovers.

Now run a full descaling cycle.

The Needle Maintenance Tool
The Keurig Needle Maintenance Tool

Read: What does it mean when the Keurig says prime?

Descale Your Keurig Coffee Maker

Descaling your coffee machine is easy. Very easy. Fill your water tank with descaling solution or 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% fresh water.

Place a mug below the coffee spout to catch the solution that comes out. Press brew and run a full descaling process.

Each time your mug fills with the water and vinegar solution, discard it. Use an 8-ounce (240 ml) cup. Stop and wait for your machine to cool down. Wait at least 15 to 20 minutes. This is very important to avoid tripping the thermal switch.

If you trip the thermal switch, you will need to take your coffee maker apart to reset it.

Continue until your machine has emptied the water tank. Flush your machine with an abundance of water. Fill it with fresh water 3 to 5 times and press brew until the water tank is empty.

Remember to pay attention to not over heating your machine and allow it to cool down.

You must flush it well to remove all traces of vinegar or descaling solution. Your prime error should now have disappeared, and your coffee maker is nice and clean and ready to brew you great tasting coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Does My Keurig Say Prime

Fill your water reservoir to the half full mark with water and then fill to half an inch below the max fill line with distilled white vinegar. Then start a brew cycle without putting a K-cup coffee pod in the pod holder and repeat until the water reservoir is almost empty. When the water reservoir has half an inch of the water and vinegar solution left, stop the descaling process.

This little step helps to prevent the thermal switch from tripping. After each brewing cycle, discard the contents.

Let your machine rest for half an hour to cool down. This little step also helps to prevent the thermal switch from tripping.

The run a flushing cycle by filling the water reservoir with clean water and press brew to run a brew cycle until the water reservoir is empty. You may need to fill the water reservoir 3 to 5 times to remove the scent of vinegar.

How many cycles to remove the vinegar scent and taste from your Keurig will vary depending on the machine you have and the concentration of vinegar that you use.

This is not something that a number can be given to, keep flushing with plain water until you cannot smell vinegar coming from the machine anymore. Usually it is between three and five cycles.

It can take as little as three minutes for your Keurig to prime when your Keurig is in optimal conditions, clean and recently descaled and the needles and injector lines cleaned and unclogged with a paper clip and the needle maintenance tool.

Read: Keurig says prime

If your Keurig is not starting, ensure that it is first plugged in and powered up. If it is plugged in and powered up, pull out the plug and wait an hour or two then plug it back in.

Removing the power source resets your machine. Waiting lets the machine cool down and may reset the thermal switch.

If it is your thermal switch that has tripped you may need to reset it manually which can be done easily with a paper clip. You will need to take your machine apart to perform this simple task.

Your Keurig will last you three to five years easily and maybe longer depending on how often you use it and how well you take care of it. Many of the parts can be replaced easily, such as the heating element, the pump, needles, gasket etc. Only replace it if it is brewing bad coffee constantly or costing you too much money to maintain.

If you run your Keurig without water in the water tank, you will burn out the heating element and very likely trip the thermal switch.

Final Thoughts – Why Does My Keurig Say Prime? 

That curious and annoying thought “why does my Keurig say prime?” should not concern you now that you know that it is not some kind of prime error message and is easily solved. 

In fact, dealing with the message straight away will result in better coffee and keep your machine in tip-top condition. Don’t leave it, don’t put it off and prime your machine as soon as you can. 

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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 Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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