Has there ever been a greater invention than the Keurig? Never before has it been so easy to brew yourself one delicious cup of your favorite coffee or tea drink at home. They have popped up in office break rooms, medical lobbies, and pretty much anywhere else you can imagine throughout the last decade or so.
However, as the Keurig has gained popularity, one troubling issue seems to be ever-present, striking anger into the hearts of lovers of the machine all over the world.
This, of course, is the dreaded “Prime” message. Anyone who owns a Keurig knows how infuriating it can be to reach for your long-awaited cup of joe and discover that your message is blinking a demand at you.
In this article, we will discuss what message means and how to handle it all on your own, easily and with little effort at all.
How Does a Keurig Work
Keurig brewers create hot, delicious fresh-tasting beverages one cup at a time, making them a favorite among single people, office workers, and – well – everyone.
They brew using little “K-Cups,” which are pre-packaged measurements of coffee, tea, cider, or any other hot beverage you can think of in a durable plastic container with a permeable filter and a foil top.
The K-cups are placed in a special filtration basket and a brew size is selected. From there, water is pumped through pressurized tubes throughout the machine and through the heating chambers of the machine.
Once the water reaches the correct temperature for brewing, it is passed through hoses and into the top of the brewer where the K-cup has been inserted and punctured by the lid. This is when the flavoring process begins and your cup of delicious hot beverage is born.
The water makes its way into the k-cup, brewing with the contents of the cup, then filtering up through the filter and out the top where it spills out and down into the waiting mug.
That is, as long as it’s working properly.
What Does “Prime” Even Mean?
If your Keurig is showing a “Prime” error, it means that something has gone wrong within the workings of the machine. This is usually related to an out-of-alignment reservoir, dirt in the reservoir, or debris that has clogged the needles that deposit the hot water into the K-cup.
Most of the time, these issues are easily avoided simply with proper cleaning and maintenance, however, there is always going the be the off occasion where an incident arises despite all your best efforts.
How to Prime a Keurig Yourself
If your Keurig is telling you that it needs to be primed, there are a few things you can do that will almost assuredly solve the problem. Most of the time, these issues are related to hard water sentiment, coffee grounds, or other build-up that can be found inside of your machine. We will start with the water reservoir.
Clean the Water Reservoir
You’ll need to pull the lid of the water reservoir off and take the reservoir completely out of the brewer to Prime a Keurig via this method. Check your user’s manual if you are unsure of the proper way to do this.
To clean the reservoir, use a soft dish soap and a non-abrasive cloth. You’ll want to clean the reservoir completely, then run water through it until the water runs clear and there are no bubbles present.
Set the reservoir aside and let it completely air dry. This will prevent lint and mold from building up in the filter. Once it’s dried, you’ll need to reassemble the reservoir by placing it back in place. Double check that everything is reconnected as it should be, then run a brewing cycle with only water. Run this until the water comes through clear. That’s how you’ll know the reservoir has been completely flushed.
Clean the Filter Screen
Sometimes you have to Prime the Keurig via the filter screen. To clean the filter screen, you will need to turn the machine off first and remove the power outlet from the wall. Pull the top of the machine back according to the instructions of your user’s manual and remove the mesh screen inside.
You will need to rinse the screen out thoroughly and wash it, then allow it to air dry. Use a clean toothbrush to scrub the area inside of the machine, breaking away any build up that has settled there.
When you’re finished, reinstall the filter screen and run a water-only cycle.
Clean the Needles
To clean the needles and prime your Keurig, turn the power off to the machine. Next, you need to lift the handle to the top of the machine and grasp the top of the holder tightly. Grasping the holder’s sides with one hand, lift and pull back gently. This will remove the funnel from the holder of the machine. If you are unclear about the parts of the machine and their names, you can refer to your owner’s manual or visit this link.
Look under the portion holder to find the hole. This is where the needle is located. Using a paperclip, dig around the edges of the hole to remove any sediment that is clogging it.
Next, you’ll wash and dry the funnel and holder with warm running water, removing any debris. You’ll do the same to the handle and the entry needle of the machine, then reassemble the portion holder.
As always, run a brewing cycle with only water.
It Still Says Prime?
Now that you have done all of these things, your Keurig is, hopefully, back in working order. If it isn’t, you’re probably ready to beat your head against a wall.
Before you do that, there are a couple more things to check. We have already talked about how to Prime a Keurig on your own, so let’s go over a couple more things you might try that could resolve this issue for you.
Sometimes, a Keurig will display a Prime error when, really, the only issue with the machine is that the water reservoir isn’t properly attached.
Check the Attachments
So you’ve already primed your Keurig and it’s still asking you to fix it?
One more time, unplug the machine. Detach the reservoir and then reattach it securely. Once you are sure that everything is sitting exactly as it should be in the machine, try to run another cycle. At this point, the Prime error will hopefully turn off.
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Call Customer Support
If your Keurig is still not working properly, it might be time to call the manufacturer. Most machines come with a 1-2 year warranty. If yours is still within its warranty, there’s a good chance that they will replace or repair the machine at no cost to you.
Occasionally, certain model numbers of Keurig wind up with recalls due to faulty parts. If yours is one of the models on the recall list, you might still be covered even if your warranty has expired.
Keurig has one of the friendliest and easiest to work with customer service teams out there, so even if you are outside of warranty and not on the recall list, it might be worth your time to give them a call anyway. They have knowledgeable professionals that can walk you through the troubleshooting process of figuring out why your machine is not working and they are able to order replacement parts, if needed.
Back in Business? Enjoy!
While we know you love your Keurig, we can certainly understand the frustration when it doesn’t work correctly. As with any new technology, though, there will be a couple decades of perfecting the mechanics.
While you enjoy the luxury of the Keurig, you should also be conscientious that it is still in its fledgling stages. The machines are far from perfect, although they deliver perfect convenience when working properly.
It is our hope that, within this article, you found the help you needed in learning how to Prime a Keurig on your own and troubleshoot the issues that sometimes come up with these otherwise marvelous machines.