Keurig Says “Prime”: Understanding And Fixing The Issue

Keurig Troubleshooting

If your morning was interrupted by your Keurig displaying the word “Prime,” you are not alone. Many Keurig users encounter this message and wonder what the Prime message on the display means and how to fix the issue.

This article will explain why your Keurig says “Prime” and the simple steps to resolve the issue.

Why My Keurig Says “Prime”?

The “Prime” message on your Keurig can be alarming, but it can be fixed easily.

This alert appears when the machine is unable to draw water from the reservoir due to air bubbles or debris blocking the water flow.

Several factors can contribute to this:

  1. Air trapped in the line or pump can prevent water from flowing correctly.
  2. Debris or scale build-up can obstruct the water intake.
  3. If the water reservoir is not seated correctly, it can lead to a poor connection and insufficient water flow.

Keurig Says Prime? Try These Fixes!

Try these fixes if Keurig says Prime

Follow these steps to get your Keurig back in working order:

Reseat The Water Reservoir

The first and easiest solution is to check the water reservoir.

  1. Turn off your Keurig, then detach the water reservoir from the machine.
  2. Look for any debris or dirt that might be obstructing the valve at the bottom. Clean the reservoir thoroughly with warm, soapy water.
  3. Once clean and dry, place the reservoir back onto the machine. Make sure it is aligned properly and firmly seated. This will ensure a good seal and connection.

Remove Air Bubbles

Air bubbles in the system can interrupt water flow and cause the “Prime” message:

  1. Fill the water reservoir to the max line with fresh water. Gently shake or tap the sides of the reservoir to dislodge any trapped air bubbles.
  2. With the reservoir back in place, perform a few water-only brewing cycles without a K-Cup pod. This helps to push out any remaining air through the system.

Clean The Needles And K-Cup Holder

Coffee grinds can clog the needles, affecting the machine’s performance:

  1. Make sure your Keurig is turned off and unplugged before starting.
  2. Take out the K-Cup holder assembly and detach the funnel. Rinse both parts under warm running water to remove any coffee grinds or debris.
  3. Use a paper clip or a similar tool to gently clear any obstructions in the needles located in the K-Cup holder and the machine’s lid. Be careful not to damage the needle.

Clean The Filter Screen And The Water Reservoir Port

Sometimes, the “Prime” message on your Keurig is caused by clogs or dirt accumulation at the filter screen and the water reservoir port. Here is a detailed explanation of how to address this issue.

1. Safety first – make sure your Keurig machine is turned off and unplugged before starting any cleaning process.

2. Take off the water reservoir from your Keurig machine. Empty any remaining water and check the reservoir for any visible dirt or debris.

3. Inside the water reservoir, locate the filter screen—a small mesh screen where water exits the reservoir and enters the machine. Gently remove any debris using a soft brush or cloth. Be careful not to damage the screen. If it is very dirty, you can hold it under running water to help dislodge any particles.

4. Check the area on the machine where the water reservoir attaches. This is the water reservoir port. Wipe around the port with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or coffee residue. Use a soft brush or a toothpick to clear any blockages in the port, but be gentle to avoid damaging the machine.

5. Rinse the water reservoir thoroughly with fresh water after cleaning. Make sure the filter screen and the port area are both clean and free of debris. Dry all parts completely before reassembling.

6. Place the water reservoir back onto the machine, ensuring it is properly seated and connected. Fill the reservoir with fresh water, then turn the machine on and run a few water-only brewing cycles. This helps to ensure everything is clean and clear, and it primes the system for normal use.

Descale Your Keurig

Mineral build-up from water can affect machine performance and water flow.

Here is a quick guide on how to descale your Keurig coffee machine.

Materials Needed

  • Keurig descaling solution or white vinegar.
  • Large mug.
  • Fresh water.


Remove the Keurig water reservoir and filters.

Fill one-third reservoir with descaling solution, then top up with water.


Place the mug, lift the handle, select the largest cup size, and press Brew.

Discard after brewing. Repeat after Brew Light stabilizes; turn it off and wait 30 minutes.


Dispense the remaining solution, and discard it.

Run three 12-ounce water cycles, discarding each time.

Final Steps

Let your Keurig cool.

Clean the reservoir, and refill it with fresh water.

Perform twelve large cup rinses.

Total Time: ~45 minutes.

NOTE: For vinegar, use equal parts vinegar and water. Check the manual for specific instructions.

Perform A Water-Only Brewing Cycle

Flushing the machine with water helps to clear out any leftover debris or solution.

  1. Make sure the water reservoir is filled with fresh water.
  2. Without inserting a K-Cup, run several water-only brewing cycles. This helps to clean out any residual debris or descaling solution and primes the system for normal operation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my Keurig keep going into “Prime” mode?

Continuous “Prime” messages can result from mineral deposits, misaligned water reservoirs, or trapped air bubbles. Regular descaling and making sure the reservoir is correctly positioned can help prevent this issue.

Can a dirty Keurig cause “Prime” errors?

Yes, a dirty Keurig can lead to “Prime” errors. Coffee grounds, debris, or calcium build-up can block water flow, triggering the message.

Is it normal for my Keurig to display “Prime” after descaling?

While not typical, it is possible for your Keurig to show “Prime” after descaling if there are residual air pockets or if the machine was not rinsed thoroughly. Run additional fresh water cycles to clear out any leftover descaling solution.

What should I do if descaling doesn’t fix the “Prime” message on my Keurig?

If descaling doesn’t clear the “Prime” message, inspect and clean the water intake area and needle. If the problem persists, contact Keurig Customer Service for further assistance.

How often should I descale my Keurig to avoid “Prime” alerts?

The descaling frequency can vary based on water hardness and machine usage, but generally, it is recommended to descale your Keurig every 3 to 6 months to prevent “Prime” alerts.


Seeing your Keurig say “Prime” can be frustrating, especially when you are eager for your morning coffee. However, by understanding the reasons behind it and following the outlined steps, you can quickly fix the issue

Regular maintenance and cleaning can prevent this message from popping up in the future.

Remember, if the problem persists after these steps, consult the Keurig user manual or contact customer service for further assistance. Happy brewing!