Instant pots are often an appliance you might not think needs a lot of fixing and they frequently don’t but there is the odd time, especially if you have had yours for a number of years you might find certain parts need replacing or come loose.
There are a number of ways to fix your instant pot valve if it falls out from replacing the valve altogether, cleaning it and replacing it back on or checking that the valve has not been misshapen in any way.
In this article, I am going to talk about what to do if your instant pot valve falls out, breaks or comes loose. I will also talk about what can cause this for future reference along with how to fix it.
Can An Instant Pot Valve Fall Out?
While an instant pot float valve can come off the instant pot itself, it’s quite rare indeed. The float valve works by connecting a cap on the inside of the instant pot to the float valve, which comes out of the instant pot entirely. When pressure builds within the instant pot, the internal cap is pushed up and the float valve closes.
You will see the external section of the float valve be pushed up – it will likely be a small red or silver component.
There are two ways that a float valve could ‘fall out’. One way would be if just the internal cap of the float valve has come free of the instant pot, and is within the pot. This is dangerous for obvious reasons – nobody wants a small piece of silicone in their food.
Alternatively, that small piece of silicone could come out of the pot and end up in your garbage disposal, for example. That’s also a bad outcome.
Another way that a float valve could come out is if the entire valve (cap included) simply comes free of the machine. It is designed to come out so that you can clean it. The reason for this is that sometimes small pieces of food (such as rice or beans) can get stuck to or within the valve.
If this happens, the valve needs to be properly cleaned before it can be used again. At the end of the day, the valve is a safety feature, and it’s always worth taking great care of safety features.
What Can Cause An Instant Pot Valve To Fall Out?
Silicone Cap Gets Stuck
This can happen if you’ve been cooking something in your instant pot which has small parts within it. For example, a rice dish, or even porridge is at risk of this happening. If a small piece of food is trapped within the silicone cap on the inside of the instant pot, then the valve will start to function poorly.
If this poor functioning is allowed to continue, the pin of the valve may fall out, or even get pushed out, by small pieces of food or the inherent pressure in an instant pot.
Silicone Cap Gets Old
Whenever silicone is seen in a kitchen appliance, it is considered to be a serviceable part. This means that over time, any silicone parts may need to be replaced. This can be seen in instant pots as the silicone cap on the inside of the pot will age and start to become hard over time.
When it is hard, it will no longer block steam effectively, leading to the instant pot not functioning properly.
If the silicone cap gets sufficiently stiff, then it may simply fall off or break. This will lead to the pin of the valve coming loose, and potentially coming out of the lid.
Pin Becomes Misshapen
In very rare circumstances the pin portion of the float valve could become misshapen and therefore not work as it is supposed to. These cases are very rare as the metal pin is very resilient, but they are worth bearing in mind nonetheless.
The Float Valve Wasn’t Properly Replaced
To clean the float valve, as you should regularly, you must remove the internal silicone cap, and then pull out the metal pin. These two components make up the float valve and must be washed in hot soapy water before being replaced.
The problem with cleaning the float valve in this way is that it is quite easy to replace the components incorrectly. For example, you could replace the silicone cap upside down, which would result in the mechanism working incorrectly.
How Can I Fix An Instant Pot Valve That Has Fallen Out?
Clean The Valve
Making sure that the valve in your instant pot’s lid is completely clean will mean that it is much less likely to fall out at any point. If the mechanism itself is unobstructed by any food debris or liquid from cooking, then it will work much more efficiently.
Regularly removing the float valve from your instant pot and making sure that it is spotless will make sure that it works just as it should every time that you use it.
Replace The Valve
Over time, the components in the valve may become worn and, thusly, the valve will stop working. Both and valve pin and the silicone cap are serviceable, replaceable parts – simply get a new one and your instant pot will be working as it should!
While you could, in theory, replace just the pin or the silicone cap, we’d recommend actually replacing the entire valve all at once. A brand new valve will work much better than a new cap and an old pin, for example.
Furthermore, by replacing the entire valve you will, in essence, be pre-emptively replacing a serviceable part, saving yourself time and money.
Ensure The Valve Is Properly Assembled
The number one reason that your valve is most likely to fall out of the instant pot is that it has been assembled incorrectly. Whether by you or by someone else, it is an easy mistake to make!
If the valve falls out, make sure to get the lid off your pot, and take a close look at the valve and lid. Making sure that everything is completely clean (the best way to clean them is to wash them with hot, soapy water), first insert the pin. Insert the pin from the top of the lid, pushing it down into the lid itself.
When the pin emerges on the other side of the lid, place the silicone cap onto the pin, and the pin will be locked in place, ready for use. Make sure that the silicone cap can fit snugly against the silicone ring within the lid, as that is where the seal is made.
As we’ve said before: the valve is designed to be removable for cleaning, so if you do assemble it incorrectly, you can always take it off and try again.
Can I Get A Replacement Instant Pot Valve?
You certainly can! The instant pot valve is designed to be removed and cleaned at regular intervals. Because the parts that you’re removing are both small and of vital importance, Instant Pot makes sure to sell replacement parts.
When buying a replacement, ensure that you buy a full set of pin and cap, so that you can completely replace the entire valve all in one go. Replacing just the pin, for example, will be a little pointless if the silicone cap is going to fail in a couple of months.
Can I Still Use My Instant Pot If The Valve Falls Out?
Definitely not! The float valve is an integral part of the mechanism of your instant pot, you cannot use the pot again if the valve isn’t in it.
If the valve is replaceable and you can secure it back within the instant pot, then you’re good to go. Alternatively, you’re playing a dangerous game.
The float valve is pushed up by pressure building within the instant pot. When the valve is completely pushed up the lock on the lid is engaged, and your food cooks over time. This means that the float valve is an integral safety feature as if it isn’t in place, the seal won’t form, and the lid won’t lock.
If your instant pot’s float valve is missing, do not try to use it until you can get a new one.