Instant Pot Leaking Steam From The Lid (Causes And What To Do)

You put your food in the instant pot, add water, close, and press the pressure button. In fact, you press it again for high pressure to ensure your food is ready in a few minutes.

After a few minutes, the timer is on, but still, there is steam coming from the lid. It’s not the usual small steam; it’s a lot. Something is wrong.

First, your food won’t cook as it won’t accumulate pressure as the steam is coming out. Second, the steam could be dangerous if you are not careful.

So, the first step is checking what is wrong. What is missing or what is causing the steam not to be contained inside.

Now you won’t be able to check if you don’t know what you are checking. In that case, I have done extensive research to show you the cause of instant pot leaking the steam and how you deal with every cause

Common Reasons Why Your Instant Pot is Leaking from the Lid

The pressure valve set is not on sealing

Different models of instant pots come with different settings. Some models automatically turn the “sealing setting off the pressure valve on when the lid is closed. On the other hand, some models need to get turned to seal after you close the lid manually.

If you realize there is a leakage, check the pressure valve, and if it’s not on the sealing setting, seal the valve yourself to contain the steam inside the pot to make sure it cooks faster.

The instant pot sealing ring

You have closed the pot’s lid, the pressure valve setting is on sealing, but the pressure is still leaking. Check the sealing ring; chances are the ring is no longer there or wrongly positioned.

You can forget to put back the sealing ring after washing the pot. Every person, at some point, has made that mistake. If it’s the seal ring that is missing, the steam will be leaking from the side of the pot.

If that’s the case, you put the seal ring by placing the ring on the seal ring rack. Go around the rack, pushing it in to ensure the ring seat well on the rack and firm. Make sure no part is hanging out after you put back the silicone ring as if there is a hanging part, the food won’t cook.

At first, it’s hard to remove and put back the silicone seal ring, but with time the ring will stretch. After stretching, the process is easier.

The sealing ring unevenly positioned

After putting the seal ring back and still the leakage is not stopping, it’s time to check how the ring is placed. If the ring is placed unevenly, it provides uneven sealing, which is why the leakage is happening.

Start by pressing the ring all-around to ensure the ring sits firmly on the ring rack. If the ring is too stretched and does not fit on the rack, it’s time to get a new one. To ensure it gets properly fitted, turn the ring all around. If it gets positioned in the right way, it will move all around.

The sealing ring has expanded

Another reason that can cause the lid to leak is when the sealing ring expands. If you are from cooking another meal with the instant pot, then that is possible. The sealing ring is from the gasket, and when the gasket gets exposed to much heat, it expands. When it expands, it leaves space that the steam leaks from.

To deal with the expanding issue, after cooking a meal with the pot and you immediately want to cook another meal with the pot, you can cool the ring by running cold water on it. Apart from that, you can place it in the freezer as it will condense and work efficiently.

The sealing ring may have food or debris

You need to clean the sealing ring needs regularly. It plays a major role in ensuring all steam stays inside the pot and food cooks on time.

In case the ring has food particles stuck in it, which happens when you don’t clean the sealing ring often, it leaks the steam and slows down the cooking.

In case you notice food on the sealing ring, clean with water and soap until the food comes out. After that, make sure you fit it right in a way it moves all around. If it was the reason the lid was leaking, after doing all that, the leakage should stop.

There may be debris on the float valve or the anti-block shield

Food with pasta or any other messy food can cause dirt on the anti-block or the float valve. When there are particles there, it will cause obstruction. The obstruction will make them not to function in the right way. At some point, it will lead to leakage of steam.

The solution to this problem is removing the anti-block shield and the float valve. Use a clean toothbrush and warm soapy water to clean. Clean the pipe on the float valve using the toothbrush or a pipe cleaner. After that, dry the parts and ensure you correctly return them.

How to remove a float valve and replace it

This is how you remove the float valve. While you are still holding the float valve, remove the silicon cup of the float valve. At this point, the float valve will be free and will come out easily. Ensure you are careful not to misplace the silicon cap.

To put back the float valve thread it through the float valve hole. Hold in place on the outside of the lid put the silicone cap by pushing it on the float valve inside the lid.

How to remove the anti-block shield and out it back

The shield is hard to remove with your bare hand, and in this case, use a silicone trivet or any dish towel and push the anti-block shield in a way it moves upward.

You can try pushing it from behind or the front side. That way, the shield will come out. Returning it in place is much easier. Push it to a point it clicks in position.

When the rim has food stuck in it

Another cause of steam leakage can be due to the rim being stuck with food. At this point, the seal will not be tight, and hence closing the lid will be an issue, and due to that, there will be a leakage in steam, reducing the pressure in the instant pot.

The solution to this problem is cleaning the rim. Ensure you clean it in and out to make sure no food is left behind.

The handle is in the venting position

The problem could be as simple as the handle is still in the vent position, and now the steam is coming out naturally. It’s an honest mistake, especially when in a hurry or under pressure. All you need is to close the vent, and the pot will work well and cook fast. Ensure there is enough liquid before closing the lid as most liquid could have evaporated in the process.

Wrong inner pot

The inner pot is the regular pot used on the stove. If your regular pots look exactly like the instant pot inner pot, it is possible to confuse and use the wrong pot. When you use the wrong pot, steam will escape on the left space, and hence the instant pot will not function right.

The solution is to get the right size of the inner pot and use it instead. Remember to replace the liquid that had escaped in your food to ensure your food doesn’t burn and gets enough pressure that will help in the whole cooking process.

The float valve could be missing

It’s possible to misplace the float valve when cleaning and don’t even note. This will cause the steam to leak at that point. If this is the case, find it and put it back, and ensure you fit it right. If you can’t get it, you will have to buy another one for your pot to function right.

A stuck locking pin

When the locking pin found on the rim in the outer part of the lid gets stuck at the retracted position, steam will leak. To solve the problem, push the pin from the inside part to the outside gently. The reason for it getting stuck could be the spring mechanism, and in this case, you need to replace it with time.


When you are using an instant pot, your food gets ready in a few minutes. But when the steam leaks, the food won’t cook, and that sucks. But with the above information, you will be able to establish the problem and solve it and go back to cooking your food in a few minutes.

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