instant pot timer not starting

The Instant Pot Says On No Timer( What It Means And Solution)

When you get an instant pot, you get an appliance that can cook different food. That way, you save yourself from buying many appliances for cooking different food and end up saving some space in the kitchen.

The best part is the appliance is easy to use. But just like any other thing once in a while you may come across some challenges trying to operate it. An example, the timer may at times seem like it’s not working, but at the same time the instant pot reads ON.

When this happens, you don’t have to call a technician or start looking for the warranty card to take the pot back. These are some minor issues you can fix yourself without spending anything. This article is here to help you understand why they happen and how you can fix the issue.

Why is Your Instant Pot Timer Not Starting?

The instant pot is easy to use. It has direct functions with preset time. The operation required is minimum as compared to other appliances. If the timer is not starting it’s probably something minor or, normally, it’s just taking its time to start.

Gaining pressure

When using the pressure cooking function, after you put the food and close the lid, the pot will read ‘ON’. But it takes a while to start the pot as it is first gaining pressure.

The process of gaining pressure is different with different foods. Some will gain pressure and start the timer fast, while others will take a lot of time to gain pressure. At this point, there is nothing much you can do as long as the food has water in it give it time as the timer will start with time.

Blown fuse

If the instant pot timer is not starting completely, it could be a blown fuse. Instant pots have an electronic fuse that helps in controlling the flow of current in the instant pot. When the current is high than required, the fuse cuts the current.

In case the fuse is malfunctioning, it may lead to the timer not starting. An example, it may interfere with the current going to the pot and supply less power and cause the timer not to start but the display reads ON.

In extreme cases, the timer may not start at all.

If this is the case, buy another fuse and replace the old one and your instant pot will work just fine. You can check on the manual on how you should go about replacing the fuse.

Not Plugged in Properly

In case the instant pot is not starting at all you should start by checking if the instant pot is plugged in and if yes, if it’s plugged in properly.

Most instant pots come with a detachable cable. At times the cable may not be connected, and you don’t know. So in case it’s not starting, start by checking the connection to ensure it is connected.

The plug could also be loosely attached to the pot and hence not enough current getting to the instant pot system. At this point, the pot may read on, but the current getting in is not enough to start the timer.

Before starting an instant pot, ensure it is plugged in and tightly plugged to ensure it functions smoothly.

Not connected or a bad connection

Instant pots need electricity to function. If there is no power connection or the power connection is not smooth, the pot may not start or even start, but the timer may not function.

In case you experience such a problem, check the connection to see if it’s smooth and uninterrupted. If that’s the case, wait for the connection to get back and use the pot then.

The power flow is inconsistent

We all have experienced inconsistent power supply. One minute there is power the next there is no the next there is, but it comes in low voltage, and all the bulbs are dim.

When this is happening, not only the bulbs are affected, but appliances too are affected. An example, the instant pot may fail to start or start but not open the timer.

When this happens, all you can do is wait for the power to get back to its normal voltage to operate.

The water is taking time to heat

After you have filled the instant pot with food and water and closed the lid for pressure cooking, the next step is to start the pot for it to cook. But the timer doesn’t go on immediately.

At this point, the display may be reading on, but the timer is yet to start. The pot is taking time to heat the water so it can produce the steam that helps in creating pressure in the pot that helps in the cooking process.

Confirm with the manual

If you have tried all the above and nothing seems to work, it’s time to confirm with the manual. Check on the troubleshooting section to see if there is something that can help.

Instant pots are not exactly appliances and for that case don’t require experts to help with the minor issues. After going through the manual, you may find something you can do to fix the pot and the timer.

Reset or restart the instant pot

When you are cooking two meals in a roll, you may need to reset the instant pot before cooking the next meal. This is because after cooking the first meal, the pot remains on the temperature and the time you had previously set.

All you need is to reset the instant pot, and the timer will work just fine and cook your food smoothly.

The setting is out

The setting on the instant pot could be out of order and thus causing the on but no timer issue. There have been many complaints about this. It could be someone who interfered with the settings unknowingly.

The solution is pressing the reset button on the instant pot, and the pot will work just fine. If you can’t see the reset button as different models have different structuring, you can check on the manufacturing guide to see how you can restart the instant pot.

An instant pot takes around 10 to 15 minutes to reheat every time you are using the pressure cooking function. The time is for the pot to heat up and bring the pressure level up.

After that time, it is when the timer start. Every time you are cooking a meal that requires a 5 minutes timer, you should have in mind it will take more than that due to the time used in preheating.

Tips to have in mind when using an instant pot

Immediately you get your instant pot the first thing you should do is read the manufacturer’s manual and ensure you understand it.

The instant pot comes with many different buttons that all perform different tasks. If you haven’t read the manual, the buttons can be confusing, and the whole cooking process can get stressful and frustrating.

Pressure cooking uses water to produce steam which in return helps in raising the pressure levels in the pot that helps in the cooking process. This means, ensure you add water to the food no matter what you are cooking. At least add a cup and a half to the food to prevent burning the food.

Every time you are setting your cooking time with an instant pot, always add a few minutes to the cooking time as the pot takes time to preheat the pot and also takes time in releasing the steam naturally.

An instant pot tends to boil food so good. At some point, it can lead to overcooking of food. Due to this, ensure you set the exact right time. If it means releasing the steam manually do so as the time you take to release the steam naturally the cooking process is still happening just that it’s a little bit slow.

Do not be afraid to explore with your instant pot, try a different recipe, and change temperatures and timing. That’s how you come up with the best recipe and food. All you need is to be careful and don’t try recipes that are prohibited like deep frying.


The convenience that comes with an instant pot is on the next level. But at the same time, you may experience some minor issues. The good part is you don’t need to get someone else to fix the problems for you. You can do it yourself.

Using the information above, you can fix a timer to work. But in case the issue becomes major, and you are not sure you can handle the issue get an expert to avoid causing more damage.

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