The Instant Pot is a multi-cooking marvel that many people use to cook meals quickly for meal prepping or because of very busy schedules, but what if liquid is coming out of the float valve?

Liquid can be coming out of the float valve of your Instant Pot for several reasons. These include a full condensation collector, a blocked vent or steam release valve, or something else.

Cooking with an Instant Pot can be very rewarding, and you can make some amazing meals. However, you need to be a little more diligent when using one to ensure it is safe.

Why is Liquid Coming Out of the Float Valve on an Instant Pot?

The float valve is a small, metal pin that raises on the Instant Pot’s lid as it builds pressure when cooking. It prevents the lid from being removed while pressure cooking.

Liquid can escape through your Instant Pot float valve due to blocked vents or possibly a full condensation collector. It is best to clean your Instant Pot thoroughly before and after every meal.

The float valve is one of the most important features of your Instant Pot. If you were to attempt or succeed in opening the lid while it was pressure cooking, you would definitely regret it.

What Can Be the Problem with my Instant Pot?

The immense pressure built up over 30 minutes in an Instant Pot has to be released slowly to be safe. That is what the steam release valve is for. 

The float valve is a pin that the pressure moves into place to make opening the lid when there is pressure impossible. It is a safety feature, and an important one at that, that you want to make sure works.

There are a variety of liquids that could be coming out of your Instant Pot, and it is important to know which ones you should worry about and which ones are completely normal.

Normal Steam

It is normal for steam to escape from the lid of your Instant Pot when using the pressure cook function. The steam release valve is meant to let steam and stop over-pressurization.

Instant Pots can become dangerous if the steam release valve is not operating properly. The pressure built up while using the pressure cook function can turn dangerous quickly.

If the steam and pressure have nowhere to go, you have essentially made a bomb. Pressure cookers are great tools, but you must ensure the pressure release is clean.

You want to ensure that the pressure release valve is clean and clear before using the pressure cook function.

When the pressure cooking is done, the Instant Pot will release steam naturally over 10 minutes. It’s also possible to switch the steam release valve’s position to manually release steam.

If you decide to release steam manually, make sure that there isn’t anything you don’t want possibly covered in food above the steam release valve. 

If you have a liquid-heavy meal or something with a sauce that could stain, sometimes, when manually releasing the steam, you can get other liquids spouting out the steam release valve.

The Condensation Collector Might be Full

A full condensation collector on an Instant Pot.

It’s also possible that you are seeing an excessive amount of liquid coming from unexpected places on your Instant Pot because your condensation collector is full.

The condensation collector is a small cup that acts as an overflow catch basin for liquids and condensation from your Instant Pot during its normal cooking processes.

The liquid is normal to come out and fill up the condensation collector. The collector is usually located on the back of the Instant Pot, just below the lid. You can also cook without it.

You should empty the condensation collector before, and after each time you plan to use the Instant Pot.

If you notice that there is suddenly an unexpected puddle of liquid beneath your Instant Pot, there is a solid chance you forgot to attach your condensation collector to your Instant Pot.

If you’re using your Instant Pot overnight, keep a close eye on it, so the condensation collector doesn’t fill up.

The Internal Vent Could Be Blocked

A clogged anti-block shield on an Instant Pot.

It’s also possible that the internal vent meant to vent the liquid into the condensation collector is blocked. Food can become trapped there and block the out vent.

If you find that your collector is suspiciously empty after cooking, you may need to check inside and thoroughly clean your Instant Pot to ensure there isn’t unnecessary build-up.


There are numerous reasons that you may be seeing liquid in unexpected places on your Instant Pot. It is important to inspect the integrity of your pot before you cook each time.

The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker and can build up massive amounts of pressure. If something fails during cooking, it can be quite dangerous as your Instant Pot becomes a bomb.