When I was a kid as soon as our safety valve pressure cooker blew the whistle I started to sound like that with the cooker. I never knew why it happened, I just loved to make the sound. Is there anyone who is still like I was? For them – it’s because of the pressure cooker safety valve.
Pressure cooker valves are used in all the cookers for balancing the pressure inside the cooker. It doesn’t indicate any cooking condition, it just releases extra pressure and avoids releasing unnecessary pressure.
In this article, I am going to explain the A to Z of the safety valve for pressure cookers. So let’s break down.
What is a Pressure Cooker Safety Valve?
Hint in the name, it’s a safety mechanism placed on the pressure cooker lid.
When the pressure cooker is unable to release excess pressure, the inner pressure rises above the controllable level. As a result, it can explode at any time. Here the safety valve works. In such a situation, the safety valve bursts, let out the excess inner pressure, and prevents the explosion.
The safety valve is considered the most important safety component of any pressure cooker. In one word, it avoids any explosion and keeps you secure.
How does the Safety Valve of a Pressure Cooker Work?
You have already got some clue about the main function of a safety valve. It works to release extra pressure and prevent it from exploding due to overpressure.
However, I have divided the whole process into 3 parts to make it easier for you to understand. Here they are –
1. The inner part of the safety valve is known as a Nozzle that senses the increase and decrease of pressure inside the cooker.
2. As soon as the pressure exceeds predetermined levels, the disk of the valve starts to lift, and steam escapes through an outlet.
3. When the pressure decreases, the spring of the safety valve pushes back the disc to its initial position to close the outlet.
It’s the primary function of a safety valve. Did you know? – Safety valves are used in chemical plants, gas storage, and other machines for safety purposes.
The Purpose of Safety Valves
Undoubtedly the first purpose of using a safety valve is to ensure your safety while cooking by avoiding any pressure explosion.
Another purpose of the safety valve is to cook the food under a certain pressure. When your safety valve is leaked it can let out unnecessary pressure that results in uncooked food.
Let’s see what possible injuries you may face by using a defected or leaked valve.
- First, second, or third-degree burns.
So, it’s necessary to avoid using the defective or leaked valve.
What is a Safety Valve Made from?
Well, the material of the safety valve varies from model to model. But most of the time it is constructed with hardened Viton or neoprene – synthetic rubbers.
Such material allows the rubber valves to maintain a particular amount of pressure and let out the steam when the inner pressure exceeds the usual level.
How to Prevent a Safety Valve from Fusing, Cracking, or Melting?
When I was a kid I noticed some valve cracking or fusing incidents. That time I never thought of the reason behind it but later on, I got the reasons behind it. Now, I am going to share the reasons and explain how you can prevent this unexpected problem.
1. Keep it Clean
The first advice to prevent it from failing is to clean properly. If you see remnants of brunt food, use hot water. Splash the water and scrub that out after 5 minutes.
Again, if there is black stains issue then scrub the portion using boiled onion skin. If you are too lazy to boil onion then use the mixture of water and baking soda.
To fight the mineral deposits, vinegar is the best solution.
2. Don’t Overfill the Cooker
Never load the pressure cooker with more than two-thirds full. Foods like oatmeal, noodles, etc swell when cooked. Finally, they take up more space compared to their initial space.
In such cases, they can block the release valve and create excessive pressure inside. As a result, the valve can be cracked or brittle.
3. Use Enough Liquid while Cooking
If you haven’t added enough liquid in the cooker the liquid will eventually evaporate inside the cooker and will begin to boil dry. It results in increasing both the temperature and pressure. And this can lead to a safety valve fuse.
4. Follow the General Instructions
It’s kind of cautious, you have to follow the guideline of the manufacturers and never leave the cooker unattended. Give proper was after regular usage and check out the valve before start cooking.
How can you Replace a Pressure Cooker Valve?
If you are facing any pressure cooker safety valve leaking or cracking problem then it’s essential to replace the valve. There are 2 pressure cooker safety valve replacement methods. Here get them –
1. Approach the Valve from Outside
Get a blunt knife and use it to turn the screw. As a result, the screw will loosen up. This is the easiest method of reaching the valve from the outside.
Now take out the valve and replace it with a new one and screw it
2. Approach the valve from inside
If you have a wrench or tong then use it to turn the screw. When it is loosened, remove the valve and place a new safety valve and tighten the screw.
We are long away from the start. The main purpose of this content is to discuss every nut and bolt of a pressure cooker safety valve.
Once again mentioning they are used only for controlling the pressure not for notifying any cooking condition. After reading the article you have learned the main principle of safety valve, pressure cooker safety valve broken, fuse and cracking, solution, valve replacement methods, and some other facts.
It’s time to take my leave but before that, I want to make you all aware of the pressure cooker explosion. Every year a huge number of people get injured due to pressure cooker accidents, even some people die. So, it’s a piece of strict advice to replace the defected, fused, leaked, or cracked valve before placing it on the fire.
Find the best pressure cooker valve if you need to replace one.