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5 common Instant Pot problems and how to fix them

Here are some troubleshooting tips for when your Instant Pot is acting up.

Instant Pot tips.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

My Instant Pot (also nicknamed Instapot) is a huge part of my kitchen. I use it all the time. It can cook dinner in a matter of minutes, make complicated recipes seem easier and makes cleaning after meals much less painful.

So when it stops working as normal, I'll admit that chaos ensues. I figured out how to troubleshoot the most common Instant Pot problems and have found that most are easy fixes. Here's what you need to know to keep your Instapot up and running, too.

These tips are for most Instant Pot Models, including the popular Instant Pot Duo options. Make sure to always consult the user manual for your specific model to troubleshoot.

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Problem 1: Dead screen

No matter which button you press, nothing happens. There's no beeping sound and nothing happens on the screen.

The fix: Don't worry, the cord probably isn't attached all the way. Remove the plug on the back of the Instant Pot and push it inward, firmly. 

Problem 2: The screen says "Ovht"

Your Instant Pot stopped cooking and has a weird Ovht code on the screen. 

The fix: Ovht stands for "overheat." This means that more than likely, your food is burning inside the locked pot. The code "C5" on the screen is also an indication that your pot is too hot.

Quickly release pressure until the float valve goes down and remove the inner pot. Chances are you didn't put enough water or other liquids in the pot, which caused everything to overheat and burn. Next time, closely follow the recipe's directions for how much liquid to add to the ingredients.

Problem 3: Beeping

The Instant Pot keeps beeping after you start it up, seemingly for no reason.

The fix: Beeping means that the pot is overheating because there isn't enough liquid in the pot. It's letting you know before things start burning and the Ovht code pops up on the screen. Quick release any built up pressure and add more liquid to the inner pot.

Problem 4: The lid won't shut

No matter how much you fight it, the darn lid just won't close.

The fix: Check the float valve (also called the pressure valve), that small metal button near the release valve. If it's up, push it down. The button has to be down for the lid to open or close.

If that doesn't work, check that the seal in the right spot. It should be tucked in close to the edge of the lid.

Problem 5: The screen says "noPr"

The code "noPr" on the screen means that the pot isn't building up pressure like it should. 

The fix: This problem is usually due to a leaky lid, or the steam release handle isn't in the sealed position all the way. First, check the steam release handle and make sure it's where it should be.

If the handle is already in the right position, quick release the rest of the pressure, remove the lid and let it cool. Then, take a look at the seal. It's probably out of place or dirty, which is preventing it from sealing. Here's how to clean the seal and the rest of your Instapot, properly.

Another cause may be that you don't have enough liquid in the pot to build pressure. Check your recipe to be sure.

More Instant Pot tips: