Cleaning the Spring Valve Assembly on a Modern Pressure Cooker

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When was the last time you cleaned -- I mean really, thoroughly, deep cleaned -- your pressure cooker? For those of you who have the old style pressure cookers with their simple, straightforward vent pipe, it's easy enough to run a pipe cleaner through that opening and the job is done. If you have one of the electric gadgets, you might have a little piece of wire, or a teeny little brush that's used to clean opening.

If you are fortunate enough to own one of today's, modern pressure cookers, the valve assembly mechanism needs to be totally removed and disassembled for a thorough cleaning. This article will show you the step be step direction on How-to disassemble and clean the valve assembly. For the purposes of demonstration, 'l'll be using the Ucook model by Fagor. The same procedure works for all the other lines under the popular Fagor brand.

How Often is This Necessary?

That depends. If your pressure cooker is used quite often, then you willneed to do this thorough cleaning process more frequently because more residues accumulate. For routine cleaning there's no need to disassemble the entire valve, you can just hand wash the sooty valve nut at the same time that you normally wash the lid and gasket after every use.

The entire valve should disassembled after cooking foods that foam, froth, or expands, or any food that may have spattered up on the lid, or foods that contain a lot of grease or fat, because they all tend to produce more residues. It you should burn or scorch any food, this deep cleaning will be necessary too. 

To remove the valve mechanism, turn the selector knob to the icon that will allow you to unlock valve.

Next, push down on the valve and turn it until its free and can be lifted out of the separate valve housing.

There are two springs located inside the valve on this model, one in the upper grey half and another spring in the lower black part of the valve. Use a small brush inserted through the opening in the top to clean the this type of valve.

Turning the lid over, we can now see the lower part of the yellow, pop up pressure indicator on the left. The tarnished brass valve nut just below it not only secures the valve assembly to the lid, but it also serves as the lower opening for steam that escapes upward through the valve. 

You can see how tarnished and soot blackened this valve nut gets due to a accumulation of all the combined mineral impurities in the water and greasy, particulate food residues.

To clean the valve, begin by removing the nut. This is easily done with a flat head screwdriver.

Disassembled, left to right, we now have the valve nut, the valve housing and the spring valve assembly. The lid can be washed by hand in hot water using a degreaser type of dish soap such as Dawn. Scrub inside the valve seat in the lid where more of that sticky build up tends to accumulate.

Wash the valve parts using a soft brush (a child sized toothbrush works well) to get into all the small areas.

Dry on a rack, making sure water doesn't remain trapped within the valve or inside the lid handle.

Cleaned, the once tarnished valve nut is once again looking like brass.

When reassembling the valve, do not use excessive force to tighten the valve nut or you may crack the plastic parts.

Periodically, check to be sure this nut is tight. It does loosen over time and occasionally needs to be re-tightened.



Related Articles

Try the Troubleshooting Chart to identify problems and find solutions.

Find out how to clean the spring valve assembly on a modern pressure cooker.

Find out how to clean and care for the pressure cooker lid.

Find out how to clean and care for the pressure cooker.

Find out how to clean and care for the pressure cooker valves.

Find out how to clean and care for the gasket.

Find out more about the care and cleaning of all kinds of cookware.


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