Pressure cooker seems to leak at pressure release valve

Asked September 13, 2017, 10:57 AM EDT

Last season near the end of my canning season there was more of a leak at the pressure valve than I was used to. Also when I did a batch of milk or broth I got a broken jar. Is there a way to fix that valve?

Isabella County Michigan

5 Responses

Hi,
I need to clarify with you what do you mean pressure valve? Do you have a dial or weighted gauge pressure canner? Do you mean the pipe stem where the weight goes once the canner has been exhausted for 10 minutes? or the little valve that pops up after the canner has been exhausted?
sincerely,
Chris

weighted gauge, I didn't even think of including that! and I mean the pipe not the button

Hi,
The pipe where the weight goes? It is normal to have some water escape out of the pipe before the pressure is built up and a little thereafter. If I remember correctly, that pipe is part of the canner lid and is not replaceable.
I think the most important step is the exhausting the canner for the 10 minutes before putting the weight on the steam pipe.
As far as the broken jar, I do not believe it had anything to do with the excess water. If you are using metal utensils on the inside of the jar as you fill them, a hairline scratch may have been formed causing the breakage. Only plastic should be used when removing air bubbles for the product as the jar is filled.
Or there could have been a defect in the glass and it chose that time to break the jar.
I hope this is helpful. Sincerely,
Chris

Thank you, can you explain to me your definition of exhausting the canner? maybe I've been putting the weight on too soon?

Also there just seems to be more water that normal and I was worried because of that and i got back to back breakage in the canning rounds

Hi,
To exhaust the canner it is necessary to have your stove burner on high to help the water boil inside the canner. As the water inside the canner boils a small stream of steam will come out of the vent pipe. As the steam becomes steady it will form a pillar or a column of steam. You can actually hear a change in the steam as it reaches the stage of when you need to start counting the 10 minutes.
The column of steam becomes visible and is coming out of the pipe so fast and constant that if you were to pass you hand through the column of steam it will not bend or be stopped by you hand. When the steam column reaches this stage, THEN you start counting you 10 minutes, not before. After the 10 minutes THEN the weight goes on.
Here is a link to the So Easy to Preserve section that talks about exhausting the pressure canner. http://www.nchfp.uga.edu/how/genera/recomm_canners.html. You can also search for the National Center for home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia.
In the bottom of your canner before putting the lid on you should have 2-3 inches of water. Your jars should be sitting on a rack in the bottom of the canner not on the bottom of the pan or the bottom of the jars will become hotter that the rest of the jar and when they hit the cooler air, the jar will break and the bottom will fall off.
I hope this is helpful.
Sincerely,
Chris