Stainless steel pans start to wear over time, just like other metal pans.
One symptom of wear and tear is a hole at the bottom of the pan. You may find one or more holes and of different sizes.
You can repair them depending on the overall condition of your pans. Here’s a guide on how to repair a hole in stainless steel pans.
How to Repair a Hole in Stainless Steel Pans
There is more than one way to repair a hole in a stainless steel pan. You can try using food-grade epoxy.
Food-grade epoxy will ensure that it won’t contaminate whatever you’re cooking.
You should also make sure that the epoxy can withstand high temperatures.
Most types of epoxy begin to deteriorate when exposed to temperatures over 150 degrees Centigrade or 300 Farhenheit.
Another option that you can consider is adding a rivet into the hole. These are inexpensive, so you could consider using one if you can’t purchase a new pan.
The rivet may cause the pan to become uneven, so pick one that is fairly thin. This way, it won’t cause significant imbalances in heat distribution.
Fixing Your Stainless Steel Pan with Food-Safe Epoxy
Before you begin trying to fix your stainless steel pan, check if it’s still under warranty. If the pan is under warranty, get in touch with the manufacturer right away.
Ask the representative what steps you can take to have it repaired or replaced by the company.
Attempting to fix it on your own may void the warranty.
With that said, here’s what you must do to fix your stainless steel pan with food-grade epoxy.
Step 1. Inspect Your Stainless Steel Pan
Take a close look at your stainless steel pan to gauge its condition. In some cases, it may be hard to spot some holes. You can fill water in the pan to check where the water leaks.
In addition to that, some holes may be starting to form. So, it’s best to identify such areas early on so that you can decide whether you should fix the pan or not.
If the damage is extensive, you’re better off purchasing a new pan. You can save yourself from spending time and energy fixing your current one over and over again.
Step 2. Clean the Stainless Steel Pan Thoroughly
You should clean the stainless steel pan thoroughly before trying to fix it.
This way, you can prevent any grime or oil from getting trapped within the epoxy.
Make sure to clean the bottom part especially well.
Step 3. Gather the Necessary Materials
You should have all the necessary materials beforehand.
This way, you can complete the entire repair job in one sitting. The materials you’ll need are as follows.
- Food-grade, heat-resistant epoxy
- 400-grit sandpaper for smoothening the surface
- Waxed paper to prevent a mess
Step 4. Pick a Suitable Place to Work
It’s best to work on a workbench or any other flat surface. This way, you can ensure that the epoxy is level after application.
You should also ensure that you won’t be disturbed during the repair process.
Epoxy can dry quickly, so you cannot waste time once you apply it to the pan.
Step 5. Place the Waxed Paper on the Workbench or Countertop
Place pieces of waxed paper on the workbench or countertop.
The waxed paper will prevent the epoxy from getting onto the workbench.
You will later need to press the pan onto the table, so the waxed paper is necessary.
Step 6. Apply the Epoxy onto the Stainless Steel Pan
Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the food-grade epoxy.
How much you will need to apply, and how long it takes to dry.
Apply the Epoxy at the Bottom of the Pan
Place the stainless steel pan upside down onto the workbench so that the bottom faces the ceiling.
Next, apply the food-grade, heat-resistant epoxy onto the pan.
Applying it from the bottom will prevent you from damaging the top surface of the pan.
Make sure there’s enough epoxy to cover the entire hole at the bottom of the pan.
Let the Epoxy Harden Slightly
Let the epoxy sit for about a minute or two to allow it to harden slightly.
At this point, you can shape it properly.
Step 7. Press the Epoxy Against the Waxed Paper to Level It
You must make sure that the food-grade epoxy completely covers the hole in the stainless steel pan.
For that, you should press the pan hard against the workbench covered with waxed paper.
Doing so will spread the epoxy into the hole and level it on the stainless steel pan. After you flatten it, remove the stainless steel pan from the waxed paper.
If you leave the pan on the waxed paper, the paper will stick to the epoxy. In that case, it may be messy and be challenging to remove.
Step 8. Smoothen the Epoxy on the Bottom of the Pan
Allow the epoxy to dry completely. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the drying time.
Next, use the 400-grit sandpaper to file the epoxy at the bottom of the pan. Don’t apply much force during this process. Sand it gently, and keep stopping to look at it.
It should be level to the rest of the pan’s bottom surface. You can use a level for better accuracy, but that’s not necessary. A visual estimate will suffice.
Leveling the layer of epoxy is important because it will allow the pan to sit flat on the stove. As a result, liquids (and some solid foods) won’t tilt to one side of the pan.
In addition to that, it will also help keep the heat distribution as even as possible during cooking.
Uneven heat distribution can result in some of your food being overcooked or undercooked.
At the same time, you should also make sure that the sandpaper doesn’t come into contact with the bottom surface of the pan. You don’t want to cause any damage to your stainless steel pan.
Step 9. Wash the Stainless Steel Pan Thoroughly
After the epoxy is dry and level, you should wash the stainless steel pan thoroughly. This way, you can remove any debris that may still be clinging onto the epoxy.
Before you use the stainless steel pan, you could test it. Make sure the bottom of the pan is completely dry. Next, fill it with a bit of water so that its entire surface area has water.
Lift the pan to your eye level. Look if you can see any water droplets leaking.
Next, run your hand along the bottom of the pan. If you can feel some water, there is still a leak. In that case, you will have to repeat this process.
Fixing Your Stainless Steel Pan with a Rivet
If you cannot find food-grade and heat-resistant epoxy, you can use a rivet to fix your stainless steel pan.
Here are the steps you should follow for this process.
You should follow the steps above that involve inspecting and cleaning the pan in this option as well.
Step 1. Measure the Hole in the Stainless Steel Pan
Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the hole in your stainless steel pan. You can then determine the size of the rivet to use for fixing the stainless steel pan.
Next, purchase a rivet from your hardware store. If you’re going to a physical store, take your pan with you to check if the rivet can fit into the hole.
Increase the Size of the Hole If Necessary
In some cases, the hole may be too small to fit a rivet into it. So, you can use a drill bit to increase the size of the hole.
Make sure to try to make it just large enough to fit the rivet. You don’t want to unnecessarily increase the size of the hole.
Step 2. Install the Rivet
After cleaning the stainless steel pan, install the rivet. Place the rivet into the hole from the bottom of the pan.
Next, pull onto the rivet’s stem to deform the end of the shell. This will prevent any material from passing through.
After you pull on the stem, it will come off, sealing the hole in the pan.
Step 3. Use a File to Make the Pan Even
Use a file to grind the rivet at the bottom of the pan. This process will help make the pan level, allowing it to sit flat on the stove.
After that, wash the pan and test if it is sealed. If it leaks, but not enough to compromise your cooking, then it’s okay. If there’s too much leakage, invest in a new pan.
Last Few Words
If you don’t want to spend money on purchasing a new pan, you could consider giving your pan to a professional welder.
They can ensure that the hole is repaired and the pan is even. If that option is not feasible, a new pan won’t cost you much.
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