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Why Does my Ninja Foodi ask to Add Water ? [NOT THIS..!]

NINJA FOODI is a pressure cooker that air fryers too! This is based on a hybrid model & called tender-crisp technology. Ninja Foodi is well known for this technology in the market.

The pressure cooker ‘asking for more water has multiple reasons in place. Since Ninja Foodi has an active electronic control system that provides useful information to the end user.

In order to understand and mitigate the water error code « WATR » during steam operation of the equipment. we strongly recommend going through the following explanation.

What are Ninja Foodi’s Inherent Features?

Ninja Foodi has a special dual feature of pressure cooking and then air frying the pre-cooked meal up to a crispy, golden air-fryer finish.

These devices are designed with certain features that enhance the end user’s experience of the product.

Ninja Foodi has a built-in electronic control system that corresponds to the performance, operation & safety aspects of the device.

These controls are logged into a certain set of programs that the equipment is constrained to follow from the start to the end of the cooking cycle.

Performance Controls

The performance of the Ninja Foodi is instantaneously monitored by the machine’s in-built control system. Pre-defined feedback is continuously fed into the equipment’s controller, where the set parameters are examined & necessary actions are taken to maintain the equipment’s performance curve.

A list of performance controls is provided below;

Ninja Foodi Run Check

The equipment’s run operation is constantly under surveillance by the central controller that ensures the following;

  • Main power supply
  • Secondary DC voltage for instrument circuit
  • & other necessary functions of the Ninja Foodi are being checked as per the manufacturer’s design.

Heater performance check

The heater in a Ninja Foodi is the core that produces heat energy essential to producing steam inside the unit.

Heater performance check ensures adequate heat energy is produced against the power consumption by the device.

It also guarantees the heat dissipation from the coil to the water present inside the pot at the desired pressure.

Steam pressure check

The amount of steam generated inside the Ninja Foodi is linked with the heat dissipation from the coil to the water in the device. The steam primarily pressures cook the raw meat at a high temperature.

Production of a healthy amount of steam at a certain pressure is a vital performance check, that ensures the Ninja Foodi’s reliable operation over the course of usage!

Steam temperature performance check

The Steam temperature inside the device is linked with both the performance of the heater in converting power to heat energy & the water turning to steam & dissipating away the necessary heat.

The steam will essentially come in contact with the raw food and elevates its temperature with pressure condition.

This, however, is a critical performance parameter that the controller ensures as the amount of heat required to cook the food varies appreciably over the course of meal preparation.

In the initial phase, more heat is required which further reduces with the passage of time. Ninja Foodi is the best in class and has superior steam temperature control that outclasses other air fryers in the market.

Operational Controls

The term ‘operational controls’ illustrates the parameters that are essential to ensure the operability of the Ninja Foodi.

These controls are again incorporated into the device controller.

The pre-defined parameters are checked and processed with necessary actions taken to ensure the smooth operation of the Ninja Foodi.

Constant Temperature monitoring

Temperature monitoring during, routine operation of the device is carried out via temperature sensors & transducers integrated into the Ninja foodi.

Failure of any component or malfunction can lead to a bizarre situation, with the device producing unwanted results!

Constant Level Monitoring

The level transducer in an air fryer is responsible for ensuring enough water level inside the device.

In a Ninja foodi, when the temperature of the water elevates it converts water into steam. The level transducers are only capable of measuring the liquid level (of water) till it converts into steam.

This transition phase from liquid water to steam leaves the air fryer producing water error <<WATR>>.

Controls of the device are supposed to remain active during the overall operation of the air fryer.

This error may also be shown if the water level is actually too low. But in that case, the error code will appear before the equipment start-up.

Another reason could be a certain water level in the beginning which is fulfilling the permissive to start, however as soon as the water evaporates the error starts appearing.

A faulty instrument can result in both; uncooked or overcooked food that the user may not have been desiring.

Operational logic control

The operational logic of the Foodi is patent and never disclosed by the manufacturers. However, it is of prime importance and helps you cook meals with ease & comfort at the touch of a button.

Ninja Foodi has the best operational logic control, which adds to the user experience of the product. This is why the majority of the users prefer to stick to Ninja’s products compared to other brands available in the market.

Pressure control

This function is really unique and keeps the pressure inside your ninja foodi regulated with the pressure release knob doing its job.

Overpressure protection and regulation are desired in that scenario if the knob fails to release extra pressure.

Safety Controls

Safety of the end user & the Ninja Foodi itself is of prime importance to the manufacturers since it directly affects the manufacturer’s reputation & sustainability in the masses!

Below important safety features are integrated into the equipment

Permissive to start

‘permissive to start’ refers to the key essential parameters & protections in place before the equipment is good to go for operation.

This primarily includes;

  • Proper assembly of the device
  • Availability of the AC voltage
  • Availability of the transformer for DC voltage
  • Heat/Temperature senors
  • Overload protection etc.

Pressure sensor

Pressure in a Ninja foodi is scanned through a device that senses the pressure of the steam and tries to regulate. However, it trips the device in case of overpressurization proactively to avoid the unforeseen.

Pressure regulation in a Ninja Foodi is done with the heating coil operation.

The sensor on an erratic behavior may cause undue shutting down of the device or a false alarm.

Sensor health check

Sensors inside the device are double-checked by the controller & ensure their availability as a safety feature.

The controller will not allow the Ninja Foodi to turn on in case of malfunctioning of any of the sensors inside the machine.

Electronic circuitry check

Healthy operation of the air fryer is only possible when the electronic circuity of the air fryer is constantly monitored and feedback is provided to the controller.

A malfunction or a wrong signal can lead to fires or damage to the equipment apart from abnormal operation.

Low water level protection

Ninja Foodi has a low level water protection available that ensures the quantity of water to be adequate enough to convert it into steam.

A half cup (1/2) or one full cup is normally recommended. However it depends on the meal that you are cooking into the device.

Adequate water level shall be filled as per the supplier instruction book to avoid any alarm.

Another reason of the alarm is the pressure inside the Ninja Foodi doesnt hold due to either the lid seal damage or the pressure seal knob improper functioning.

This can be observed by paying attention to the knob or the top lid sealing points. If smoke or steam is injecting, try to stop and check both the lid and the knob. At times, they are unclean with small particles causing steam to release.

This steam release doesnt allow pressure to build and the alam appears.

This protection is the lifeline of the air fryer & a key safety feature.

Electric leakage protection

Since the device operates on an AC current, the chances of electric leakages from the device or the cables always persist.

ELCB provided in the device can shut down the equipment safely without compromising the equipment and the end user.

WATR ERROR – Defined

Why is <<WATR>> displayed & how to get rid of it?

This error code helps the end user to figure out effortlessly what went wrong and the steps required to get the Ninja Foodi back to normal.

WATR error code states that the condition required for the Ninja foodi to safely operate have not been met. This is the result of low or insufficient water level in the Pressure cooker or the level sensor has malfunctioned.

This issue can be rectified by following the below steps

-> Disassemble the Ninja Foodi

-> Check if the internals are clean

-> Remove any deposition on the sensors

-> Check & remove any deposition on the top lid seal

-> Check & remove any deposition on the sealing knob (at top)

-> Go to settings & factory reset the device

-> Go to Menu and provide an adequate temperature range

-> Check permissive to start

-> Take an attempt to turn on the device

-> If the error code appears, factory reset the device

-> Follow the steps mentioned in the manufacturer guide

If the issue still persists, please visit your nearest after-sale services shop to rectify the WATR error display by thoroughly checking the internals.

Are there any other Error Codes apart from <WATR>?

There are other errors as well that the Ninja Foodi displays to communicate the malfunction. This eventually helps the repair team and the end user to identify the exact root cause.


Ninja foodi can coupe up certain issues during operation or start up since they are built with certain key features that enhance the user experience of the product in terms of performance, operation, and safety.

There are certain error codes that the air fryers display when they stop working. WATR error code refers to the inadequate quantity of water for the Ninja Foodi to operate at the designed capacity. The issue may be due to an actual low level of water or the Lid seal/knob not functioning properly.

Please get the water level checked in the first place accompanied by other factors check, such as Instrument malfunction, top lid sealing issue, seal knob problem etc.

We recommend following the OEM instructions in the handbook to resolve the issue or contact the Sales and Services center if the issue still persists.

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