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How to Repair Electric Rice Cooker

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An electric rice cooker is a fantastic tool for saving time and effort. Made to cook rice, rice cookers can also be used to cook quick meals and other rice dishes after a long day. As a result, many individuals may use a rice cooker when cooking, particularly if they don’t have the time to prepare complicated dishes.

However, a rice cooker, like many other electrical appliances, can develop issues as it gets older. Many owners will just discard it and replace it with a new one, but if you’re not really up for cooking on the stove and budget is an issue, then you can try fixing the issues on your own.

This guide will teach you to repair an electric rice cooker. Read below to learn more.

How Long Does an Electric Rice Cooker Last?

Common Rice Cooker Problems

High-quality rice cookers are expected to last 7-8 years with normal usage and 3-5 years with excessive use. Most rice cookers have a one-year limited guarantee with the opportunity to extend it by another two to three years depending on the manufacturer.

A pure-mechanical model can survive up to 10 years, whereas modern electrical models can last anywhere from 2 to 6 years, depending on usage and upkeep. In short, the lifespan of rice cookers depends on how well users maintain and take care of them.

Why Did My Rice Cooker Stop Working?

Rice cookers, like other small kitchen equipment, will ultimately develop technical issues that prohibit them from operating correctly, or they may just cease working altogether. Look for the faults listed below and repair the parts, wipe it off, or get an expert to inspect it.

Can You Repair a Rice Cooker?

While it may seem difficult to fix rice cookers, some issues you might face, like a broken cord or a dirty heating element, are quite easy to fix by yourself. Of course, you’ll need the proper materials for the fixing, but these items can easily be bought at your local hardware store or online. 

The materials you might need include:

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Metal cutter
  • Multimeter

Identifying a Faulty Rice Cooker

how to repair electric rice cooker

Before you go and try to fix rice cookers, it’s important to know what is exactly causing your broken rice cooker to stop working. Your unit might be having problems due to:

Dented Inner Pot

If you’re having issues cooking rice correctly, it’s possible that your pot is sitting on the heating plate incorrectly if it’s been dropped, broken, or dented.

Remove the inner pot and inspect it for any dents, scratches, or other abnormalities if you find your rice isn’t coming out fluffy or properly cooked. Use padded gloves to safeguard your hands while removing the pot from the rice cooker after a cook cycle. 

Heating Plate Issues

On the heating plate, there might be rice grains or food debris that you might have forgotten to clean. Debris and grime may build up after every use and prevent the heating plate from heating the rice cooker.

On the other hand, the heating plate might be the issue. Test the temperature by boiling water in the cooker. Leave the cooker for 20 minutes. Check to see if it’s boiling water. If not, then you should fix the heating plate.

Problems with the Power Cord

While loose wiring and temperature problems are the most common causes of failing rice cookers, a faulty power cord can also be the reason. If your power cable is broken, a suitable power connection between the power outlet and your rice cooker may be impossible to create. 

Check the power cord for cuts or frays and replace it if necessary. Trying to fix a faulty power cord might be easy, but it’s much safer to replace it with a new one if possible.

Internal Circuitry Issues

If your rice cooker is stuck on either cook or warm mode, check if there are corroded, dirty or burned contact areas inside the appliance. This is easily remedied using a contact cleaner.

When there is a loose wire, rice cookers have a hard time operating. This sort of issue might cause internal circuitry to short out or prevent electricity from reaching the heating element.

You can check for damaged connections or weak wiring by opening up your rice cooker and doing a resistance reading. However, if it’s your first time repairing an appliance, it’s safer to have an electrician look at it. If your rice cooker’s warranty is still valid, it’s best to send it in for repair if you believe this is the problem.

Thermal Fuse Issues

When the maximum temperature in your rice cooker exceeds a certain threshold, it starts to overheat, and when rice cookers overheat during usage, they frequently have thermal cutoff difficulties.

The thermal fuse will be tripped/broken, causing the rice cooker to shut off. This thermal cutoff is to protect rice cookers and your house from catching fire.

While you can check to determine whether the thermal fuse has been tripped in your appliance, it is preferable to consult with a specialist for a fuse replacement or to have experts repair the damage.

Repairing Broken Rice Cookers

Now that you know which problem your broken rice cooker has, you can start to repair it by following the steps provided below.

1. Disconnect the Power Cord from the Wall

Before you begin working on the electric rice cooker, step 1 is to make sure it is not connected to any power source. If repairing the appliance right after cooking, press the switch off and wait for the pot to cool.

2. Take Out All of the Extra Pieces and Set Them Aside

Remove the lid and set it aside. The burner plate and inner pot must also be removed. This will allow you to access the cooker’s inner workings.

3. Remove the Base

Most electric rice cookers include tabs or screws on the bottom that holds the base, which is the covering dish at the bottom. Remove the base by unscrewing the screws or folding back the tabs

4. Replace LED Battery

If the LCD isn’t properly working, like light bulbs not lighting up, the screen isn’t displaying anything, e.g., try to replace the battery. Look for the LCD battery and replace it with a new one. If the LCD still isn’t fixed, move on to the next step.

5. Put the Heating Element to the Test

It’s possible that the heating element in the cooker isn’t operating correctly, therefore you’ll need to test it first. Disconnect the heating wire from the terminal and use a multimeter to check for power continuity.

Set the ohms on the meter and connect the wire to the terminals. The element is functional if the reading is extremely low; if the reading is very high or nil, the element must be changed to repair rice cooker.

6. Check the Resistor

If the heating element is working properly, test resistor next. Return to the same setting on the multimeter and touch the probes to the resistor. If the resistor is operating properly, the measurement should be 20 ohms.

7. Examine and Clean Contacts

The switch contacts on older electric rice cookers equipment can also become filthy or rusted, which is a concern. When this occurs, they will interrupt the current and prevent it from flowing to the heating element when the switch to start the cooker is pressed.

Examine the contact regions after removing the base. Check to see whether they are burnt, and if they are, replace them. If not, clean them with electrical contact cleaner and a clean towel to restore them to their original condition.

8. Rearrange Contacts

If the contacts do not meet when you push the switch, fix it by moving the contact closer to the switch with a tiny screwdriver.

9. Thermal Replacement

If the thermal fuse is the issue, remove the thermal cut off. Do this by disconnecting the ring terminal from the old thermal cutoff and adding in the new one.

10. Replacing Components

You may reassemble the electric rice cooker once the internal components have been replaced or cleaned. Make sure the power cable isn’t pinched and that all wires are in their proper places. Replace the inner pot and cover after screwing the base back on. 

After that, prepare a batch of rice to ensure the rice cooker’s temperature is right and the unit is cooking and working properly.

In fixing a rice cooker, step 1 to 8 must be followed closely particularly if you’re a complete beginner. You must watch your rice cookers as you’re test cooking them. If the cooked rice comes out fine, you’re done!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are old rice cookers still usable?

Small appliances like rice cookers are difficult to dispose of since they are hard to recycle and are designed to be replaced when they break. Even if rice cookers have reached the end of their useful life, pieces of it, such as the cooking pan, may be recycled at most recycling facilities.

How can I still have perfectly cooked rice if the cooker shuts off mid-cycle?

Normally, a rice cooker can immediately cook right where it left off in case of power outages and such, but in case of a faulty unit, it’s best to continue cooking your rice on the stove. To do this, check how far along the rice is. If there’s still plenty of water or if the rice hasn’t begun cooking then cook the rice using the stovetop method.

Cooking rice in the stovetop method needs more water than the rice cooker method, so add one-half cup of water before placing it on medium-low heat. Reduce to low once the rice has boiled. Turn off the stove and let the rice rest for 10 minutes. Open the lid and fluff rice using a rice scooper or a fork.

If the rice is cooked midway, add a half cup of hot water and continue cooking on the stove on low heat. 

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Ji-hyun

Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.

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