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Why Rice Cooker Is Not Working and Tips for Repair


We’re all grateful to have a rice cooker in our kitchen. This magical wonder of an appliance is a great help in cooking rice and doing almost everything without any hassle. Not only is it hassle-free, rice cookers are also generally safer to cook rice in. 

While a rice cooker is a heaven-sent appliance, just like any technological device, it’s still possible for it to break down and have problems. You might encounter a faulty power cord, no temperature change, a thermal cutoff, and others. 

There are rice cooker issues that you’d need an appliance mechanic to look into, but also, there are some rice cooker problems that you can totally solve at home by yourself. In this article, we’ll be listing down a couple of problems that your rice cooker can run into and easy to follow rice cooker repairs.

Why Rice Cooker Is Not Working and How to Repair

Cooking rice should be easy breezy. But of course, there are still times when we are faced with a rice cooker problem. Just like other electrical appliances, rice cookers also encounter electrical issues. Most people have no idea what to do when their rice cooker stopped working. Here are some common problems that are the possible reasons for your rice cooker to malfunction and rice cooker troubleshooting tips.

Thermal Cutoff

A rice cooker has two fuses — one is an electrical fuse and the other one is a thermal fuse. The electrical fuse protects the rice cooker from an electrical surge. On one hand, the thermal fuse protects your rice cooker from a thermal spike. If the rice cooker goes over a certain threshold of temperature, the thermal fuse is there to ensure it won’t catch fire. 

If there is a thermal cutoff, the rice cooker will not heat up at all no matter what. There are also cases in which the thermal fuse can go off and overheat. If you encounter a thermal cutoff, it’s best to have your rice cooker checked by a certified electrician.

Power Cord Problem

A power cord connects your rice cooker to the electric source. Without a power cord, your rice cooker won’t turn on at all. One of the first things that you should check if your rice cooker is not working is the power cord. Look it over and if you notice cuts or frays, it’s time to switch up the cord.

Broken Internal Circuitry

If your rice cooker is still not switching on if you press the cook button, most likely, it may have a problem with its internal circuits and connections. Look into the cooker and check internally for faulty connections.

Light Bulb Burnt Out

If you notice that your rice cooker heats up properly but question that the light isn’t indicating whether the rice is in cook mode or keep warm mode, then your light bulbs are blown out. You can get them replaced.

Steam Leaking

If you can see steam leaking from your decent rice cooker, you may need to fix the gasket properly. Look at the rim and ensure that it does not have any food stuck to it or there are no cracks. In the same way, you can wash the gasket in cold water before putting it back in.

Vapor Along the Rim or Water Dripping

If you’re new to using a rice cooker and you see water dripping at times, don’t be alarmed. If water drips out, vapor will accumulate around the rim of the cooker. When the rice cooker reaches a certain pressure, the vapor will vanish. To resolve this water dripping issue, clean the valves and vent pipes of your device the same way you would normally clean your appliance.

Lid is Difficult to Open

The lid of your rice cooker may get stuck at times. If you face this condition daily, it may be the fault of the internal pressure of the rice cooker. You can pour cold water on top of the lid. You can also take off the pressure valve and turn on the heater to make the pressure escape.

Model Lifespan

Some cookers will last you a lifetime, while other rice cookers won’t even last you half a year. In some cases of a rice cooker not working, it boils down to the lifespan of the kind of product and its quality as well. Acquiring a rice cooker at a very cheap rate with a questionable quality spells a disaster.

Dismissing Operation Instructions

The operating instructions of a rice cooker can vary from model to model. Different models require different operations. Sometimes, a person’s problem with a rice cooker is the result of not reading the operating instructions. You may be using or pressing a different kind of cooking method than what’s written in the instructions. Always remember to read the manual that comes with your kitchen appliances.

How Do I Reset My Rice Cooker?

The heat source of a rice cooker is its heating element. It’s placed below the inner pot and acts like the stove of the cooker. A faulty source results in no heat, which is why it’s important to have this thing changed as fast as possible. In case this is the kind of problem that your machine is facing, you need a few tools to fix it. Get the following stuff:

  • Screwdriver
  • Multimeter
  • Electrical contact cleaner
  • Rags

You can do the following steps to repair it. 

  • Unplug the rice cooker. Make sure the rice cooker is not connected to any power source.
  • Turn the rice cooker upside down. With the use of a screwdriver, remove the screws at the bottom of the cooker. Doing this will take off the covering dish. 
  • Remove the burner plate and the bowl inside. You will now be able to access the interior of the rice cooker.
  • Remove the base. Underneath, you’ll find screws that hold the base of the cooker. If the base is attached with screws, remove those as well. If you notice tabs instead, fold them back.
  • Test the heating elements next. Disconnect the heating wire, get the multi meter and set it to get the reading to ohms. Touch the terminals of the multimeter to the wire. If the reading is ‘0’, then the wire is fine and works. If the reading results in something else, you will need this thing in your rice cooker replaced.
  • Test resistor next. With the use of a multimeter, touch its probes to the resistor. If the multimeter produces a result of 20 ohms, the resistor is fine. Otherwise, it has to be changed.
  • Check and clean contacts. A lot of older rice cookers usually have this problem. Examine the contact areas. In case they are burnt, they need to be replaced immediately. You can also use a contact cleaner.
  • Move contacts. If you press the switch of the cooker and it does not start, you can bring the contacts close to each other with a screwdriver. 

However, if you are not experienced with electrical components, we suggest that you look for a certified expert or someone with electrical knowledge instead. 

We listed out all the possible rice cooker problems and solution options. It’s important to look into any kind of problem you encounter as you may be compromising your safety at home if you don’t do so. A faulty rice cooker can be the cause of a lot of issues and may even lead to a fire if not repaired or replaced. Stay safe! 

If you’re in the market to have your rice cooker replaced so you can enjoy perfectly cooked rice, check out our reviews. You may find the rice cooker model that suits you the best.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does rice cooker have fuse?

Yes, a rice cooker has a thermal fuse. A busted thermal fuse can be one of many rice cooking problems that most people encounter.

How do you fix uncooked rice in a rice cooker?

This is a common problem that many encounter. If you find your rice, whether white rice, sushi rice, or brown rice, to be hard and uncooked even if the cooker is already done cooking rice, all you need to do is add about 1/2 cup of boiling water. Stir the rice and set your cooker to ‘cook’ for another 3 minutes. Repeat the process if your rice is still undercooked.

Why is my rice so sticky in rice cooker?

You may not have rinsed your rice before cooking, resulting in excess starch. You may also have added too much water before cooking the rice. 

If your rice is stuck in the bottom of your pot, you can soak the pot in hot water. In most scenarios, the rice will unstick from the bottom after some time.

Hui Yin

Hui Yin moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to the USA 🇺🇸 when she was just 8 years old. Now in her late 20's she enjoys writing and taking long walks in the park to burn off the copious amounts of rice she eats for dinner.

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