A crock pot cooker is undoubtedly one of the most convenient kitchen appliances. Who doesn’t love the idea of throwing in a bunch of ingredients, switching on their cooker, and letting the food cook as you tend to other tasks? But while it’s a handy appliance to have in your kitchen, it can give you headaches if it fails to work when you need it most.
When a crock pot cooker won’t turn on, start, or stay on, there may be a cracked inner pot or faulty parts such as the knob, power cord, heating element, circuit board, or a fuse.
Read on for details on what to do when the above culprits prevent your crock pot cooker from turning on, starting, or staying on.
Crock Pot Cooker Won’t Stay On: Causes/How to Fix
Sometimes, you’ll plug in your crock pot cooker, and the LED light on the four-hour cook time setting will keep blinking without letting you select any of the cook time options. When this happens, most people’s usual go-to move is to hold down the “Off” button for 30 seconds. However, that rarely works.
While it’s not entirely clear what causes the problem, the good news is that it’ll take you less than a minute to fix it. All you need to do is hold down the “Select” button for 30 seconds. Doing this will reset your crock pot cooker, allowing you to scroll through all the cooking functions and select your desired cook time.
Crock Pot Cooker Won’t Turn On: Causes/How to Fix
Having a crock pot cooker that won’t turn on may have you thinking that it’s time to replace it. However, this isn’t always the case. More often than not, you can fix this problem with one or two replacement parts, depending on the cause.
To help you decide what to purchase, here are the usual causes of a crock pot cook cooker that fails to turn on:
A Faulty Knob
The knob’s primary function is to activate/deactivate your cooker whenever you rotate it to power on/off the appliance. So when it’s compromised or won’t rotate, your crock pot cooker won’t turn on, and the only way to fix the problem is to purchase a new knob. To install, pull the faulty knob out and push in the new one.
A Burned/Worn Out Power Cord
To find if the problem’s cause is a faulty power cord, remove and plug it into a different outlet from the one you usually use. Test it on more than one outlet to be sure. If the cord is fine, the LED interface panel will light up once plugged into the right crock pot’s input and appropriate outlet. In case the power cord isn’t working, replace it.
A Damaged Element
If some parts of the heating element are broken or worn out, your crock pot cooker won’t heat up when you turn it on. To examine your cooker’s heating element for damage, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the power cord.
- Turn your pot’s base upside down and remove the bolts, screws, and clips to access the heating element.
- Detach the wire connectors to free the element from the leads and remove it.
- Use a multimeter to test the leads to determine whether the heating element is receiving electricity. If not, replace the element and reassemble the cooker.
Important: When detaching the wire connectors, avoid pulling from the wires because they’re typically fragile. Instead, pull gently from the connector.
A Broken/Burned Out Circuit Board
Burned out/broken controls or circuit boards can sometimes make crock pot cookers fail to turn on. When this is the culprit behind a cooker that won’t turn on, the temperature settings often don’t work.
More often than not, a circuit problem is caused by a faulty connection on the board. To determine if this is the cause, inspect the circuit board for any dark spots that seem like they’ve been burnt. If you locate them, use the following video as a guide to fix your cooker:
Tip: you can use the first half of the above video as a guide when disassembling your crock pot cooker to inspect the heating element for damage.
If you don’t notice any dark spots on your circuit board, you may need to conduct a full-scale diagnosis to locate the problem.
To do this, search online for your circuit board’s” Board Number.” If something comes up, find a circuit diagram by checking the image results. Use the circuit drawing as a reference for your diagnosis and replace any faulty parts. If the whole circuit board is “fried,” it may make more sense to buy a new crock pot cooker because these appliances aren’t too expensive.
Crock Pot Cooker Won’t Start: Causes/How to Fix
Sometimes, a crock pot cooker may fail to start heating the food even when the power LED indicator shows that it’s on. Several factors may contribute to this, including:
The Heating Element
When the heating element stops working, the cooker won’t start because this is the part that supplies the heat. Several factors may contribute to heating element damage. Among these are faulty wires and connections and temperatures exceeding the recommended threshold.
To determine whether your cooker fails to start due to a faulty element, disassemble it and test the leads with a multimeter (check the previous section for instructions) to find out whether the element is accepting electrical current. If not, you’ll need a new element.
A Cracked Internal Pot
An internal issue on a crock pot cooker isn’t always related to the heating element or the circuit board. Sometimes, a crock pot cooker may fail to start due to a crack in the inner pot. The inner pot sits inside the cooker’s heating unit and is usually made of either porcelain or ceramic.
Because ceramic and porcelain aren’t necessarily the most resilient materials on your cooker, the inner pot may crack when the appliance sustains a knock. To determine if this is the cause of your crock pot cooker not starting, remove and inspect the inner pot.
In case of any cracks, replace the inner pot. You can either purchase a replacement online or check your local goodwill/thrift shops. In frugal communities, thrift shops often sell ceramic parts separately, so it’s worth a try.
While it’s tempting, avoid fixing the crack with glue because the heat produced by a crock pot cooker during regular operation will melt it, causing chemicals to leak into your food. And while some online forums suggest boiling the inner pot in milk to repair minor surface cracks, this is a temporary fix. What’s more, the thermal changes that occur when the cooker is in use may cause a pot fixed this way to shatter, ruining your food.
A Compromised Fuse
Every crock pot cooker comes with a thermal fuse to protect it from overheating by cutting off the heat when temperatures reach a certain threshold. In doing so, it helps prevent fire hazards.
When the fuse is broken or burned out, it won’t effectively detect heat and may turn off the heat at the wrong time, including when you’re trying to start cooking. And since there’s no easy way to repair a broken fuse, the only fix that makes sense is to replace it. To do that, you’ll need a screwdriver, a metal cutter, and needle-nose pliers.
With the right tools at hand, follow these steps:
- With the power cord disconnected, flip your crock pot cooker upside down and remove any screws preventing you from accessing the interior.
- Unscrew the ring terminal.
- Uncrimp the metal crimp.
- Remove the damaged fuse.
- Install the new fuse. To do this, attach it to the metal crimp connector and put the ring terminal back where you found it.
Tip: If you’re not familiar with crock pot cooker repair, consider taking a picture of the internal components after step (i) above so you know what goes where when reassembling the appliance.
That does it for today’s quick round-up of three of the most common crock pot cooker problems. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use the steps we’ve covered to repair your appliance. If things get too complicated, you can always consult with a local technician.