My Rice Cooker Is Not Heating Up

If your rice cooker fails to heat up when you load it with rice and water and push the button, you may be surprised since they are generally easy to use. What could be the reason for this malfunction?

If your rice cooker is not heating up, it could be due to a malfunctioning power cord, heating element, thermal fuse, or thermostat, which are the primary components responsible for generating and controlling heat in the appliance.

Rice cookers typically have a lifespan of 7 or 8 years with regular use. If your rice cooker is not heating up as it should, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your appliance.

Identifying the cause of a rice cooker‘s failure to heat up is relatively easy due to its uncomplicated design. Once you have diagnosed the problem, you will need to decide whether to repair it or replace it with a new one.

How To Fix A Rice Cooker Not Heating Up

To resolve the issue of a non-heating rice cooker, it is essential to identify the problematic component. This requires a process of trial and error, where you must address each common problem individually until you locate the source of the malfunction.

If you identify the faulty part, it is typically possible to fix or substitute it. Nevertheless, certain replacement parts may be challenging to locate and some can be costly.

When dealing with a malfunctioning rice cooker, the effort and duration required to diagnose and fix the issue should be taken into account, as it may be more convenient to purchase a replacement. Nevertheless, if you possess knowledge regarding electrical devices, replacing a component could potentially extend the lifespan of your rice cooker.

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Power Cord

The power cord should be your initial point of inspection.

The power cord may become damaged and deteriorated, particularly if it is frequently bent or roughly handled. You might observe that the insulation has worn off, revealing the wires inside, or that either end of the plug feels unstable. Nevertheless, this is not always true; occasionally, wires can loosen internally without any visible indications.

You can utilize a multimeter to check if the cord is working properly. If the cord isn’t transmitting an electric current, it could be why your rice cooker isn’t heating up.

Rice cookers typically come with a cord that can be removed, making it simple to purchase a replacement. It’s possible to find a cord that is specifically designed for your brand and model, but if not, you can opt for a generic one as long as it has the same number of prongs.

Heating Element

The heating element is situated beneath the detachable food container at the base of the rice cooker, which is responsible for warming up the water to cook rice, but it may malfunction and cease to operate.

For safety purposes, turn off and unplug the rice cooker before accessing the heating element.

Afterward, invert the rice cooker and utilize a screwdriver to detach the lower panel. There might be a rectangular aperture where two metal tabs are sticking out, which serve as the terminals for the heating element.

Using a multimeter on the terminals can help you determine if current is passing through the heating element. If it is, then the issue lies elsewhere, but if not, it implies that the heating element has ceased functioning.

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There are websites that offer heating elements as replacements for rice cookers, but they are not designed for specific brands, which could make it challenging to find one that fits your rice cooker precisely.

Additionally, the cost of purchasing new heating elements is almost equivalent to buying a brand-new rice cooker on average. When considering shopping fees, it may be more practical to opt for a new cooker instead.


One of the wires connected to the heating element terminal in a rice cooker houses the thermal fuse, which can be identified by a white rubber insulation tube that can be removed with ease.

Once the insulation is removed, a small cylinder with wires at both ends can be found, which is known as the thermal fuse. The function of this fuse in a rice cooker is similar to that of any other fuse – it disconnects the electric circuit if the appliance begins to overheat.

If the fuse becomes damaged, it will cause a permanent interruption in the circuit, preventing the heating element from functioning and generating heat.

To check if the fuse is faulty, examine it visually for any darkened spots. Additionally, you can utilize a multimeter to verify if electricity can pass through it.

Thermal fuses can be purchased online at a low cost, but it is important to ensure that the replacement fuse matches the size and type of the original. The voltage, amps, and maximum temperature specifications should be visible on the fuse.

It is a simple task to replace the fuse, and it is a repair that is worthwhile.

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Distinguishing between the thermal fuse and thermostat as the cause of a malfunctioning rice cooker can be challenging despite their distinct appearances.

The rice cooker thermostat, also known as the temperature limiter, prevents the heating element from getting too hot. Once the rice is cooked through, it changes the cooker to the “keep warm” setting.

Located in the center of the heating element on a spring, the thermostat is a thick, cylindrical metal piece that can cause the heating element to shut off prematurely if it is not functioning properly.

It is not possible to determine if the thermostat is faulty by visual inspection, but it can be checked using a multimeter.

For approximately $10, you can purchase a replacement thermostat that could be compatible with your rice cooker. However, replacing the old thermostat with a new one is somewhat intricate and requires manual skill and tools such as a screwdriver.

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