Is your blender not working? Something might be jamming your blades. Here are 9 known causes and fixes.
Blenders are an essential part of every kitchen. They are extremely versatile and easy to operate, not to mention that they’re one of the cheapest kitchen appliances out there.
There’s virtually nothing a blender cannot do, be it salsas, smoothies, milkshakes, you name it! So, what happens when they fail?
Having your blender stop working can be very inconvenient and detrimental to your meal plans, and the worst part is, that it can happen in many ways. Sometimes you’re just operating it normally, and it suddenly stops functioning, whereas, on other occasions, you’ll wake up one day to find it no longer turns on.
There are many reasons why this could be happening. From something as unimaginable as a bad energy source to appliance-killing problems like a burnt-out motor. Take your pick.
The good news is that, more often than not, the issue is not very serious and can usually be fixed with a few teaks and a couple of replacement parts, all you need is a comprehensive list and some time to spare.
Below, I’ve prepared a compendium of the most common causes behind the problem, and the steps you can take to address them. Rest assured that, by the time you reach the end, your appliance will be as good as new.
Ready? Let’s resuscitate that blender!
Fixing a Broken Blender
As stated above, there could be many explanations for this situation. Depending on how extensive the malfunction is, your blender might not be working due to…
- A bad outlet
- A damaged cord
- A faulty switch
- A blown fuse
- A burned out motor
If you have a multimeter handy, it would be a good idea to bring it out for this troubleshooting process, as it will help you determine the internal components’ viability, and save you some money in unnecessary replacements and repairs.
If Your Blender Won’t Turn On
If your blender is not working, one of the items below is probably to blame. Let’s dive in.
#1 A bad outlet
Like with any other troubleshooting process, before diving into your appliance’s guts, it’s important to look at external factors that could be contributing to the issue you’re experiencing. There’s a chance that nothing is wrong with your blender.
A bad wall outlet could be failing to provide enough electricity to your appliance, causing it to malfunction, or preventing it from turning on. This could not only explain your issue but also cause your breakers to trip whenever you plug something in there.
Solution: Carefully unplug your blender, take it to a different section of the house, and plug it into a different outlet. If the appliance works, you have solved the mystery.
On the other hand, if this does not resolve the issue, there’s a chance that the wall outlet was fine, and the power cord is to blame, but we’ll get to that.
If you’re feeling confident and want a challenge, you can use your multimeter to test the suspicious wall outlet for conductivity. Just be very careful and follow all possible safety precautions when doing so.
#2 Your Power Cord Is Damaged
If you tested your wall outlet with no success, the next thing you should take a look at is your power cord. This is the next link in the chain of energy supply.
You’d think that being kitchen appliances so sturdy, their corresponding power cords would be nearly indestructible, right? Well, they’re definitely not. In fact, damaging them is fairly simple. All it takes is keeping them tangled or pressed against a wall at a weird angle.
This can not only result in your blender not working, but also trip your breakers and cause short circuits that can shorten your appliance’s lifespan significantly, so address this issue as soon as you can.
Solution: Try a different power cord.
I know not everyone has a spare cord lying around, but in case you do, you can use it to determine if this is the source of the problem.
If you already tested your wall outlet and found it to be operating correctly, you can try using the new cord there, otherwise, unplug your blender and take it to a different section of the house. Did that work? Great!
#3 the Switch Is Failing
Ok, so both the power cord and the outlet are fine, that’s actually great news, it means you don’t have to worry about them for a while.
The next thing we want to check is the activation switch. Due to damage, or just regular use, this component can wear out or fail, leaving you unable to turn your blender on or off.
If you suspect this to be the issue, you’ll have to go in, so get your gear ready.
Solution: This is where things might get a little tricky, but don’t worry, it should not be too complicated. Please follow these steps:
- Carefully unplug your appliance from the outlet and turn it upside down.
- Remove the screws at the bottom with either a flat or a cross screwdriver, depending on your model
- Expose your appliance’s guts
- Find your switch and carefully remove it
- Bring out your multimeter and test the switch for continuity.
Remember, no continuity means that the part will have to be replaced. If you’re a visual person, like me, there are many online blender repair videos you can use for reference.
#4 Your Fuse Is Blown
Sometimes, blackouts and other energy surge-causing events can do internal damage to your appliance. Luckily, most electronics have fuses in them to prevent it.
If you’re unfamiliar with these little devices, you can think of them as guardians. When there’s a big spike in electricity, they break, or “blow” to stop the electrical conduction throughout the appliance, thus preventing the surge from reaching and frying other components inside it.
If your blender is not working right after a big blackout, there’s a very good chance that the fuse inside it blew to protect it. This is not entirely bad news. That being said, remember that you only have one, so it’s important to replace it as soon as possible to keep your blender protected from future spikes.
Solution: Follow the steps from point #3 to expose your appliance’s internal components and identify your fuse. You don’t need a multimeter to test it for viability, as a blown fuse is very easy to spot. All you have to do is look for blackening inside its glass body, and a broken filament.
#5 Your Motor Burned Out
This is bad news, no matter where you look at it.
Depending on how old your blender is, this could be attributed to either regular wear and tear, or user error. When your motor burns out, your blender is not able to spin its blades or perform any other function.
Determining this as the culprit should not be too difficult. As soon as your blender’s motor burns out, it normally stops working abruptly and is usually in the middle of an operating cycle. This is also accompanied by a distinctive burning smell.
If this is your case, you might want to take a look at your warranty, as it will play a vital part in the decision you should make.
Solution: Repairing a blender’s burned-out motor is not expensive per se, but when compared to the appliance’s price, things change. If you’re still under warranty coverage, you can send your appliance in for repairs to your manufacturer, usually free of charge.
On the other hand, if your warranty is expired, the best thing to do is get a new blender. I had this happen to me once, and the cost of repairs and labor was almost 70% of what I originally paid for it, so it’s not worth it.
It’s not all bad, though, you can probably get a great deal online!
If Your Blender Won’t Spin
Now that we’ve gone over the possible reasons behind your blender not working, it’s time to look at the spinning issue. If your blender won’t spin, it’s likely due to…
- Improper blade coupling
- Jammed blades
- Using too much food
- Not using enough liquid
#6 Improper Blade Coupling
This may sound obvious, but it’s one of those things that happens more often than you think.
If you take your blender apart regularly for cleaning (well done!), there’s a chance you might have put the blades back on incorrectly. This could be preventing them from turning or making adequate contact with the motor.
It may not sound like a big deal, but it definitely is. Trying to operate your blender with improperly placed blades could put you in danger, as they could fly out towards you or someone else. As soon as you suspect this to be the issue, you should address it immediately.
Solution: Disassemble your blender and consciously put it back together. Even if this does not fix the issue, you will have discarded a dangerous possibility.
#7 Your Blades Are Jammed
As troublesome and time-consuming as it may be, it’s essential to disassemble your blender from top to bottom and wash each part thoroughly. I know, I don’t like it either, but it’s a must.
By failing to properly clean your blender between uses, you might be contributing to residue buildup in the bottom part of the jar, where the blades meet the motor’s body. This will not only damage your gasket much quicker but also cause your blades to jam.
If your blender is not spinning, there might be some leftover food to blame.
Solution: Unplug your blender and carefully remove the jar with the blades attached, then follow these steps to pull your appliance apart:
- Unscrew the base of the jar where the blades are (use gloves or be very careful, the blades are quite sharp)
- Remove the blades from the base and put the jar next to you
- Remove the gasket (small rubber ring) and place it somewhere safe
- Wash every part individually and let it dry before reassembling (again, please be careful when handling the blades)
Doing this every day will prevent any residue build-up and keep your blender functional, not to mention that you won’t be consuming old food leftovers between meals.
#8 You’re Using Too Much Food
Your blender’s motor and blades are very powerful, but overfilling your jar could render them useless, not to mention causing things to leak.
When it comes to blenders, how much is too much? Well, it depends on your model, but most manufacturers have a recommended maximum capacity included in their user manual. This limit exists to help you avoid putting too much stress on your motor.
If you usually fill your blender to the brim with solid foods, there’s a good chance that you’re contributing to decreasing your appliance’s lifespan and keeping your blades from operating adequately. If your blender doesn’t spin, you might have to adjust the number of your batches.
Trust me, you want to avoid overfilling. I had to learn this the hard way while trying to make my own peanut butter. Not fun, my motor burned out!
Solution: Give your user manual another read-through, you’ll likely find the recommended maximum capacity in there.
If you’re constantly making large batches for guests or your family, you might want to consider getting a larger jar or splitting your preparations into multiple cycles.
#9 You’re Not Using Enough Water
Making sure to avoid overfilling your blender is essential, but so is keeping your preparations sufficiently liquid.
Blenders are designed to operate with certain amounts of water or other liquids. Think about it, smoothies, shakes, salsas, soup, you name it. They all have water or milk, and they’re never prepared dry.
If your blender is not spinning, you might not be using enough water. As far as I know, there’s no recommended amount, it’s a matter of dedicated observation, as well as trial and error. Some preparations will need more or less liquid, depending on the thickness you want.
Getting a food processor is a good idea if you find yourself frequently preparing drier dishes.
Solution: Watch carefully.
If at any time during the blending process you notice that the motor is straining too much, shut it off and add a bit more liquid.
It’s not difficult to notice an overworked motor, as, for one, the blades likely won’t spin, and there will also be a present burning smell, along with a loud sound coming from inside the blender’s body. Failing to address this will dramatically reduce your appliance’s lifespan and cause a wide variety of additional problems.
Having your blender stop working can be very inconvenient, especially when you’re planning a big family dinner or a get-together with friends. What are you supposed to do when it happens? Crush by hand? Impossible.
Unlike many other kitchen appliances, blenders are not very complicated, and pinpointing the cause behind their malfunction should not take too long. In fact, some of them won’t even require a replacement, just a change in the user’s habits.
It’s important to be very methodical and organized when going about troubleshooting, as this will save you time and money. Thousands of people waste precious resources every year trying to find what’s wrong with their blenders, only to find the solution much simpler than they’d imagined. Do not become a part of that statistic.
Please remember to always check your warranty before tampering with any of the internal components of your appliance, as you could void your warranty and cause additional problems.
Blenders are highly powerful machines with sharp blades that spin at unbelievably high speeds, so make sure to always unplug yours before trying to do any modifications or repairs. Safety should always be your top priority.
Thank you for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article helped you resolve your issue, why not keep learning with our other wonderful resources below? You never know when another appliance around your house could fail.
Stay safe, best of luck!