Is your crock pot not turning on or not working? The power source might be to blame. Here are 6 simple fixes.
Crock pots are life-savers. I’ve lost count of how many times these appliances have helped me prepare delicious meals for my friends and family. They’re just so convenient and easy to use.
Whether you want to prepare buttered potatoes or beef stew, crock pots have got your back. That being said, perfection is a feature they lack, which means they can fail from time to time.
Be it due to poor maintenance, or a failing internal component, the end result is still the same, you’re stuck with a useless doorstop that used to prepare delicious meals and bring you joy.
Can you fix it? Of course! Just as there are several issues that could be causing your crock pot to not turn on or work, there are also many solutions to every one of them, so don’t throw your unit away just yet.
Below, I’ve prepared a list of the most common culprits and the steps you can take to address them, so that you can get back to the kitchen in no time.
Are you ready? Let’s get busy!
Fixing a Malfunctioning Crock Pot
I know you’re probably tempted to open your appliance and try to find the source of the problem in one of your unit’s internal components. Don’t do it just yet.
First, we should look at the external factors. Doing this will not only benefit the troubleshooting process, but also save you precious time and money.
Your crock pot might not be turning on or working due to:
- A bad outlet
- A damaged power cord
- A faulty knob
- A blown fuse
- A faulty heating element
- A fried circuit board
#1 A Bad Outlet
Test your wall outlets for continuity
Every year, hundreds of people spend copious amounts of money trying to find the problem behind their crock pot’s malfunction, only to find too late that the factor responsible was their power source.
A faulty wall outlet is not only dangerous, but also a potential symptom of a greater, much more serious malfunction in your home’s electrical layout.
Before you try anything else, it’s important that we rule this out as a possibility.
Solution: Test a different outlet.
Carefully unplug your appliance, let it cool down, and take it to a different section of the house. Once you have done that, plug it back into a new outlet and see if that resolves the issue.
If you’re feeling adventurous, and want a DIY challenge, you can try testing your outlet for continuity with a multimeter.
#2 A Damaged Power Cord
Store your power cords properly
After ruling out your wall outlet as a potential culprit, it’s time to move down to the next chain in the power supply link. Your power cord.
Given how sturdy household appliances are, you’d think that the cable they draw power from would be too. It’s not.
Now, I’m not saying that using your appliance regularly will break it, but negligible bad practices, such as storing it improperly, keeping it tangled, or pressed against a wall, are more than enough to do it in.
Depending on how severe the damage is, your appliance might not turn on at all, or work intermittently. The latter is much more dangerous as it could cause a short circuit and fry your circuit board.
Solution: If by any chance you happen to have a spare cable lying around, you can use it for testing. Just make sure that it meets the same voltage and amperage requirements as the broken one.
Provided that you’re not that lucky, and you need to buy the replacement, don’t worry, you can do a quick Google search, and find one at any online marketplace for less than $20.
#3 A Faulty Knob
Your appliance’s knob could be broken
If everything else seems to be fine, but your crock pot is still not turning on or working, chances are that the knob that turns your appliance on and off is failing.
I’d go as far as to say that this is the most frustrating culprit on this list. Your appliance works perfectly, but you cannot use it because of this small, faulty little circle. Unbelievable!
Depending on your model, your knob might have a little light above it that lets you know when the appliance is operating, or deactivated. This does not apply to all cases, but sometimes, when the former fails, the latter will too. So be on the lookout for a dead “on” light.
Solution: For this repair, you will have to go in. Please follow these steps:
- Carefully unplug your appliance, and let it cool down
- Turn it upside down to expose the screws holding the outer panel together
- Undo them with a screwdriver, and remove the panel
- You’ll see your unit’s wiring, and internal components
- Look for the internal switch behind the external dial knob, and gain comfortable access to it
- Use your multimeter to test it, and replace it if necessary
#4 A Blown Fuse
Check your fuse for blackening and a broken filament
This usually happens due to extreme temperatures or a large power spike.
In case you’re not familiar with what fuses do, it’s fairly simple. When these nifty little components detect overheating or large power surges caused by blackouts, they “blow” to interrupt all electrical continuity inside your appliance and protect it from further damage.
So, if your crock pot is not turning on or working after any kind of sudden power interruption, this is likely the reason why.
That being said, having a blown fuse is not entirely a bad thing. On the one hand, you’ll have to replace your fuse, but on the other, your appliance was protected from potentially destructive forces. Bittersweet, right?
Solution: Please follow the steps from the previous point to expose your appliance’s internal components and locate the fuse, it should be next to the heating element.
If you detect no continuity, a trip to the hardware store will be required.
#5 Your Heating Element Is Dead
Try testing your heating element for viability
Provided that your fuse was, in fact, blown, you probably have this component to blame.
As you know, your heating element’s sole responsibility, is to transform the electrical energy drawn from your wall outlet, into usable heat to cook your food. And, while this component is a 20th century marvel, it can also create a lot of problems.
When your heating element fails, the symptoms can manifest themselves in one of two ways. You can either be stuck with a crock pot that is not generating any heat, or one that is generating too much.
Trust me, the latter is much more troublesome, and you should stop using your unit at the first sign of overheating.
Solution: Follow the steps from point #3 to expose your appliance’s guts, and find your heating element. In most crock pots, it should look like a big metal spiral.
Repeat the continuity testing procedure, and replace if necessary.
#6 Your Circuit Board Is Fried
A fried circuit board might mean permanent damage
Last, but definitely not least, is the possibility of fried circuit board.
This is not as common of an occurrence as you’d think, since, as I’ve mentioned before, there are a lot of countermeasures put in place inside your crock pot to prevent this from happening. Be it your fuse, or your thermostat, there are many guardians to this component.
That being said, there have been instances of power surges so large, that even when the fuses blow, the current reaches the circuit board and fries it. The same goes for excessive temperatures.
If your crock pot is not turning on or working, and none of the solutions above seem to have worked, I’m sorry to say, that this is likely the reason why.
Solution: Depending on your warranty status and coverage, you can take one of two routes.
Provided that you’re still under coverage, you can call your manufacturer, and send your appliance in for repairs. If the damage occurred while operating it normally, they should be able to fix it for you at no charge, unless their policy states otherwise.
On the other hand, if your warranty has expired, you’ll have to weigh the cost of repairs, vs the cost of a new model. It’s best to replace cheaper models, as fixing them will not be worth it.
To have your crock pot not turn on or stop working can be very frustrating. Especially if you had dinner plans or were organizing a get together with friends.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, knowing all the possible culprits, and the ways to address them, puts you one step closer to repairing your appliance correctly, and preventing the issue from reappearing in the future.
Before attempting to do any repairs, please check your warranty status. Moreover, if at any point during this process you feel doubtful or unsafe, please do not hesitate to call a professional. It’s better to be safe, than sorry.
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