Is your deep fryer not working? You might be suffering from a fried circuit board. Here are all 6 known issues, with fixes.
Deep fryers are incredible pieces of equipment. I can’t fathom the idea of a world where the delicious foods they provide, do not exist. It’s nightmarish.
That being said, as wonderful as they are, perfection is a feature they lack, which means that they can fail over time, either due to normal wear and tear, or to poor maintenance.
If your unit is currently giving you trouble, it might comfort you to know that you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of deep fryer owners undergo a myriad of inconveniences while trying to use their beloved kitchen companions.
These appliances might seem simplistic from the outside, but internally, they are full of little interdependent parts that make them work.
In order to troubleshoot them properly, you need to have a very clear idea of what you’re looking for.
Below, you’ll find a list of the most common causes behind your deep fryer not working, and the solutions you can implement to address them. By the end of it, I’m confident that your unit will be as good as new.
Ready? Let’s get to work.
Fixing a Malfunctioning Deep Fryer
“Not working” is a very broad term, so let me elaborate. Your appliance might not be:
- Staying lit
- Heating up
- Turning on
Since I want to provide you with the clearest solutions, we’ll explore each category in detail, along with their corresponding culprits.
How to Reset Your Deep Fryer
I’d be remiss not to ask you to reset your deep fryer before starting off this list. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with your appliance, and all it needs is a little “refreshing”.
Fixing A Fryer That Won’t Stay Lit
First, let’s look at the least severe failure. If your deep fryer is turning on, but won’t stay lit, chances are this is due to a power source malfunction.
#1 A Faulty Outlet
Test your outlet to get ahead of a larger issue
You might be tempted to look for problems inside your appliance first. This is a big mistake.
You’d be surprised at how many people spend copious amounts of money every year trying to find out what’s wrong with their deep fryer, only to realize too late, that the answer lied with their power source.
Ruling out your wall outlet as the possible culprit is not only advisable, but essential. A faulty outlet could be the first symptom of a larger issue in your home’s electrical layout.
Solution: Carefully unplug your appliance, let it cool down, and throw away any leftover oil in the basket.
Once you have done that, take your deep fryer to a different section of the house, preferably as far away as possible from the outlet you normally use, and plug it back into a different one. If this resolves the issue, mystery solved!
If you’re up for a challenge and wish to hone your DIY skills, you can use a multimeter to test the outlet for continuity. This is completely optional, but as I said above, it’s a good idea if you fear something else might be wrong with your home’s wiring.
It’s best to nip whatever’s going on, in the bud.
#2 A Damaged Power Cord
Your power cord might be to blame
Provided that your wall outlet is fine, we must move on to the next chain in the power supply link. The power cord.
Depending on how long you’ve owned your deep fryer, this cable might have sustained some damage over its months, or years of faithful service. It might not look like it, but damaging this cord is actually simpler than you think. If you can smell any burning, this could be a key sign of a damaged power cord.
In fact, small bad habits, such as keeping it stored improperly, tangled, or pressed against a wall in a weird angle, are more than enough to do it in. Who would have thought, huh?
Depending on how severe the damage is, you could be experiencing a series of symptoms.
If the cable is totally broken, your deep fryer will not turn on, but if it is only partially damaged, any slight movements could be causing it to stop supplying your unit with power.
Moreover, a partially damaged cable sets the perfect scenario for short-circuiting, which could kill your circuit board, so make sure to stop using your unit as soon as you suspect this to be the issue.
Solution: Replace the cord.
If you happen to have a spare one lying around that you can use for testing, go ahead. Just make sure that it meets the same amperage and voltage requirements as the broken one.
It’s also ok if you just have one. You can do a quick Google search on your deep fryer’s make and model to find the right replacement at any online marketplace for less than $35.
While some deep fryers are designed to make replacements easier, others have fixes components that could prove difficult to remove.
Deep Fryer Not Heating Up?
If your power sources are alive and well, the next possible malfunction is a problem with heat generation. There are several possible reasons behind this, and all of them need to be addressed immediately.
#3 Your Thermostat Is Broken
Test your thermostat for continuity
The thermostat is essential to your deep fryer’s heating process.
This component is solely responsible for sensing, and regulating the temperature inside your appliance. It prevents overheating, and guarantees optimal frying, and operating conditions.
If your deep fryer is not working, and you’re having trouble getting it to heat up, chances are this component is failing, rendering it incapable of sensing its own temperature, thus resulting in cold, or lukewarm oil.
Think of it as taking a hot shower during a cold winter day. The water might be extremely hot, but you will not sense that at first, because your body is temporarily numb from the cold.
A failing thermostat preventing your deep fryer from generating heat is not as bad as the extreme opposite.
Failure in this component could also cause overheating, and even make your unit catch on fire. So, if you’re in the former situation, you’re lucky, so to speak.
Solution: To fix this, you’ll have to go in. While the process may vary from model to model, following the steps below will most likely work:
- Carefully unplug your appliance, let it cool down, and remove any leftover oil in the basket
- Turn the unit upside-down
- Locate the screws at the bottom
- Remove them with a screwdriver
- Remove the outer panel
- Expose your appliance’s guts
- Locate the thermostat, and test it for continuity
If there is none, the part needs replacing. You can get a new one either from a hardware store near you, or from your manufacturer.
#4 Your Heating Element Is Faulty
Beware of a faulty heating element
Provided that your heat regulator is unscathed, we should look at your heat generator.
In case you’re unfamiliar with how heating elements work, it’s fairly simple. These components transform the electrical energy drawn from your wall outlet, into usable energy to heat up the vegetable oil you’ll fry your food in.
If your deep fryer is not heating up, chances are this component is failing, and no longer capable of doing its job.
Just as it happens with the thermostat, the symptoms of a failing heating element can vary.
While in your case, your heating element is not producing heat, there is also the possibility that this component can overheat and fry your circuit board, so be careful.
Solution: Please follow the steps from the previous point to expose your heating element and test it for continuity. Just wait for the deep fryer to cool down completely, as this component can get extremely hot.
#5 You Have a Blown Fuse
Overheating might have caused your fuse to blow
If any of the previous two components showed signs of malfunction, you most definitely have a blown fuse.
As you know, this nifty little component is responsible for sensing large power spikes or extreme temperatures, and “blowing” to cut off all electrical continuity inside your deep fryer.
And while in 99% of cases fuses work wonders at protecting your appliance, sometimes, they might not “blow” properly, which would explain why your deep fryer is still working, but not heating up.
Even if your deep fryer still turns on despite having a blown fuse, you should avoid using it at all costs until you put in a new one.
Solution: Please follow the steps from point #4 to expose the blown fuse and replace it with a new one.
As opposed to the other components on this list, the naked eye can easily spot a blown fuse, so you don’t need a multimeter to test the part for viability. All you have to look out for are signs of a small explosion, such as blackening, and a broken filament inside its glass body.
What If It Won’t Turn On?
This is the worst case scenario. If your deep fryer won’t turn on regardless of what you try, chances are you’ll have to buy a new one.
#6 Your Circuit Board Is Dead
Protect your circuit board at all costs
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if none of the solutions above solved your problem, chances are your circuit board might be dead.
This can happen for a number of reasons. From overheating, to a large power spike caused by a blackout.
While there are several components, and countermeasures installed inside your appliance to prevent this from happening, it will unfortunately always be a possibility.
If your deep fryer is not working or not turning on, there are a couple of routes you can take to address this unfortunate circuit board situation.
Solution: Depending on your current warranty status and coverage, you might want to send the appliance in for repairs to your manufacturer, or replace it altogether.
Now, why am I advising to replace unit? You see, the cost of a new circuit board is not too high, but the cost of labor to have it repaired, can be.
If you are no longer eligible for free repairs from your manufacturer, unless your deep fryer is expensive, or professional-grade, getting a new model is the best solution.
As a rule of thumb, if the cost of repairing your current appliance exceeds 50% of the cost of a new model with similar features, paying for it is a bad investment.
As you’ve learned in the article above, your deep fryer can stop working for a myriad of reasons, each more severe than the last.
Fortunately, most of these problems can be easily addressed in no time. And even those repairs that might take you a little longer, should not be too challenging.
That being said, if you ever feel doubtful during the process, do not hesitate to call a technician, and please make sure to check your warranty before tempering with your unit, as you may still be under coverage and eligible for free repairs.