Deep Fryer Tripping Your Circuit Breaker? 5 Fixes To Try
Is your deep fryer tripping your circuit breaker? There might be leaking involved. Here are 5 fixes to try.
Deep fryers are the cornerstone of fast foods, and everything that is delicious. I can’t imagine living in a world without the greasy delicacies these appliances provide us with. Can you?
They might seem like very straightforward devices. Fill them with oil, throw whatever you want to deep-fry inside them, and enjoy. Easy, right? Well, not quite. In fact, inside each of these appliances are little components that are highly interdependent and guarantee their optimal functioning.
So, what happens when one of them fails? Best case scenario, your breakers trip. Worst case scenario? You’re stuck with an expensive doorstop rendered useless by a fried circuit board.
If your deep fryer keeps tripping your breakers, you’re not alone. Thousands of people undergo this inconvenience every year, and not all of them succeed in fixing their appliances.
What’s the difference between you and them? That you’re prepared.
Below, you’ll find a list of the most common causes of this occurrence and the simplest steps you can follow to address them. Rest assured that, by the time we reach the end of his article, you will have fixed your deep fryer, or at least found the source of the problem.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Before I actually go into telling you how to disassemble your deep fryer and access its internal components, we must look at the external factors that could be contributing to the appearance of this issue.
We often overlook the most obvious causes due to their apparent unimportance and unlikelihood of being the culprits. That’s a big mistake that we won’t be making today.
Check your wall outlet for failure
Paying to get your deep fryer repaired when the wall outlet is to blame, is like running up and down your house looking for your favorite watch, only to realize it was strapped to your wrist this whole time.
A faulty wall outlet could be causing your deep fryer to keep tripping your circuit breakers. Moreover, this occurrence not only represents a danger to your appliance, but to your entire home’s electrical layout.
Solution: Test your deep fryer in a different outlet.
Carefully unplug your unit, let it cool down, and remove the oil in the chamber if there is any. Once you have done that, take your appliance to a different section of your house, and plug it back into a different outlet.
Did that resolve the issue? Great! Did it not? Read on, there’s still a lot of ground to cover.
If you want to challenge, and own a multimeter, you can test the outlet for continuity. This is entirely optional, but strongly encouraged, since, as I said before, a failing outlet can be the first symptom of a larger problem.
It’s best to nip the inconvenience in the bud before it wreaks havoc all over your home.
Damaging your power cord is easier than you think
Moving down the power supply chain, it’s time to look at your power cord.
While it might look thick and sturdy on the outside, there are several small cables inside it that can be damaged extremely easily. In fact, negligible bad practices, such as storing your cable incorrectly, keeping it tangled or pressed against a wall, are more than enough to cause permanent damage.
If your deep fryer is tripping your circuit breaker, chances are that the cable is partially damaged and causing continuous small short circuits.
A couple of events might not cause a lot of problems, but if you leave this issue unattended for long, it can eventually damage your circuit board and kill your appliance for good.
Solution: If you have a spare power cord lying around, you can use it for testing, and save some money. Just make sure that it meets the same voltage and amperage requirements as the damaged one.
Provided that you don’t have spare cables for testing (and let’s be honest, why would you?), you can find a replacement for less than $30 at any online marketplace.
Small fractures in your deep fryer’s chamber could cause leaking
Oil and water definitely do not get along, but they do share one similarity. They’re both liquid, and they’re both more than capable of causing damage to your deep fryer if they leak into your unit’s internal components.
Your deep fryer’s chamber is built to be resistant, as it serves as the only barrier between the scorching-hot oil, and your appliance’s guts, which means that, any crack or damage can compromise its containment abilities.
I’m not talking about penny-sized holes here. I’m talking about the tinniest hairline fractures, almost invisible to the human eye. These may not wreak havoc right away, but, if left undetected for long, they can allow for some oil to seep through.
Solution: Carefully unplug your deep fryer, let it cool down, and remove the oil in the chamber if there is any.
Once you’ve done that, you can feel for cracks or abnormal textures in the chamber that could indicate damage.
Alternatively, if you want to be extremely thorough, and don’t mind not using your deep fryer for a couple of days, you can also mark the oil level once it’s cool, and check again later to see if it has descended.
Check your heating element for continuity
This is probably one of the most important components in your deep fryer.
As you know, your heating element is solely responsible for transforming the electrical energy it draws from your wall outlet, into usable heat to fry your food. In some models, this component is removable for easy replacement, but in some others, it’s fixed.
When this part fails, one of two things can happen. You can either be stuck with a deep fryer that does not generate heat or one that generates too much, which could be causing it to trip your circuit breakers as a countermeasure to overheating.
As soon as you suspect this to be the issue, stop using your deep fryer, as it could not only permanently damage your appliance, but also make your oil catch on fire.
Solution: You’ll have to go in, please follow the steps below. While all models are different, the process should be similar for all cases:
- Carefully unplug your appliance, let it cool down, and remove any leftover oil
- Turn your appliance upside down and locate the screws at the bottom
- Undo them with a screwdriver and remove the outer panel
- Expose your appliance’s guts
- Identify your heating element and test it for continuity
- Replace it if necessary
As stated above, some models will have a removable heating element, and you won’t need to access the appliance’s internal components to change it, but if this is not the case, the steps above will help you.
A fried circuit board can result in permanent damage to your deep fryer
I know this is probably not the news you wanted, but if none of the solutions above solved the problem, we have to start considering the possibility of your circuit board being fried.
This can happen for a number of reasons. From large power spikes caused by blackouts, to overheating, resulting from a faulty heating element.
Normally, an appliance with a fried circuit board will not work, but if the damage is not too severe, there’s a chance that your deep fryer could still be operating and short-circuiting continuously, which could be causing your circuit breakers to trip.
It goes without saying, that you should not use your unit if you suspect this to be the issue.
Solution: Depending on the status of your warranty, you can either try and send it in to your manufacturer for repairs, or get a new model. The route you take will depend greatly on whether the repair can be done for free, and the price tag on your current appliance.
A cheap deep fryer that will cost you money to fix, is not worth the effort, but if your appliance was expensive, and is professional-grade, you can consider calling a technician.
As a rule of thumb, a circuit board repair that exceeds 50% of the price of a new model, is a bad investment.
You never know how important an appliance is to you, until it starts failing, and you can’t take advantage of its features anymore. Deep fryers open up a myriad of possibilities for their owners, so having them in less-than-optimal conditions can prove troublesome.
Luckily, in most cases, a deep fryer’s malfunctions can be solved with either a slight modification of your user habits, or proper maintenance.
And even when addressing the issues require you to tamper with your unit’s internal components, the repairs should be simple. That being said, you should never try to fix your deep fryer if you feel unsafe or doubtful. Please call a professional in any of these scenarios.
Thank you for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article useful, why not keep the learning going with our other incredible resources below?