Is your sous vide blowing fuses or tripping breakers? The problem might be unrelated to your appliance. Read this.

Where would we be without sous vide cookers? Even the thought of it is unbearable!

You might be thinking I am exaggerating, but am I really? If you’re here reading this, you own one of these appliances yourself, so you know how wonderful, practical, and convenient they are.

Once you have tasted food prepared in them, going back to regular cooking methods is out of the question. You’ll be hard-pressed to achieve the same results with a regular pot or pan with no water circulation.

Now, contrary to what you might believe at this point, I’m not here to advertise the newest, most sophisticated model. I’m here to help you fix your fuse-blowing, breaker-tripping sous vide.

What can you do about this, exactly?

There are numerous reasons why this could be happening to you. From a faulty power source to a dead thermostat. The possibilities are endless, and some are much more severe than others.

Below, I’ve prepared a list with the most common causes behind this occurrence, and the simplest solutions you can implement to address them. I promise you that, if you follow them religiously, your problems will be solved in no time. 

In the best case scenario, you get your sous vide working as good as new. Worst case scenario? You’ll have to call a pro, but you’ll know exactly what is wrong, and how much you should pay for repairs.

Ready? Let’s get down to business!

Fixing a Failing Sous Vide Cooker

Before prying your appliance open and looking into the viability of its internal components, it’s important that we rule out all possible external factors first. Remember that troubleshooting benefits from order, and patience.

Every year, thousands of people spend copious amounts of money trying to repair their sous vide, only to find the problem lied elsewhere. I don’t want you to become part of that statistic. Let’s do this the right way, and save you precious time and money.

Your sous vide might be blowing fuses or tripping breakers due to:

  • A bad outlet
  • A damaged power cord
  • Wet components
  • A faulty heating element
  • A broken thermostat

#1 Check Your Outlet First

You wouldn’t believe how many people mistake a faulty outlet for a malfunction in their appliance’s internal components. And who can blame them? The signs of this occurrence are very similar to those you’d experience when there’s overheating, or a short circuit.

While faulty outlets are not awfully common, they can be very dangerous.

You see, when the damage to the outlet is total, your sous vide machine won’t even turn on, but, if it’s only partial, it could be intermittently supplying your unit with electricity.

It is strongly advised that you stop using your cooker as soon as you suspect this to be the issue. Doing otherwise can cause short circuits, and permanently damage your appliance.

Solution: Test a different outlet.

In order to do this, you must first unplug your appliance, and let it cool down. Once you have done that, take it to a different section of the house, as far removed from the outlet you normally use, as possible, and then plug it back into a new one.

Provided that the outlet is, in fact, to blame, this should resolve the issue.

If you want a challenge, and own a multimeter, you can use it to test the outlet for continuity. While this is totally optional, it is also strongly encouraged. A faulty outlet could be the first sign of a greater malfunction in your home’s electrical layout.

It’s best to always rule out any possibility of something more serious going on.

#2 Your Power Cord Is Damaged

damaged power cord
A damaged power cable can be dangerous

Assuming that your outlet is unscathed, it’s time to look at the next chain in your power supply link.

As you know, a power cord is normally made up of much smaller cables housed inside an external rubber casing. While these are very sturdy, they’re not indestructible.

If you’re in the bad habit of keeping your cable stored improperly, tangled, or pressed against a wall at weird angles for extended periods, you could be contributing to the appearance of this problem.

Just as it happens with the outlet, partial damage is always worse than total damage. It’s much better to not have any power at all than to have it supplied intermittently.

Solution: Try a different cable.

If you’re lucky, you might have a spare one you can use for testing. This will save you both time, and money, as well as provide you with an immediate answer.

Provided that you don’t have another one, that’s perfectly fine too. You can easily find a new cable at any online marketplace by looking up your make and model.

#3 Protect Your Components

I can’t stress this enough. Please read your user manual.

Contrary to what most people believe, sous vide cookers are not designed to be entirely submerged in water. In fact, only the bottom steel skirt is supposed to be in contact with liquids, while the upper part should always remain dry.

Failing to follow these indications can put your machine’s internal components at risk of flooding, and short-circuiting. If your sous vide keep blowing fuses or tripping breakers, chances are you’re submerging a part of the unit that is not supposed to be in contact with water.

Solution: Which part should be submerged and which part shouldn’t will vary greatly from model to model, and from manufacturer to manufacturer, so please be sure to read your user manual again.

If you’re experiencing this issue, and none of the solutions above have worked, your internal components might have sustained damage already.

#4 Your Heating Element Is Faulty

heating element replacement
The heating element is responsible for heat coming out of the device to cook food

In case you’re not familiar with what this nifty little component does, it’s fairly simple. This part is solely responsible for transforming the electrical energy drawn from your wall outlet, into usable heat to cook your food the way you like it.

When it fails, things can go one of two ways. You can either be stuck with sous vide that does not generate heat or one that generates too much, causing overheating.

The latter is much more concerning and could explain why your fuses keep blowing, and your breakers keep tripping.

Solution: In order to fix this, you’ll have to go in. Please follow these steps:

  1. Carefully unplug your unit, and let it cool down
  1. Remove the clamp from the machine’s body
  1. Turn the steel skirt counterclockwise, and remove it carefully
  1. Expose the heating element, and the circulator, and check if the former is working normally by using a multimeter

While null readings (0) will indicate that the part is dead, positive readings do not mean that it’s unscathed. An overheating heating element could still present positive readings, so be very observant.

#5 Your Thermostat Is Dead

The thermostat is used to control the heat

You’ll find this hard to believe, but your sous vide could still overheat despite having a fully functioning heating element.

How so? Due to a failing thermostat.

While your heating element is responsible for creating the heat used to cook, the thermostat’s job is to detect this heat, and regulate it according to the user’s set instructions, and the machine’s internal temperature.

When this part fails, it becomes unable to accurately read what’s going in inside the unit, thus sending incorrect signals to all other internal components.

Provided that your heating element is fine, but your sous vide keeps blowing fuses or tripping breakers, it’s quite possible that you need a new thermostat.  

Solution: The process for checking the viability of a thermostat is quite similar to that of the heating element, you’ll just have to add a couple of extra steps:

  1. Carefully unplug your unit, and let it cool down
  2. Remove the clamp from the machine’s body
  3. Turn the steel skirt counterclockwise, and remove it carefully
  4. Carefully pry open the appliance’s upper body. It should split vertically in half, right where the plastic seem is visible
  5. Expose your unit’s guts, and locate the thermostat
  6. Test it for continuity with a multimeter

Conclusion

To have your sous vide keep blowing fuses and tripping breakers, can be a nightmare. After all, you bought this appliance to make your life easier, not more complicated.

That being said, as you’ve learned on this piece, addressing most of the causes behind this occurrence is fairly easy, and quick. All you need to do is analyze the external factors, and replace any part that needs replacing.

Believe in yourself and in your DIY skills, but never attempt any repairs if you feel unsafe or doubtful. Remember, it’s vital to keep safety as a top priority at all times.

Thank you so much for reading. If you found this article useful, why not keep the learning going through our other incredible resources below?

Bon Appétit!