Is your waffle iron not heating up? There may be something loose inside it. Here are 5 known causes, with fixes.

It’s early in the morning, you turn your waffle iron on and put it to work, only to discover that it’s not heating up, and your breakfast is ruined. How can this be?

There are many reasons why this could be happening to you. Depending on the use you give it and the age of your appliance, the issue could be more or less technical. Sometimes it’s not even something you did or didn’t do, but normal wear and tear of your waffle iron’s components.

Don’t worry, though, in most cases, the fix is very simple and should not be expensive. You can even do it yourself in less than 20 minutes.

I always like to say that troubleshooting is a matter of patience and following the right steps in the right order, which is why I’ve prepared the list below. The main goal here is to isolate the possible culprits and address them individually.

Are you ready? Let’s get those crunchy waffles back in your menu!

Your Waffle Iron Might Not Be Heating up Due To…

  • A damaged power cord
  • A bad heating element
  • A broken thermal fuse
  • A faulty thermostat
  • A loose internal component

The idea is to go from general to specifics in order to avoid unnecessary repairs or lost time. What’s the point of opening your waffle iron if the problem could be external?

If you have a multimeter, it would be a good idea to bring it out now to test some of these components and determine their viability.

#1 Your Power Cord Is Damaged

Test your power cord

There’s a very good chance that your power cord has sustained some damage over the years or months it’s been with you.

In fact, it’s very easy to partially or completely destroy your appliance’s power cord. Having it tangled or constantly pressed against a wall is more than enough to cause the issue. Treat your power cords with respect!

That being said, if your waffle iron still works but does not heat up, it’s likely that the cord is only partially damaged, as it wouldn’t even turn on otherwise. This is not necessarily good news. Let me tell you why.

If your cord is only partially damaged, you’re still stuck with an appliance that does not work properly, and even worse, it leaves you vulnerable to short circuits that could potentially damage or kill your waffle iron altogether.

Power Cord Replacement
If the waffle iron’s power cord is damaged or frayed, STOP using it and replace it immediately.

Solution: Try a different cord.

If you happen to have a spare lying around, use it to operate your appliance and see if that fixes the issue. 

Now, I don’t expect you to have extra cords just waiting to be used, so if you only have the one, you can look up your appliance’s make and model on Google and find a replacement at any online marketplace for less than $20.

#2 The Heating Element Is Failing

No heat? Heating element is probably dead

This could actually go in either direction. No heat, or overheating.

When your heating element fails, your waffle iron struggles to generate heat, as this component transforms electrical energy into high temperatures through a series of coils and conductivity.

And while this is the most common symptom of failure, you should always watch out for the opposite, as it could also be rising your appliance’s temperature beyond its recommended limit, which would be very dangerous.

Solution: Test and replace.

The only way to determine whether this component is actually to blame, is to open your waffle iron. To do so, please follow these steps:

  • Unplug your waffle iron and let it cool down if it’s hot
  • Look for the appliance’s external screws and undo them
  • Expose the waffle iron’s guts
  • Look for your heating element and try to access it
  • Test for conductivity with your multimeter
  • Replace the part if needed

Remember, no conductivity means that your heating element is toast.

#3 Your Thermal Fuse Needs Replacing

Be on the lookout for a blown thermal fuse

What happens when your waffle iron overheats? Well, normally, fuses blow. That’s what!

As you probably guessed, the thermal fuse’s job within your appliance is to quickly react to any excessive heat or power surges by breaking the continuous electrical flow between its internal components. You can think of it as your waffle iron’s guardian angel.

And while it works wonders, it’s a one-time savior. Once it blows, the electrical flow inside your appliance can no longer circulate as it should. It’s like a bridge with a big gap in the middle.

If your waffle iron is not heating up, it might be time to make some repairs.

Solution: Follow the steps from the point above to expose your appliance’s guts and find your thermal fuse.

Repeat the same multimeter conductivity test you carried out with your heating element, and assess. In case you determine you’re going to have to go to the hardware store, it’s not a bad idea to pick up some extra fuses in case this ever happens again.

Man Using a Soldering to fix waffle iron
To replace a burnt out thermal fuse and return the waffle iron to working order, you are going to need need a soldering iron and some solder.

#4 You Have a Faulty Thermostat

This happens to both waffle irons, and people! It’s probably the reason why some folks prefer summer vacations in Tuscany, and other’s can’t wait for winter to go skiing.

And while personal preferences don’t hurt anyone, the same can’t be said for faulty waffle iron thermostats.

This component is responsible for measuring and regulating your appliance’s internal temperature. When it fails, it sends inaccurately high temperature readings to your heating element, keeping it warm at best.

Solution: This is fairly simple, just follow the same procedure from the previous points to expose the appliance’s guts and test for conductivity. If the part needs replacement, you can buy it at any hardware store.

All done!

#5 There’s an Internal Component Loose

Watch out for loose wires

This problem is much more common than you’d think.  All it takes for it to manifest itself is poor transportation conditions or an accidental drop.

If you’ve already tested all the components mentioned above and your waffle iron is still not heating up, there’s a very good chance that something inside it is not connected properly. The likelihood of this being your issue is dramatically increased if everything else works, except for the heat.

This would be a good time to bring out your soldering iron, if you have one.

Solution: Unplug your appliance, follow the steps from the previous points, and plug in your soldering iron. If you have your waffle iron’s diagram handy, even better.

Look for any internal component that looks loosely attached or detached altogether, and carefully solder it back where it belongs. This should restore universal continuity within your appliance and stop your heating problem!

Conclusion

Having your waffle iron fail to do the one thing it was designed to, is very frustrating. Especially when you’re not looking to buy a new one or spend large amounts of money calling a technician.

These appliances are usually very straightforward and not complicated, but it can definitely be intimidating to think about trying to fix them yourself.

The good news is that, more often than not, the underlying issue is much simpler than it seems, and it can be fixed in less than 20 minutes. Trust me, if you’re trying to get more involved in DIY’s and being your own technician, waffle irons are a great place to start.

That being said, the line between learning and putting yourself at risk can be very blurry at times, which is why it’s of the utmost importance that you keep safety as a top priority. Always. There’s no shame in asking for help or admitting when you’re overwhelmed.

Thank you for sticking with me all the way to the end, I hope this list resolved your issue. If you feel like you learned something valuable today, why stop here? Check out our other wonderful sources of knowledge below!

Happy DIY’s.