Hot plates are still handy for heating up a pot or skillet of food when a stove isn’t handy or necessary. This Fix-It Guide on hot plate repair tells how a hot plate works, what often goes wrong, how to identify a hot plate problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. It then gives simple step-by-step instructions for how to disassemble and test a hot plate. This Fix-It Guide also refers to electrical cord repair and heating element repair for further information.
How Does a Hot Plate Work?
A hot plate is a small electric appliance for cooking in a small space. The main parts of a hot plate are the heating element(s) and one or more devices to regulate the heat. Some hot plates have a calibrated thermostat while others simply have an on-off switch.
What Can Go Wrong with a Hot Plate?
A burned-out heating element is one of the most common problems with hot plates. The electrical cord or the thermostat may be faulty. Internal wiring can be damaged. Contacts may have become fused.
If the cord is detachable, always plug one end firmly into the hot plate before plugging the other end into the wall outlet.
How Can I Identify a Hot Plate Problem?
- If the hot plate doesn’t heat, make sure power is on at the outlet and test the electrical cord. You may need to examine internal wiring for damage or wear and replace any wiring or connections that look burned or otherwise faulty. Test the thermostat and the thermal fuse (if the appliance has one) and replace as necessary. Test the heating element and replace it if it is faulty.
- If the hot plate is not level or tips when used, check for damaged feet and repair or replace as needed. If the unit includes a leveling leg, adjust it with a screwdriver.
- If the hot plate doesn’t shut off or heats whenever it’s plugged in, inspect the thermostat contacts and repair or replace the thermostat.
Food spills can dramatically reduce the life of your hot plate. Keep the burners and plugs clean.
What Do I Need for Hot Plate Repair?
Replacement cords can be found at many larger hardware stores. If you need to buy a replacement part, check with the manufacturer or an aftermarket appliance supply source. The tools you’ll need to disassemble and test a hot plate include these:
What Are the Steps to Hot Plate Repair?
Disassemble and test a hot plate:
- Unplug the hot plate from the electrical receptacle.
- Find the screws or bolts holding the hot plate together and carefully remove them, noting where they should be reinstalled.
- Remove the housing to access the burner(s), internal wiring, and other components.
- Use a multimeter to test each electrical component; replace as needed.
Don’t plug a hot plate into an extension cord; plug it directly into the electrical receptacle to reduce the chance of fire.