Slow Cooker Repair

Slow cookers, also called crock pots, are simple yet ingenious devices for people on the go. This Fix-It Guide on slow cooker repair tells how a slow cooker works, what often goes wrong, how to identify a slow cooker 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 slow cooker. This Fix-It Guide also refers to electrical receptacle repair, electrical cord repair, heating element repair, appliance controls repair, and more for more help on slow cooker repair.

slowcooker1 Slow Cooker Repair

This slow cooker has a friction washer on the bottom that will be damaged in removal and must be replaced.

How Does a Slow Cooker Work?

A slow cooker is a small appliance with a ceramic pot, a heating element, and a metal shell for slow cooking foods in liquid. The wire element made of Nichrome encircles the metal liner that transfers heat to the crock. The tight lid and low, steady temperatures reduce evaporation and promote thorough cooking. Most slow cookers have a removable pot for easier cleaning–and easier access to internal parts.

What Can Go Wrong with a Slow Cooker?

slowcooker2 Slow Cooker Repair

This smaller slow cooker (actually a potpourri pot) has a removable nut on the bottom that allows access to internal parts.

Actually, little can go wrong with this simple appliance. The cord can need replacing. The thermostat, heating element, and switch can be faulty. And the crock can crack.

Fix-It Tip

Most slow cookers have a maximum power rating of less than 300 watts, making them relatively safe to leave on all day or overnight. However, make sure the unit is placed on a surface that can withstand spills–just in case contents boil over.

How Can I Identify a Slow Cooker Problem?

Fix-It Tip

Slow cookers are inexpensive to replace compared to buying a replacement heating element or controls. If these components are faulty, try repairing them yourself before buying a new element or controls. If the element or controls are damaged beyond repair, it may be most cost-effective to buy a new slow cooker.

What Do I Need for Slow Cooker Repair?

Replacement parts are available through the manufacturer or a small appliance parts store. The tools you’ll need for dis-assembly and testing include these:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Multimeter

What Are the Steps to Slow Cooker Repair?

slowcooker3 Slow Cooker Repair

The heating element in this case is electrical wires wrapped around the ceramic pot and connected to the end of the electrical cord. Test for continuity with a multimeter.

Disassemble and test a slow cooker:

  1. Unplug the appliance from the electrical receptacle.
  2. Remove the pot, inspect it for cracks and replace the pot if necessary.
  3. Turn the unit over and remove the base that is held on by screws, clips, or nuts.
  4. With the base off, remove wire connectors and test the electrical cord.
  5. Access and disconnect the electrical leads to the heating element(s) and test.
  6. Replace the electrical cord or heating elements as needed and reassemble.

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