An electric rice cooker is a great appliance that is often used to save a lot of time and effort in preparing fast meals after a long day. By using one, the user can quickly make some rice without worrying of overcooking or burning. As such, many people will choose to make rice in place of pasta or potatoes as a side dish.
Like many electrical appliances, a rice cooker can have some problems as it ages. There are electrical problems that surface as the appliance gets some age on it. Many owners will simply throw it in the trash and buy a new one. However, with the right types of components, a do-it-yourselfer can easily fix their rice cooker for prolonged use.
Step 1 - Unplug Power Cord from Wall
Before you start to work on the electric rice cooker, you will want to make sure it is not plugged into any power source.
Step 2 - Remove All Extra Pieces
Take the covering dish out and place it aside. You will also need to remove the burner plate and inner bowl. This will allow you to get to the inner parts of the cooker.
Step 3 - Remove the Base
On the bottom of most electric rice cookers, there are some tabs or screws that hold the base together. Remove the screws or fold back the tabs so that you can remove the base.
Step 4 - Test Heating Element
The cooker's heating element may not be working properly so you'll need to test it first. Disconnect the heating wire from the terminal and test it with a multimeter. Set the meter to read ohms and touch the wire to the terminals. If it gives a very low reading, the element is fine; it the reading is very high or nill, this part must be replaced.
Step 5 - Test Resistor
If the heating element is fine, then the next space to test is the resistor. Use the multimeter again on the same setting and touch the probes to the resistor. The reading should come out to 20 ohms if the resistor is working properly.
Step 6 - Check and Clean Contacts
Another problem associated with older electric rice cooker appliances is that the switch contacts can become dirty or corroded. When this happens they will not allow a solid current to flow when the switch is pressed to start the cooker.
With the base removed, check the contact areas. Check to see if they are burned and if so, you will need to replace them. If not, then use some electrical contact cleaner and a clean rag to get them as good as new.
Step 7 - Move Contacts
If you notice that the contacts are not touching when you press the switch, you can fix this by using a small screwdriver to move the contact closer to the switch.
Step 8 - Replace Components
With the inside pieces either replaced or cleaned, you can put the electric rice cooker back together. Make sure that the power cord is not pinched and that all wires are put back into their original position. Then, screw the base back on and replace the bowl and cover. Make a batch of rice afterward to make sure it works correctly.