Rice Cooker Repair – Rick’s Column

Our $10 Wal-Mart B&D rice cooker stopped working last night.  I just opened it up and, using a multimeter, found an inline fuse blown.

I clipped the fuse off and reconnected the wire.  I can’t imagine any real harm, since the circuit is gfi protected anyway.  Am I missing something?  Running a test batch of rice now to see how it turns out.

BTW: if you’ve always wondered about those center spring mechanisms, they’re pretty simple…and interesting.  The center plunger is not charged with electricity (unlike a lot of toasters, which are actually engaging electromagnets when you put the plunger down–hence the futility of slamming the plunger down, it not a mechanical catch of some sort).  Inside, the rice cooker there’s a magnet on an arm connected to the front mechanical operating slide, a bit like a toaster–up is warm, down is cook.  The weight of the water and rice in the pan hold the plunger down and the magnet sticks to the underside, closing the high heat or cook circuit.

When enough water boils away, the spring pushes the plunger up, which lifts the pan and breaks contact with the magnet breaking the high heat connection.  There’s a separate permanent circuit always connected for “warm” with it’s own little heating element.  You have to unplug the whole thing to turn the warming circuit off.

the system just “popped” open, turning off the high heat coil.   Looks fine, but you always wonder…at least I do.  OTOH, a rice cooker isn’t like a crockpot. We’d never leave it running all day.  Any ideas? At $10 am I being penny wise and pound foolish?

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  1. Sander Tel says

    Hi Eric,

    You can use the device without the inline fuse as long as somewhere in the circuit there is a fuse in place and when you use the device in an outlet which has a good ground connection with a earth/ground leak circuit breaker also installed in the circuit…

    If you use the modified 10$ device like that you should be fine…

    Regards, Sander.

  2. Eric Gunnar Rochow says

    excellent Sander! that’s brilliant. you can buy an inline fuse at a Radio Shack here in the states or online. thx, eric.

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