Waffles are a favorite American breakfast food that are eaten plain or with toppings. Is it any wonder that a majority of American homes have a waffle maker? But when waffle makers stop working, what can you do?
If your waffle maker stops working, you need to check if there is something wrong with the power cord, then see if the heating elements, thermal fuse, or thermostat are in working order. The power cord might have an incomplete circuit or a thermal element stopped working.
If your waffle maker does not turn on or does not heat up as it should, do not worry, as there are very simple fixes for these issues. Read on and discover how you can get more use out of a waffle maker that has stopped working.
Check the Power Cord
Before attempting repairs, unplug your waffle maker first, which will keep you safe from getting shocked when you do open the waffle maker to do the repairs.
Below are the steps in troubleshooting a waffle maker that has stopped working:
- Check the power cord for physical damage, like a chewed-up cord.
- Check if the power cord has a complete circuit using a multimeter.
- Choose the continuity setting, and touch one of the test probes to one of the cord’s terminals.
- Then touch the other probe on one of the switch’s incoming wires. The multimeter will make a sound if there are no problems with the power cord.
- Then do the same on the other prong and other inlet wire.
Replacing a Faulty Power Cord
If the power cord has been nicked, cut, or otherwise compromised, you can buy a plug end like these:
- Leviton 515PV-LIT Plug End Replacement
- STARELO Replacement Plug & Connector Set Extension Cord Ends
- Katzco 3 Prong Male Electrical End Plugs
These products will work in cases where you have a cut power cable. You only need to cut off the cable after the nicked or cut part and put these plug end replacements on the power cable. Here is how you replace the plug on your power cord:
You can also replace the entire power cord by buying replacements, such as:
- Bergen Industries Inc Appliance and Power Tool Cord
- Pinfox Replacement Power Supply Cord
- Prime Coffee Maker and Small Appliance Power Supply Cord
Corroded Wire Connections
Metal wires can corrode over time, as they are made with copper, which can oxidize. Corroded wires will look like it is coated with greenish or white powder. Corroded wires and connections have diminished conductive properties, which might cause your waffle maker not to heat up properly or even not power on in the long run.
To fix your waffle maker:
- Unplug your waffle maker to ensure that no power is going through the circuits. You’ll want to wear safety glasses and rubber gloves to protect your skin and eyes from the residue.
- Access the wires and clean them using a wire brush to remove the corrosive material on the wire.
- Then mix baking soda with warm water and use an old toothbrush to scrub the wire with this solution. You will see the wire fizzing as the baking soda solution reacts with the corrosion.
- Repeat this process until the fizzing stops, then reconnect the cables to your waffle maker.
Problems With the Thermal Fuse
Waffle makers sometimes have a thermal fuse that protects the appliance from overheating. A thermal fuse detects when there is too much heat because there is a component that broke down somewhere. Either that or there has been some sort of short circuit causing over-current.
These components react or get triggered when the circuit gets too hot. Thermal fuses are different from circuit breakers or electrical fuses because they do not respond to excessive current.
These components are often found in appliances that produce heat, such as waffle makers, hairdryers, heat guns, and other similar devices.
There are also instances where excessive current makes the thermal fuse heat up and fail. As such, you can view thermal fuses as a safety mechanism for your waffle maker, which will disconnect the electrical current that goes to the heating element when it is malfunctioning.
Without a thermal fuse, you run the risk of fire. Overheating appliances are said to cause at least 150,000 home fires every year, which translates to 150 deaths and close to 3,700 injuries, according to this Consumer Reports article.
Testing To See if the Thermal Fuse Is the Problem
How do you know for sure if the thermal fuse is causing your waffle maker to stop working? Using a multimeter, touch the left and right sides of the thermal fuse with the lead. If there is no movement, then the thermal fuse has blown.
This video shows you how to check for a blown fuse using your multimeter’s continuity tests or ohm setting:
If you do not have a multimeter at home, these are your best choices:
How To Fix Your Waffle Maker With Thermal Fuse Problems
The only way to fix a thermal fuse is to replace it. This component might not be readily available at your local hardware, so you might need to order thermal fuses from the manufacturer. Different waffle makers have different thermal fuses, so you will need to know the part number to make sure that you get the right one for your appliance.
If it is unavailable from the manufacturer, try online sellers. To give you an idea of what is out there, you check out:
To ensure that you get the correct thermal fuse, check the temperature rating, which is usually stated in degrees Celsius. The replacement should have similar ratings as the one in your waffle maker.
If you have the correct thermal fuse, you can now begin replacing your busted-out thermal fuse. Here is how you do it:
- Open your waffle maker and locate the thermal fuse. Take the thermal fuse out of the insulation sleeve.
- Cut out the old thermal fuse. You’ll need to cut close to the terminals to leave as much wire intact because you will use these wires to solder the new fuse into the circuit. On some thermal fuses, you can just wrap the wires around the terminals of the new fuse, so you do not have to solder anymore.
- Put the insulation cover back on the new thermal fuse.
How To Solder a Thermal Fuse
There are times when you will need to solder the thermal fuse to the connectors in your waffle maker, especially if there is not enough wire left when you cut the old fuse. However, you might encounter problems when soldering thermal fuses because some soldering irons can get too hot, and it blows out the fuse even before you can use it.
How do you solder a thermal fuse? Keep the fuse as cool as possible by soldering it while one end is submerged in water. Doing so will help keep the temperatures low.
Problems With the Thermal Elements
Sometimes, you turn on your waffle maker and then discover that it does not heat up at all. If this is the case, the most likely source of the problem is one of the heating elements.
Waffle makers have two heating elements: one at the top and another at the bottom grilles, and you need both of them to be working correctly to get an evenly cooked waffle. Sometimes, having one heating element fail may not get the waffle maker hot enough to cook your waffles.
How To Check if the Problem Is the Heating Element
Using a multimeter’s continuity test, check both heating elements if they are working correctly. Disconnect one of the wires from each heating element and test.
This video will give you an idea of how to check your waffle maker’s heating elements, but it uses bigger heating elements of a water heater:
Heating coils may or may not be replaceable. Most waffle irons have an exposed spring-like coil that is made of wire, and these coils are replaceable. You’ll need to get a new one and make sure that the open-element is suspended properly using the insulating supports.
However, some waffle makers may have sheathed heating elements, as the coils are not suspended or out in the open but are encased in steel. Most sheathed heating elements are not replaceable.
If your waffle maker’s heating elements and thermal fuse are not the problems, then it could be a faulty thermostat. If your waffle maker is not getting hot enough to cook your waffles, then the thermostat might be at fault.
Thermostats prevent damage and overheating when using your waffle maker. Once your waffle maker cooks the waffles, the thermostat will interrupt the power that goes into your waffle maker, allowing it to cool off.
Thermostats regulate the temperatures, so your appliance does not overheat while cooking batches of waffles.
They also help save time because you no longer have to turn your waffle maker on and off to keep it from overheating. You can keep your waffle maker on even in between batches, so you do not have to wait for the heating elements to warm up again.
The thing with thermostats is that they only have 100,000 cycles, which means that your typical waffle maker would have around four months of use before needing a replacement thermostat.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the built-in thermostat is usually located near the knob, which controls the heating level of your waffle maker. Here are some of the most problems that you might encounter with a faulty thermostat
|Waffle maker overheats.||The thermostat is stuck in the fully closed position.|
|The waffle maker does not heat.||The thermostat is stuck in the fully open position.|
|The waffle maker does not produce enough heat.||There are burned contacts that are resulting in intermittent or not uniform connections.|
You will need to replace a faulty thermostat, but make sure you get the right one according to your model. For instance, if you have Carnival King WBM series waffle maker, you can get this WBMTHERM Thermostat for less than $40.
Getting a Higher Temperature From Your Waffle Maker
There are times when a waffle maker is not getting hot enough to give your waffles a lovely toasty shade of brown, which might be a simple problem with your waffle maker’s thermostat being too sensitive or faulty.
If your thermostat is working, but your waffle maker is still not getting hot enough to cook your waffles correctly, you might want to add some insulation to your thermostat.
Adding insulation between the metal plates and your thermostat will increase your unit’s average temperature because the thermostat cannot detect the temperature of the heating plate that efficiently.