Zojirushi rice cooker troubleshooting. Detailed guide

Zojirushi is one of the most renowned companies in the kitchen appliances market. They offer a wide variety of products including rice cookers. Generally, Zojirushi rice cookers are very reliable. However, sometimes even these gadgets malfunction. Here are some of the most common problems and ways to solve them.

zojirushi rice cooker troubleshooting

What are the common troubles of rice cooker?

In this article, all the malfunctions and technical issues will be divided into three categories.

  1. Critical malfunctions, which cannot or rather should not be solved by the customer.
  2. Minor malfunctions, which the customer can attempt to solve on their own.
  3. Various malfunctions were caused by the improper treatment of the rice cooker.

Bear in mind that this article is not an official manual, but rather a short basic overview of the most common issues.

There are many models of Zojirushi rice cookers and each of them operates slightly differently.

So if you’ve experienced some troubles with your rice cooker, I recommend you first consult the instruction manual provided with your model and then use this article for general guidance.

There will also be a brief FAQ with the top 5 issues at the end of the article.

Critical malfunctions

Excessive use simply causes the most critical malfunctions.

Every appliance has its life span. Usually, after many years of usage technical problems tend to accumulate, and eventually, any gadget, including rice cookers, will break down. More often than not, these kinds of malfunctions cannot be resolved.

Internal circuit issues. If your Zojirushi rice cooker stopped working abruptly, there might be some internal circuit issues. Identifying these issues is simple; however, they still might be confused with a couple of other problems, which will be addressed further in the article.

Faulty circuits are the major malfunction reason in older models. If your rice cooker suddenly stopped working and does not respond when you’re pressing buttons, it might be faulty circuits. In this case, there is not much that can be done.

You might get the rice cooker fixed at a maintenance shop, but it is often not worth the money and the trouble. Soon the rice cooker might break down again. So in this case, your only option might be to purchase a new Zojirushi rice cooker.

Sometimes rice cooker does turn on even if there is a critical issue. Look at the display before using the rice cooker. If you see the E01, and E02 error codes, it is a clear indication of internal circuit issues.

Warning: I do not recommend you attempt to fix internal circuit issues by yourself. If you’re not a specialist, it may do more harm than good. Take your rice cooker to a professional if you see E01 or E02 errors displayed.

Minor rice cookers malfunctions

This section includes a wider range of malfunctions. Most of them can be resolved by the customer. However, in most cases, you’re still going to need certain technical skills and, of course, some repair parts.

The rice cooker doesn’t turn on.

Power cord issues. If your rice cooker doesn’t turn on after you plugged it in, it might just as well be a power connection problem.

Unplug the cooker. Inspect it. Look at the power cord insulation. It should be intact. No wires should be sticking out. Sometimes old insulation rapture especially if the power cord is often bent or damaged.

Power cord issues are one of the most common reasons for power failure. However, these types of power issues can be fixed with some duct tape. Just carefully wrap the tape around the damaged portion of the power cord.

If the damage to the power cord is significant, it’s advisable to replace the whole thing.

Depending on your experience, you might either perform the replacement by yourself or at a maintenance shop.

Warning: do not handle a rice cooker if it’s plugged in and its power core wires are exposed. Remember all needed precautions while fixing power cord issues.

If the power cord insulation is intact, then it might be an outlet problem. Just plug some other appliance into the same outlet. If this appliance didn’t turn on as well, then you have a faulty outlet.

Thermal cutoffs. A triggered thermal fuse is another common power connection issue.

A thermal fuse is a part that prevents overheating. When the temperature of the device surpasses a certain threshold, the fuse activates and cuts the power.

If thermal cutoffs occurred, unplug the cooker and let it cool down. Once the temperature returns to normal, the cooker should be working again.

Thermal cutoffs themselves are not very serious. It is obligatory however to look into the matter closer to find out what caused the cooker to overheat in the first place.Read the instruction manual provided with your model, or consult a specialist.

Warning: Overheating is very dangerous, not just because it can irreversibly damage your cooker. An overheating appliance might become a fire hazard. So finding out the reason for the thermal cutoff is extremely important.

Inner lid issue. The steam might be leaking throw the inner lid if the inner lid gasket is damaged. Inspect the gasket. If it’s got some cut on it or if it’s old, the steam will be escaping throw the gap. Solution: replacement gasket.

Other issues

Many other problems with a Zojirushi rice cooker are not caused by power issues or the old age of the cooker.

Sometimes, users might unintentionally inflict damage on their rice cooker or choose an incorrect setting in the menu.

That’s the issue we’re going to take a look at in this section.

Keys do not respond.

  • The inner pan might be inserted incorrectly. Take it out to check if anything is in the way or if the pan is dented, and then reinstall it.
  • The “keep warm” function might be on. In this case, reset the rice cooker.

The reheat function won’t turn on.

  • Warm keeping function might be on. Turn it off, and the reheating function will become available again.

Ho4 error code.

  • The inner pan is obstructed or installed incorrectly. For the rice cooker to work, the heating unit must be tightly fitted to the pan. Reinstall it.

Function indicator light malfunctioning.

  • Reset the cooker.

Unpleasant smell.

  • Make sure to wash the Zojirushi rice cooker regularly. Some rice might accidentally stick to the other side of the cooking pot. It is easy to miss that. The rice later spoils, which causes an unpleasant smell.

How to cook rice in a Zojirushi rice cooker?

Another issue some users might experience is inadequately cooked rice.

The rice is dry.

  • The rice cooker lid is closed is not fully closed. Check if the outer lid is properly closed. Check if there is some object obstructing the lid sensor (otherwise known as the center sensor). Remove the object and close the lid correctly.

Soft rice.

  • Check if your water measurements are correct.
  • The wrong menu was selected.

Burnt rice.

  • Check if your water measurements are correct.
  • The cooking pot has been damaged during use.
  • The wrong menu was selected.


What does ho2 mean on Zojirushi rice cooker?

It means that there’s a critical malfunction.

Bring the cooker to the maintenance shop for a consultation and/or repairs.

Why is my rice cooker light not working?

It might be a power issue. Check if your Zojirushi rice cooker is plugged properly, or refer to the other section of this guide.

How do I reset my rice cooker?

  • Make sure the rice cooker is plugged in.
  • Press the cancel button which also serves as a reset key and hold it for approximately 5 seconds.
  • At this point, the display and all the other lights should go out.
  • Once this happened, press and hold the start button until the cooker turn back on

How do you clean the heating element on a Zojirushi rice cooker?

You can clean the heating plate with a damp cloth. Just make sure to unplug the rice cooker.


Zojirushi rice cookers are an irreplaceable appliance in the modern kitchen. It doesn’t matter whether you use them to cook rice or your rice-based favorite dish, sometimes you might experience malfunctions. I hope this guide will help to fix the problems with your Zojirushi rice cooker so that you could continue to enjoy your favorite foods.

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