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crock pot mods

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Flx Cpy, Mar 19, 2005.

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  1. Flx Cpy

    Flx Cpy Guest

    Bonehead question...How can I take down the level of heat on a crock
    pot? Is this just a resister? It has a temp control with 3 settings
    but it isn't really take-apart-able...and I only want to try if it is
    possible. Hopefully someone here can tell me if it is possible.
  2. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    A diode in series with the mains supply will halve the power supplied to the
    heating element.

    You have to decide if this is 1) safe in your application, 2) wise for you to
    attempt 3) if you have the skills to do, and ... many other things of which i
    can't think right now.
    Please, no "Go Google this" replies. I wouldn't
    ask a question here if I hadn't done that already.


    This is an invalid return address
    Please reply in the news group
  3. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    This is actually a rather interesting question. My guess is that
    the crock pot uses an "infinity" control, as in an electric range
    or oven. Full mains power is appied to the element through a
    bimetallic strip. The strip heats up and bends, breaking contact.
    The strip cools down and restores contact. When you turn
    the temperature control, you are applying a mechanical load
    that biases the strip.

    So, if you reduce the mains supply via a diode or lamp dimmer,
    what will happen? I'd imagine that for modest reduction there
    might be no change in temperature; the strip would just cycle
    less to maintain the same total heating. But eventually, if
    you reduce the input below the point where the strip never
    gets hot enough to break contact, then the heating would
    be proportional to the input. The question is then where
    this point is, relative to your reduced power needs. Might
    be worth a test, if you are really determined not to take it
    apart. But if you can figure out how to get it open, or
    at least get to the control behind the knob, you might be
    able to tweak the bias load mechanism to get any heat
    you want.

    Best regards

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  4. If it is one of these 'infinity controls', then the resistance between
    the leads when it isn't plugged in will be the same, low, no matter what
    the setting, right?

    If it is some scheme for limiting the duty cycle through the heating
    elements using a triac or relay, then the resistance will probably be
    very large.

    If they are switching in more elements, then the resistance will vary
    depending on the setting.

    1 and 3 will allow the lamp dimmer or diode, 2 will not, I think.

    Robert Monsen

    "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis."
    - Pierre Laplace (1749-1827), to Napoleon,
    on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.
  5. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    I'd almost bet it's not one, since it has three settings, not a continuous
    control. In which case, it's probably two elements.

    Like Robert said, check the resistance.

    Or, you could try a 250W light bulb in series, and see what happens -
    that will definitely tell you if it's got a thermostat!

    And, if it's just the two elements, steady on (this is how those
    little electric space heaters work), then a lamp dimmer should be

    Good Luck!
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