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Repairing Countertop Warmers

Repairing Countertop WarmersSummary - Countertop warmers keep pre-cooked foods warm.  In this Tech Talk, learn how to replace all 4 components that could fail in your countertop warmer.

Critical Note – Never run the warmer without water!

For best results, use the model and serial number on your warmer to identify the right part or call 1-888-388-6372 for help.


There are only four components that can fail in these units.

1. Thermostat (infinite control, bi-metal, or thermostat with capillary)
2. Element
3. Hi-limit
4. Indicator light

Failure of any of these parts with the exception of the indicator light will cause the unit to fail.

How do I repair my warmer?  Which part do I need?

If your warmer is not working at all, begin by unplugging the unit.  Remove the bottom panel and inspect the element for burn spots.  Look for burned wires and connectors.  If the wiring and element appear fine the next step would be to check the hi-limit switch.

This will require an electrical test instrument.  You can use either a simple continuity tester or a multi-tester.

Begin by disconnecting the wires from the hi-limit switch.  Set your tester on the continuity setting and put the leads from the tester on each side of the hi-limit.  If there is continuity (a constant beep from the tester) through the high limit, then it is good.  If there is no continuity the hi limit is bad and must be replaced.

Let’s discuss the thermostat.  You have one of three types.

1. Infinite control – These usually have five to six pins coming out of the back.  To test this control, use your electrical tester.  Set it on the continuity reading.  Make sure the infinite control is turned on!  Connect one lead to H1 the other to H2.  If there is no continuity reading between H1 and H2 then the control is bad and must be replaced.

2. Bi-metal – This is an open control and you can see the contact points inside of it.  Turn the stem to see if the points open and close.  If the points do not snap together, the control is bad and must be replaced.

3. Capillary type thermostat – The last thermostat is one that has a capillary tube with a bulb at the end (attached to the control).  Follow the same procedure for testing as you would for the infinite control.

4. Last is the indicator light. If the light burns out it will not effect the operation of the unit.  It is simply there to indicate if the unit is on or off.

You can also test the element with the electrical tester set for continuity.  Remove both wires from the element and put the leads from the tester across the element connections.  If continuity exists you will hear a continuous beep from the tester.  If there is no beep, the element is bad and must be replaced.

Check out more food service parts.

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6 Responses to Repairing Countertop Warmers

  1. steve February 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    AP Wyott w-43a wamers seem to burn wires at the same place after a while.
    They fail inside the unit, where the cord comes through and is joined at the first retaining
    clip. Is there a re-wiring kit available anywhere?

  2. Derek October 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    my apw wyott w-43V’s constantly burn out the infinite switch, and also burn wires inside. Is this a common or prevalent problem with these units? is there a fix?

    • Tundra October 10, 2012 at 5:49 am #

      Hey Derek,
      Yes there is a fix and it is fairly simple.
      The main cause for the burn out of the infinite control is burnt wiring. An infinite control works on resistance. The more resistance the hotter the elements get. So if you have burnt wires they cause more resistance which causes the wires to get hot which in turn causes the infinite control to over heat and burn.
      To correct the problem you must either cut back all the burnt wire and put on new connectors or put in all new wiring with new connectors.
      You must use high temp nickel wire as well as high temp nickel connectors. The connectors you get at your local hardware store are steel and will cause a higher resistance which in turn will over heat the wires and infinite control causing a burn out.
      You can get the wire and the connectors from Tundra Restaurant Supply (etundra.com) The wire is a part #42-305 for a ten foot roll and the connectors are a part #42-302. They also have the high temp tape and ceramic wire nuts if needed.
      This should solve your problem!

  3. ralph August 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Food warmer is over heating tripping breaker

    • Kasy Allen August 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      Ralph, it sounds like something is grounding out. We recommend testing each component individually or replacing the warmer.

  4. scott September 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Our warmer just started only staying on high. so we have to heat things up then turn the unit off and then back on…then off…then on.

    any suggestions on what the problem is?

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