(2020 Update) Zojirushi Rice Cooker Troubleshooting Tips

zojirushi rice cooker unboxed

One of the best manufacturers of rice cookers in Japan is the Zojirushi company. They offer a wide variety of rice cookers for every kitchen, commercial-style or consumer style. Known for manufacturing high-quality and durable rice cookers, the Zojirushi cooker offers many features other rice cookers don’t.

Rice Cooker Technology Has Improved Over The Years

Over time, rice cooker technology has evolved to include sophisticated electronics and digital phone interfaces. Despite being one of the easiest and most convenient rice cookers on the market today, on occasion, things can go wrong and your beloved rice cooker doesn’t perform exactly as expected.

When this occurs, it’s important to follow the troubleshooting tips provided by Zojirushi but if that information isn’t available, this article is designed to help resolve any problems encountered.

Common Rice Cooker Problems

Most of the time the causes for improperly cooked rice are easy to identify and correct. When there are issues with the cooked rice, it’s important to understand what may be contributing to the problem. Listed below are the most common problems rice cookers can encounter during the cooking cycle:

  • Rice is Too Hard
  • Rice is Too Soft
  • Rice is Half-cooked
  • Rice is burned
  • Water boils over
  • Rice has an odor or is discolored
  • Rice is too dry or too moist

Common Causes for Improperly Cooked Rice

undercooked rice

When the finished rice isn’t cooked properly, there can be several factors to consider. Each factor may be a part of the solution to cooking the rice correctly. When a problem arises, customers are encouraged to perform a thorough inspection of the rice cooker before attempting to perform any troubleshooting activity.

Please review the below-listed possibilities to find the right solution:

 Hard Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Cooked rice not stirred or loosened
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Inner pan or lid bent or deformed
  • Object on edge of inner pan or lid
  • Lid not closed
  • Inner lid not attached correctly
  • Reset Key pressed during cooking
  • Wrong Menu choice

Soft Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Cooked rice not stirred or loosened
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Wrong Menu choice

Half-cooked Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Inner pan or lid bent or deformed
  • Wrong Menu choice

Burnt Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Inner pan or lid bent or deformed
  • Rice not washed before cooking
  • Object on edge of inner pan or lid
  • Wrong Menu choice

Other Troubleshooting Tips

There can be other reasons why the rice cooker isn’t performing correctly, Many times, it has to do with power interruptions to the rice cooker during the cooking cycle or a mechanical issue.

Listed below are the 9 most common problems encountered and the solution(s) for those issues:

  1. Keys do not work – Check to see if the rice cooker is plugged in properly and the inner pan inserted correctly. Also, check if the Keep Warm indicator is lit; if so, press Reset Key and then press Cook/Reheat Key.
  2. Function indicator light is incorrect – Unplug the unit from outlet and re-plug, check for flashing display, then reset timer and time clock.
  3. Reheat function not working – Check to see if Keep Warm mode has been turned off.
  4. Rice cooker makes clicking noises while cooking – Heat adjustments by microcomputer are making this sound, there is no malfunction.
  5. Steam leaks out of Rice cooker lid – Inner lid gasket out of place or cut.
  6. Power failure during cooking – If power failure lasts 10 minutes or less, the rice cooker will re-start the cooking cycle from stopping point once power is restored and continue cooking as normal. If power failure lasts more than 10 minutes, the rice cooker goes to Reset mode and should be re-programmed.
  7. Beeper sounds 4 times while cooking – Rice cooker operating temperature is too high and must be unplugged and allowed to cool down before continuing.
  8. “H04” is displayed on panel – Inner pan is not in place or incorrectly placed on the heating unit.
  9. “E01” or “E02” is displayed on panel – Rice cooker cannot function. Customer service should be contacted.

Maintenance And Upkeep Of Your Zojirushi Rice Cooker

A rice cooker, like all kitchen appliances, requires cleaning and maintenance to stay in peak condition. The use of proper cleaning materials and equipment can help extend the life of your rice cooker for many years. I’ve outlined the following recommended cleaning methods below:

  1. Rice cooker inner lid, pan, and serving spatula – Soak the parts in warm water and then wash off using mild dish detergent or soap and a soft washcloth or sponge.
  2. Outer lid surface and interior body surfaces – Clean using a soft, dampened cloth.
  3. Electrical cord and plug – Wipe with a soft, dry cloth.
  4. Control Panel – Wipe with a soft, dry cloth.
  5. Exterior Surface – Clean using a well-wrung dampened cloth using mild detergent and then dry off with a towel.
  6. Heating Plate and Center Heat Sensor – Clean using a well-wrung dampened cloth using mild detergent and then dry off with a towel. Use caution when clearing any debris or rice per the below instructions.

*Please Note – If grains of rice are found under the heating plate while cleaning, use a bamboo chopstick or plastic knife to remove the debris. Do not use anything metallic as this may damage the heating element or cause rust to form. If the rice has been burned onto the heating plate, lightly polish the surface using a #320 sandpaper soaked in water. Wipe away any remaining debris with a soft, dampened cloth.

Zojirushi Rice Cookers Are Easy To Use

Zojirushi Rice cookers are a product designed, engineered, and built to last for years and years. Even when used multiple times each day, a Zojirushi Rice Cooker will provide tasty, delicious rice every time no matter what recipe is followed.

With proper maintenance and care, using a Zojirushi rice cooker will continue to be simple and will perform exactly as desired with every use. Customers should always read the Owner’s Manual thoroughly to get the best results from their rice cooker.

Any customer experiencing problems with their rice cooker should always refer to the Owner’s Manual for the best ways to correct the problem or they can contact Zojirushi Customer Support to get answers to their questions.

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Zojirushi Rice Cooker Troubleshooting Tips

What problems did you have with your Zojirushi Rice Cooker? Write your answer in the comments below.

About Mario 104 Articles
I am the owner of the Kitchen Guru Ideas. I've set up this site so I can share my kitchen tips and hacks that have been passed on to me from my parents and grandparents and show you how a wonderful experience cooking is and not just a way to save money. Even in this hectic lifestyle, there is time to prepare and most important enjoy a home-cooked meal.


  1. Hi, my NP HBC10 worked faithfully for a long time and it just quit one day. I opened up the interior and checked the fuse – it’s not burnt out (i.e. working fine). Ichecked the rest of the electronics and there doesn’t seem to be any other thermal fuses. Any possibilities you can think of?

    • Hello William, sometimes a wire comes loose from the board and soldering it back fixes the problem. Worst case scenario: it reached the end of its lifespan and there’s nothing you can do :(. I hope this isn’t your case. Best of luck, Mario

  2. I forgot to put the inner lid back when I cooked my rice, can I still eat the rice that’s cooked without the inner lid?

  3. Hi, my top lid is stuck, and rice is cooked inside. Now it has been two days and we are not able to open the lid. Just now tried to open by fork but failed , need some help.

  4. Hi Mario,
    I have NP-HBC18 after cleaned heating plate and center heat sensor, now after rice cooked heating plate still hot that why the rice was dried after cooked. So please help how to fix the problem. Thank you.

    • Hi Huy, unplug the machine immediately when the rice is cooked and check if the rice is still dry. If yes, it’s possible you damaged the sensor while cleaning it. How did you clean it?

    • My NS-LLH05 just stopped working suddenly. None of the buttons work when pressed. I’ve tried plugging it into various outlets with good power supply but it isn’t working. Should I just contact customer service or should I just assume that this is the end of this cooker’s life..? Please help?

      • There are many reasons why a rice cooker suddenly stops working but a common one is a blown fuse. If yours is still under warranty, don’t try to fix it yourself and contact customer service immediately. If it’s not, I suggest you either take a look at the fuse (if you have the knowledge to do this) or just buy a new one.

  5. Hi, Mario: I’ve had my NP-NVC10 for several years and love that day-old rice (even 2 days-old) is still enjoyable when left warming in the cooker. The past couple of weeks, however, rice cooked for dinner has been wet by the next morning, then starts to yellow if eaten at dinnertime. My husband and I keep it pretty clean, regularly removing the inner lid and filter. Conversely, we gave my mom our older version of this rice cooker, which doesn’t have the extra filter piece on the inner lid. She had stuff built up on the inner lid but the rice still keeps well after a couple of days. I’m not sure if the inner lid is the issue with mine so hope you can help. Thank you!

    • Hi Sandra, interesting situation you got here. Usually, the culprit for yellow rice is the water itself. I suggest cooking the next batch of rice using distilled water. As for the soggy rice, rinse it. The most common issue here is the starch. Have you been using another kind of rice lately? I doubt here the problem is your rice cooker. Let me know if this works for you.

  6. I’ve been using my rice cooker for maybe 7 years. Lately the rice is coming out mushy and an “oh” appears on the front panel.

    • The most common cause of mushy rice is starch. Just wash the rice before cooking and you should be fine. “0h” just means 0 hours have passed since the Keep Warm function started. You can read this in this manual (page 10)

  7. I used my Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 for the first time today. I set it to have rice ready at a certain time, which it did. Everything worked great except the timer lamp never came on. Any advice short of returning it? Thanks in advance!

    • I think it’s a connection problem. Instead of returning it right away, I suggest you contact support first.

  8. My parents accidentally had a piece of paper stuck on the bottom of the bowl when they turned on the cooker. It started to smoke. They cleeaned it out but now it will not turn on (display does not show).

  9. We just purchased a rice cooker and when we tried to make rice we keep getting the E 17 error! The lid is secure and we don’t know what’s wrong

    • Some rice cookers are pressure activated. Gently push down on the lid when you close it. If that doesn’t work, then it’s very likely that some debris came between the lid and the lid sensor. Clean the lid and around it thoroughly.

  10. Date of Purchase : 2017-12-24
    Model Number : NS-WSC10
    Serial Number : 3870901
    Store where purchased : COSTCO TORRANCE
    File Name : 20180105_155306.jpg

    just stopped working suddenly. None of the buttons work when pressed. have tried various outlets with good power supply but it isn’t working. Rice cooker is less than 3 years old, is this still under warranty?

    • Hi Lina,

      The most common cause of this is a broken fuse.

      Most retailers (including Costco) offer a 1 year warranty. I know Costco offers an extended warranty for up to 2 years but I don’t know if you took it. If not, then your warranty has expired.

  11. I have a Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 rice cooker. After I cook rice, water ( condensation )come out of the bottom of the unit. is this normal or is there a problem? Purchased 5/2020 I could not find any information in the user manual. Please advise

    • If the condensation is leaking into the cooker itself, then you have a big problem. This is because moisture can destroy the electrical components. Check if the steam valve is clogged and clean it.

  12. My Zojirushi ( model NS-ZCC10) used to keep warm and the rice was still soft for few days. Couple weeks ago, the rice around the top and top border turning hard when keeping warm to the next day. How to fix this? This rice cooker is 3 yrs old.

    • It’s possible, but this is the worst-case scenario. Did you perhaps use a different type of rice prior to this problem? Did you wash the rice before cooking it? Before assuming the problem lies in the hardware, it’s best to diagnose other cheaper options. Another thing you could do is adding a bit of oil when you’re done cooking. The oil keeps the moisture inside the rice.

  13. I tried to do as your instructions but nothing improved, if it’s a hardware problem, can I fix it by myself? If so, please give me more instructed. Thanks a lot.

    • I’m not sure if this rice cooker can be fixed like some cheaper or older rice cooker models because this one is controlled by a microprocessor rather than by a simple thermostat. If you’re not tech-savvy, then I wouldn’t recommend fixing it by yourself because you can make matters even worse (speaking from my own experience). I’m sorry I can’t help you more than this.

  14. My Zojirushi rice pot NP-NVC10 keeps flashing “pressure “ even when I did unplug it. Can not reset or do anything. Please advise how to reset it.

    • You can’t. This error means that pressure has built up inside the rice cooker. The only thing you can do is to wait 5-10 minutes for the message to disappear.

  15. my machine is 5 years old and it suddenly stops working by not showing power on the panel. Any suggestion is greatly appreciate.

  16. when the rice is done, i open the lid, the steam water leaks out.
    the steam is usually go into the steamer cup, now it run outside.

  17. I mistakenly dumped washed rice in the Neuro Fuzzy (NS-ZCC10) rice cooker and some grains got into the part underneath the pressure sensor in the middle of the heating plate. I was unable to get the rice out with a plastic tong and they have gone further under the heating plate. Is this dangerous enough to have to replace?

    • There’s no need to replace it. One option is to turn the rice cooker upside down and shake it until the grains fall out (just like you would do with a computer keyboard). Another way is to blow it out with an air compressor (if you have one, of course).

  18. I’m having an issue with my rice cooker that I don’t see mentioned above and wonder if you would know what is going on. I’ve had this for over five years now and always cook overnight steel cut oats the same way. Now since I moved and have tried to do it, when I go to open the lid a whole lot of the gooey liquid that is usually just in the bowl is now under the inner lid for some reason. So when I open the lid it all starts to drain out towards the back of the unit and makes a huge mess. I’ve been cooking it the same way for years and am perplexed as to why this is happening. Everything is super clean. The gasket looks ok, but then again it is over 5 years old. Any suggestions? Do I just need to get a new one?

    • The water could be the culprit. That’s because the water in different places has a different quality. I suggest you make the next batch of oats with distilled water and see if the problem persists.

  19. I have an 8 year old zojirushi rice cooker. It used to be able to keep rice warm for 3-4 days, but lately the top layer of rice gets dried in half a day. Adding more water doesn’t help, it just makes the bottom rice mushier, and the top layer still gets dried. What cause.

  20. My new Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 just arrived. I tried to set the clock, but the : between hour and minute won’t stop blinking, which means I cann’t get the thing to work.

  21. Hi There! My Cooker Model NP-HTC18 showing the Error Code E01 and Beeping all Times, could You tell me how to Maintenance ?
    Thank You!

    • The code E01 indicates a major malfunction. In most cases, it’s either the fuse or a bad wire. If you know what you’re doing, you can open it and inspect it. If it’s under warranty, then don’t do it (this voids it) and immediately contact the seller.

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