Joule Sous Vide Troubleshooting

We all know Joule is a leading brand when it comes to sous vide cookers. However, as with all new gadgets, you might run into some technological issues here and there that might not be expected and can be a little annoying to deal with.

Have no fear though because this guide covers several of the most common issues that you may face with the Joule Sous Vide machine and will help you resolve them.

Note, that some of these resolutions and fixes may apply to others.

various tools laid out on floor

Joule Blinking Red

Your Joule has a small LED light on it that shows several different colors and patterns that can help you identify issues or workings within your Joule. In most cases, you may see orange, white, green, and blue (click here to learn about what all of these colors mean). If you see a red light, however, it’s a sign of a couple different possible issues.

There are two ‘Issue’ LEDs that you need to be aware of: a double-blinking red and a solid dim red.

If your Joule is blinking red, that means that it needs attention. In most cases, you can simply visit your Joule app to find out more details on the problem. About half the time you see this light you may be having issues with circulation or heating. However, you should always check the app, as this will give you more direct information on the issue at hand and usually a few tips to rectify the issue.

A common fix for any issues relating to the performance of the device, and in some cases the red-blinking light, is to clean the unit. To do so, simply putting the Joule into a bath of equal parts vinegar and water and allowing it to heat to 140°F will clean any of the hard-scale water contaminants that may be preventing the Joule from functioning correctly. Click here for detailed instructions on how properly clean your Joule.

If the app doesn’t show the issue, keep reading down this list of resolutions to common problems, or contact Breville (the new owner of Joule after ChefSteps) if nothing else is working for the blinking red issue.

On the other hand, if your Joule’s LED light is solid dim red, then there is a Joule software issue. The device is programmed to reset itself should there be any software issues. If it doesn’t reset on its own, then you can try resetting it yourself by unplugging it for 30 seconds and plugging it back in again to resolve the issue.

Again, if this reset does not resolve your issue, then you may need to look into possible warranty solutions and or speak to Breville who may be able to offer specialized steps to resolving your exact issues. Usually though, the above steps will help and work for you.

Joule Sous Vide Not Heating

If your Joule sous vide is not heating or doesn’t circulate, there may be an underlying fault with the Joule itself. This issue is sometimes connected to a blinking red or orange light.

Check out the following steps to help you troubleshoot issues with your Joule not heating.

Within the Joule, there’s a small propeller that circulates the water around and heats it at the same time. If your propeller is spinning, but the water isn’t getting any warmer then you should try cleaning your Joule.

As mentioned above, all you need to do to clean your Joule is allow it to run with a water/vinegar mix at 140°F (click here for my step-by-step guiding on cleaning Joule). This will help remove any buildup in and around the propeller as well as the heating elements that allow your Joule to heat the water. Cleaning this may assist with any heating or circulatory issues you have.

I recommend getting into a routine of cleaning your Joule periodically for maintenance and to keep it on good, working condition.

If you’re still having issues after cleaning your Joule, then there may be a heating element hardware issue. This will require Breville to assist or claim back against your warranty if it’s still available.

Joule Sous Vide Keeps Stopping

Circulation issues with the Joule aren’t very common, as the small propeller that spins is on a motor that’s controlled by a timer. If your Joule sous vide keeps stopping randomly, throughout cleaning, or generally whilst cooking, then you may have an issue with the either the timer or the motor itself. 

Similar to other issues, you may have a blinking red or orange light with this problem.

A good place to start in troubleshooting this is to create a test bath. By placing the Joule in a bath, the motor should start spinning and you should see the water circulating in the bath. If you see this, then you know that the motor is working properly to circulate water and isn’t the cause of the problem.

If your motor is spinning, then you might have a software issue. To fix this, you need to reset the software. You can do this by unplugging the device for 30 seconds, then plug it back in again for it to reboot and hopefully resolve the problem.

If your motor isn’t spinning as it should be or keeps stopping after a few rotations, then the motor may be at fault. To resolve this issue, give the following steps a try.

  1. Unplug your Joule and allow it to cool completely.
  2. Once cooled, remove the foot from the bottom of the Joule by gently unscrewing the cap.
  3. Once you’ve removed the foot, simply try spinning the propeller 360 degrees about 20-30 times to ensure that it spins freely without any interruptions. At this stage, it’s also a good idea to ensure that the propeller along with its shaft isn’t broken, crooked, or cracked. If there are any imperfections, then this should be covered under warranty should you have just bought the device.
  4. Place the foot back in and attempt to restart the Joule. 
  5. At this point, it may also be worth cleaning your Joule. Follow my detailed Joule cleaning guide here.

If the above steps don’t help your circulation issue, then the fault may lie within the system hardware or software that is inaccessible or difficult to resolve yourself. This is where you’ll want to contact Breville for further support or about a possible exchange.

Joule Not Connecting

When your Joule is not connecting to Bluetooth or WiFi, you may be able to resolve this yourself without needing to review a guide or seek assistance from Breville.

Firstly, you need to make sure that your device is connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on your network. This is a critical step you shouldn’t miss.

joule sous vide bluetooth

To ensure your Joule is connected to the network or Bluetooth, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the Joule
  2. Restart your Phone and WiFi router if applicable
  3. Plug the Joule back in, and disconnect the Joule inside the app by following steps 4-6
  4. In the Joule app, tap the three horizontal lines in the top left
  5. Go to settings > My Joules > “Your Joule Name” > Disconnect Joule, then press OK
  6. Delete the Joule app, then reinstall it and re-connect the Joule to see if this solves your problem

If you’ve already tried the above steps, then let’s continue to troubleshoot this issue.

A common problem people overlook is that your phone’s Bluetooth is off. Make sure you’re physically close to your Joule and enable Bluetooth by following these steps:

  1. Use the Joule app to troubleshoot the connection. By going over to the app, you can go to the Settings > My Joules > “Your Joules Name” > Troubleshoot connection. By doing this, you’re testing the connection and a more in-depth troubleshooting window and error will appear.
  2. As mentioned, you should ensure that Bluetooth is enabled on your device. On an iPhone, simply go to the settings then Bluetooth and tap enable. On a Samsung, you can head over to your settings or quick access menu and enable Bluetooth.
  3. You may also need to make sure that your Joule app is allowed to connect to the internet, which you can also find in the settings of your phone. To find this, simply go to your phone’s Settings > Apps > Find the “Joule” App > Toggle on ‘Bluetooth’ and ‘Internet Access’. This is similar on both iPhone and Android devices.
  4. Ensure your device’s LED light isn’t red or yellow (or off), as this could be another issue. Red usually means there’s a known error with your device, for which you can go into the app for more details on the problem and how to fix it. Yellow means either a factory reset or system failure is in process.
  5. Reconnect your Joule to the Wi-Fi. To do so, simply head over to your Settings > My Joules > “Your Joules Name” > Disconnect from WiFi, and then reconnect in the device settings screen. This will re-establish the WiFi connection for your Joule and potentially resolve any connection issues with the Joule itself.

If none of the above resolve your issue, you may need to contact Breville to claim against a warranty or for more advanced troubleshooting to evaluate if you need a new device.

Or, if you’re having trouble connecting your Joule to your smart speaker, like Amazon Alexa device or Google Home, check out my article here.

Joule Motor Stuck

There’s a really easy fix if your Joule motor is stuck or isn’t circulating water, and that’s deep cleaning it. This should always be the first thing you try.

It’s pretty simple to deep clean Joule, and all you need is vinegar and water. Let your Joule run in this mixture for a while at 140°F. I also suggest cleaning the Joule from the inside.

See my step-by-step guide on how to properly clean Joule here. Following these steps may help free up any water contaminants that have stopped the motor.

If your motor is still not spinning after the Joule has beeped to notify you of cleaning completion, then it’s time for an internal inspection.

Remove the foot (after the device has cooled) and check the propeller as well as the shaft for any inconsistencies. If there is physical damage within the propeller or shaft such as a crack, crooked shaft, or spinning inconsistency then you may need a replacement part or even a new Joule altogether.

If this is the case, then you should be able to contact Breville for a replacement or further guides or parts to replace the motor within your Joule system. In most cases, if the motor is suffering from a hardware fault, then the device itself may need replacing.

If cleaning doesn’t help and your motor and all internal parts look intact, the problem might be beyond hardware (perhaps a tech issue). If this is the case, you’ll have to contact Breville for support.

Joule Delayed Start

Many people want to know if they can delay start Joule so they can set something to start cooking later in the day. Unfortunately, this isn’t yet a feature of the Joule.

However, if you’re experiencing delayed starts with your Joule that you aren’t intentionally try trying to set, it’s likely due to a software problem.

In most cases, the fastest resolution is to reset the device. To do this, simply unplug your Joule for 30 seconds before plugging it back in again. This will reset the software and clear any inconsistencies within the device. 

You can also consider setting the Joule up again through the app by removing the device and starting again. Here’s how:

  1. Unplug your Joule from the power then re-plug into the power. As soon as you plug it back in, do so while holding the top button for around 10 seconds.
  2. During this time, the light should start blinking yellow to signify that you’re doing a factory reset
  3. Once the light goes back to an off-white, this process is now completed and your device has been factory reset
  4. Once factory reset, open up your Joule app, and follow the steps on screen to connect your Joule to your phone, and further to your internet to see if this helps resolve your problem.

If you’re still experiencing delayed starts with your Joule after this, then there may be a problem with your motor or hardware within the Joule. Because of this, Breville recommends speaking to them directly for replacement parts, or a completely new Joule should they feel it’s needed under the warranty terms.

Joule Sous Vide Noise

If your Joule sous vide is creating noise that probably shouldn’t be coming from the tool, such as whining, whistling, or high-pitched whirring, then there may be a buildup of water contaminants around your propeller or shaft.

With unusual noises and slow startup issues with Joule, usually a quick clean of the device will prevent this from happening again.

To do so, there is a quick way of cleaning your device. To clean your device, check out my detailed guide here.

If the sounds are still around, you may need to seek help from Breville, as there may be an internal hardware issue that is keeping you from cleaning it.

In Summary

Although Joule is a highly esteemed device in the sous vide world, it isn’t perfect. Troubleshooting most issues that might come up is usually pretty easy to handle yourself. Just be sure to refer back to this guide!

Another issue I didn’t address here is how to handle the error message for low water on your Joule – read more here.