Have had this popcorn machine (theater type, medium size) for about 15 years now (got it used). Unable to make a second batch of popcorn. First batch: turn on the heater, add oil, add popcorn, wait and get about99% to pop. Second batch: Dump first batch, (heater switch still on) immediately add oil and corn, wait and get ONLY about 30% to pop. Third batch: Same as second.
Machine consists of cast aluminum pot, disc type heater (electric) bolted to the bottom, an in-line thermostat about the size of a pack of chewing gum. Manufacturer very helpful, we're on our third thermostat. No difference.
Question: What would make a heating element (solid disc, about 5 in. diameter) act intermittent. It is very similar to the heating coils on an electric stove. I would think if it comes up to temperature once, it should be alright. There are no moving parts within the heating element. It is probably simply just a giant resistor. The vendor is out of ideas short of selling me a new heating element (expensive, but I'll buy one if indicated). In his 30 years of experience all he has sold was thermostats, or, heating elements when they were 'open' and wouldn't heat at all.
Any and all ideas appreciated. I loan this popper out to charities all the time and therefore need it.