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Are you allowed to refill a percolator or hot water urn on Yom Tov?

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If you can do it without causing it to turn on, then yes. If not, then no. You need to add water to it in small enough quantities that you are not cooling the urn down to the point that the thermostatically controlled heating element kicks in. –  Seth J Mar 15 '12 at 18:39
    
You are allowed to do Bishul on Yom Tov, so who cares if the heating element kicks in? –  Gershon Gold Mar 15 '12 at 18:49
    
You can do Bishul, but you can't turn on an appliance to do it. Adding cold water to hot is Bishul. Kick-starting the element is an entirely separate problem (Mahloketh, though, which Melachah it is). –  Seth J Mar 15 '12 at 20:35

1 Answer 1

2 issues:

1) Does the light go on when the water cools down?

2) Cooking on water on yom tov (where cooking it in advance doesn't affect its freshness), is only permitted if it you were unable to do so before yom tov (e.g. the urn was full already or there was no time).

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talking where a light goes on when hot. –  Gershon Gold Sep 29 '10 at 19:33
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Sorry for not getting back before yom tov. Electricity on yom tov is a hotly debated issue. While many poskim would permit your case (Grama on a derabbanan letzurach ochel nefesh), most contemporary poskim would say no. I am not familiar with all the back and forth on this. If anyone would like to clarify (or re-ask the question in terms of using electricity on yom tov) that would be great. –  YDK Oct 3 '10 at 1:39

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