Suppose that someone has an electronic cooking utensil such as a Crock Pot or a rice cooker that they use on Yom Tov. Perhaps they set a timer before Y"T in order that it should start cooking during the holiday.

If that electric appliance is plugged into an outlet that is regulated with a timer, can the appliance be unplugged when the timer is in the off condition such that the outlet is not functioning?

To me, it seems like something that should not be permitted, but I cannot think of a reason why it would not be. On Shabbos, there would be an issue of muktzeh, but I do not believe that such a utensil would be considered muktzeh on Yom Tov where its work is permitted.

For the purpose of this question, assume that the timer going to the "off" position completely cuts off the flow of electricity to the appliance. I am not sure whether this is actually the case. If you happen to know, please provide that information!

  • You want to unplug the utensil from the timer, or the timer from the wall? (I'm thinking of the classic dial-timer with the pins clicked in and out.)
    – Double AA
    Aug 28, 2013 at 22:27
  • @DoubleAA Yeah, that's the kind I'm thinking of also. I'm talking about unplugging the utensil from the timer.
    – Daniel
    Aug 29, 2013 at 1:04
  • I believe all electronic devices still draw a minimal amount of electricity even in the off position. An LED TV might draw, for example, a few watts-per-hour even while turned off. In other words, If the cooking utensil has any LED's or clock or and stand-by light on, it surely is drawing power. Even if doesn't, it can still be drawing a trickle of power.
    – JJLL
    Aug 29, 2013 at 15:01
  • @JeffreyLevine Are you sure that's true even if it's not plugged directly into the outlet, but rather into a timer which is off? I know that the timer is definitely still drawing some power becaues the dial continues to turn. But is the appliance which is plugged into an off timer which is plugged into the wall drawing power?
    – Daniel
    Aug 29, 2013 at 15:22
  • Hey Daniel. I wouldn't "swear to it" but I imagine that there would still be a trickle going to the appliance. I am told that turning the switch off of a powerstrip does cut the electrical flow to the attached item so it is possible that a timer in the off position would act the same. I'll try to get a more definitive answer for you Daniel.
    – JJLL
    Aug 29, 2013 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


If it has been turned off by a shabbat clock (timer), I don't see any problem with unplugging it, as one is merely preventing it from turning on again.

  • 1
    @CharlesKoppelman No problem with muktzeh?
    – Daniel
    Sep 24, 2013 at 17:08
  • @Daniel, wouldn't Muktzeh also apply on Yom Tov?
    – Seth J
    Sep 24, 2013 at 17:37

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