July 01, 2014

Cooktop common questions

Cooktop common questions.
Cooktop common questions.

These common questions about cooktops are the ones our experts hear the most often from our customers. You might also find the help you need by checking the common symptoms and solutions for cooktops. When you’re ready to make a repair, search your model number for replacement parts. Sears Parts direct has the part you need, no matter where you bought your cooktop.

Why won’t the elements heat up on my electric cooktop?

 If the elements on your electric cooktop won’t get hot, first check the two house circuit breakers for the cooktop. If one breaker is tripped, the control lights work but the surface elements won’t heat. 

If the house circuit breakers are okay, disconnect electrical power to the cooktop and check the power supply wiring connections. If the wiring connections are good, have an electrician check the power supply voltage provided to the cooktop.

Why do the spark electrodes tick constantly on my gas cooktop?

Constant ticking when you turn on the cooktop means that one of the ignition switches on the surface burner gas valves is shorted. If you just cleaned the range and got the ignition switches wet, let them dry out and see if that fixes your problem. If not, then replacing the failed ignition switch should fix this failure. 

Many of the ignition switches are only available as a complete set with the harness attached, so you don’t have to determine which switch is defective. Replace all the ignition switches using that set.

How do I remove stains from the glass surface of my cooktop?

Before removing stains from your glass cooktop, allow the glass cooktop to cool completely. Use a mild kitchen cleanser powder such as Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend to safely remove most stains or deposits on the cooktop glass surface.  

For stubborn stains, make a paste by adding a bit of water to the cleansing powder and rub the paste into the affected area. Rinse off the paste and repeat as necessary to remove tough deposits. You might need to rub some stains hard to remove them. 

How do I clean the grates and burner heads on my gas cooktop? 

Before cleaning the burner heads and grates, let the grates and burner heads cool completely. Pull the grates, burner caps and burner heads off of the cooktop and soak them in warm water and grease-cutting dish detergent for 30 minutes. 

After soaking, clean the grates, caps and burner heads with a cloth or sponge.  Use a toothbrush and toothpicks to thoroughly clean the ports in the burner heads. 

Rinse the components and let them air dry completely before reinstalling them.

How does an induction cooktop work?

An induction cooktop has coils under the glass cooktop cooking zones. When activated, the induction coils produce a magnetic field that excites the iron-based molecules in special magnetic cookware, which gets hot. The cooktop itself doesn’t heat up, but does absorb some heat from the base of the hot cooking container. The cooktop surface cools quickly once the hot cooking container is removed. 

Only magnetic cookware can be used on an induction cooktop.

Why do I have to use special cookware on my induction cooktop?

The magnetic coils used in the induction cooktop only cause magnetic, iron-based metals to get hot. Aluminum, glass, copper and stainless-steel containers won’t heat on an induction cooktop unless they have a magnetic metal sandwiched into the base. 

Hold a magnet against the bottom of the cookware to determine if it’s probably compatible with an induction cooktop. If the base of the container can attract a magnet, it can likely be used on the cooktop. 

Many manufacturers print an induction symbol on the bottom of cookware that’s compatible with induction cooktops.

How hot do the induction burners get?

Some heat from magnetic cookware transfers to the surface of the cooktop cooking zones. The surface can reach temperatures above 120 degrees but cools off quickly when the cooking container is removed. 

The base of the cooking container heats to the same temperatures as a conventional cooktop. Warm settings on induction cooktops usually heat the base of cooking containers to just above 100 degrees. The highest settings heat the cooking container base to about 600 degrees. 

Can an induction cooktop affect a pacemaker?

Check with your physician if you have a pacemaker. The field of electromagnetic energy generated by a heating coil in an induction cooktop extends about 12 inches from the coil. Devices are typically not affected beyond that range, but err on the safe side and check with your physician regarding induction element exposure.

Why does the heat decrease on an induction element being used when a second element is started?

Many models of induction cooktops distribute power across 2 cooking zone elements through a single inverter control board. When a second element is turned on, the first element usually experiences a slight decrease in power as the inverter control board distributes power to the second element. Check the owner’s manual of your cooktop regarding power sharing across induction elements.

Symptoms common to all cooktops

Choose a symptom to see related cooktop repairs.

Main causes: lack of electrical power, gas supply failure, bad pressure regulator, control system failure

Articles and videos common to all cooktops

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your cooktop.

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