5 Reasons Why Your Electric Cooktop is Having Issues

Fred's Appliance
December 21, 2020

Cooking at home is an important part of living independently. Whether you’re heating frozen food or cooking meals from scratch, there are a few basic tools that every home kitchen needs. A reliable cooktop is at the top of that list. Most people need two to five burners to handle their favored rack of recipes, and those burners need to heat exactly the same way every time.

So what do you do if one of your essential burners seems to be faulty? Perhaps the entire cooktop has been exhibiting unreliable behavior. Heating irregularity and electrical problems can result in a faulty cooktop that cannot be relied on for family meals. In this situation, you have two options – to repair the cooktop or quickly replace it before too much interruption to your diet and routine.

Let’s explore the possible causes of a faulty cooktop, including the burners and controls,  and the potential solutions for each problem. 

1) Poor Household Wiring

Electricity current flows downstream from the source. In order for your stove to work steadily, it needs steady power from the home wiring -Just as your home needs steady power from the city to keep on the lights, stove, and outlets. Some neighborhoods have rolling blackouts or common electrical issues because the local wiring is old or faulty. Many homes have electrical problems because the household wiring is faulty.

Household wiring depends on three things

  1. Quality of materials 
    • Wiring, insulation, boxes, connectors, fixtures, etc.
  2. Skill of the installation
    • Along with all following electrical work
  3. Conditions since installation
    • Humidity, leaks, power surges, rodent activity, repairs, etc.

 Any one of these things can cause your household wiring to be unreliable. From thin copper strands to clumsy DIY work, your stove could be on the fritz because it’s not getting reliable (maybe not even safe) electricity through the house itself.  

2) Non-Professional Installation

DIY installations are a classic reason for appliance misbehavior later on. Appliances are common enough that many homeowners are confident in their ability to install them on their own. This is often true, and many homeowners do have the skills and ability to do their own stove installation – but not all do. In any home, it’s best to assume that any previous DIY work may have been done by someone who did not know what they were doing.

Look underneath the stove and check the breaker boxes. Keep an eye out for any signs of twisted wires or unprofessional installation. This can tell you where other problems might stem, based on common mistakes made by inexperienced technicians. There may be exposed wires or messy connections that can cause your stove to experience power surges, outages, or a flickering effect that interrupts your ability to cook.

If your stove or breakers have been installed poorly, the solution is to schedule a reinstallation to ensure everything is hooked up according to code. If this was your concern, then your stove should work well once the home wiring or installation mistakes have been resolved. 

3) Extreme Age

Some homeowners get a new stove every few years. Most cook with the stove that came with the house – but how old is that stove? Even a well-kept stove eventually runs out of life. You may be able to tell that your stove is extremely old and in this case, a faulty performance would not be a surprise. However, not all stoves look their age. Especially if they have been well-maintained by attentive homeowners and very clean home chefs.

A stove can have many parts replaced over time. The burners, the knobs, even the enamel. The oven door can be replaced and so can the oven elements. Any faulty parts can be repaired or a new one installed. But over time, a stove will still reach it’s maximum useful lifespan. The essential pieces like the burner sockets, the wiring, and the control panel will wear out.

Whether your stove is poorly maintained and giving up early or is well-maintained and deceptive old, a faulty stove may simply be too old to be repaired more than a few remaining times. 

4) Cosmetic Maintenance

Another common problem with faulty cooktops is actually excellent maintenance rather than poor maintenance. Some homeowners are great at keeping their appliances in perfect visual condition. The enamel is always perfect and flaws are immediately touched-up. Flickering LEDs displays are always repaired. Old worn knobs are replaced and heating elements are switched out when necessary.

However, this kind of attentive repair can hide growing underlying issues. If the issues don’t create a symptom that can be treated, then it isn’t treated. Over time, those aging parts that don’t show grow older while the outside of the stove remains pristine. It’s hard to even tell how old a well-kept stove is, but eventually the internal parts will stop working.

If you have a beautiful stove that has become faulty, then great surface-level maintenance might be the disguising element hiding deeper issues. 

5) Poorly Maintained 

Alternately, poor maintenance could mean that you are dealing with layers of stove performance issues. The more things that are going wrong at once, the more likely that long-term poor maintenance is the cause of multiple malfunctions. Simultaneous failures mean that a stove is either very old or very poorly taken care of. Multiple burners failing, visible grunge underneath the burners and on the connectors, and/or failing control systems are all indications that your stove has been poorly maintained. 

How to Fix a Faulty Stove

If your stove is on the fritz, the first step is to ask a repair technician to take a look. If the issue is your household wiring, you’ll need the help of an electrician to create a stable circuit. If the issue is with oven maintenance, then there’s a good chance that your repair technician will be able to find the one or more sources of your troubles and enact a solution. Whether your display is flickering or your burners won’t heat, we can help. Contact us today to consult on the state of your stove and for the repair services you need.

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