Electric Cooktop Not Working? This Could Be the Problem

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 11/28/22
Electric Cooktop Not Working? This Could Be the Problem

Glass and ceramic electric cooktops are increasingly popular in American homes. They’re safe, quick to heat up and cool down, and easy to clean. They look sleek in a modern kitchen too. But today’s electric cooktops can develop problems just as our parents’ did. 

If you’re struggling with electric stove burners not working, poor temperature control, power issues, a marred surface, or any other ceramic cooktop problems, use Liberty Home Guard’s troubleshooting guide below. Let’s get cooking.

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Troubleshooting Electric Cooktop Problems

Before you attempt any cooktop repairs on your own, confirm that your appliance is no longer covered by the manufacturer’s cooktop warranty. Check the documentation that came with your cooktop or contact the manufacturer for precise warranty information, but most reputable companies warranty their cooktops for at least one year.

If your cooktop is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer to have it repaired or replaced at no cost to you. Any unauthorized attempt at cooktop repair is liable to void the warranty. This means that if you’re unsuccessful in resolving the problem yourself, the manufacturer will refuse service, and you’ll be on the hook for the repair bill.

If the manufacturer’s warranty has already expired, go ahead and troubleshoot problems on your own before contacting a professional.

1. The cooktop won’t turn on.

If it appears that your stove won’t turn on, confirm that the entire appliance is truly without power. Is every burner unresponsive? Can you see any indicator lights that would suggest the appliance is still powered on? Do other built-in or paired appliance components, such as an oven or vent, turn on?

After you’ve confirmed the total absence of power, check that the cord is plugged securely in its outlet. There’s always the chance you inadvertently dislodged the cord while cleaning.

The next thing to check is whether there’s power to the appliance’s circuit. Could you have tripped a breaker by using too many devices on the same circuit? Maybe a thunderstorm caused a power surge? Reset the circuit at your breaker box and try to power on your cooktop again.

If you’re still having trouble, try plugging in the cooktop to another outlet. This will help you determine if your appliance or its outlet is the problem. When you’re certain that the cooktop is the source of the issue, reach out to a professional repairperson. There is likely an electrical malfunction within the appliance.

2. One or more of the burners do not engage.

When it comes to glass-top stove repair, burner problems are among the most common. If one burner doesn’t seem to be turning on, try to determine if the burner’s switch or control knob is the problem. If your cooktop controls feature plastic or removable knobs, check that the knob is firmly engaged with the inner pin. It’s also possible that the inner grip of the knob is stripped, so turning the knob itself doesn’t engage the burner control. Try removing the knob and turning the pin with a pair of pliers.

Your electric cooktop burner controls might instead feature touch buttons, which typically light up or emit a noise when activated. Does the button for the problem burner respond at all? If not, there is likely a short or loose wire in the control panel. If the controls do light up or sound off, then the heating element is the problem. There could be a faulty internal electrical component, such as a bad resistor or severed wire, or the heating element may need to be replaced. Contact a professional to troubleshoot further.

If none of your burners work, but you’re certain the appliance is drawing power, there is probably an electrical problem with the control panel. 

3. One or more burners don’t heat evenly or adequately.

If a cooktop burner is engaging but not coming up to temperature or varying in temperature without you adjusting the heat control, a wiring problem is unlikely. The more probable scenario is a faulty heating element or internal thermostat. You could consult your manufacturer about how to manage replacing one or both components, but we recommend making a claim on your warranty or contacting a professional.

Bad heating elements and thermostats could also contribute to uneven heating, but consider that your cookware can cause this issue as well. Warped pots and pans and cheaply manufactured cooking equipment are likely to have nonuniform surface temperatures. Try a few different pans on the same burner and test random spots on each pan with an infrared thermometer to confirm whether the burner or your cookware is heating unevenly. 

4. The cooktop surface is discolored or marred.

Sometimes stubborn stains can seem like permanent discoloration on glass cooktops. Sauce splatters, boiled-over pasta and potato starches, and other food residue burn and adhere to the cooktop burners. They’re often quite difficult to wipe off with a sponge or paper towel. 

Stovetop spray is fine for everyday use, but use a heavy-duty cleaner formulated for glass and ceramic cooktops for stubborn stains. These products have abrasives that can safely remove caked-on debris without scratching the surface of your cooktop. You can also use a razor blade to carefully shave off especially stuck-on residue.

Glass and ceramic cooktops are remarkably resilient, and you should be able to polish off virtually any remains of burnt food. But these cooktops are susceptible to scratches and, more rarely, cracks. If your cooktop is scratched, create a paste of two parts baking soda to one part water. Massage the paste into the scratches with a sponge, rag, or paper towel. You may need to repeat this process from time to time if the scratches reemerge. 

A cracked glass or ceramic cooktop usually needs to be fully replaced. Your cooktop might be functional with a hairline crack, but we don’t recommend continued use. 

Maintaining a Functional Cooktop

Conscientious care and maintenance can keep your glass or ceramic cooktop working for many years. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and clean your cooktop when it’s cool after every use. But general wear and tear are bound to take their toll, and you should prepare for the reality of repair.

The cost of repairing a cooktop can easily be several hundred dollars. You can minimize your financial obligation with home warranty coverage. Liberty Home Guard’s Appliance Guard and Total Home Guard plans each incorporate cooktop, oven, and range coverage. If any integral mechanical component fails, we’ll see that it is repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Find the plan that’s right for you. Use our website for a free quote or call (866)-432-1283. 



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