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Old 07-08-2020, 12:20 PM   #1
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Electric Cooktop Overheats - Revisited

tl;dr version: Should I expect my Cafe/Glass Radiant Cooktop to be able to hold a temp (within a range)? I ie, I set it to "3" and it warms to 250, and then roughly holds the temp within reason? On my cooktop, the temps of the cookware continues to climb and never holds. I've tested with empty cast iron, and aluminum on multiple burners, checking with an IR thermometer.


Longer version- I recently posted that my cooktop was overheating my cast iron pans. My wife was cooking chicken in an aluminum pan, and it quickly overheated and burned the food. I have learned that CI and shiny aluminum will report different temps due to differences in "emissivity". However both types of cookware will continue to rise in temps every minute. CI will show a 10 degree rise every minute, so on a dish that simmers for 20 minutes, I can expect a 200 degree difference at the end. The Aluminum shows about the same difference each minute on a different scale.


Thanks for any help.


David

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Old 07-08-2020, 02:08 PM   #2
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It sounds very strange that it happens on ALL of the burners. My impression would have been maybe there was a problem with the thermostat on ONE of them, not all.

Sorry I have no idea what could be going on. Hopefully someone here will be more of an electrical technician and be able to help you.
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Old 07-08-2020, 02:27 PM   #3
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I've only used a glass cooktop at my in-laws' house and I didn't have trouble maintaining a temperature, although I didn't measure it. But food cooked as I expected it to.

With cast iron, it holds heat so well that I usually have to turn down the flame on my gas stove once it's thoroughly heated. I'm wondering if that, plus heating an empty pan, might be causing the problem.

Have you checked the manufacturer's recommendations for the proper cookware to use on your cooktop? This page describes the pros and cons of different cookware materials. If you're using lightweight aluminum, that might be a problem. For this manufacturer, at least, plain cast iron is not recommended.

https://products.geappliances.com/ap...ontentId=16259

Or, maybe you need to have your cooktop calibrated by a technician.
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Old 07-08-2020, 02:42 PM   #4
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I don't think they are "smart" burners. You turn on the burner to "3" or whatever and a predetermined level of heat is generated. That level of heat continues until you change the burner setting. If you put a pan on the burner it will get hotter the longer you leave it there.

If you do actual cooking on the burner, with food in the pan, you will have to adjust the heat level to attain the level of heat you need for the results you're trying to attain.
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Old 07-08-2020, 03:23 PM   #5
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Electric vs Gas is really no different in the heating of pans… any level of continuous heat will result in the temperature of the pan constantly rising unless ingredients are added that may absorb it. The only real difference with conventional electric/ceramic cooktops versus gas/induction is that the former maintain heating long after turning it down/off due to the residual heat of the electric element or ceramic surface above it. In this case remove the pan from the burner to stop heating it.

Some induction cooktops actually have the ability to sense the bottom of the pan temperature, and maintain it, but that is not something you'll get from either gas or traditional electric cooktops.
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Old 07-08-2020, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
Electric vs Gas is really no different in the heating of pans… any level of continuous heat will result in the temperature of the pan constantly rising unless ingredients are added that may absorb it. The only real difference with conventional electric/ceramic cooktops versus gas/induction is that the former maintain heating long after turning it down/off due to the residual heat of the electric element or ceramic surface above it. In this case remove the pan from the burner to stop heating it.

Some induction cooktops actually have the ability to sense the bottom of the pan temperature, and maintain it, but that is not something you'll get from either gas or traditional electric cooktops.
One thing I read in the article I linked is that cast iron and certain other materials can overheat to the point that it can damage the components of the cooktop. Then it will turn the burner off to prevent the damage.
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Old 07-08-2020, 03:34 PM   #7
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Greetings --


Thank you all for your insight.



It seems this cooktop has one setting "Incinerate". We never had problems with our previous cooktop, but we've not been able to successfully do anything but boil water on this cooktop. And believe me, we can do that in a flash. I'm just sad that we spend $1500 on an appliance we are likely going to trash.


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Old 07-08-2020, 04:24 PM   #8
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At that price it would be worth calling in a repair man either under warranty or not.
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:38 PM   #9
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I have always figured that if the knob that controls the heat has a number like 1, 2, 3, etc. that it worked sort of like a rheostat. It would put the same amount of gas or electricity through the unit until you change it. If it has a thermostat, I expect to see temperatures.
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Old 07-08-2020, 05:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I have always figured that if the knob that controls the heat has a number like 1, 2, 3, etc. that it worked sort of like a rheostat. It would put the same amount of gas or electricity through the unit until you change it. If it has a thermostat, I expect to see temperatures.
My gas stove has a knob you can turn from low to high. One burner has Melt and Simmer settings. What would regulate that?
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
My gas stove has a knob you can turn from low to high. One burner has Melt and Simmer settings. What would regulate that?
My guess would be that low to high was rheostat-like and that Melt and Simmer might be thermostat based. But, I'm just guessing. Is there anything on any of the burners that looks like it could be the temperature probe part of a thermostat?

When I was a kid, we had a gas stove that had a temperature dial for one burner. It had a temperature probe in the middle of the burner. It was a "button", about an inch in diameter, that would press down when there was a pot on the burner. This burner would keep something at the set temperature. Once we put a pot on the burner with a bit of water and turned it on. Once it was boiling, we put a few ice cubes in the pot and watched the flames get bigger. Once it was boiling again, the flame got smaller.
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:54 PM   #12
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My gas stove has a simmer burner. It's just a smaller capacity and sized burner so it just gives off less heat. As for melting, I'm not sure unless it's just a simmer burner that cn be set very very low.
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:22 AM   #13
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LOL ... too funny -

I read 'simmer and melt' - and visualized 'simmer' as a low low bubbling

- and 'melt' call the fire department to remove the melted cast iron.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgr131 View Post
It seems this cooktop has one setting "Incinerate"
In one sense you're correct. These kinds of cooktops only have one temperature… "On". To control the heat they cycle on and off. Where "Hi" would be mostly on, low would be mostly off (turning on briefly and then turning off for a much longer period of time before cycling back on again).

In most models you should be able to hear this as it is usually controlled by a relay that exhibits a faint clicking sound. But even if your particular design uses a solid state circuit, you should be able to see the element cycle on and off (especially in a dark kitchen). You may not see it on low as the element might not have an on duration long enough to result in the element glowing, but by medium/low you should be able to see it glow up for a handful of seconds and then back down.

If you are unable to hear/see this type of cycling you have one or more circuits failing.
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