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How to Diagnose a Fault With an Electric Hob

In this video, eSpares explain how to diagnose a fault with an electric hob, how to identify common problems and how to help to repair simple faults with the appliance too.

Electric hobs come in three different types, Conventional, Ceramic, and Induction.

In this video, we have two of those types, Conventional and Ceramic, and although they look quite different they essentially work in the same way.

What You Will Need:

What we’ll do now is give a bit of information about the elements in a hob, but also go through some possible scenarios that you might encounter with your hob - and how (if possible) you can determine what the issue is.

Switch Off Your Appliance

Safety First! Please make sure that you have switched off or disconnected the appliance from the mains before beginning any repair.

Ceramic Hob

Information Regarding The Elements

If we take the top of the ceramic hob off we can give you an idea of what's going on inside.

An element is quite simple, as it's essentially a resistive wire which has current passed through it and the resistance causes it to get hot - which is obviously what cooks the food.

As you can see here there are four rings inside the ceramic hob, with two two rings containing two elements, and then the other two both have a single element.

The temperature is controlled in these rings through the control board or regulator and this cycles these elements on and off to produce the required temperature.

What If The Ring Is Turned On Full But The Temperature Is Not Regulated?

If you find on your ceramic hob that when you turn your ring on, it is going on full blast and it's not actually having its temperature regulated, it is very likely that there is an issue with the control board or regulator and you need to replace it.

What If An Area Of The Ring Is Not Heating Up?

If one of the areas on the ring isn't heating up, you can actually examine the wire for any breakages or damage - and you can also test the element by using a multimeter on a resistance setting.

Start by testing the outer element, and what you are looking for is a reading of less than 100 ohms for a working element.

For the element we are testing now in this video, we are getting a reading of about 38 ohms and on the inner element about 72 ohms - so that shows that both those elements are working okay.

What If My Hob Does Not Use A Control Board?

It might be the case that your hob doesn't actually use a control board, as it could actually use a regulator (variable switch) to cycle the power on and off.

If your hob has that type of switch and you're turning it to a particular position, but the element is coming on full blast, then the chances are that the switch is faulty and you need to replace it.

Electric Plate Element Hob

What If My Hob Does Not Use A Control Board?

This type of hob can also use a variable switch to cycle the power on and off on a ring, and again if you are finding that when you turn the switch on the element is just going on full blast and you should replace the switch.

What If The Hob Is Not Reaching The Right Temperature?

This particular hob shown at this part of the video actually uses a six position switch to control each ring. Now the fact that it's got six positions means that each ring is going to contain three elements. The position that you set the switch at will determine how many of those elements are turned on to produce the relevant heat.

If you're finding that when you turn it on it's not reaching the right temperature, you can test the element.

Using a multimeter, you are looking for any reading is between 50 and 300 ohms across those elements, so any reading significantly outside of that range would indicate the presence of a fault and the ring will need to be replaced.

My Hob Is Not Receiving Any Power?

If you find that your hob is simply not receiving any power at all, then you need to check the terminal block inside the hob where the power cable comes in.

You need to be looking for any signs of burning or damage to the connections - and obviously if you do see anything wrong with it, you will need to fix it or replace it.

Induction Hob

Induction hobs work quite differently to the other two types of hob as they use electromagnetic coils. The electromagnetic coils actually only heat any ferrous metal.

So this means that when a pan is placed on, the pan is heated directly through electromagnetic induction - and for that reason, if you place your hand on the cooking area the only heat you would feel is from the pan contacting the surface, not from the inductor.

Because they do work quite differently and are more complicated, it can be difficult to diagnose and fix an induction hob. For that reason, you may prefer to use a fixed price repairs service, such as RepairCare.

Final Comment from eSpares:

Well there we go, hopefully you have found this video useful in helping you identify the issue with your hob. Just remember though, for all your hob related needs, you can visit the Cooker & Hob area on the eSpares website to obtain spare parts for your hob - as well as viewing lots more helpful articles and videos in our Advice Centre.

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