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Is it Safe to Use a Cracked Ceramic Hob?
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Is it Safe to Use a Cracked Ceramic Hob?

posted in Ship Happens by Ship It on 10:44 Jun 22nd, 2017<< Back to Ship Happens

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Ceramic cooktops are easy to clean and generally quite energy efficient, too, but they are slightly more fragile than traditional gas hobs.  If you drop a heavy pan on them – or if they are poorly installed – then there is a chance that they might crack, and this could be dangerous.

Why Do Ceramic Hobs Break?

Ceramic hobs are made using ‘glass-ceramic’, which is not a form of safety glass. Ceramic is a strong material, but it is quite brittle, and it cannot be heat treated for additional strength. It is strong enough for day-to-day use, and if you drop something ‘square on’, then it will probably not get damaged, but if you hit the edges, or drop something from a great height, then it could chip or crack.

Cracked Ceramic Hobs are Dangerous

Do not use a cracked ceramic hob!

They work by transferring heat from an electrical circuit, through the ceramic, to the pan. There is a 220 volt circuit underneath the glass, and the only thing protecting the electrical circuit from exposure to moisture is that ceramic. If something in a pan were to splash or spill onto the hob and get through the cracks, then this could at best damage the rest of the cooker. At worst it could result in an electrical fire or the user of the hob being electrocuted.

What to Do About a Broken Ceramic Hob

If your cooker’s glass-ceramic tops have cracks in them, you should stop using the cooker immediately. In some cases, it is possible to repair the cooker, but this is something that you should not attempt unless you are certain you know what you are doing.

Note that the glass-ceramic is a part of a complex system, and the glass itself is not something that would be sold to a consumer, because it is not a “user serviceable” part. If you do a poor job of replacing the glass, then the cooktop will still be unsafe. The only safe way to replace the glass-ceramic is to replace the glass and the frame or support at the same time.

Replacing the entire frame can be a complex job because in many cases the heating elements need to be attached to the frame and there are a lot of wires involved. If you do decide to attempt the job yourself, make sure that you take a photo of the system before you take the original ceramic off, and then systematically reconnect the wires to the new frame, triple-checking that everything is in the right place as you go.

In most cases, it would save you a lot of time to just pay a professional to do the job for you. If your cooktop is still under warranty, and the crack “just appeared” (something that does happen if the ceramic is flawed), then you should be able to get the manufacturer to replace or repair it for you. Professional appliance repair shops have the skills, tools, and supplier access required to do the job quickly and efficiently.

Alternatively, you can replace your hob. View our range of electric hobs, gas hobs or induction hobs, or if you want to replace like-for-like, our ceramic hobs.

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