Cooktop Repair in Orange County
Although many people will use the terms interchangeably, there is a difference between a cooktop and a stove. When the word stove is used, it is generally referring to the cooktop portion of the unit; however it is actually really the combination of a cooktop and a bake oven. When dealing with cooktop repair it is important to know the difference, as troubleshooting problems may depend on these differences. If the cooktop needs repair work done to do it, there is no sense in trying to repair the oven or units that do not actually need the work. To begin understanding cooktop repair, it is best to understand how a cooktop actually works.
How Does a Cooktop Work?
Most cooktops operate at 220 volts, so if you are doing repair work ensure that the unit is disconnected from its electrical source as this voltage is enough to kill you. There are a few different types of cooktops, but the majority will operate either through a gas flame or from electrical heating. The basics of a cooktop involve a large heating area, usually in the form of resistor wires covered by an insulation material. These wires run into the burner that is mounted on the surface of the cooktop. Although there are other types, this is the most common. When it comes to cooktop repair, this type of burner allows for ease of access for cleaning, however it does also lessen the tolerance of burned connections. Dials will be installed on the cooktop which control the amount of heat that is to be applied. In an electrical cooktop, the different settings with create different levels of resistance in the wires, producing more heat.
In a gas cooktop, the different settings will allow for more gas to get into the flame, creating a bigger and hotter burn. Before attempting to fix any problem on the cooktop, always make sure that you have taken the appropriate safety precautions and are familiar with at least basic electrical knowledge. If in doubt, always contact a professional in the area of cooktop repair for further assistance. If you comfortable working on the cooktop, then proceed with caution.
What Are Some Common Issues with Cooktops?
A few of the more common issues that a cooktop will have involve spark problems, having the heating element not turning off as it should, and having the element simply not function. If you are having spark problems, there are three components that should be checked to ensure that they are working properly.
The first of these is the spark module. If this part malfunctions, the burner may only produce a weak spark or even only produce a spark part of the time. Check to see if the problem is isolated to only a specific burner. If this is the case, it is most likely a problem with the electrode at that specific burner; however it could also be an issue with the entire spark module. If the burner is not producing a spark at all, check the ignition switch. On each burner a switch is mounted on the control value. If this switch is not working properly it will not create a spark. Luckily, this problem can easily be repaired by replacing the switch at each burner that is not producing a spark. Finally, if you hear a clicking sound, but the burner does not light, it is likely a problem with the spark electrode. The electrode is essentially a spark plug and bridges the gap between the switch and the burner. This problem is also easy to fix as the electrode component may just need to be replaced.
If the heating element is not working properly there are four main areas that need to be checked. First off, check the surface switch. If this switch fails, it will often bridge other components together causing the cooktop to not function properly. Unfortunately for cooktop repairs, this cannot be tested and the only fix is to replace the switch entirely. Next, check the coil surface. This can create a hazard as the heat will remain on, so it is very important to ensure that it is working properly. If there is a break or crack in the component, disconnect the stove from its power source right away and either repair or replace the unit immediately. If the radiant element in the cooktop will not disengage, there is a possibility that the cooktop suffered a short circuit. As with the switch, this component is not repairable and must be replaced. Lastly, there may be an issue with the solid element. Generally, the switch will be at fault if the solid element will not turn off, however it is also possible for it to short circuit. As before, this is not a repairable part and must be replaced entirely if it has shorted.
If the cooktop is simply not operating there are a number of potential sources of the fault. With cooktop repair, there are a few things that are somewhat universal and can always be checked. As with before, check to see if the surface switch is working properly along with the coil element, radiant element and solid element. If the problem is not with those components, begin by checking the surface board. This board helps control the burners through the use of relays. If multiple burners fail at the same time, it is likely the surface board that is at fault. The terminal block could also be the problem. The surface element connects to the block and a bad connection between the two will cause the cooktop to not function properly. If the terminal appears to be burnt out it is best to replace it. Finally, check for any loose connections in any of the wiring as this is a quick and easy solution to even the biggest problems.
Repairing a cooktop does not have to be a big problem. For those who have some experience with electrical wiring and mechanics, many of the problems can be easy fixes. Even still, when dealing with kind of dangerous situation it is always best to call a professional if you feel even the slightest discomfort when dealing with the problem.