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Glass Top Stove Won’t Boil Water (3 Troubleshooting Tips)


The glass top stove is typically known for its smooth, sleek design. It’s also known for its ability to boil water and cook food quickly and easily. However, if you’re having trouble boiling water on your glass top stove, it could be due to several reasons.

Your glass top stove may not be boiling water because your Cookware is misshapen or the wrong size. Your glass top stove needs to be cleaned, or one of the heating elements doesn’t work. You can easily troubleshoot these before calling a professional. 

Many people have experienced the frustration of trying to boil water on a glass top stove only to find out that they can’t do so without turning up the heat or leaving it on too long. I’ll explain a few reasons why this happens and how you can fix it!

Water not boiling on glass stove top.

How to Troubleshoot a Glass Top Stove That Isn’t Boiling Water

There are several reasons why your glass top stove won’t boil water. Before trying these troubleshooting techniques, be sure you’ve turned your glass top stove up high enough to boil water. These stoves are less effective at boiling water than gas stoves, so the temperature must be set correctly. 

Additionally, take a look at your cookware. Using the correct cookware on these stoves is extremely important.  If you’re using a pan with a thick, heavy, or curved bottom and curved sides (rather than a flat bottom and straight sides), this might increase the stove’s resistance to heating your water.

Boiling water requires an open flame, but most glass top stoves use induction instead of flames for cooking. An induction cooktop uses magnets to transfer energy to metal pots and pans. If you’re using a pan with magnetic properties, this can also interfere with the stove’s ability to bring water to a boil. 

There are many issues that can cause your glass-top stove not to boil water. Let’s look at a few other reasons that may result in the same issue. 

Your Cookware Is Misshapen or the Wrong Size

Getting the right size cookware can be tricky because glass top stoves have a lot of different sizes. So, it’s very easy to accidentally buy a pot that’s too large or too small for your stove. Cookware with a flat bottom and straight sides is best. This means you should avoid any pans with slanted sides or ones that go from being really big at the top to really small at the bottom.

Cookware that’s too small for the burner won’t allow heat to spread throughout it appropriately.

If you’ve recently bought new cookware and it doesn’t fit on the burner, return it immediately! A good rule of thumb is to make sure there are no gaps between your cookware and stove.

Generally, your stove is designed to fit a 12″ (30.48 cm) diameter pan or smaller with all four burners on high. Anything bigger and your burner will have to work harder to get the water boiling, effectively making it take longer for your pot of water to start boiling.

Smaller pans will also cause uneven heating if placed on two burners instead of one, making it even longer for the stove to boil the water.

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To find out what size pan will work on your stove, measure how far apart the heating elements are—it’s usually around 125mm (5 inches). Then check that this measurement corresponds with the diameter of your pans. If it doesn’t, it may be time to get new cookware!

Your Glass Top Stove Needs To Be Cleaned

Most people know that they should regularly clean their glass top stove, but are you cleaning the right things? This is one of the most common problems when you can’t boil water on a glass top stove! 

When food spills onto your smooth cooktop, it makes it harder for the heat to travel through the pan and into the food being cooked, resulting in uneven cooking or no cooking at all. If your coils aren’t hot enough, they won’t properly heat your cookware.

The solution? Clean your glass top stove regularly using a non-abrasive cleaner so that nothing is blocking the transfer of energy from your burners up your cookware! You should also keep your burners and cooktop clean by removing any residual food and thoroughly drying the surface (source). 

Regular cleaning of your glass top stove is essential to prevent:

  • Spills
  • Drips
  • Crumbs from burning onto the surface 

If you don’t clean these spills off immediately, they can easily burn onto the top of your stove over time. First, take care of any spills or build-up right above or below your heating elements because this is where the majority of issues occur. 

The best way to prevent this is by making sure that your cookware completely covers the heating element beneath it, so nothing falls between it. It’s also essential to clean out underneath your cookware since this is another place where food tends to spill.

You should regularly clean stains or build-up on the underside edges of your pot or pan. Aluminum cookware like the Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set (link to Amazon) is usually easier to clean than others.

Aluminum is the material of choice for professional chefs, and this cookware is even simpler to clean. Why?

Aluminum’s properties make it ideal for cookware; it heats quickly and evenly across its surface but retains heat well. Therefore, food cooks evenly without hot spots. It’s also durable, economical, and safe and conducts heat well. 

One of the Heating Elements Doesn’t Work

Sometimes one or more of your heating elements don’t work properly or at all, resulting in uneven cooking/heating. This issue can happen because there’s a problem with your stove’s:

  • Control switch
  • Wire connections
  • Sensors
  • Fuses
  • Thermostats

If your stove isn’t heating properly, it may be time to call a professional. That’s one of the more expensive problems you will encounter on these stoves. 

Another issue is if your burners don’t work at all or partially. If you simply can’t boil water on one burner while others do work, then it’s likely time for a new cooktop! Maybe the heating element has burned out and needs to be replaced. 

It could also mean there’s either a faulty wiring harness or sensor within the appliance, so check for visible problems before replacing any parts.

For electric stoves, the problems are usually with the wire connections, sensors, fuses, and thermostats rather than with the elements, which last longer.

If any of these components on gas stoves are faulty, it’s usually the reason why one of the heating elements doesn’t work. In this case, you’ll need to call a professional to repair your glass top stove. Or if you’re comfortable doing so, make the repair yourself.

How To Fix Your Glass Top Stove So It Will Boil Water Again!

The type of glass top stove you have will determine how to fix it. I’ll explain both types so you can do either one, depending on their difficulty level. 

1. Check That Your Cookware Is in Good Condition

Bent or misshapen cookware can cause food or cooking liquids to spill between the pan and stove and create unsightly stains. Using the correct type of cookware on a glass-top stove is imperative to prevent staining.

Sometimes the problem is wax, grease, or oil stains baked onto your stovetop; other times it’s spillage from one of your pots or pans that has run down the side to the back. Either way, you’ll need a cleaner made specifically for glass top stoves.

Be aware, though, that these cleaners can be pretty harsh and sometimes do more harm than good, so make sure you read all instructions before using them! 

2. Clean Your Cookware and Stove

The glass-ceramic material of the top has an easy-to-clean finish that’s free of grooves or crevices where food can get trapped. When it becomes dirty, simply wiping with a wet sponge will remove most residue without scrubbing. 

To clean your cookware:

  • Clean any spills immediately to prevent discoloration before it sticks to the surface. 
  • Scrape the pan clean using a tool such as a plastic spatula or nylon pot scraper. 
  • Wash in warm, sudsy water, and be sure to use a non-abrasive cleanser suited for cookware.
  • Try boiling white vinegar in an empty pan over high heat on your stovetop and let it sit until it has cooled off. 

To clean your stove:

  • Clean your stovetop with a non-abrasive cleaner for glass/ceramic cooktops.
  • A green scrubber pad or some kind of sponge can help you out here. If the situation is really bad, you may need to let the area soak.
  • Don’t use metal utensils on your glass top stove because they’ll scratch it! 
  • Once again, wipe up any spills right away before they can burn into the surface.

Sources: NY Times and HGTV

Some people have had success using baking soda and vinegar together to clean their glass top stoves. But be sure to test the mixture on an unnoticeable spot first because it may also damage your stovetop’s surface! 

See our guide on How To Remove Cloudiness From a Glass-Top Stove.

3. One of the Heating Elements Doesn’t Work

Typically, wire connections, sensors, fuses, or thermostats are the culprit when electric stoves don’t heat. For gas stoves, heat problems are usually caused by one or more of the heating elements themselves rather than any other part, which makes it much harder to fix!

If everything on the electric stove works fine except for boiling water, the most likely culprit is the heating element. However, if you have a gas stove, more than likely, it’s one of the smaller coils on either side of the burner.

In that case, you need to get your hands on replacement parts for that specific coil. So, call around to some appliance repair shops near you and ask what they recommend for replacement parts.

To replace a heating element:

  • Disconnect your stove’s heating element power. Remove the front lip of the main top and check for retaining screws behind it. Remove the retaining screws with a Phillips screwdriver, and after they’re out, close the oven door.
  • Remove the ground wire connection. Locate the ground wire and wiring harness strain-relief connection beneath the rear control console. Remove the screws that hold the ground wire and strain-relief strap with a Phillips screwdriver.
  • Remove the limiter. Locate the limiter on the side of the faulty heating element. Remove the four wires from the limiter and the two screws that attach them to the heating element.
  • Remove the Bad Heating Element and Replace. Remove the two heating element terminals by pulling off the metal wire leads. Open the screw that secures the metal band from the back of the glass top, which covers the faulty element
  • Replace the Glass Top. Connect the new heating element wires to it, reconnect the four limiter wires, and replace the glass top. 

For more information on replacing the heating element, check out this YouTube Video:

How To Prevent Your Glass Top Stove From Failing

You can prevent failures by careful maintenance and care. There are also a few simple tricks for keeping your stovetop in pristine condition:  

  • Use potholders or oven mitts to remove cookware from the surface. 
  • Never slide pots across the stovetop to avoid scratches! 
  • Avoid using sharp objects on the surface of your glass top stove.
  • If you’re having problems with boiling water, try using a different pot or pan designed for use on electric cooktops instead of gas ones.

Regularly clean and inspect your stove to make sure there aren’t any spills or build-up around or above heating elements, underneath pots and pans, or at the edges. If you find anything, clean it immediately. After cooking on a hot pan, never clean with cold water or it can cause your cooktop to crack. Allow for the stove to cool before cleaning.

Conclusion

If you’re having trouble boiling water on your glass top stove, the first thing to check is whether or not your cookware is misshapen or too large for the burner. The next step would be to clean it thoroughly with a non-abrasive cleaner before putting it back in place.

Next, check if one of the heating elements is not working and needs replacement. These three steps should help solve most issues before calling an expensive professional! If you’re still not getting the desired results, call a professional.

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Marsha

I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

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