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5 Common Stove Top Problems and How to Fix Them

by Waverly Wilde

Whether you use a range or a built-in cooktop, the stovetop is one of the most important appliances you own, and when it starts giving you trouble, it’s hard not to panic. Without a stovetop, how can you make your mom’s famous chili? How can you whip up your favorite pancakes in the morning or a grilled cheese when you get home late???

The prospect of a broken stovetop is anxiety-inducing, but we’re here to tell you not to panic. Most common stovetop problems can be easily fixed with a little TLC, leaving your stove top and your late-night snacks ready to go. Here are five common problems your stovetop might face and their most common solutions.


The Problem: The gas burner won’t light.

The Solution: If the flame just won’t light on your gas cooktop, there could be a few things going wrong. First, make note of what happens when you try to light the burner. Normally, you should hear a clicking noise and be able to smell gas coming out of the valves. If you hear the click but don’t smell anything, the problem is likely with the gas flow. If you smell gas but don’t hear any clicking, the issue could lie with the ignition switch.

Turn the appliance off and unplug it if you can, then remove the grate and burner cap. Clean out any loose food debris and reconnect any wires that may have come loose. If that doesn’t solve it, you will likely need a new igniter or some work on your gas connection. Give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you find replacement parts and arrange any major repairs on your stovetop.


The Problem: Gas burner is heating slowly.

The Solution: A slow-heating cooktop can become a major issue no matter what type of cooktop you have. If you have a gas cooktop, this issue could be due to the burner openings being clogged with debris, leaving the flames small and weak. This can be pretty easily fixed by giving your whole stove top a thorough clean.

Turn off and disconnect your cooktop, then remove the grates and burner caps and give them a good soak in the sink with some soap and hot water. Scrub the surfaces with a stiff brush. Wipe down the surface of the cooktop with a damp sponge as well, and use a toothpick to remove food or other debris from the gas valves. Baking soda and vinegar can also help your cleaning routine pack some extra punch.


The Problem: Electric burner won’t heat.

The Solution: If one of your electric burners won’t heat properly, test all the others. If all your burners are having trouble heating, it’s likely an electrical problem, and you’ll need to call in a professional or replace your cooktop. If just one coil is heating improperly, check the connection and make sure the coil itself is firmly plugged in to the cooktop. Try swapping out the broken coil with another one on your cooktop – if the new coil works just fine in the same spot where the broken coil was plugged in, that means it’s time for a replacement coil.


The Problem: Induction element won’t heat.

The Solution: If you’re using an induction cooktop and it just won’t heat up, be sure the pan you’re using is induction compatible. Induction works by heating up the pan directly, rather than the burner below, so you’ll need special, ferromagnetic pans for your cooktop to work properly. Here’s a breakdown of what types of pots and pans will and will not work with your cooktop.


The Problem: Gas stove top keeps clicking.

The Solution: Some clicking is normal when you switch on your gas stove top, but if it continues long after the burner is lit, or even prevents the burner from lighting, it can become a real inconvenience. This problem usually happens when something is blocking the burner. Check to make sure the burner cap hasn’t been knocked out of place and that there’s no debris blocking the holes. If you don’t have a sealed-burner cooktop, food can easily get stuck in the gas grates and will need to be removed using a paperclip or other slim, metal object (don’t use anything easily breakable or flammable, like toothpicks or plastic forks). If the clicking continues, there could be excess moisture trapped in the cooktop. Try toweling off the stovetop or even pointing a fan at the cooking surface to soak up some of the extra water or grease that may have spilled.


With these tips in hand, your stove top will be up and running again in no time. If your cooktop does end up needing a major fix – or if it’s time for an appliance upgrade – be sure to contact our store to make sure you get the best repair service, replacement parts, and new appliances around.