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Electrical Arc

Electrical Shock or Arcing from your Cooktop?

Had a unique discussion today with someone recently who noticed electrical arcing between the glass-ceramic surface and his cookware when the cooktop was hot.  He thought the glass-ceramic was creating this electrical charge.

First, if you experience such an incident, please power the range or cooktop off, unplug it.  This could be potentially very serious problem.

Next, the glass is not the source of the issue, but it is the conduit of the current.  The cooktop is designed so that the electrical circuitry and electrical heat source are stepped away from the ceramic glass surface.  It’s important to know that glass and glass-ceramic are electrical insulators AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.  As the glass becomes hot it also is more electrically conductive and will pass a current.

While I’ve never heard of such a problem before, I expect something unique and significant happened during the transport of this cooktop.  The consumer presented a slightly suspicious history with abnormal storage and transport.  If open electrical contact points or the wires used to create the heat were dislodged during all the handling and then made contact with the hot areas of the glass…this could create and electrical hazard as the heat builds.

Be assured, Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and the manufacturers are designing and testing your range for safety, however proper use, handling, and proper grounding are assumed.  Should these measures not be followed, then you could harm yourself.
…Just something to be aware of when using used or pre-owned appliances.  A new one is packaged and transported more safely and with some control, but rebuild or unknown origin cooktops and ranges could pose a problem.  Again, I’ve never heard of this problem before this inquiry, but I thought it was interesting to note, if you see arcing, TURN IT OFF and get professional servicing off the cooktop, something is not right!

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3 Responses to “Electrical Shock or Arcing from your Cooktop?”

  1. Graham & Sons March 15, 2016 at 6:08 am #

    Sounds dangerous, I agree, definitely get a licensed electrician in to look at something like that

  2. Jackie January 8, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    Our Whirlpool cooktop also arced. It was installed just over a year ago (either by the company it was purchased from or the company that built our house. Either way, I’d expect proper installment). The first time we turned it on (over a year ago) it made a loud pop. Following that (and supposedly being fixed by the home builder company or the company it was bought from) we had no problems for a year. Now it arced (while in use) two days in a row. Followed by the “cooktop light” remaining on and it blowing a fuse with a spark when not is use (when we touched it to move the range away from the wall).

    • Ted Wegert January 17, 2017 at 1:21 am #

      Sounds dangerous! Maybe consult an electrician and get their opinion that the install and wiring to the unit are correct, if yes then consult Whirlpool again.


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