Using an induction hob with a surface of ceramic glass is potentially lethal if it has developed a crack. Spillages can seep beneath the glass and put you at serious risk of an electric shock.
They can also cause further damage to the sensitive electromagnetics and wiring systems that operate the hob. If the wiring becomes damaged, it can even lead to an electrical fire at any time.
If your hob develops a crack, it’s not safe to use. You must turn it off immediately and unplug it from the electricity supply.
If it’s directly wired into the mains, remove the fuse inside the plug to keep you and your family safe from electrocution or fire. However, the ceramic glass of your induction hob is supposed to be toughened safety glass, so how can it develop cracks?
Is it Safe to Use a Cracked Induction Hob?
No, it is not safe to use a cracked induction hob. The glass surface of your induction hob usually has a concealed, supportive frame to keep it safely in place. When a repair is carried out, the frame and the glass are usually both replaced at the same time.
As with installation, accuracy has to be maintained when fitting a new frame or glass surface. Otherwise, the hob can once again suffer restrictive pressure leading to another crack.
In addition, the majority of induction hobs have the internal wiring fastened to the frame. Disturbing the complex mechanism of the electromagnetic system can be disastrous if attempted by an amateur. It can make your hob unworkable or dangerous to use.
What is Ceramic Glass?
Your induction hob has a beautifully smooth surface of ceramic glass. During manufacture, it combines the techniques of glassmaking with the firing used for ceramic pottery. Once the original sheet of glass has cooled, it’s then heat-treated in a similar fashion to clay.
The process alters the chemical structure of the glass, causing it to harden and crystallise. But unlike pottery, the surface is completely non-porous. This waterproof quality makes it ideal for safely covering the complex wiring system of your induction hob.
Why do Induction Hob Crack?
The ceramic glass of your induction hob is reliably tough, but you still have to be careful when using it. It doesn’t have the strength of steel and it can easily be damaged.
Here are some of the most common reasons why an induction might crack:
- Accidentally dropping a pan or any other solid object on the surface can cause a hairline crack. It could be too small to notice at first, but as you continue to use the hob, the heat can cause the crack to widen. You’ll usually hear a small, metallic snapping sound whenever this happens.
- Never preheat an empty pan on an induction hob. The electromagnetic system is incredibly fast compared to a standard gas or electric hob. Before you realise it, the pan can reach a temperature of around 260°C (500°F). The same level can be reached if you allow a pan to boil dry. Most induction hobs have safety features to guard against such high temperatures, but by the time they react, a crack could have already occurred.
- The installation of your induction hob needs to be carried out by a professional electrician. Accurate measurements are vital to ensure the hob has enough room for expansion when it’s heated. If there are any restrictions, the increased pressure can crack the hob, even on its first use.
Can I Replace the Glass on my Induction Hob?
You should never attempt a repair yourself. The ceramic glass is of an industrial quality that should not be available to members of the public. Using a second-hand version is not advisable.
Always ask the manufacturer for assistance or appoint a fully qualified engineer who has access to genuine spare parts when carrying out the repair.
My induction hob is only cracked at the edge, is it safe to use?
Wherever the crack has occurred, the entire pane of ceramic glass should be replaced as soon as possible. The crack can unexpectedly worsen if you continue using it due to a variety of air pressures beneath the glass, the weight of pans and even the oscillations of the electromagnetic field.
The edges of the glass are particularly vulnerable as they usually sit just above the worktop. Take care when leaving spice jars or tins near the hob as they can accidentally fall over and hit the glass at an unwelcome angle. My tip is to keep a small wicker basket at hand to place these items in while you cook.
Can I put electrical tape on a cracked induction hob?
Absolutely not! Although there are tales of this type of impromptu fix, it’s not advisable. The tape’s effectiveness can easily be affected by the warmth of the burner and pan.
The slightest amount of water seepage can give you a fatal electric shock. When your induction hob has developed a crack, it should never be used until you’ve had the glass replaced by a professional electrician.
Purchasing an induction hob can make your kitchen look very stylish. However, you have to remember to be more cautious when using it compared to a metal hob. The toughened ceramic glass is vulnerable to heavy wear and tear.
Avoid dropping pans and don’t slide full pans across the surface.
If the ceramic glass ever develops a crack, stop using the hob immediately and disconnect the hob from the electricity supply. Never attempt a repair yourself. It’s safer and more cost-effective to seek professional help.