How Electrical Stoves Heat

“Now we’re cooking with gas!” How many times have you heard someone say that when things suddenly move faster or more efficiently? Gas stoves might be fast and efficient, but not everybody wants or has access to the use of natural gas in the kitchen. And electrical stoves have come a long way since they were introduced in the 1890’s.

If you’ve got an older model electric stove, you might get frustrated by how long it takes to heat up. You might sometimes notice that the temperature rises and falls dramatically during use. If you’re using several burners to cook, this can be awfully frustrating and may spoil your meal timing.

 How they work

Electric stoves use either coil heating elements containing electric wires or glass ceramic surfaces with burners underneath. When you turn the stove on, this initiates a flow of electricity through the wires, which in turn generates heat. To maintain a certain temperature for cooking or boiling, the heating element cycles on and off using an infinite switch. The thermostat senses the temperature and activates this switch so that it turns off when the temperature is too high and reactivates the burner when the temperature drops. Temperature settings and systems vary from model to model; some electric stoves contain fixed-temperature switches instead, which adjust the voltage according to the desired temperature. On such models, heat settings are sometimes listed from low to high with rotary switches or push buttons. The heat is most often buffered using special materials designed to minimise extremes in temperature swings.

Common Problems with Electric Stoves

If the heating element doesn’t maintain a constant temperature, this can be an indication of four very common problems:

  1. Faulty Thermostat: This hinders the device from detecting the right temperature and activating or deactivating the burner.
  2. Burner switch may be unable to close or open: If it gets stuck, this will stop your cooktops from heating properly.
  3. Conducting wire is broken: Electricity won’t travel to the heating element.
  4. Issues with the heating element: In all cases, professional stove repair might be required.

Should you need a stove repair, make an appointment with Matic Service by calling (02) 9709 6188. The team at Matic Service provide all manner of appliance repairs to customers within the city and Inner West suburbs of Sydney.