Cooker Hob and Hotplate Options
If you are currently looking at purchasing a new oven or cooker, you will probably be interested in the type of hobs available, especially if you are looking at separate ovens and hobs. If, however, you are quite happy with your much older appliance, you are quite likely to have a version of the hotplates that have been available for quite a few decades and have a good track record. The only problem being the design looks very tired compared to the more up to date hobs available.
To be honest, the hotplate has probably the easiest type of spare parts to obtain and to fit. Before even thinking about making any kind or repair, or even carrying out investigations into a problem, you must ensure that the power is disconnected. The last thing you need is to suffer from an electric shock when all you are doing is checking what the problem might be.
Radiant Ring – this type has been used over many years, but is still available on quite a few ovens and cookers. This is a very simple element in spiral form and comes in two sizes, the ring is supported on a tripod formation. In most cases, the hob will simply lift up allowing access for both cleaning and replacing. When sourcing your replacement part, you just need to know the make of the oven and the size of the element, usually 6 or 7 inch. Very simple to do but please DON’T FORGET to ensure all power is disconnected before you start.
Solid Plate – you will easily recognise this type as they are black sealed plates. Basically they are the same as the Radiant Ring above, encased in a light alloy and the heat is transferred through the metal to the base of the pan.
Another variant of the solid plate is the ‘simmer stat’ more or less the same but they have a hole in the centre where the thermostat regulates the temperature. You need to be careful as when a pan boils over and moisture gets into the thermostat, it can cause damage. Other problems that can be a factor with this type of hotplate include the fact that the chrome surrounds always discolours, due to the heat.
Also they can become pitted with rust spots on the cooking surface. The way to avoid this is to regularly oil the surface as this will protect the hotplate and avoid the rust spots becoming a problem.
The parts are fairly easy to source at a reasonable price, however, the fitting can be a problem, as you will have to remove many screws to access the elements. It can be done, but you will have to be patient and systematic.
Ceramic Hobs and Cookers – Ceramic hobs look great and are very easy to clean, but as with the hotplate above, one of the drawbacks is when you have a problem.
To access the elements, whether you have a free-standing oven or separate hob, you will have to remove lots of and lots of screws. You must be very careful not to damage the very delicate heating elements, as they are very fragile, they mostly look like a glass rod with electrical connectors. Many manufacturers don’t even provide these as spare parts and your only option may well be to purchase a completely new hob.
You may find that your local specialist shop may be able to help you, as obviously their purchasing power is much greater than an individual.
Halogen Hobs – The principle of this system is that heat is generated by halogen bulbs which heat up rapidly and speed up cooking. Unfortunately though, as we all know, bulbs do fail.
Again, this is back to the same story, having to remove very many screws to open the hob itself. Also, buying replacement halogen bulbs may not always be possible and again you may find yourself in the position of buying a new hob! Daylight robbery in other words.
Some manufacturers do provide spare bulbs, so you will need to check into your manufacturer’s standpoint.
Induction Hobs – One of the benefits of using the induction hobs is that it is clean and very easy to keep it that way, as basically you are cleaning a sheet of glass. The downside is that this is definitely not something you can repair yourself if a problem arises. The main reason for this is the amount of electronics involved and as they are technically advanced.
Spare parts are still extremely expensive, even when purchased by a professional engineer, so you need to bear this in mind when making your purchase.