A glass stove top has many perks, and if you’ve gotten used to yours, going back to the old coiled-electric or gas-flame varieties seems unthinkable. Glass stove tops heat up quickly, burn evenly, and they’re far easier to clean. Perhaps the biggest drawback to glass stove tops is the risk of cracking the glass. If this happens, you may wonder (even hope) if it’s OK to continue using the stove.
It is never safe to use a cracked glass stove top even with minor cracks, any damage poses the risk of electrocution. Furthermore, continued use can result in further, irreparable damage to the stove, requiring total replacement.
If this nightmarish situation tarnishes your appreciation of having a glass stove top, then here’s some additional info and pointers about glass stovetops that will help you enjoy your appliance without concern.
What Causes your Glass Stove to Break?
Made with a blend of ceramic material for extra strength, the glass atop your stove top is more durable than ordinary glass. However, strong impacts, excessive heat, and drastic temperature changes can end up in a cracked surface.
These are the three main causes, but understanding how they occur is important to preventing such cracks. For instance, if pots or sharp utensils are regularly banged against the glass, minor scratches will accumulate, weakening the glass and increasing the likelihood that a serious crack will form. Keeping the glass free from minor scratches will ensure ultimate strength.
When it comes to temperature, several factors come into play. Certain types of cookware retain heat longer than others. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures will eventually cause enough stress to crack the glass. If food has been burned into cookware, the stained spot can produce higher heat. Also, if non-cookware items are left on a heated stove, the material can melt and overheat.
Another temperature-related issue is thermal shock, which is when cool glass is heated up too fast. Placing a hot pot on a room-temperature glass stove is particularly damaging to the glass. This cause of damage is often more severe than a mere crack, so be especially careful to avoid doing this.
The Dangers of a Broken Stove Top
Electric shock is the main danger of using a cracked stove top. If any liquid enters the crack, it will come into contact with exposed electrical elements, creating a high risk of electric shock or a fire. In a worst-case scenario, the compromised glass can explode from the pressure of the high temperatures.
Sure, there are people who claim they used a cracked glass stove top for years without incident, but this doesn’t mean they weren’t at risk. So, even if you’re lucky enough to avoid electric shock from using a damaged stove top, you still run a high risk of damaging the stove even more, turning a minor fix into buying new appliance altogether.
Tips to Prevent Cracking A Glass Stove Top
There are many ways to prevent cracking. One of the most effective preventative measures is using proper cookware. Lightweight pots and pans are easier to control, making heavy impacts less likely. Stainless steel or sturdy aluminum cookware are not only lighter but they also have smooth bottoms that don’t cause scratches.
Cast iron, copper, porcelain, and enameled cookware should be avoided. These pots and pans tend to be heavier, with rough surfaces, and some will leave a residue that eventually damages the surface.
Proper clean-up is another effective measure. All food should be cleaned after each use, but only after the surface has cooled, as cleaning products can cause burns if they’re applied to the heated glass. Also, keep the bottoms of your cookware clean to avoid similar problems.
Use care when placing cookware on the glass, and avoid sliding cookware across the surface. And an unexpected risk is storing cookware above the stove where accidental falls will likely crack the glass. As with all appliances, check the user’s manual for care and maintenance instructions.
Can You Replace Your Glass Stove Top?
If the damage is minimal, replacing the glass stovetop is a relatively easy task. Just be sure all power is disconnected, including flipping the circuit breakers in the off position.
Broken Stove FAQs
Can I use the oven if my stovetop is cracked?
In most cases, it is safe to use the oven with a cracked stovetop. The two parts operate on separate electrical systems. However, if the stovetop is exposed to too much heat from the oven, the damage could worsen, possibly even shattering the glass completely. Regardless, you should fix your cracked stove top as soon as possible.
Can I use the undamaged burners on my stovetop if other burners are cracked?
Some people will say that this is okay to do. But as long as there’s a crack anywhere on the surface, there’s a chance that liquid can spill into the crack and pose a significant hazard. For the sake of safety, we recommend avoiding this risk.
A cracked glass stove is no minor thing. To avoid further damage and possible injury, we highly suggest addressing this problem promptly. And following a few easy preventative measures, you can enjoy your glass stove top for years without a single crack.