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Cooktop Surface Doesn't Heat? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

Cooktop Surface Doesn't Heat? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know


When it’s time to make a meal, the last thing you want to find is that your cooktop surface won’t heat properly. Whether it’s a defective switch, faulty wiring or a bad surface burner element, our friends at Sears PartsDirect have some tips to find a fix so you can get cooking.

cooktop surface doesn't heat

Potential Fixes


Replace the Radiant Surface Element

The radiant surface element is located underneath the surface of glass cooktops. This is what delivers heat to the cooktop surface to prepare food. If the cooktop turns on but the radiant surface elements fail to deliver heat to the surface, replace the radiant surface element.


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Learn more about replacing a radiant element on an electric cooktop from Sears PartsDirect.

Cooktop radiant surface element

Cooktop surface element switch

Replace the Surface Element Switch

Also known as a surface burner switch or infinite burner switch, the cooktop’s surface element switch is what initiates the heating elements on an electric cooktop. The surface element switch includes electrical contacts that turn on the heating elements, and your cooktop may not heat if these contacts fail to communicate with the heating elements. To fix this, replace the surface element switch.


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Replace the Coil Surface Element

The coil surface element is used on an electric cooktop and connects to the terminal block. The coil surface provides heat to the cooktop in preparing food, and is initiated using the surface element switch. If there are visible signs of damage to the coil surface element, or if the cooktop will turn on but the coil surface element doesn’t heat, replace the coil surface element.


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Cooktop coil surface element

Cooktop electronic control board

Replace the Electronic Control Board

In some cooktops, the surface elements are controlled using an electronic control board. It could be that this control board is failing to communicate to the surface elements to begin heating, in which case it should be replaced.


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Replace the Radiant Surface Element Limiter

In cooktops with glass surfaces, radiant surface elements include a limiting switch that is designed to shut off heat to protect the cooktop surface. In some units, the radiant surface element limiter is part of the radiant surface element, and in some models the limiter is a separate component. The radiant surface element limiter may not be monitoring the maximum temperature at which it allows the radiant surface element to operate, in which case it should be replaced.


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Cooktop radiant surface element limiter