ALWAYS consult a qualified electrician before any electrical work.
Ceramic hobs are a functional and aesthetic upgrade to the conventional freestanding electric cookers with bulky solid plates, hiding elements under a sleek, easy-to-clean ceramic glass layer. But with regular use, hob elements can fail, leaving you unable to cook.
Should you notice any irregularities—slow heat-up time, inconsistent temperatures, intermittent function—it’s time for a new element. Worried that replacing a ceramic hob element is beyond your abilities? Don’t be—just follow along with our guide, and your trusty hob will soon be in working order. Ready? Let’s go!
Tools You’ll Need
Replacing the element in a ceramic hob is simple; you’ll need only a few basic tools. It’s best to have them neatly laid out before you begin. Gather the following:
- New hotplate element
- Flathead (and in some cases, other) screwdrivers
- Sharp blade (a boxcutter is best)
- Thin, flat prying tool
- Magnetic parts tray or small dish (optional)
- Smartphone or digital camera
This is a general guide to replacing a broken hob heating element. There will be differences across hob brands, and cooker types, so check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure of anything.
Step 1: Play it Safe!
The wires in a ceramic glass hob carry high-voltage, high-current electricity. Always switch off and unplug your hob from the mains before opening it or making any repairs. You may encounter sharp edges, so consider wearing cut-resistant safety gloves to protect your hands.
Step 2: Remove the Hob Top
Ceramic hob elements are neatly tucked away under a layer of glass which is normally held in place by several screws located around the edges of the hob. Ensure that the screwdriver head and shape matches that of the screws, and apply enough pressure to prevent stripping the heads. Set the screws down where they won’t get knocked over. A magnetic parts tray is ideal; if you don’t have one, a small dish will suffice.
On some hobs, the screws pass through plastic rivets, which must also be removed. You can use a boxcutter—though be very careful sliding the blade between the hob top and rivet—or a fingernail to start the process.
Pry the rivets the rest of the way out using a thin, flat object. Almost anything—a butter knife, flat head screwdriver, a mini pry-bar—will do. Just make sure not to scratch the hob. Lift the hob top straight up. Be mindful of the wires for the control light, which can be popped out of a metal bracket.
Step 3: Find the Malfunctioning Element
When a ceramic hob element isn’t working, look for visible damage—either inside the element, or on the straight cutout bar. If no damage can be seen, and the wires are all attached, you should nonetheless replace the element if it has in any way malfunctioned.
Step 4: Photograph and Remove the Wiring
This is where your smartphone or digital camera comes in: a hob element’s electrical connections can be complex; taking a picture of them now will save you from frustration later. The connections may be stiff—if necessary, use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry them loose, then lift out the element.
Step 5: Remove the Fixing Brackets
Fixing brackets may not have been included with the replacement element. If that’s the case, turn the original element upside down, and use a screwdriver to remove the fixing bracket screws. Take note of the numbered screw holes, and use the same-numbered holes on the replacement to attach the brackets. This ensures that the brackets will be correctly positioned.
Step 6: Reconnect the Wires
Put the new element into the hob, snapping the fixing brackets into the metal tabs. Get out your smartphone or digital camera, and refer to the picture you took in Step 4 to reconnect the wires. (Some replacement elements may not be completely identical to the original element. If in doubt, check the photograph you took, and compare to which part of the original element the wires run.)
Step 7: Put the Top Back
You’re almost done! All that remains is to put the top back on the hob. Snap the warning light into its bracket and carefully reposition the hob top, ensuring that everything lines up straight. If your hob had plastic washers, reinsert them, then thread through and tighten the screws. Congratulations! Your ceramic hob should now be restored. Thanks for reading, and happy cooking!