Before Pot! After Pot

My electric coils have what I think are cold spots. None of my food heats evenly when cooking. I noticed that when I turn the stove on, the coils heat up perfectly and are bright orange but the minute I put a pot on they get black spots, which I’m assuming are cold spots. If I boil a pot of water, I can see where the heat is going and the cold spots always match to wherever the black spots are on the coils. Is this normal? Or is this something that can be fixed?

  • Not sure why both pictures didn’t show, but the one that is visible is obviously before I put the pot on, the link beneath it will show what it looks like after. – user69766 Oct 10 at 20:15
  • In my (admittedly limited) experience with these types of stoves, that usually means your element needs replacing. I believe it is an easy plug-in that you can do yourself. – Steve Chambers Oct 10 at 20:51

It's very common for coil type electric elements to heat a little bit unevenly, even when they are brand new. If it's really uneven it's usually due to:

  • The element wearing out, leading to some parts being hotter than others
  • The element warping, leading to a loss of contact with some parts of the pots and pans you use

From the picture you've sent it could be a mix of both of these issues.

A pan with an uneven bottom can lead to this as well, if your pan rocks back and forth on a flat surface it's a sign maybe the pan is part of the problem.

You can't fix these elements, when they're shot they're shot, so if it's due to worn elements replacement is the best bet (if you live in a rental ask your landlord, you shouldn't have to pay for it). They don't cost much, you could probably do all 4 for less than $50 USD. Some brands have upgrades where you can install ceramic or maybe halogen ones instead, if I owned it that's the way I'd go, but they are more expensive.

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