One of the best reasons for buying a glass-top stove is a flat cooking surface that is a breeze to clean. It's so much easier than having to remove electric coils and clean out drip pans underneath gas burners. But there are some disadvantages to these smooth-top appliances. Glass can break, and when your glass-top stove gets a crack in it, you may not like the way it looks anymore. Unfortunately, this is not a problem that is simply repaired.
The glass in a smooth-top stove is tempered. That means it is made stronger by a heating process. This toughening method significantly increases the amount of stress a piece of glass can withstand before breaking. While thickness of glass and other factors will affect any glass-breakage requirements, tempering will add an additional 10,000 psi of resistance to any piece. In addition, when a piece of tempered glass does break, it tends to break up into blocks or squares instead of completely shattering. This makes for safer cleanup. All glass-top stoves use tempered glass for toughness and heat resistance. If the surface cracks, it is likely to be in a limited area, and the entire top is highly unlikely to shatter. This means that the crack may not be a major concern, aside from aesthetics. This is important because you won't be able to repair it.
No Epoxy or Windshield Solutions
When a windshield or another piece of tempered glass breaks, you can sometimes repair it using epoxy and methods touted by auto repair shops. There is a way to make cracks in a car windshield seem to magically disappear before your eyes with minimal effort and expense. This might be possible to erase a crack in your glass-top stove as well, but the problem is that the temperature on the surface of your cook top gets far higher than the surface of your windshield. The epoxy and other chemicals used to repair cracked tempered glass will not stand up to extreme heat, so the repair will not hold.
The truth about fixing a crack in a glass stove top is simple – you can't really do it effectively. The only real option is replacement. If the crack is affecting the cooking surface or is simply too unattractive for you to deal with, you should begin shopping for a replacement. Contact the manufacturer of your particular stove and find out how to obtain a new glass top. Most modern models have all sorts of replacement parts available.
Easier Than You Think
You can generally remove a glass top by removing screws in the front of the stove top and lifting it off the rear hinges. You can then replace the entire cook top and reconnect the wiring. You should always turn off the power to the stove before working on it. Some models that set on top of a cabinet instead of an oven may require you to approach from underneath and loosen the top from support brackets and then take off the top and replace it. Although this may seem more complicated, it is still fairly simple.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.