noisy wolf induction

niffyFebruary 15, 2010

Hi all - hoping someone might have some insights. We just got a new Wolf 36" induction cooktop. I'm using AllClad stainless pans and a Lodge cast iron pan on it. Instead of the low "humming" sound I heard at the showroom, I'm hearing a rhythmic (like every 1 to 2 second) buzzing sound, almost like a bug zapper. At the highest levels it becomes a consistent buzz that is a little less loud. It's pretty jarring! Is this normal? I'm a bit concerned that Wolf will tell me it is. I know this cooktop had been backordered for months, due to some part for which they needed to find a new supplier. I hope it wasn't something that led to a permanent annoying noise! Not sure if I can tolerate this indefinitely.....

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Does your Lodge cast iron pan also have the same noise as the AllClad?


    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 9:58PM
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Same noise! I was hoping trying the Lodge piece would be the answer....

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 10:29PM
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That doesn't seem normal. Any strange smells? Slow burners? Does the noise change to slower, faster, or about the same after 5 minutes, after a half hour of cooking?

Better check in with Wolf and get them involved.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 11:10PM
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There were several threads about induction noise, I went back and checked those for Wolf. Only found one, and it was a 2 hob wolf and poster said it made no noise as does my icon (no noise) even with the Emeril ware clad pans.
That's really a "Jammer" after waiting that long for your cooktop but as latt2 mentions, somethings amiss.
Except for the portable units, most everybody said their units were quiet with cast iron pans/pots.
Good Luck--hope it taken care of soon!!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 9:03AM
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Possible electro-magnetic interference? Some CFLs have magnetic ballasts which can cause interference as do some dimmers for low voltage lighting.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 2:25PM
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I have a Wolf induction cooktop in a second home. I don't notice that it makes noise at all. It might have something to do with the type of countertops or cabinetry in your kitchen. Is it possible that the materials around the cooktop are somehow amplifying noise (similar to the way in which a stringed instrument magnifies sound)?

My cooktop is installed in a 1-1/4" thick soapstone counter with solid wood cabinetry (not particle board). I can't hear any noise at all, unless it's dead silent in the kitchen and I practically put my ear right on the cooktop. Even then, it's a barely noticeable tiny hum.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 3:40PM
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Thanks for replies everyone. My cooktop is in 1-1/4" granite in solid wood also. There is a full mantle hood on either side, also solid wood, which extends down to the countertop. I tried it today with the drawers under the cooktop pulled out, just in case there was something way down in the drawers that was interfering.... no different:(
Then I called Wolf. They are happy to have me get a service check, but I got the usual "it is normal for induction to make noise" and then was told what I described sounded normal to her. GRRRR. If that is normal NO ONE should buy this! The "rhythm" of the electo-zapping noise is exactly proportional to the level that the cooktop is set to and becomes a constant ZZZZZ at highest level (which is actually LESS annoying than the intermittent ZZ ZZ ZZ which is like sticking a fork in my eye). I listened to 2 of these before deciding to buy, and neither made this noise!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 11:16PM
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My first induction cooktop was one of the original Kenmore units.. very old first-generation induction. It would buzz like that. I wouldn't think a modern unit would be nearly as loud, though.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 10:27PM
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It could be as easy as something loose inside the cooktop that is being excited by the magentic field. Something that expensive should not be that annoying. (boy I thought of a few good jokes there but I'm going to control myself!)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 11:03PM
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i am hearing the exact same thing as niffy...brand new wolf cooktop and top-of-line allclad (coppercore) pots/pans from william sonoma...totally unacceptable buzz buzz buzz sound.

niffy: have you learned anything more since your last post?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 1:13PM
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I'm having a different but similar problem and I haven't figured out how to reduce the noise.

Cast and AllClad work well on my induction cooktop.

Here is a link that might be useful: noise in cookware on an induction cooktop

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 1:52PM
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The Wolf repair guy came in March and thought it was NOT normal. He thought it was the transformer. New part was ordered but I had to wait awhile bc of needing parts for my hood too. Two different, less competent guys, came to change the parts on thursday. Before they even started or heard the cooktop, they told me that the noise was normal (then later showed me a four year old bulletin about it). Once they heard it, they admitted that the harsh, electronic tone of the noise was not something they had heard before. Unfortunately, they ended up with the wrong part, so they didn't exchange what needed to be fixed- thus I don't yet have an answer. They were less optimistic than the first guy that it could be fixed. I think i shall request the original repair guy when the part comes in, and not these twenty-something bozos.....(one hopped up and sat on my counter, right next to the cooktop cutout. I offered him a stepstool to do his work on the hood and he declined. I had to INSIST that it wasn't a good idea for him to sit there, at the weakest spot on my countertop, before he would get down and use a ladder. Grrrrrr.)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 5:32PM
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Thanks niffy. I will let u know what I find out as well.

Quick question: you hear the same buzzing with the cast iron skillet right?
All I have is the allclad line.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 10:25PM
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Yes, I do hear the same buzz, at the same intervals, with the cast iron. It is not as loud, but still there, zapping away... I am trying to learn to cook w cast iron, just in case I end up stuck w this thing!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 1:32AM
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I have a GE Profile induction cooktop. This is my second one(the first was replaced under warranty). While the first one was never dead silent, the second one is definitely noisier. I had read on GW before that someone had their cooktop replaced because of the noise and were happier with the second one. The fellows that came out to install it stonewalled me when I said it was noisier than the old one with the "it is normal for induction to make noise" mantra which you have experienced. There is no way you can convince me that two units are created equal and I think some do operate noisier than others. Not a solution to your problem but I do sympathize. By the way, the only dead silent cooking I can do is when I do use cast iron. Now I have to cast iron frying pans and two enameled pieces-LOVE them!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 10:45AM
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Our new E'Lux Icon makes a very slight humming sound which seems to be normal and some can't hear. The sound you describe ceertainly isn't normal. Almost sounds like a voltage charge / discharge cycle.

It is also diappointing that a high end brand like Miele can't seem to get a product fixed in less than 2 months.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:58AM
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Miele? the OP has a Wolf.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 6:32AM
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To address the elephant in the room:

If the noise source is above the cooktop surface, it is due to the pan. Clad pans can rattle, whereas cast iron (unless cracked) should be relatively silent. Some noise is possible if the pan is reacting to the field by vibrating against the hard cooktop. Putting the pan on a silicone pad should reduce the noise level if that is the cause.

Otherwise, the problem is below the cooktop surface, and suggests that some part of the field generating circuitry is not well attached (bad potting, no potting, loose screws, whatever). Unfortunately, if the manufacturer is shipping cooktops without adequately securing the guts, a replacement may do no good. (Which is better, ISO 9001 compliance via shipping consistently bad product, or non-compliance by shipping randomly bad product.)

I have a 36-inch Kenmore Elite (made by Electrolux and barely distinguishable from the Icon other than trim) that is very quiet internally. Some pan vibration is detectable sometimes with some clad pans depending on content and power setting. Otherwise, all I hear is (after a while) a very quiet fan pulling air through the electronics, and fortunately now rarely, the sound of waiting too long to turn down the power level.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 4:28PM
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Niffy -- Wondering if you ever got this resolved? We just installed the same cooktop, it worked silently for 2 days and now the same loud buzzing sound you describe -- with AllClad and Scanpan cookware that was silent yesterday. Anyway, hoping you got a simple answer.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 12:23AM
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Something is coming loose inside those Wolfs. My Elux is dead silent with every pan we have used, so far; Even with the cheap Emeril ware Clad cookware, (Which we love by the way), if you need proof, watch the water boiling contest I put up on Utube. The mic in the camera is VERY sensitive and can "Pick up" a flea Scratchi' (LOL).

Hope the problems are resolved soon. My guess is that new part that Wolf had to use is like, (Clint Eastwood described one's mouthwash!), "It Ain't Gettin' It"!!!!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 9:41AM
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I don't think this is a loose part -- the noise I hear is clearly a pulsing interaction between the cooktop and the cookware. It is a zapping like noise that seems to be the elemenet in the cooktop not applying power in a steady fashion but switching on and off or something like that.

Hoping Niffy got Wolf to solve the problem. I'm stuck in the "that is normal" response -- and I agree that if this is normal then nobody should buy this product.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 3:23PM
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I have a Wolf induction cooktop and it makes the same "pulsing" sound. I have expensive induction cookware. I do not consider the sound to be objectionable, though mine may not be as loud as some.
What I do object to is that the power will shut down when I cook on high heat. I've been told this is normal; that it is to protect the glass or the coil from overheating.
Does anyone have this issue? Is there another brand of induction cooktop that will not cut back on power? This seems to be a well-guarded secret about a weakness of some induction cooktops.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 7:48PM
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The closest I can get to what you describe that makes sense is one of two things:

Either you've been using power-boost on initially turning on the hob, and then it reverts down to high after a few minutes, or you've been cooking on one hob and then begin cooking on another hob that shares the same inverter. In that latter case, the first hob reverts down some amount if the combined power drain of both hobs is too high for the shared inverter.

Are either of these like what you're experiencing?

I believe some induction units, the more expensive ones (like Viking), have separate inverters for each hob. For those units the second case would not apply (I think the first case -- temporary power-boost -- still would).

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 9:10PM
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In some cases I have selected the boost right from the start. In other cases I have not. It is not reverting to a lower power setting; it is shutting down for a few minutes till the system's thermistor on the specific coil resets and power comes back on.
Sometimes it is as simple as cooking on normal high for a few minutes and it will shut down. It will not fry food without shutting down midway through the process. Anyone care for half-coooked greasy, soggy food?
I don't know about shared inverters... I can move the cookware to another burner and continue cooking on high until that burner fails. Shuffling between burners is not satisfactory.
I need a cooktop that does not exhibit these symptoms or I will be forced to go back to gas. I don't want to go back to gas, but I cannot be happy with a cooktop that will only boil water well or simmer food.
Where can I find a satisfactory induction cooktop?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Yup, sounds broke -- what you're describing sure don't sound right.
Is it new? Is it still under warranty? Has it always done this?

I've heard good things here about several induction cooktops, like Electrolux, Fagor, GE, and Miele.

But before replacing it, you might contact Wolf to see if they can fix it...

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 11:43PM
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scargod, my Miele doesn't shut down. My husband has been frying a lot since it is so much easier on the induction than making a mess on the old gas we had (with weak hood).

I'd call for service if I were you.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 12:06PM
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Scargod, you sent me an email about Wolf induction cooktop, but I don't have one...I have a Wolf rangetop and Wolf oven. Sorry that I can't be of any help!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 11:50AM
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Hey all, still have my Wolf... Well the second one. Wolf replaced it and the new one makes the same noise as the first. The installer was sent by Wolf and he agreed with the original technician that the noise isn't normal.
Supposedly, they are going to replace it again, once they find a quiet one for me. I am getting accustomed to it (somewhat) and still love the way it cooks. But I am mainly tolerating because they promised to get this resolved for me! I considered asking the appliance store for a swap to the Miele, but I am so happy with the performance of the cooktop that I would be afraid to change...and I am not certain about my cutout... (I know, I know... Everyone loves their Mieles! I almost got one but I wanted the pattern on the Wolf). So Scargod, we are definitely NOT having the issue you are with the power cutting off. That just sounds WRONG.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 7:04PM
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I'm wondering if this problem is still happening or it has been resolved. Any wolf induction updates?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 4:05AM
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Some say their inductions make no noise.
I even watched a video on one of our GW posters and heard the same noises as the wolf. (I think they had an elux or Thermidor)
I must have good ears!
I do want to mention that gas also is noisy - just a different noise.
I have the wolf. It is pan dependent on the amount of noise with my cheapest tea pot making no noise and my Staub also very quiet.
My all clad and other layered vessels are noisier including my DeMeyere (I think I have one of almost every brand)
The noise is most noticeable when the pan is cold.
With the fan running, it is hardly noticeable.
Cooking is wonderful. I can cook on high heat, then simmer for hours.
I love the surface appearance and easy to clean!
If you are looking for burners that turn off automatically- my wolf does not have that feature- although if you take off a pan for awhile it will turn off as will all induction. I never timed it, but it is not instantaneous. I have time to pick up the pan and swirl thing around without shut down.

I would buy the wolf again but would also consider the Miele or Thermidor - Thermidor has come out with zoneless- which is still very expensive and probably would wait a couple years until the price comes down.
The regular Thermidor owners claim to have very quiet induction but I would want to hear it with my own ears.

If you can get to a demo center that actually cooks with 240/50 amps- that would be best. Some appliance stores just have a facade using 110- so noise may not be real life

Have fun cooking.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 5:12AM
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