Panic attack - Wolf Induction not working right

a2geminiMay 13, 2012

We just installed our Wolf induction and my husband baptized it by making me breakfast this morning - but it isn't working right.

The burners were not heating evenly at all and we had to set it higher than I would have expected for omelettes.

Anyway, GC and electrician are back tomorrow - so will have them check the install and if all is OK from their end, will have to contact Wolf

Really bummed - I was hoping to start cooking this week!

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christine40

OH A2--I am so sorry to hear that! I can't offer any advice, just feel bad for you! I am having Jenn Aire service out on my range this week too---my big burner doesn't light right either.

Your kitchen is looking great! We were out your way today for brunch--Sava's on State st. yumm!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:39PM
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a2gemini

Sorry to hear about your place.
Seva is one of our veggie specialty restaurants around town.
Hope your Jenn Aire problem isn't too major
Thanks for your support.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:47PM
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attofarad

I know that I am stating the obvious, but what type of cookware were you using?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 3:15PM
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weedmeister

and what do you mean by "not working right"?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 3:20PM
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foodonastump

"The burners were not heating evenly at all and we had to set it higher than I would have expected for omelettes."

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 3:29PM
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kaseki

Induction units typically heat in a ring shape (other shapes are possible) and depend on a substantial conductive pan bottom to spread heat.

Should we assume that you are using an adequately magnetizable pan, appropriately sized for the hob that was used?

kas

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 3:41PM
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a2gemini

My husband tried to make me an omelette yesterday and the front part of the omelette was cooked and the back part was not.
I took a look today and watched the boil patterns. Some boiled just in the center and others in splotches.

The buzz is really loud - I heard some complaints of buzzing but did not expect this to sound like a angry hornet's nest attacking!

All of the pans are induction pans. I have been using a portable Caso(sp) for over a year before making my decision. I was so looking forward to using the induction.

The hob and vessel sizes were correct.

Tonight, I pulled out the repotoire of pans. I have been collecting pans over the past year for my new cooktop. Some were in use all year and yes, all are ferrous and a magnet sticks just fine.

All Clad - fry pan and pot (used with portable)
CIA - Fry pan
Calphalon - induction pan (yes, they do have some) - used with portable unit
Demeyere sauce pan

I took pictures of the boil patterns and some of the settings.

The Wolf rep is supposed to come out and check it out - Back in touch.

I did manage to cook some rice tonight and it came out OK. Maybe there is a learning curve but it should have done better than it did - my portable cooked great omelets and many other items!

Stay tuned :-(

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:29PM
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llaatt22

Strange it isn't throwing any fault codes. Loud noise, assymetrical or uneven boiling patterns, sure sounds like the 240 volts can't get to where it is supposed to go for whatever reason.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 4:25PM
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a2gemini

Interesting concept.
The factory repair people said the buzzing is very normal. I expected some but not this much.
Anyway, I didn't have them come today - will play a bit with it but based on your thought - maybe I will have them come anyway and they can test the power.
I took pictures with my phone of the patterns - maybe I will post some

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 5:29PM
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rococogurl

I test-drove that unit in the showroom and there was no buzzing. All Clad pan but just boiling water.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:50PM
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a2gemini

Interesting - Definite buzzing with all clad boiling water.
Hey Roco - do we live on the GW?

I boiled some water in an old tea pot this morning and didn't hear the buzzing. Maybe I should ditch all of my new vessels and just grab some cheap ones....

I am so disappointed but maybe I can figure it out.

We couldn't test drive anything around here - but wish I could have done so.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 10:39PM
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rococogurl

Will wait to see what you find out. Fingers crossed.

I remember a thread on the buzzing and someone figured out which ones did and which ones didn't. Someone on here understands the technology well enough to explain it -- hope whomever will chime in and help you.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 8:03AM
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kaseki

Buzzing could be difficult to run down to a particular cause. A possible cause could result as follows:

The household power (called mains power in the UK) here in the US operates at 60 Hz alternating current. When it is rectified to establish a direct current source using historical approaches, some 120 Hz ripple will result. (Modern switching supplies can generate ripple of various sorts.) If this supply is used to generate the 30 kHz hob field or whatever frequency the induction unit is using, the ripple will be imposed on the amplitude of the field.

The hob field induces current in the pan base that heats the pan. The induced current generates its own field that reacts with the hob field as a fluctuating force. If the pan has a resonance near the ripple frequency, and the ripple amplitude is high enough, then the pan base will resonate. The buzzing in that case would likely be due to the pan base rattling against the pan inner liner or some intermediate metal.

My expectation is that if the induction unit power supply were perfectly filtered, and/or pans had perfectly bonded metal parts, buzzing would not be encountered.

It may be helpful to rest pans on silicone pads if the buzzing is pan base against the cooktop.

I have a Demeyere tea kettle that sometimes buzzes. I have not discovered a correlation with anything. It might be a function of the amount of water inside changing the resonance.

kas

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:19AM
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a2gemini

Kas
What type pf silicon pads would you recommend?
I will try options to see if I can resolve
Thanks

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:47PM
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cj47_gw

The only time I hear significant buzzing on my induction cooktop is when I have three or more pans going at the same time, and it's not all the time, just sometimes, with certain combinations of cookware. It's like there's a resonance that sets up amongst them and it's quite audible, though I wouldn't call it an "angry bee" sound. It's not nearly that loud. I also test drove the Wolf in a showroom and there wasn't any audible buzzing with one All Clad pan boiling water. I would definitely have Wolf come out and take a look--it really sounds like something's amiss.
One of the joys of induction cooking is the control you have and the even cooking. I wouldn't put up with what you are describing, it's new and it should work perfectly. It's far too early to be implementing work-arounds like silicone pads! Put that legendary Wolf customer service to work. And then, when you know it's working right...then you can start working around little annoyances, if there are any. :-)

Good Luck
Cj

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 11:11PM
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kaseki

I can't locate any of the silicone sheet packages, so I can't list brands. The stuff is usually sold as a cookie sheet release pad.

Historically, silicone rubber intended for high temperature applications was loaded with dull red iron oxide. More recently I've seen and purchased (but not yet used) some shiny blue stuff that is claimed to be even higher temperature capable).

Originally, I put the entire sheet under a pan, but lately I've just used three cut-out circular pieces in a "tripod" geometry. This allows one to see the indicator circles for pan alignment. The 1.5 to 3 inch circles also take up less space off the cooktop.

I've used silicon pads since purchasing the cooktop at the end of 2007. There are no pan scratches on my cooktop.

kas

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Janet.2012

Wolf uses 4 coils under each burner. If the cooking is uneven in the pan, maybe not all 4 coils are functioning on one or more burners.

A side note question...How did you select Wolf induction over other brands?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:28PM
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kaseki

Four small (presumably) toroidal fields instead of one large one. Interesting. Might in theory provide more uniform heating than one large coil, but perhaps not two concentric coils. Could also allow the field to be modulated coil-to-coil for low power settings with more constant power draw. Just speculation, but thanks for the fact Janet.

kas

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 6:34AM
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larsi_gw

I have the Miele KM 5773 36" Induction Cooktop. When we got it, I had a collection of Demeyere, All Clad, Schuelte-Ufer and Le Creuset.

Over the last year I have sold or given away EVERY piece of cookware besides the Le Creuset (and have spent a small fortune of new Le Creuset pieces). I now cook 100% with Le Creuset. Being cast iron, there is NOTHING better for Induction. I now have ZERO humming or buzzing. Everything cooks perfectly. They are heavy, but will last forever, and all the different colours I've bought, look awesome hanging on our pot rack??

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:18AM
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a2gemini

cj - the rep wants to come out and see
Kaseki - I have a couple of silpat to try - never thought of using them.
Janet - I did extensive reviews and internet searches. I looked at Elux, GE, KA/Jennaire, Miele and I am sure I missed a few.

The Elux was in the lead - but heard it scratched more easily (not sure if really true, but got cold feet even though I love my Elux fridge)
Jennaire - came out with a 5000 BTI and had 2 bridges - a late arrival on the scene - but previous reviews were not good.
It came down to Wolf and Miele. Wolf had a sale and I liked the burner arrangement and the cooktop "pattern", so went with Wolf

The one vessel, that I did not check was my one solid iron - similar to Le Creuset - Staub - so will check that one out! They are so heavy that hard to justify as I get older (OK - so I still run and ski marathons....) but will be celebrating my 20th anniversary of my 38th birthday next month!

I didn't use at all this weekend - our friends still think we can't cook....

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:08PM
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a2gemini

Forgot - if I had all the money in the world - I would have considered the Gag zone less - which I think Thermador is marketing now in the US - but I had already ordered. (I did look at Thermador as well, but not zone less)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:12PM
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a2gemini

Rep is coming out next Wed - so stay tuned!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 8:54PM
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weedmeister

If the unit does have 4 inductors under each 'hob', then that is most likely the problem. One or more are not working.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:56PM
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a2gemini

Thanks - I am getting some good pictures.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 8:50PM
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a2gemini

The Staub is definitely quieter!
Wolf coming Friday, I think
Hope to post some boil pattern pictures.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 9:00PM
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rococogurl

Fingers crossed for you a2. Gagg zoneless was my first choice -- but of course wouldn't fit existing opening and has been available only in England. Have you seen the video?

Miele gets high marks but Wolf should -- Thermador was marketing against them. Their system is different than others -- it will be interesting to see what rep tells you.

Seriously, the cooktop is sold to use with all magnetic cookware. Assume you'll do a noise demo for him. If you can't use Demeyere, arguably some of the best cookware, what's the point IMHO.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:22AM
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jadeite

a2gemini - you said you compared the Wolf with Thermador and decided on Wolf. What were the factors which went into your decision? I'm intrigues by Thermador's sensor dome cooktop, but can't find any reviews. Naturally the dealer doesn't have one in the store so I can't even see it, let alone try cooking on it.

Thanks,
Cheryl

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:53AM
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a2gemini

Rocco - I saw the video and the price - so even though I ogled it, I was glad that it wasn't available stateside. See comments below.

Jadeite - Thermador has some new models that weren't available when I was looking. I also couldn't find many positive reviews on Thermador appliances - but I think they are really trying to improve. Was the sensor dome - the thing that pops out to figure out the cook time? If so, I decided it was "gimmicky" for the price and you had to have the right pans (even more specific than just induction capable - but my brain looked at too many appliances to remember all of the details.)

The bottom line - I saw positive reviews on the Wolf, liked the burner set-up, liked the large pan burner, and the overall wattages for the burners.
I also liked the mottled appearance - I figured it would be less likely to show scratches.

BTW - I had a party at my house last night (90% complete party) and came out to the kitchen to see someone using my new cooktop as a cutting board for the pie!! Ahhhhh - I politely moved them to the 30 feet of countertop and smiled.
As soon as they left, I quickly cleaned up the cooktop and it was fine.

I am trying to make friends with it - no matter what anyone says - the pans do buzz - but it is worse when you first turn turn it on. I am still checking the boil patterns to make sure they are all working fine.

I made rice, couscous, pasta, and a few other things so far. The only true disaster was a the omelets on first day.

We just don't have the high end appliance stores to try the various models - so came down to reviews and appearance

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:12PM
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jadeite

a2gemini - thanks for the response. We spent a fruitless afternoon trying to get someone with a working induction cooktop. Nada. We were told that they couldn't connect them because the cooktops require 240V, and the stores didn't have them. We were also told that they never have demos because of lack of interest.

The Thermador model has the sensor dome. Apparently no one on GW has one and the dealers know nothing, so I can't get any feedback on whether it works. According to the specs, you need enamelled pots or the stickers which will respond to the sensors. That doesn't sound too bad. I like the concept and would be thrilled if it worked.

Cheryl

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:41PM
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weedmeister

Some of the Bosch units have this sensor thing. It senses the temperature of the pan. My Cooktek does the same thing, but from underneath. It is more-or-less a gimmick since it cannot measure the contents of the pan, just the side. And the contents can be much hotter than the sides as heat slowly distributes itself.

I've found that buzzing is more a feature of the pan than the unit. My Circulon buzzes (taps) incessantly until I put something in it to muffle it. The AllClad, not so much.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:14PM
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attofarad

Jadeite, there are numerous stores here in the bay area with working induction cooktops on the floor. I went to a Thermodor demo, put on by the distributor at a local retailer. The distributor also said that the "sensor dome" or the equivalent on the Bosch models was nearly worthless. I can see it MAYBE for deep frying, but not sure how well it would work for that either (and I don't even much shallow fry). That is why, when I was going to get a cooktop, I was going with the 500 series Bosch.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:23PM
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jadeite

Weedmeister and attofarad - we live in New Mexico, and so far I have found one working induction cooktop in a store. It was a Jenn Air, not one of the brands we were considering, though it was nice to see it work, sort of. The dealer only wanted to show us that the cooktop remained cool, while it boiled water. Their big sell was the cookware which was part of the promotion.

Thank you VERY much for the info on the sensor dome/autochef. It adds a lot to the price tag. It sounds like a useful option IF it works. As it doesn't, I guess we're back to looking at other models and brands.

Attofarad - what was your opinion of the Thermador line in general? The features sound impressive, even without the sensor dome.

Thanks,
Cheryl

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 6:10PM
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attofarad

Jadeite, I really liked the Thermador 36" I demoed in the store. I liked having the option to hit + or - to change the power level one step, or touch a number on the bar to go directly to the setting. The Bosch 500 only has the number bar (no +/-), which is okay and I think maybe better than just the + or - changes, but either one would be fine. My wife's co-worker has the Thermador 36" cooktop, and has nothing but good to say about it. Last I checked, there was about $1000 difference in price between the Bosch 500 series and the Thermador, which is more difference than I would pay for the slight feature difference.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:45PM
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jadeite

Attofarad - thank you again! Yours is the first and only review I've found on the Thermador cooktops. There are reviews, almost all very positive, on the Bosch units, so I would feel comfortable with one of these. But the Thermador has higher power elements which has a lot of appeal.

Cheryl

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:08PM
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a2gemini

Wolf was out today to look at the cooktop. The rep took pictures of the boil patterns and is taking them back to tech.
Supposed to get back to me on Monday.
Stay tuned!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:23PM
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a2gemini

Got a call from Wolf and they want to come out and take a look at the cooktop. Stay tuned

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:43PM
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mojavean

a2gemini, thanks for the outstanding updates on this thread! I am very curious to see how Wolf deals with this matter. By the way, what did you decide to do with that space under the cooktop? You had planned a drawer initially, right? What did you come up with as a substitute?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 2:56PM
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a2gemini

We are going with a tilt out - not perfect but will have to do for now...
Bummer x2.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 9:34PM
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dutty

Really interesting thread! I'm considering Wolf induction... any updates on what Wolf found? Did they identify the problem?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Lorenza5064

a2, what happened with the site visit by the tech team for your Wolf induction cooktop? And that top drawer tilt out below it? did you change that up to a false drawer front that is integral with the drawer below, allowing a deeper drawer?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Lorenza5064

That is a 36" cabinet? Frameless cabs in your kitchen, correct?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:20AM
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a2gemini

Lorenza- the cabinet is 37 inches.
Everything is working on the wolf.
It does have a slight buzz with all of my vessels - I have at least one of almost all high end brands. The buzz is worse when the vessels are cold but when the fan is running - most wont hear it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 7:33PM
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Lorenza5064

a2, Thanks for the details. Did the Wolf tech team pay a site visit to your kitchen? It seemed like that was the plan in one of your previous posts.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:20PM
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a2gemini

Yes - they sent 2 people over and we enjoyed an omelette together! They listened and assured me that I made the right decisions as they will support me downstream.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 5:09PM
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azmom

a2, Are you saying Wolf is working right after all?

Just curious, then how did the 2 people say about

"My husband tried to make me an omelette yesterday and the front part of the omelette was cooked and the back part was not. I took a look today and watched the boil patterns. Some boiled just in the center and others in splotches."?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Lorenza5064

Grazie a2

So good to know as I am currently cooking on a Thermador Professional 4burner + grill and I have been a wee bit nervous about the quantum leap I am about to make with my Wolff induction cooktop. I purchased it from an appliance store that has many appliances "wired for sound" and I was invited by the chef to cook on the Wolf. I chose to do a saute of mushrooms and follow in the same pan with a steak. My concern was that the induction top would not create enough heat for a good sear on a steak. Seeing was believing. How are you finding the performance of yours for quick sautes, sears, etc.? I will be unable to char peppers, but there is always the broiler for that... Lorenza

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:11PM
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a2gemini

asmom- i don't know why my DH omelette didn't work - but when we did an omelette with the 2 Wolf peeps - the omelette came out fine. They also shared the power % numbers which should be standard in the operating manual. The Wolf has 4 magnets, so the "splotches" are the 4 zones. Once the pan is warmed up, it settles down and seems to work just fine.

Lorenza - You can get a very hot pan on the Wolf! I don't know how it would compare to gas - but it is more efficient so the heat goes to the pan. See my post on cooking about my scallops - they were absolutely wonderful.

We don't eat much meat, so I am not the best to answer on the sear end of things - but I made an scrumptious pork roast - seared it and then tossed into the oven - I had beautiful "brown" sauerkraut - which irked my DB as he can never get his kraut to turn brown like DMs.

Sauces are quite easy. I also made a beef stew - and used the cooktop like a crock pot - I put a probe into the pan to monitor and it stayed very stable and was delicious!

My signature dish - "upside down salmon" comes out perfectly - I slice sweet potatoes and put a bit of oil in the pan, season the potatoes and then put the salmon skin side up in the pan - (after marinating) heat on medium for 5 minutes and then pop into the oven for 10-20 minutes depending on the size - then scoop out the potatoes and fish and flip it over so the caramelized potatoes are over top of the fish.

I roast my peppers in the oven - but don't char them usually, so not a problem from my end.

I am going to buy a grill pan but have not done so yet.

I have a single griddle - I think it is All Clad - it is a square one and works fine

Debating on the grill pan to purchase...

I have heard that Wokking is hard - but haven't really tried it - but I am betting I could make it work with my giant Saute pan. And I haven't made my Paella yet...

How did the Thermador compare to the Wolf?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 8:42PM
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